That line for a very famous song by legendary band Metallica is very apt for this coming weekend!…..

Cayuga Dragway at Toronto Motorsports Park will once again host what has become Canada’s premier annual independent drag racing event – the 2017 (8th Annual) Canadian Nitro Nationals.

As it has for the past several seasons now – the event will once again give Southern Ontario area drag racing fans a good dose of nitromethane fumes as well as some fire and brimstone as a number of NHRA level Top Fuel and nitro Funny Cars and jet cars are scheduled to attend.

Highlighting that line-up will once again be the return of Canada’s favourite racing son — Todd Paton, who along with his Dad Barry have become institutional for this event. Todd will jump back into the drivers seat of the Paton Racing Top Fuel Dragster for the first time this season taking the wheel of a very vastly improved race car which has made enormous progress within NHRA Mello Yello Series level Drag Racing (with leased driver Shawn Reed at the controls).

The Paton Racing TF Dragster has become a serious player within NHRA Mello Yello Series drag racing this season….

“I’ve run the Nitro Nationals pretty much since its inception – I remember running the car at one of the last IHRA races at TMP held back in 2007,” said Todd Paton. “TMP has a lot of fond memories for me. It is where I ran the career best quarter mile performance of 4.71 at 317 MPH. The track is also where I made some of my earliest runs ever in a race car while receiving my Top Alcohol Funny Car license — I made several passes there to get some more seat time before going out on the IHRA trail. It’s also the location of our first IHRA National Event win in Alcohol Funny Car.”

Todd is very excited too to jump into a Paton Family dragster which has received a fistful of tech upgrades since he last drove it.

“It’s been just about a year since the last time I drove it,” he continued. “In 2016 I ran the Epping NHRA event, the Canadian Nitro Nationals and then at Lancaster and Englishtown. With the way our car’s performance has picked up over the last 12-18 months – I’m excited. Bobby and Dom Lagana along with John Stewart and many others have helped us improve our program. Our crew, which is headed up by Mark Morris, has built an impressive car that’s capable of producing low 3.8-second 1000′ elapsed times with amazing consistency. Our NHRA driver Shawn Reed has been doing a great job behind the wheel of the car and we’re looking forward to him getting back in the car at Sonoma later in July. Shawn has a commitment to his sponsor Hughes Oilfield Transportation Inc. for ten NHRA races in our car this season.”

Todd Paton & Shawn Reed

“I’m still looking at possibly doing an NHRA event later in the season, perhaps at either Reading or Charlotte,” Todd added. “ Sneaking in this match race along with one or two others makes 2017 our busiest season ever with the top fuel car. And of course, my job at Racepak keeps me very busy as well. Tending to the daily operations of the business along with traveling to so many events to provide tech support leaves very little extra time. Naturally — I do miss driving more — but going to the events and assisting the teams with their data acquisition systems keeps me well connected to the sport.”

Todd will be racing at the Canadian Nitro Nationals which is a full 1/4 mile format. With the conditions being right – his race team does have the potential to threaten some very long standing track records at Cayuga Dragway. According to our records those marks stand currently as 4.603 secs (Doug Foley – 2006) and 324.20 mph (Bruce Litton – 2007)

NHRA level Fuel Funny Cars will also be on the event’s race card – including the return of California’s Jeff Diehl

In addition to the Nitro burners and jet car Show – the 2017 Canadian Nitro Nationals race card also includes season event #2 for the Napa Ultimate Showdowns – featuring high quality Pro Mod, Top Alcohol Funny Car, Outlaw 10.5, Top Sportsman and Top Dragster racing.

The Canadian Nitro Nationals event will also highlight season Race #2 for the Napa Ultimate Showdown

DragRaceCanada will provide more race details including the event’s daily run schedule – coming soon.

Posted and photos by Bruce Biegler