We have received positive confirmation about the 2017 Mopar Canadian Nationals version at Grand Bend Motorplex!….

Following the disappointing off-season revelations that the IHRA Drag Racing Series would not be involved in Professional level drag racing in 2017 many drag racing fans are left to ponder what the future holds for one of drag racing’s alternative sanctioning bodies.

Earlier (last December) the IHRA confirmed detail for presenting drag racing within their Summit-sponsored Super Series and Sportsman National Championship (Sportsman only) levels. But those announcements also included an “elephant in the room” omission — that being zero official news about any schedule or continuation for it’s Professional class racing next season.  Since then there has also been only minimal chat and speculation around what the IHRA plans will be for Pro racing long term – although the most prominent theory** is that they are taking a year off to rethink and reset their national event series.  (**Editors Note:  DragRaceCanada remains hopeful that will in fact be the case.)

In the meantime that gap has had a major effect — leaving a number of traditional IHRA sanctioned racing facilities (both in the USA and Canada) in limbo. In Canada a big shoe fell quickly when Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway took the exit door and adjusted their sanctioning from IHRA to NHRA beginning this coming season. Questions too thus arose about what Ontario’s Grand Bend Motorplex would or would not do.

DragRaceCanada has now received some details from Grand Bend Motorplex’s President Paul Spriet.

Paul Spriet

Area drag racing fans will be relieved to know that Paul has confirmed his determination to carry forward with Canada’s single longest running and traditional major race – the Mopar Canadian Nationals.

“As many people know IHRA is taking a year off to revamp their national event series, “ Paul said. “But at Grand Bend Motorplex we didn’t want to take that break. So with the ongoing support of Mopar Canada we are keeping the ball rolling for Eastern Canada’s largest Drag Racing event. Our 18th Annual MOPAR Canadian Nationals will happen — Aug 4-6, 2017. The event will feature great cars and programs race fans have come to enjoy including: Top Fuel Dragsters, Nostalgia Nitro Funny cars, Nitro Harleys, Pro Mods and a Jet truck. “

Paul also confirmed that Top Sportsman and Top Dragster cars as well as the Eastern Canadian Can-Am Stock/Super Stock series stable will be featured.

Right now a developing and likely scenario is that the Pro Mod car and Top Sportsman/Dragster class portion of the event will be a Napa/AutoPro Ultimate Showdown Series presentation – confirmation for all that would come in the future.

While the 2017 Mopar Canadian Nationals event will now differ somewhat compared to it’s tradition (without any official IHRA class categories) area racing fans can still expect a premium product of a more independent nature.  “For this race we expect hundreds of competitors in various classes,” Spriet added.

Grand Bend Motorplex has also released details for it’s entire and aggressive 2017 racing schedule which includes other major feature race dates of interest (See below):

Action Packed 2017 Schedule Coming!

Grand Bend Motorplex situated just 3km’s from the shores of beautiful Lake Huron and the resort town of Grand Bend will feature a 2017 drag racing schedule full of big event weekends.

The season opening (warmup) weekend will be May 12-14th and feature Non Points races, plus Footbrake and Open Comp classes. Testing is also available.

The first big event of the year is the “Spring Blowout’ May 19-21st which is the official May 24 party weekend that opens up the Grand Bend tourist season, and is the opening wkd for the GBM Thunder and Extreme 32 series points programs, plus Footbrake & Open Comp classes and Show Vehicles.

June 16-18th is Canada’s largest All Bike Race Weekend with the Hully Gully Summer Sizzler on Saturday, and the S.W. Ontario Harleys Dealers Fathers day “Harleys by the Beach” event on Sunday. Between the two days there are race classes for every type of bike and level of rider, plus Nitro Harley’s, a Q16 race and the Can Cup Bike series, plus hundreds of Motorcycles make this weekend an annual ride to GBM.

June 30th – July 2nd will be our annual “Nostalgia Weekend” featuring all the great race cars of the past, who are part of the Ontario Nostalgia Drag Races Association. A great classic car show in the pits is also part of the program. In addition to the ONDR our GBM Thunder, Junior and Extreme programs will run as well. So you will not only see the great race cars of the past but those of the present as well.

The 21st NAPA Stratford Spectacular will be moving back to its original date in the middle of July (14-16th) and the very popular single day CARLOAD pricing program will be back for 2017. The weekend features the Ultimate Showdown series consisting of Pro Mods, Top Sportsman/Dragsters, Outlaw 10.5 Competitors, Jets, Outlaw Sleds, Fireworks and close to 200 competitors in the GBM programs.

Eastern Canada’s Largest Drag Racing event – The MOPAR Canadian Nationals has moved to the Civic holiday weekend Aug 4-6th. The event will once again feature Top Fuel Dragsters, Nostalgia Nitro Funny cars, Nitro Harleys, Pro Mods, a Jet Truck, Alcohol Funny cars, Top Sportsman/Dragsters, Can Am Stock/Super Stock, a lucrative ET program and more ! If you can only make one race this year – this is the one !

Aug 19th-21st will be the 18th Annual Windsor Weekend – one of the largest community sponsored events in the country. The event draws close to 300 entries, and features classes only open to competitors from the Windsor/Essex area plus 3 classes open to anyone ( Extreme 32, Open Comp and Junior Dragster). The event features an awesome Heads Up program showcasing some of the fastest Street cars in the province, plus there are show cars, fireworks, a party in the pits and more as part of the Saturday “Night of Fire”.

The Teamsters Canada local 879 “Thunder by the Beach” event will once again occupy GBM on Labour day wkd Sept 1st-3rd. This is Championship weekend for the Utlimate Showdown series (Pro Mod and Top Sportsman/Dragster) and the GBM Thunder, Junior and Extreme 32 programs as well. Over 350 competitors will converge on GBM this weekend. In addition to the above the event includes Jet Funny cars, Nitro Altereds & Fireworks.

Eastern Canada’s aggressive Napa/AutoPro USDRS will make multiple stops at GBM this season!

GBM will close the season Sept 22nd-24th with the Fallfast Big $$ race wkd, which includes a Saturday night Racer/Crew Appreciation dinner. In addition to the GBM program, the ONDR Nostalgia cars will be in attendance and the No Box Bracket Challenge series will conclude their season long series at this event.

About GBM – Established in 1995, GBM has grown into one of the largest Multi Venue Motorsports facilities in the country. The Dragstrip hosts numerous large events and has been home to Eastern Canada’s largest race “ MOPAR Canadian Nationals” for 17 years. The Road Course encompasses multiple configurations which allows us to host Motorcycle and Car series events, plus open lapping days and Karting programs. Our paved ¼ mile high banked Oval runs Saturday evening programs for both Junior and Senior race programs. The Moto X track consists of both Junior and Senior layouts, hosting club events and practice days.

DragRaceCanada File Photos by Bruce Biegler & Brennan Shortall

For more information visit: www.grandbendmotorplex.ca