Boychuk’s “Natural Hat Trick” = Team Reprieve 

Tim Boychuk and the Troy Lee Designs-sponsored Nostalgia Funny Car team own Edmonton.  They proved that again last weekend by winning the featured Prostalgia FC eliminator for the 3rd straight season during IHRA’s Mopar Rocky Mountain Nitro Jam Nationals….

It's now 3 years and counting for the Troy Lees Designs car in victory lane at Edmonton

Tim won the final round in a very exciting dash to the strip versus fellow Canadian Jim Obalek (from Mission BC).  Boychuk left first and roared to his best time of the event – 5.972 secs at 234.57 mph in his ’77 Firebird to take the title.  In the other lane, Obalek, who had qualified #1 (5.829 secs – low ET) went for a very wild ride driving his Twig Ziegler themed Plymouth Satellite.  Obalek did a tremendous job saving his car which sashayed at very high speed and crossed the centerline behind Boychuk. 

Tim Boychuk roared to a convining final round win and was oblivous to Jim Obalek's wild ride in the other lane.

Tim had beaten two other Canadian racers, Jay Mageau and Ken Webster in previous competition after qualifying #5 for the program (6.001 secs). 

For Boychuk and his talented team, which is guided by legendary Canadian crew chief Bob Papernik, the home turf never grows old. 

“Winning at home is always special because you do it in front of your family, friends and fans,” said Tim.  “It’s hard to describe – but I’m just very proud of this team.”

The victory was for sure some solace for the entire race team following that very strange and highly controversial disqualification after their apparent win at  NHRA’s Bakersfield March Meet earlier this year.  

“That incident was truly unfortunate,” added Papernik.  “I think the way it was handled really hurt the NHRA and it’s Heritage Series a lot more then it did us.  We received a tremendous amount of support from all the Heritage teams after what happened.  For lack of a better word – it was a lot of B.S. — but we’ve tucked all that behind us now and with this win we are moving forward.  We will be running quicker, better and faster – and we will win our share of races this season.”

Where there is Smoke there is Excitement! 

The Rocky Mountain Nitro Jam also featured another strong display courtesy of the “seriously tire smoking” Rocky Mountain Nostalgia Funny Car Association – who qualified a 16-car field this year.

The 6.99 indexed RMNFA cars burned an aweful lot of rubber at Edmonton!

That very entertaining series produced a surprise winner when Shane Reykdal (from Edmonton), guided his cool “E-Town Shaker” Dodge Omni to victory lane.  Reykdal qualified 13th on the ladder and provided four upset wins on Sunday on his way to picking up his first career Ironman in one of the most unique classes on the entire Nitro Jam tour — found only in Edmonton.

Reykdal had wins over Arvid Fonstad and Ron Sekura in the 6.99 index class before meeting top qualifier David Brant in the semifinals as Brant broke out by a few thousandths at the line. In the final Troy Sitko got off the line first with the Ace sponsored ’37 Chevy, but Reykdal ran closer to the numbers in his ’79 Omni with a 7.074/180.07 to Sitko’s 7.167/191.62 to pick up the win.

Shane Reykdal emerged victorious driving his Dodge Omni

“We struggled like crazy with the tune-up this weekend, but we kept picking at it and we finally got it working the way we wanted,” Reykdal said. “My crew did one heck of a job with the quick turnaround and the hot weather and we finally figured it out for the final. We had some lucky rounds, but sometimes luck is the way you have to go.”

Record Riding Nitro Bikes

The Nitro Harley invitational provided one of the most competitive races of the weekend as Randal Andras, traveling over 2,000 miles to Alberta from Amelia ,La., defeated North Carolina’s Jay Turner in the final. After three incredible days of competition, the final proved a bit anti-climactic as Turner broke on the line and Andras coasted down the quarter-mile with a 6.678/217.53 to keep the trophy for the nitro-powered motorcycle class in the States for the second year in a row.

Louisana's Randal Andras won over a very tough Nitro Harley field

Andras’ win also snapped a streak of four consecutive wins by Turner in Nitro Jam competition.

“We had a great time up here playing with the Canadians. We have a lot of friends up here and they are great to race with,” Andras said. “This was a great place to come race and when you have an event that is this competitive and a crowd that is this big, it makes the trip even more worthwhile.”

Andras qualified fourth on the Nitro Harley ladder and defeated Joey Stenotti and top qualifier Damian Cownden (6.516 secs) before meeting Turner in the final. The stout field featured a record setting bump of 6.791 secs for the 8-bike shootout. 

“Coming out here the air was a little bit different from where we race, but we were able to find a decent spot in the motorcycle to make it happy,” Andras said. “We were at the top of qualifying for a while, but that went away quickly as the field got more competitive. The long and short of it is we were able to maintain lane choice which gave us an advantage we needed to get the win.”

10 Years Déjà Vu!

Also earning victory lane as part of the IHRA’s invitational “Chicago Style” Shootout program  were Bruce Litton in Top Fuel (who won both Saturday and Sunday) and Randy Bradford in AA/FA (Saturday) and Tom Padilla AA/FA (Sunday).  Each driver prevailed over 4-car eliminator programs.

Litton’s win was a very special one as it came 10 years after the inaugural IHRA Rocky Mountain Nationals event – at which he was also the winner.

Litton traveled to Edmontonfor the Lucas Oil Slick Mist Top Fuel Team’s tenth showing at Castrol Raceway. To commemorate the 10th anniversary of this marquee event, Litton brought back a “retro” looking Lucas Oil Slick Mist car that gave him the first Rocky Mountain “Iron Man” and with his matured Lucas Oil Dragster, Litton and crew brought home an anniversary win.

Bruce Litton earned two final round win lights during the Rocky Mountain Nitro Jam

“It’s truly something special to win the tenth anniversary of this race in the same car we won the inaugural Edmonton event in,” told Litton. “Out of our ten trips toEdmonton, we’ve now won three of those times, but this win was the most memorable. We had this car sitting in the shop and I thought it would be pretty neat to win again with the same dragster that secured the win for us on that first trip. I’m excited this awesome Lucas Slick Mist team pulled it off.”

Not only did they pull it off, they did so in high fashion, recording top speed and low ET of the weekend.   In Saturday’s final, Litton recorded a winning 5.007 secs 290.44 mph over Bobby Lagana Jr.  On Sunday his final round 5.097 secs at 280.14 mph topped Scott Palmer.

Once again sponsor Mopar put up a great display and put on a great event!

Exhibition Extras

Fans attending the 2012 Mopar Rocky Mountain Nitro Jam also enjoyed a number of event extras with some special exhibition runs featuring local Alberta-based cars. 

Greg Sereda’s NHRA TAD, and the TAFC’s owned by Geoff Goodwin and John Evanchuk ran some great numbers during the weekend’s action.   Brad and Heather Janishewski (from DraytonValley) also had their Jet FC and Jet Dragster on hand to help thrill the sold out event.

Heather Janishewki's "Her-A-Cane" Jet Dragster

Filed by:  Bruce Biegler, Larry Crum & Lisa Collier

Photos by:  Bruce Biegler

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