Hot on the heels of a very successful and recent NHRA Lucas Oil Regional race – Mission Raceway was at centre stage again….

This time the marquee Pacific Northwest facility, located just along the scenic shorelines of the Fraser River, hosted it’s 2018 version Lucas Oil Canadian National Open.  

As always, these National Open events offer the chance for both NHRA Lucas Oil class car racers as well as Summit Racing Series Bracket competitors an opportunity to win a coveted NHRA “Wally” trophy – which is awarded for every class title.  Also the “LODRS Light” nature of the event, gives some of the newer and/or less experienced drivers in the area the chance to shine and make a name for themselves.

And that was exactly the case in Super Quick Eliminator which is a combination eliminator of both Top Dragster and Top Sportsman cars seen at the bigger races, but racing to the 1/8th mile mark.

Bradee Lowe, the 19 year-old daughter of local Pro Mod veteran Trevor Lowe from Chilliwack, had been running a 10-second Camaro in Super Pro, and had, in fact, finished runner-up at the Mission LODRS race. The chance was offered to get into a good local TD car, and following licensing on Friday, culminating in a 7.02 pass, Bradee was ready for the 1/8-mile elims on Sunday.

With competitive reaction times and running a grand total of .043 seconds off her dial-ins over the four runs, Bradee took the win in the final over local veteran Greg Doughty, impressing all with her coolness under fire. Dad Trevor wouldn’t commit to any further outings in the S&T Truck Repair TD car, but you can bet that the veterans in the division will be watching closely the next time she runs.

19-year old Bradee Lowe (from Chilliwack) had a very nice score in her first race driving a dragster!  In the final round she (near lane top) defeated Greg Doughty.

A few other classes saw all-Canadian finals with veterans prevailing. Stock and Super Stock were combined, as usual, and a lot of experience sat on the line for the final. Richmond’s Rick McKinney in his ’84 Cutlass got the .07 jump on Darrell Stobbe of Abbotsford in his cool ’64 Chevelle, and took home the Wally.

Rick McKinney (from Richmond BC) belted out a win in the Stock/SS Combo with is Olds Cutlass

Super Gas was no surprise, as two Vancouver Island veterans lined up. Ed Hutchinson of Victoria got the .012 jump on Courtenay’s Dean Petersen, and the Mustang roadster ran 9.897 and broke out by .003 taking the stripe. Given Hutchinson was running a 9.915 in his Corvette roadster, Petersen would have won it with a 9.902.

Ed Hutchinson’s show stopping ’57 Vette from Victoria won in Super Gas.

Super Street saw Langley residents Brad Vinje and Steve Lowe make the finals in their ’68 Camaros and it was really too close to call, as after near identical lights (.010 and .007!), both broke out at 10.89, but Vinje with a “9” and Lowe with a “0”. The Wally went home with the former Super Street World Champion, Brad Vinje.

The Super Street final was just too close to call with Brad Vinje (near side) topping Steven Lowe in a battle of Langley based ’68 Camaros.

Of note, veteran American Dale Green did well in his dragster, runner-up on Saturday in Super Comp, and winner on Sunday in Super Pro. But his big accomplishment that had the place buzzing was his perfect run in SC, .000 reaction and 8.900 seconds. 

Saturday’s racing schedule included a big win by West Coast drag racing proponent Dan Provost who rode his RAD Extreme Torque Machines dragster to victory in the Super Quick class category.  Dan, who is from nearby Abbotsford, qualified that car #1 and beat Mark Campbell in the final round.  

It was “Dan the Man” himself winning on Saturday in the Super Quick class!

Other Saturday winners were Diane Petit (Super Comp), Allen Macham (Super Street) Justin Gibson (Top Street) Amber Rutherford (No Box) and Yeshua Wilcox (Box ET).  Young Canadian racers Adam De Jonge and Colton Morin scored in the Jr Lightning and Jr Thunder classes.

In addition to Sunday’s NHRA Lucas Oil class car competition, the day’s action included the latest season round for Mission Raceway’s highly successful home product — the Canada West Doorslammers circuit.  Langley’s Jim Ward emerged the winner over that 20 car field, racing his Chevy Nova past the ’68 Valiant owned by Paul DeBree Jr., in the final round.  Ward clocked a winning 8.560 secs (8.54 dial) while DeBree ran a too quick 8.461 secs (8.47 dial).

Langley’s Jim Ward (near lane) won the Canada West Doorslammers feature.

A NHRA Lucas Oil class car win in Super Comp on Sunday went to Tony Arthur and the Pro ET title was won by Craig Johnson (from Langley BC).  Local Motorcycle class “hitter” Al Omond won again on his reliable Kawasaki and it was Shawn Langley winning the Sportsman ET title.  Tanner Gaetz (from Medicine Hat) won Jr Lighting and Cole Dickhoff won in Jr. Thunder.  Tyler Dobson prevailed in the popular drag racing start up class – Junior Street.

Al Omond (from Abbotsford) won the event’s tough Motorcycle class.

Posted by Gerry Frechette

Photos by Gerry Frechette and Les Puchala 

Editor’s Note — Check out this link to a cool YouTube event presentation from this race weekend posted by Les Puchala >> HERE