Alberta’s Mark Simmons has well established himself at the very forefront for dragster class car racing in Canada…

Simmons, who is the founding force and operator of a vastly successful major electrical contracting company (Spider Electric) – based from Medicine Hat, has also certainly become a major player within the drag racing community and industry.

Not only does he personally own an impressive multi-car racing team, he along with business partner (and fellow very accomplished TD class racer Trevor Ritchie —Sherwood Park AB), are also owner/operators of a highly reputed race car building operation – TNT Supercars.

Simmons first started his drag racing ten years ago, locally at the Medicine Hat Drag Strip, and it’s been pretty much fast forward ever since.

“I started off building and racing motorcycles and drag racing just evolved from that,” Mark revealed.  “My first dragster was an older Yancer car (still driven today by Alberta racer Ed VanDerCool ) and since I’ve had 7-8 different dragsters.”

Right now Mark is campaigning three different dragsters – all TNT Supercars built machines.  As a driver he has in fact two sets of keys to choose from while switching back and forth between a pair of Top Dragsters — one is EFI and the other Pro Charger powered.  He also has a nice Junior car which his daughter Kassidy drives.

Within Top Dragster class racing – Mark Simmons experiments with both EFI and Pro Charger powered cars.

“My primary dragster is the first car we built after we acquired the TNT company,” he continued.  “It has a 674 CID Andy Spiegel motor and has over 250 runs on it.  It’s really a reliable and consistent car and we learn a lot from it.  My other car was newly built last year.  With the Pro Charger motor tech it’s “bad ass” — capable of going really fast – quicker then 6.00 secs.”

Mark and Trevor dove deeper into drag racing when they purchased TNT Supercars back in 2016,  That company was originally started by Tommy Phillips and Tracy Dennis (formerly of Sunset Racecraft) in 2007, before then being sold to Smileys Performance.  Based from Dallas TX, Mark and Trevor have since worked to transfer the manufacturing operation to the Phoenix AZ area.

Trevor Ritchie – one of Canada’s most accomplished TD class racers (i.e. – a NHRA national event winner @ Phoenix ’15) wheels this potent TNT Supercars built dragster!

“We bought it as a bit of an investment into our racing programs and to ensure the brand kept striving forward,” added Trevor Ritchie.  “We knew the cars were just too good to see them disappear – we knew we could help.”

“Originally before we stepped in things were in a bit of disarray,” Mark added.  “So we moved in, balanced the books and streamlined the build process.  We now have all operations under one roof doing dragster chassis and fast door car repairs.”

At TNT Supercars — Lloyd Coker is tasked with running the business on a day-to-day basis.  Lloyd is a young but very talented and innovative fabricator.  TNT Supercars has a total of 4 employees and all the dragster construction (except for powder coating) is done in-house.

Since inception TNT Supercars has built well over 100 dragsters which remain highly sought after tech and very active within drag racing.   That race car’s reputation includes numerous NHRA event wins nationwide by some of the most prominent circuit drivers.

For 2019 — there are some interesting things too on the horizon from the TNT Supercars fold.  That includes, but is not limited to, a pretty wicked new TD car coming for Canadian Brad Spilak (which will have a blown motor by Gary Stinnett) and also there is a new “no-prep” door slammer car which Lloyd is building for Mark himself to run.

Mark and Trevor are continuing to massage their race car building operation including a bigger engine bay for more capacity to R&D blown and pro-charger applications. 

“We’re proud of the reputation and history these great cars have,” Mark emphasized.  “It’s one thing having a fast light weight dragster that goes 6.0 (secs) — but quite another to have that chassis repeat for 10 years.   There is a big focus put into the fabrication and engineering detail that allows these cars to go 230 mph — without a wheelie bar.”

“Regrettably – sometimes bad scenarios do happen in this drag racing business,” he added.  “But the bottom line for Trevor and I — we are 2 guys racers can trust with a deposit and an investment — and that reputation is paramount to us.”

Mark (top) preps to send his daughter Kassidy down track at Castrol Raceway last summer.

During the 2013 NHRA World Finals — Mark Simmons represented his NHRA Pacific Northwest division (and Canada) while racing in the highly prestigious Summit Racing ET Finals at Pomona.  He placed runner-up in the Super Pro national championship.

Another one of Mark’s career dragsters shown in action at Edmonton.

For more information on TNT Supercars click:  HERE 

For more information on Spider Electric click:  HERE

Post and photos by Bruce Biegler