A powerhouse British Columbia TAD team continued it’s home track ownership during Canada’s premier Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event of the season…. 

“Not in my House” was again a takeaway when Shawn Cowie starred with the NHRA world championship contending Mundies Towing dragster, during the largest Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event held in Canada each year. The 2018 version was the 25th Anniversary for the marqee Lordco B.C. Nationals.

Attending fans were treated to a “double header” race so by the end of the weekend, there has now been 26 such races run under that event banner. This double-header was the first such attempt at Mission, and the challenge of running two events that usually take three days each, in a total of four days, was made difficult by some wet weather early in the schedule, but after that it was clear sailing the rest of the way.

In TAD here were seven entered at Mission, with the notable absence of defending World Champion, and Division 6 stalwart, Joey Severance, who was in Denver winning that LODRS event, putting the pressure on local favourite Shawn Cowie even in his absence. Cowie was out-qualified by Washington veteran Kim Parker, 5.23-5.24, losing the Round One bye run, but his 5.26 in that round had the field covered by almost a tenth. Cowie held on to that tenth advantage over Parker after the Semis, but the final was closer than many expected.

In an exact repeat of the 2017 TAD final round at Mission — it was deja vu when Shawn Cowie outgunned Kim Parker for the event title.

Of the seven TADs, three were Alberta teams. Making his debut in TAD was Red Deer’s Mike Quayle, last seen in Top Dragster. He ran a good 5.60 in Round One to win, but torched both heads in the process and was done. The Top Speed king Don St. Arnaud made a welcome return to Mission, but wasn’t a big factor, losing Round One. And Kenny Gilmour had veteran Ken Webster in the car, but couldn’t seem to get the power to the ground.

Former Top Dragster racer Mike Quayle (from Red Deer AB) ran in TAD with this injected nitro car.

TAFC class racing only had four cars, there were no surprises, with the nationally-competitive cars of Chris Marshall and Brian Hough running 5.50s in the heat, and Marshall winning Mission the second year in a row to further cement his status as one of the top TAFC racers in the country. TAFC veteran John Evanchuk was tuning the car of rookie Robert Johnseine from Washington, who ran a good, but losing, 5.64 in Round One.

This TAFC final round battle of Chevy Camaros went to Chris Marshall (far lane) over Brian Hough

Canadian Cars in the mix!

All the regular NHRA Sportsman categories gave the racers two chances to win, of course, and as things turned out, Super Gas, Super Pro Bracket, and Pro Bracket were the exclusive preserve of Canadians.

In Super Gas Race 1, Edmonton’s Cam McPherson drove his clean little roadster to the easy final round win, reportedly his first NHRA Wally in 40 years of trying. In Race 2, Stony Plain’s Casey Plaizier, now driving the family’s familiar Corvette, cut a .007 light in the final (and was left on!) and avoided breaking out beside his opponent who did.

Alberta based drivers won in both days in Super Gas — Casey Plaizer (on Sunday) and Cam McPherson (top) on Saturday.

In Super Pro, Robbie White from Calgary drove his dragster to the Friday victory. Sunday’s racing would be tougher, given that several quicker cars that lost first round in their respective eliminators entered SP to keep racing on the day. It was one of those racers, 17-year old Darien Provost from Abbotsford and his Top Dragster, who went up in the final against SP regular Bradee Lowe from Agassiz, the daughter of Pro Mod veteran Trevor Lowe. Their combined ages were well below 40 years old, and Provost prevailed in a close race.

Darien Provost (Abbotsford) won in Super Pro with his dragster beating Bradee Lowe’s Camaro in the final round.

Pro saw no surprises in Race 1, as Mission’s Jim Behnke parlayed his .005 light into the win, and his 20th Wally trophy. In Race 2, track announcer John Tabak from Maple Ridge took the win with an on-the-dial run. Ross Walker was the runner-up in both races.

One other category was won by a Canadian, as Martin Jackman from Mission took Super Street in Race 1. Runner-ups included Pat McNally (TS) and Jan Christensen (SP) in Race 1, and Mike Lucas (TS) and Len Mayer (SC) in Race 2.

Saturday’s Final Round Results:

Ryan Warter of Olalla, Wash., squared of against fellow Washington runner Jeff Lane of North Bend. The Northwest racers put on a competitive race. Warter came out on top of the Comp Eliminator showdown, running 8.723 seconds, 150.07 mph. Lane finished at 7.940 seconds, 166.75 mph.

The Stock Eliminator final round yielded another Washington showdown between Bill Bushmaker of Auburn and Larry McLanahan of Kennewick. Bushmaker took home the divisional Wally trophy with ease, as McLanahan triggered the red light. Bushmaker ran 11.323 seconds, 115.11 mph.

Quentin Chambers, Bellingham, Wash., took the starting line advantage but could not hold off the hard charging Ryan Carlson of Maple Valley. Carlson scored the Top Dragster final round victory, running 6.193 seconds, 224.71 mph.

Danny Wargnier, Keizer, Ore., took the lead and kept Pat McNally, St. Albert, at bay running 7.358 seconds, 188.08 mph to capture the Top Sportsman Wally.

The other drivers visiting the winner’s circle were Cody Lane in Super Stock, Randy Beck in Super Comp, Cam McPherson in Super Gas, Martin Jackman in Super Street, Don Depeel in Sportsman Motorcycle, Robbie White in Super Pro, and Jim Behnke in Pro.

Sunday’s Final Round Results:

Northwest rivals Kim Parker, Graham, Wash., and Shawn Cowie, Surrey, B.C., squared off the in the Top Alcohol Dragster final round. Cowie took the lead and pulled away running 5.319 seconds, 274.97 mph to keep Kim Parker at bay and earning the Wally trophy. Parker finished up at 5.345 seconds, 271.73 mph.

In the Top Alcohol Funny Car final round, Chris Marshall, McMinnville, Ore., ceded the starting line advantage to fellow Oregon runner Brian Hough of Junction City. But Marshall recovered and surpassed Hough for the final round victory hitting 5.573 seconds, 265.33 mph. Hough runner upped at 5.620 seconds, 264.62 mph.

Oregon’s Chris Marshall was dominate while winning — he hit both low ET (5.531 secs) and top speed (269.54 mph) while skipping to the TAFC title.

After taking home the Super Comp Wally in the first half of the double header, Randy Beck, Tacoma, Wash., entered Sunday’s final round against Len Mayer, Vegreville, Alb. Beck took the lead, running 8.908 seconds, 168.00 mph to earn his second Wally of the weekend in Super Comp. Mayer brokeout chasing Beck.

Washington Comp standouts Ryan Warter, Olalla and Jeff Lane of North Bend faced off again in the final round after Friday’s clash. This time Lane ran down Warter for the final round victory, clocking in at 8.063 seconds, 158.84 mph.

After finishing as a runner up Friday evening, Jackie Alley, Eagle, Idado captured the Super Stock Wally as Tod Haste, Kennewick, Wash.,activated the red light. Alley ran 9.380 seconds, 141.73 mph.

Don Depeel,Gladstone, Ore., put on an encore to his Friday night performance; running 8.509 seconds, 152.15 mph defeating Miles Hauer, Seattle, Wash., for the double up victory in Sportsman Motorcycle.

Rian Hayward, Marysville, Wash., triggered a reaction time of .001 seconds, forcing Mike Lucas, Fort St. John, B.C.,to break out, securing the JBS Ltd Top Sportsman trophy. Hayward registered a winning pass of 7.549 seconds, 181.41 mph. Top Dragster standouts Paul Nero, Eugene, Ore., and Kacee Bootsma-Morris, Olympia, Wash., both triggered great lights. However, Nero was able to edge out Bootsma-Morris for the RAD Torque Systems Top Dragster Wally, hitting 7.067 seconds, 186.18 mph.

Nate Gagnon, Qualicum Beach, B.C., defeated fellow British Colombia rider Jim Schellenberg of Surry in the Top Fuel Harley final round. Gagnon ran 8.192 seconds, 172.71 mph.

The other drivers visiting the winner’s circle were Casey Plaizier in Super Gas, Matt Kielman in Super Street, Darien Provost in Super Pro, John Tabak in Pro, Justin Cooper in Super Comp Shootout, Casey Plaizier in Super Gas Shootout, Allen Macham in Super Street Shootout, and Dave Jackson in Top Comp Shootout.

Post with files by Gerry Frechette and NHRA Communications
All photos by Gerry Frechette