All eyes will be on the Canadian Nitro Nationals — version 10.0 this weekend…..

You know that summer has (finally!) arrived in Ontario when you reach the cusp of the annual Canadian Nitro Nationals event.   

This now fully independent race — which has over the last decade achieved somewhat legendary status — goes down this Fri-Sat-Sun at fabled Cayuga Dragway at Toronto Motorsports Park.

The race once again will provide an interesting mix of cars and characters — which are poised to deliver to this regional and highly dedicated fan base.  

The event, which does get underway Friday evening with some qualifying, will on Saturday evening coagulate stars and cars of various levels.

The Canadian Nitro Nationals marquee Top Fuel dragster contingent will see three Canadian-based drivers making two runs each — Todd Paton, Smax Smith and Jeff Chatterson.  

For Todd Paton, the race marks a return to a comfort zone for him personally, allowing him to take a short break from his very busy technical duties within the NHRA national event drag racing scene — to race back in his home country. 

“I think we’ve done the Nitro Nationals almost every year they’ve been contested,” said “TP”.  “As always, I love having an opportunity to run at TMP — it will always be a special place for me because it’s where my very first runs down a race track came in my Dad’s TA/FC.”

Todd Paton will drive “PR1” one of two Paton Racing Top Fuel Dragsters entered at Cayuga’s Canadian Nitro Nationals.

“It will be interesting to run our two cars at this event this year,” he added.  “We got a taste of that running both at Virginia last spring — but this will be the first time we will run side-by-side at the same time.  Jeff Chatterson will be behind the wheel of the second car (PR2) — continuing his licensing process.”

The race will also feature the return of Californians Jeff and Leeza Diehl who have since beginning their support of this race — become clear cut Cayuga fan favourites.  Jeff will again drive his “Nitro-A-Go-Go” Toyota against the likes of Dale Creasy and Jack Wyatt (who are also returning).  New to the lineup will be Western New Yorker Gary Kraus who is graduating from Nitro Nostalgia machines to a “big show” FC — at this event.

Jeff & Leeza Diehl

The race weekend will also feature some Top Alcohol Funny Car match racing, AA/Gassers, Nitro Harleys and exhibition cars.

Jet car fans will most certainly not be disappointed either — with Canadian racers Neale Armstrong (Northern Warrior dragster) and Russ Lethbridge (Hellfire) attending as well as the absolutely awesome triple engine “Shockwave” Peterbuilt driven by Chris Darnell.

Neale Armstong

Chris Darnell’s “Shockwave” returns!

The event will also feature ferocious competition too with the newly reconstituted PSDS (Pro Sportsman Dragster Series) being the main feature with qualified fields in Pro Modified, Top Dragster and Top Sportsman.

Some top Canadian and regional talents in Pro Modified will battle for supremacy within the PSDS event race portion.

You can link HERE to view the official event schedule.   

DragRaceCanada/LMLCMedia will post an in-depth event gallery and race highlights from the 2019 Canadian Nitro Nationals – coming next week.

Posted by Bruce Biegler

Photos by Bruce Biegler & Dave DeAngelis