Canada’s “Grand Event” Returns!

In what is now undisputed as Canada’s longest running national event and certainly one of it’s most prestigious – Ontario’s Grand Bend Motorplex will host for the 15th time in it’s history – the IHRA’s Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals…..


Next week’s upcoming event (June 20-22nd) is poised to be one of the biggest national events ever for Canada featuring competiton in not only a half dozen Pro categories but also numerous Sportsman classes.

Located just a few miles from the picturesque resort town on the shores of Lake Huron, the Grand Bend Motorplex offers all the amenities race fans could ever want – from good food to great racing – all on display during one of Canada’s premier motorsports facilities.

The 2014 edition will feature a full contingent of sportsman competition plus an all-new lineup as part of the IHRA’s new Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series. Ontario fans will witness a Grand Bend record seven professional classes, plus hundreds of regional competitors making for one of the largest events in the history of this event.

“Grand Bend has long been a hot spot for great racing with the International Hot Rod Association. This year, we are pleased to up the ante even more with our all-new Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series lineup, plus the return of Top Fuel Dragsters, Pro Mods and more making for a truly unique event on the 2014 IHRA schedule,” said Scott Gardner, President of IHRA Motorsports. “The IHRA Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals has always been a spectacle and we want to make sure that continues.”


Fans will enjoy over two dozen nitro-powered race machines and a return to qualified fields and championship drag racing as GBM hosts competition in Nitro Funny Car, Nitro Harley and Nitro Altered, plus the much-anticipated return of 320 mph, 10,000 horsepower Top Fuel Dragsters. The 2014 IHRA Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals will also include traditional competition in Pro Modified with the PMRA circuit and Mountain Motor Pro Stocks, plus the popular Larsen Motorsports all-female Jet Dragster team made up of the fastest women in racing.

And it will all take place on the grand stage set by Grand Bend.

This year, every lap matters as the stars of Nitro Funny Car, Nitro Harley, Nitro Altered, Mountain Motor Pro Stock and Jet Dragster push their machines to the limit in their chase for the 2014 IHRA World Championships. Already this season, IHRA fans have witnessed five records in three professional classes shattered by the intense competition.

Among the record-setting performances in 2014 have been great showings from IHRA’s Nitro Funny Car class.


Californian Jason Rupert currently leads the championship in the Bays and Rupert “Black Plague” ’69 Camaro coming off of three Nitro Jam victories in the first four races and a brand new elapsed time record set in North Carolina earlier this year. He is joined by “Mr. Explosive” Mark Sanders, Tim Boychuk in “Forever Forward,” Mike McIntire Jr. in “McAttack,” Bruce Litton in the “U.S. Male” Vega, Ronny Young in the world famous “Blue Max,” Mike Halstead in “Candies & Hughes” and more.

Nitro Fans will also enjoy the return of 320 mph Top Fuel Dragsters and that Can-Am battle will feature Canadian Ike Maier versus American Kyle Wurtzel in a nitro-powered battle for bragging supremacy.

Also making history in Grand Bend will be the debut of the world’s only Jet Dragster championship program being contested by the four fastest women in drag racing – the Larsen Motorsports jet team. This four-car team is made up of four very talented female competitors with vastly different backgrounds. From a 19-year-old college student, to a female test pilot, a nurse and an entrepreneur who holds the operation together, the team of Elaine Larsen, Marisha Falk, Dawn Perdue and Kat Moller will compete in 300 mph, side-by-side jet-powered drag racing action.

IHRA’s other nitro divisions will include Nitro Harley and Nitro Altered, two radical and extreme classes that are among the most popular in the world for their death-defying competition.

Iconic racer Jay Turner leads the 220 mph nitro-powered motorcycle class, joining points leader Randal Andras, Canadian Mike Scott, Mark Cox and more.

Nitro Altered, another extreme class once banned from organized competition due to the extreme danger behind the wheel, will include Arizona native Ron Maroney in “Blind Faith,” Las Vegas native and third generation racer Kyle Hough in “Nanook, the popular “Arizona Thunder” driven by Mike Hilsabeck, “Bullet Bob” driven by Don Blackshear and more.


Wrapping up the professional competition are the stars of the Pro Modified Racing Association led by defending race winner Eric Latino.


In addition to all of the on-track action, the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Spring Nationals will feature an all-new and fully interactive Fan Fest pit experience. Fans can tour the pits, meet the drivers and take part in a number of fun family activities including the Larsen Motorsports Jet Technology Center, a hands-on look at the design and technology behind a jet-powered racing team, and the Hollywood Cars of the Stars featuring real cars from famous movies and television shows such as the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard, the DeLorean from Back to the Future, the Batmobile from the 1960s Batman television series and more.

In addition to the professional action, the Mopar Nationals will also two full days of sportsman racing competing on the IHRA’s Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by AMSOIL. Racing for that series will take place Saturday and Sunday.


Tickets to the 2014 Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals can be purchased in advance at or at the gate day of show.

Showtime is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

For more information on the 2014 IHRA Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals, visit

Posted by Larry Crum

Photos by: Brennan Shortall