Needless to say there was significant Canadian racer participation at the PDRA season opener — and we have the photo proof!….

An immediate shoutout directed to transplanted Canadian Melanie Salemi (Simmons) — originally from Orillia ON- who made a series of record runs in her team’s Buffalo NY based machine in Pro Boost.  Driving a ’19 Camaro owned by Ed Whelan, Melanie had a string of jaw-dropping runs – the five quickest passes in class.  Entering the event the PDRA’s PB  record was a 3.591 secs but Salemi lowered that 3X —  with a 3.568 secs being the quickest.  Salemi fell short of a race win however — she was upset in round #2 of eliminations.

Scott Wildgust (from Shelbyville ON) was a busy driver within a highly active Smokies Garage’s first time team appearance in the PDRA. Scott was the quickest Canadian car in Pro Boost (top photo) running 3.616 secs (Q#4) and he advanced to the semi final round in that eliminator. Scott also drove the team’s 2nd Shelby 500 car in the event’s Elite TS class – where he qualified 10th (3.918 secs) before losing out in round one.

The defending WCPM association champ – Dean Bettenson — entered his Red Deer AB based Camaro in Pro Boost for the North Carolina event. Dean raced the Bel-Air Power – Pro Charger powered Camaro to a 3.735 secs at 197.44 mph – but that did not make the quick field.

Saskatoon’s Mike Gondziola raced his stunning C7 in the Pro Nitrous category. Mike got into the field #15 @ 3.847 secs 187.83 mph – but mechanical issues then prevented him from racing in the first round of eliminations.

Spencer Hyde raced his family’s super potent Ideal Supply Camaro (from Stratford ON) at the PDRA opener. Spencer qualified solidly — #13th (at 3.664 secs) but lost out to cross town rival Scott Wildgust in round #1 (3.662 secs to 3.836 secs).

The event included an appearance from Winnipeg’s Kenny Lang who’s best effort of 3.764 secs at 199.32 of during qualifying – fell just short of the bump.

Kyle Harris entered his fan favourite KHR Racing, Burford ON-based ’23T in the Elite Top Dragster class – and qualified #6 for that show. Kyle’s son “Flyin’ Ryan” (below) was in the mix in the PDRA’s Pro Junior Dragster class.

Nick Agostino made big noise in his first ever Pro Street class appearance in PDRA. The Canadian record holding car (from Markham ON) qualified #1 (3.925 secs) and went to the final round before losing out to PDRA World Champ Tim Essick. Nick also had top speed for the PS class – 208.23 mph in the twin-turbo car.

Eric Latino (from Whitby ON) qualified his GESI presented Camaro #14 with a 3.692 secs. Eric lost out to Johnny Camp by a 3.631 secs to 3.711 secs count in round one of PS action.

The Smokies Garage Team (from Mono ON) also entered two cars within the event’s ET “Bracket Bash”. Company “Kingpin” Mike Clark went to the 3rd round in his powerful ’19 Dodge Challenger while team co-crew chief John Wiema (above) campaigned this just immaculate ’68 Camaro!

Posted by Bruce Biegler

Photos by Steve and Eric Embling

To view more photos from this event visit the LMLCMedia gallery : HERE