That un-mistakable rumble for high powered drag racing from within Eastern Canada is now finally on the horizon…

Ontario and area racers and fans are now near ready for the first feature race of the season with the Napa Ultimate Showdown class cars set to invade Toronto Motorsports Park’s Cayuga Dragway over the coming Victoria Day Weekend (May 20-21st).

That event will mark the kickoff for the 3rd season and first of five NAPA USDS events scheduled for 2017.

During the just past off-season some major moves and adjustments were made by the USDS to enhance it’s circuit product and those changes will be in place for the first time for fans that weekend.

While the series continues “full on” with it’s signature stable classes of Pro Modified, Outlaw 10.5, Top Sportsman and Top Dragster — the Cayuga event will also include a first time introduction for an Alcohol Funny Car eliminator as well as two new eliminators for Junior Dragsters. In addition the series has revised it’s previous consolation eliminator format for non-qualified TS/TD cars — to create a new Pro Sportsman category. (That class is now open to any/all competitors capable of running a 8.50 secs minimum).

The wildly popular Outlaw 10.5 class will run a full season schedule in USDS this year — with presenting sponsorship from Billy Briggs & Bullseye Power

The series is also very proud to announce it’s new marketing partners for 2017. Industry leader, NAPA Auto Parts returns as the overall series title sponsor. The lineup for class presenting sponsors now includes Pennzoil Pro Mod, Billy Briggs/Bullseye Power Outlaw 10.5, Wiseco Top Sportsman and Samson Top Dragster.  Austin Apparel will present the new Alcohol Funny Car eliminator, Corriveau Concrete Forming the Pro Sportsman class and Mennonite Mafia will support Pro Junior.

New for 2017 in the Napa USDS – will be two categories of Junior Dragster class competition.

The USDS is focused to the continuation of enhancing both it’s reputation and event participation. It is a not for profit group that uses the brain trust from some highly reputed racers and local business people. That list includes principles Peter Hyde, Dan Gueguen, Steve Martin and Brent Edmonstone. The series directors include Sam Andreacchi, Nick Agostino, Rob Atchison, Spencer Hyde, Tony Positano, Tom Vandergeld, Scott Wildgust and also now new for 2017, Lyle and Mary Ann Williams.

It will be $5000 to win for each of the Top Dragster and Top Sportsman classes this season.

“Our series is “management by committee” involving all our directors,” confirmed Steve Martin. “We are very fortunate that they volunteer their time and resources. Not only do they provide critical feedback, they all are helping us to further grow and succeed. We wouldn’t be here doing this without them.”

“For 2017 our goals are no different than our previous first two years,” Steve continued. “That is to continue providing a safe, organized, family friendly environment for our racers, fans and sponsors — while doing so in front of the largest audience possible.”

Martin also mentioned that going into event #1 he has been very impressed by the response from race teams from not only within Ontario but also from the province of Quebec and bordering U.S. neighbour states.

“We are very pleased with the response so far,” he added. “For 2017 we have more racers pre-registered than the two previous years combined.”

Specifically — for Victoria Day Weekend – the USDS circuit action gets underway on Saturday May 20th with three qualifying sessions scheduled for: 2 PM, 5 PM and 7 PM. Elimination day Sunday will see the first round for Top Sportsman and Top Dragster at 11 AM followed by first round for all other classes at 1 PM. The championship final rounds are scheduled for 5 PM.

Independent and wily Pro Mod racer Derek Hawker will soon begin his 2016 Napa USDS Championship title defence.

The season-opening feature will also include racing all weekend for Cayuga’s very own Race Cayuga Sportsman Series (ET Bracket cars) as well as the first appearance of the season for the area’s very popular Can-Am Stock/Super Stock series.

The Eastern Canadian circuit stable Can-Am Stock/Super Stock Series will also make it’s season debut at the Victoria Day Weekend event.

Canadian Jet Dragster pilots Lou Pieria (The Terminator) and Neale Armstrong (Northern Warrior) will also be on hand for a series of exhibition runs.

Post and photos by Bruce Biegler