Alberta’s Tom Nolan expanded his very diverse reputation within Sportsman level drag racing last season…..

Tom Nolan

The owner and operator of Winner’s Choice Racing (based from Lacombe AB), has built a reputation as a racer who is never one to shy away from challenges.

While the truth out there is that the majority of drag racers stick to one brand or another during their careers, Nolan’s passion for experimenting in the sport has certainly taken him outside of that norm and his latest project adds to that notion.

During recent seasons, Tom’s racing camp has campaigned extensively within NHRA’s Lucas Oil Drag Racing series with a couple of very impressive cars, including a late model Pontiac G5 in Super Stock, (which Tom drives) as well as an amazing 1964 Ford Thunderbolt clone, in Stock eliminator – driven by Arizona’s Tibor Kadar.

But during 2018, Tom completed a Sportsman drag racing “big three trifecta” so to speak, when his added in a vintage Mopar race car to his central Alberta racing stable.

After acquiring a 1964 Dodge 330 from a previous owner in Quebec some six years ago, Nolan hit the drag strip with that totally rebuilt car for the first time early last summer.

Tom Nolan unveiled his latest and highly impressive home engineered project to drag racing earlier last summer

“This Dodge has been a race car all it’s life,” Tom revealed. “It’s been totally renewed however. Front to back and up and down, there was not a nut or bolt that went untouched.  Over the years I collected all the parts and pieces and put it together slowly as time and money would allow. A friend and I did a new chrome moly cage for it and all the dash and body work.”

Tom then added a cool and personal nostalgic touch to his race car’s final finish. At the dawn of his racing career, his very first race car was a ’67 Nova with a big block Chevy “rat” motor – which he dubbed “On the Rocks” and which featured a graphic of a Rat swinging a sledge hammer. His new Dodge carries forward that vision.

“33 years later I’ve come full circle,” he continued. “I decided to have the same artist (Ray Binder – Medicine Hat AB) airbrush a similar graphic on my Dodge, But instead of a “rat” this time it has an elephant swinging the sledgehammer!” (…..very appropriate given’s Tom’s engine program is a 426 Hemi….)

Medicine Hat’s Ray Binder did the airbrushing for both the original (top) and most recent  “On the Rocks” cars….

Tom’s Dodge was mostly in test mode last year. Originally it did have a motor program which had a cross ram intake configuration that targeted the AA/SA class, however late last season Tom converted that to a single 4 NASCAR intake so the car could be legal for A/SA.

“Towards the tale end of the year we got the motor working well — it’s making great torque and horsepower,” Tom confirmed. “It’s now capable or running close to what my Thunderbolt is capable of. We think that A/SA class is a better fit too — because really — I don’t want to be running in the 9.5’s with a car that weighs 3600 lbs and that’s 50+ years old (LOL!)”

Tom’s 426 CID Hemi Elephant motor program.

Nolan’s vintage Mopar is for sure another meticulous project that includes amazing attention to detail. For racing fans attending the same events as Tom next year, a visit to his pit area for close inspection — is simply a must!

The completion of this Dodge is but the latest feather for Tom Nolan’s racing cap and the final results are very gratifying for him.

“I’m a car guy — all brands – period,” Tom added. “I’m very partial to the older cars and to Stock and Super Stock in particular, but for me the real reward is the building process itself – that’s what I enjoy most about the sport. Over my 30+ years in the sport I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of working to make something go fast and now I can say I’ve done that for all of the big three – which has been a personal long time objective.”

Tom Nolan’s racing stable also includes his potent G5 Super Stocker (top) and an amazing ’64 Ford Thunderbolt.

….And in some more late season news, we can suggest this ’64 Dodge may not necessarily be his last racing project (as Tom originally planned). Rumours from within the camp do now include the possibility of yet another vintage drag racing car — details TBA.

For more information on Winners Choice Racing — click: HERE

Post and photos by Bruce Biegler