Litton Breaks Through at Grand Bend

By:  Lisa Collier

Although Bruce Litton and the Lucas team have been in many finals over IHRA’s 11 year span at Grand Bend Motorplex, a Mopar Canadian Nitro Jam Iron Man has eluded them until this weekend. In Saturday’s rain-delayed late night finish, the Lucas Slick Mist Dragster gave its all to take the win over points leader Bobby Lagana Jr.

Even before the start of the event, fans got a taste of what the weekend offered with live radio and television interviews with Litton. He did a live interview on Stratford radio station CJCS 1240 Thursday morning. Then at noon he went live with Canadian television on the Kitchener CTV station.

Bruce Litton won Saturday's Nitro Jam

As the race got underway, rain threatened to steal the show, but patient Canadian fans waited it out Saturday evening to see the Nitro Jam stars. Bruce Litton rewarded their patience when he came out in the first round and laid down a 4.95 to take the win over Canadian Todd Payton. The final round match up was one we’ve seen many times this year: Litton vs. Lagana. Although Lagana gave a stout performance, Litton was first out of the gate and never looked back to take the win with a 4.74 at nearly 300 mph, although with a trail of smoke as Litton dropped a valve just before the finish line. Not only did that give him the win, but Litton’s 4.74 on that run was low ET of the weekend.


“It feels great to get a win here at Grand Bend,” told Litton. “These fans are always so supportive and dedicated to IHRA racing, as well as to Lucas Oil. We always knew we’d get a win here eventually; we just needed Lucas Slick Mist on the side of the car to do it. The fans were very receptive to Slick Mist and this Lucas team was well received in Canada as always. I want to thank the Canadian fans for all their support and for cheering us on to victory.

“On Saturday I was also able to meet Steve Joiner, who joined us at the Mopar Canadian Nitro Jam from Ponte Vedra, Florida. Steve is a representative of E3 Spark Plugs, which was the presenting sponsor at this race. E3 works closely with Lucas so it was a real pleasure to meet Steve and talk with him a bit this weekend.”

 With a lot of TLC on the engine, Litton was ready to go for Sunday’s race. Everything worked perfectly in round one as Litton earned his way to the championship final with a 4.876. Litton would then face off against the Canadian entry in a great side-by-side finish. Litton left first and stayed ahead all the way to the 1000 ft mark, but as Litton drove to the finish with rods hanging out the side of the motor, Paton slipped by him to take the stripe by less than two hundredths of a second.

“All in all it was a great weekend,” Litton added. “It was wonderful to go to two finals in front of these great Canadian fans, and with our success this weekend we also regained the point lead. I know the Canadian fans enjoyed seeing their Canadian driver get the win, so that was pretty cool as well. We always enjoy our time in Canada, getting to talk with the Lucas fans in that area, introducing them to new products and seeing their dedication to the sport. Now that we’ve got our first win at Grand Bend, we’ll be coming back for more!”

(Bruce Biegler Photo)