Some recent takeaways from within Canadian drag racing circles so far for 2024….

A Dazzling Display!Shawn Cowie’s 24th career NHRA nationals event level victory was highly impressive by pretty much any measure. His Mundies Towing Race Team (from Langley BC) was seemingly in total control of the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals TAD class program last weekend – evidenced by his #1 pole qualifying effort (5.224 secs) as well as landing both low ET (5.195 secs) and top speed (280.02 mph). In fact Shawn ran the quickest ET during each and every round of qualifying and each and every round of eliminations – to corral what may very well might have been his team’s most resounding NHRA title event win yet!

Shawn & Taylor Cowie

Championship Caliber Camaros — In addition to Shawn Cowie, NHRA’s Lucas Oil Sportsman Drag Racing Series racing during the 4-Wide Nationals did produce two other Canadian winners – for Super Stock and Top Sportsman. Driving his SS/BS ’90 Camaro from Regina SK., Grant Singer (photo above) scored his first career NHRA Wally driving his high flying/fan favourite car. Grant, who qualified #20 for the field collected 6 win lights at Las Vegas the last one being a 9.063 secs 148.23 mph (9.06 dial) over Don Keen’s Mustang. Aaron Steinkey (below) was impressive winning in Top Sportsman with his super-prepped ’69 Camaro from Dunmore AB. After qualifying #3 (6.637 secs) Aaron ran up 5 win lights, including a final round 6.659 secs 195.34 mph (6.65 dial) decision over opponent Richard Okerman. While this was Aaron’s first NHRA national event title in TS — he had previously won 2X racing T/D – at Las Vegas (2022) and at Brainerd (2018).

Super S-10 Sighting — Canada’s thriving fast-street car racing scene will include an impressive new machine this season — adding a stunning new Chevy S-10 to it’s equation. Owned by Scott Saunders (Mississauga ON) the all new machine — which started art SGM and finished by Beau Smith — was then assembled after the build and paint with help from Scott’s dad Wayne.  This S-10 is fully configured to NMCA 10.5 class standards. The team reports they will stay local for the most part for 2024 with the focus being within Ian Hill’s (Canada Heads Up series) EZ Street class category. The Chevy features a full CM chassis with 14″ stock frame rails and factory front suspension, stock location firewall, 4 link, 9″ fab rear end and  PBR 28X10.5 tires. It will be powered by a 470 CID SBC (naturally aspirated) that includes cylinder heads work by Michigan’s John Marcella and Hutch Transmissions (London ON) built the trans and converter.  Rick Tovey, an experienced circuit driver will handle the initial driving duties for the team which plans to begin testing in May. Depending on progress the exciting new team may partake in a PDRA event or two later this season.

Dedication Recognition — A “tip of the hat” to long time media personality and strong voice for Canadian motorsports overall — Erik Tomas — who was the 2024 recipient for the prestigious John Massingberd Memorial Award. Erik received that honour during the recent “Drag Strip Memories Show” hosted at the Canadian Warplane Museum (Mount Hope ON) — April 14th. Presented by the Pro Modified Racing Association’s Bruce Mehlenbacher (PMRA) — the award goes annually to a new & deserving individual, who represents the same commitment, dedication and passion that John Massingberd conveyed for the sport of auto racing.

Mike’s New Missile — Racing fans got a first look during the recent NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at Las Vegas at the new TAD injected nitro entry from Red Deer Alberta’s Mike Quayle. Mike, who has been dabbling in the category for a few years now — upgraded his operation over this past off season acquiring a Copeland-chassis machine that was formally raced by Dean Dubblin. With wily Manitobian Clif Bakx consulting, Mike made major changes to the car, including a new motor combination(to a BAE 433) along with a new injector and fuel system. “Basically the only thing the same as the old car is the clutch and the heads,” he revealed. At Las Vegas, Mike did qualify during his first ever event with the new car (#13) and also advanced to quad round #2. Mike went on to test the Monday this week after the 4-Wide Nationals event – and there carded a very impressive 5.301 secs @ 268+ mph — indicating a bucket load of future promise.

Posted by Bruce Biegler

Photos by Dave Ostaszewski