Dragster Dad & Dragster Daughter!

Don St. Arnaud and daughter Jodi St. Arnaud both have a passion for racing dragsters.   In 2013 that notion for these Alberta-based drivers is being accentuated….

Jodi and Don St. Arnaud are dragster affection-ados!

Jodi and Don St. Arnaud are dragster affection-ados!

For Don St. Arnaud his rise within NHRA’s Top Alcohol Dragster ranks has been a rather quick one.   Despite only first entering the class 3 years ago his nitro injected car (which is tuned by Javin Marvsich) is a highly regarded serious contender which has in fact had a very speedy season so far.   That includes (what we understand is) the all time fastest terminal speed ever by a Canadian-based TAD car — 274.14 mph — at the Pomona season opener last February.

Since then Don St. Arnaud has been very motivated by his performances over the first half of 2013 which has included a number of strong event placings.

“We found something at Pomona that the car likes and it’s performance has really picked up,” Don confided.  “During our first three races of 2013 we set top speed in the class.  We have the car running consistent and it’s not hurting parts.”

St. Arnaud, who over the past couple of season’s had run only a limited racing schedule is thus ramping things up for this year’s campaign.

Don St. Arnaud's TAD has been one of the most consistently fastest cars on the circuit in 2013.

Don St. Arnaud’s TAD has been one of the most consistently fastest cars on the circuit in 2013.

“There is no doubt our fast start is an inspiration to all of us,” he added.  “I’ve run a total of 10 NHRA national events to date in my career and adding to that total is now a higher priority.  With the progress we’ve made and the finishes we’ve had — I think we are actually sniffing at winning one of these.  It’s fun being one of the fastest cars out there and we might consider venturing further East. I think we’ve picked the right season to do more races.”

While he is not away racing himself or managing his very successful road construction company (A&J) — Don has been monitoring the racing aspirations of his daughter Jodi who in 2013 has unveiled her very own Top Dragster racing operation.

Jodi is for sure a take life by the horn person and in fact financed and co-ordinated her dragster purchase and delivery completely on her own.

“It’s pretty much all my own project — I saved up my money to get it because it’s what I want to do,” explained Jodi.  “I looked for quite a while and this dragster was something I did not rush into — it was all well thought out.  My Dad did help me look it over and we decided it was a good fit for me.  Also the seller was very helpful in the process.”

Jodi won with her new Top Dragster during her first ever IHRA event on July 7th!

Jodi won with her new Top Dragster during her first ever IHRA event on July 7th!

Jodi’s finished product is as professional looking a Sportsman race car there is out there.   The big block normally aspirated powered car features associate sponsorship from Cycle Works (in Edmonton) which is a company Jodi works for.  It also includes some impressive graphics that were designed by another family member, Jodi’s sister Amy (at Big Wave Graphics).

While Jodi’s main focus will be to run her Top Dragster mostly locally within Castrol Raceway’s super solid Top Eliminator season category — the former Super Comp racer hopes to also enter some major races in NHRA down the road.

“Castrol Raceway has such a good program here — their Top Eliminator class runs every couple of weeks,” Jodi added.  “It has a great payout system and it’s a perfect place for me to build up experience racing the car.  But depending on where my Dad is going to race his TAD — we might just take my dragster along too if the Top Dragster class is being offered.   Both cars fit nicely into our trailer.”

But like her father did before her in Top Alcohol Dragster — Jodi St. Arnaud has already tasted early success.

During the recent IHRA Mopar Rocky Mountain Nitro Jam event held at Edmonton she and her team overcame a myriad of early mechanical problems to score a truly impressive event finish.  When the smoke had cleared late on Sunday night she had won over a very stout field of Top Dragsters (38 cars) — to earn a IHRA Ironman — in her first ever IHRA race.


Posting and Photos by:  Bruce Biegler