While a second place finish within drag racing is never preferred — it still is a measure of excellence….

During last weekend’s penultimate NHRA national event of the season at Las Vegas —  Canadian racers come just shy of major career marks.

Mission BC’s Justin Bond finished just shy of drag racing’s ultimate season prize for Pro Mod class racing.  The Bahrain 1 Racing/JBS Motorsports star has officially finished second in final season points for the NHRA’s coveted Fuel Tech Pro Modified Series. Justin’s bid for that World Championship prestige came to end after a consequential round two of competition on Sunday.  When Justin was upset by Kevin Rivenbark and his points rival Mike Castellana advanced (and then ultimately won the event) – the title fate was decided.  Justin had a truly outstanding season in NHRA Fuel Tech Pro Mod Series racing in 2023 winning three of the ten series races (Gainesville – New England – Concord).

Easily Canada’s most bestowed motorcycle drag racer Mike Konopacki (from Oshawa ON) qualified for and was entered in the highly elite Summit ET Series National Championships race held during the Las Vegas Nationals.  For Mike who’s starred career encompasses countless circuit titles and track championships from within numerous sanctioning – it was his first appearance ever with a chance to win the NHRA’s biggest prize for ET racers.  Mike in fact advanced all the way to the final round – but was edged out by Patrick Roetto from Kansas with it all on the line.  Mike was inducted into the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2017.

Langley BC’s Shawn Cowie placed a superb runner-up for a ferocious Top Alcohol Dragster field at the Las Vegas Nationals when he was upset in the final round by Jackie Fricke.  Up until then Shawn appeared primed and ready for yet another NHRA National event title during a dominating weekend which saw him drive the Mundie’s Towing dragster to #1 in qualifying and setting both low ET and top speed of the meet at 5.178 secs and 277.08 mph.  The event effort came just a couple weeks after he recorded some major math with the car during the NHRA Texas Nationals (at Dallas) when he tied the quickest all time run for a “BAD” at 5.121 secs.

A very cool and very impressive effort was registered at Las Vegas by another Cowie — James Cowie (nephew to Shawn) in Super Comp class racing.  James (from Surrey BC) who just completed his licensing for the category last July and was behind the wheel of the machine owned by Thomas Bayer went all the way to the final round in the 9.05 secs (altitude adjusted index) category!  James in fact delivered a 9.057 secs ET only to have that heart wrenchingly lose out to a spot on the index run by winner Chad Webber (9.050).

Posted by Bruce Biegler

DragRaceCanada file photos & Courtesy of Cowie Racing/Sadie Glenn