Salutations go out to Alberta’s Grant Durie who became the latest Canadian winner at NHRA’s prestigious national event level…

Durie prevailed to win in the Top Dragster class category conclusion during the NHRA’s second national event stop of the season – the Arizona Nationals — held near Phoenix.

Grant and Debbie Durie with Canada’s newest “Wally”

Grant, defeated a very spirited class category after he qualified #20 (@ 6.737 secs) for the 31-car field. Durie then prevailed in five rounds of competition, and in the final he did benefit from a red light start by opponent Tom Koenen. Durie recorded a winning run at 6.824 secs at 194.27 mph (6.81 dial in) to take the event championship.

And with that the end result being:  another NHRA “Wally” will soon be applying for Canadian citizenship!

The T/D class final saw Durie (far lane) get the win when opponent Tom Koenen had a red-light foul start.

For Durie, who is a grain farmer (from Vegreville) the win was also an emotional one as it came racing his TNT-built dragster which has some important history. This particular race car was formally owned and driven by Alberta’s Scott Taylor who sadly passed away last season.

“Back in 2014 Scott was kidding me that I would eventually end up in this race car,” said Durie. “I sat in it for the first time then and sure enough — that’s exactly what happened later that year. We all miss Scott and I’m dedicated this win to his memory.”

The victory for Grant was truly a very rewarding one for his very family orientated team which includes his wife Debbie and three daughters Danielle, Breanne and Erin – who are all heavily involved in his racing ventures.  The team are frequent runners within Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway Top Eliminator program.

The victory at Phoenix may also very well result in a change of strategy for Durie for 2017. Initially he had planned to keep his drag racing schedule to a minimum this year because of priorities back home in Alberta.

“We are farmers and after the “year from hell” we went though in 2016 with all the wet weather – our first priority is to recover from that.” he mentioned. “For the first time in 35 years we are going to be harvesting in the spring (!) and because of that it’s going to be difficult for me to chase points.”

….but now it will be interesting to see if this fast season start and early success will result in some reconsidered season planning?

Grant’s win also marked the 2nd win by a Canadian racer in Top Dragster at the Arizona Nationals event – matching Sherwood Park’s Trevor Ritchie’s victory there in 2015…

Grant Durie’s dragster is the former Scott Taylor TNT-chassis car. It features a naturally aspirated 783 CID motor from Spiegel Racing Engines

Posted by Bruce Biegler
Photos by Bob Johnson & Bruce Biegler