One of Canada’s most focused and goal orientated drag racers achieved a major career milestone last weekend….

Quebec’s Daniel Mercier, who has built a superb racing reputation during his career with numerous involvements and achievements, became even more accomplished last weekend during NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event held near Richmond, VA.

During the Virginia Nationals event, Daniel escalated both his personal career and also the Canadian drag racing community overall, to a higher echelon when he raced for the first time – his very own Top Fuel dragster.

Very accomplished Amalie Oil race team Top Fuel Crew Chief Rob Wendland (above – right) helped to oversee a very positive first weekend out for Daniel’s Canadian-based Top Fuel dragster team.

Mercier, who is the President of a highly successful Quebec-based company which he founded (Groupe ABS) and who had been racing within NHRA’s Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series for a number of seasons, did first announce late last season his intentions to enter the ranks of drag racing’s ultimate class category – Top Fuel.  Then during the past off season he followed though with arrangements to do exactly that when he acquired a Top Fuel chassis and related components from Indiana’s Terry McMillen and began to assemble his own Top Fuel class operation and train his crew for the future.

Last weekend, Daniel, did under the watchful eye of Terry McMillen and his crew chief Rob Wendland, manage to extract a very impressive performance at his debut race.

He qualified solidly – #13 – with a time of 3.946 secs at 318.39 mph and then gave opponent Doug Kalitta all he could handle during a first round loss to the highly reputed Kalitta Racing/Mac Tools dragster.  Daniel built up a nice starting line advantage (.084 RT) but his run of 3.979 secs at 304.74 mph was ultimately edged out by Kalitta’s 3.932 secs at 299.60 mph.

Daniel battled seasoned veteran Doug Kalitta in round #1 at VMP and lost a very close decision.

For Mercier, the weekend experience was both rewarding and also inspirational as he took another calculated step towards his ultimate goal of becoming a full-time NHRA Top Fuel racer.

“I have only positive thoughts,” he beamed.  “I knew that it would be incredible but I am out of words to describe how amazing this weekend was and how great it felt. I am really impressed with my team.    They were all living the Top Fuel experience for the first time ever — and they went over my expectations!”

“However — I have to say too that a lot of the credit for this first weekend’s success goes to Terry McMillen and his great Amalie Oil team,” Daniel added.  “We owe our performance to their crew chief, Rob Wendland who is nothing less than a magician.”

Daniel Mercier’s Quebec-based team deserve a lot of credit for an impressive first ever Top Fuel class event effort!

Mercier, affirmed that the performance at Virginia Motorsports Park, did and will set the tone for his future in the class.  His team will next see action at the NHRA New England Nationals (Epping NH) which happens July 6-8th.   Other NHRA season event appearances will follow – but that exact schedule is TBA.

“I think my biggest challenge at the moment is to stay patient until my next event — as I am already anxious to be there!,” he added.  “This sport is extreme and the sensation easily becomes addictive.  Even though we had planned to participate in a few events with the Top Fuel in 2018 — this weekend has gave us the taste to add some more events to our schedule – so stay tuned!”

Posted by Bruce Biegler

Photos by Dave DeAngelis