Despite the reality of COVID complication — Quebec’s Napierville Dragway was able to host its popular annual NHRA National Open event….

The NHRA’s Northeast Division One event, which was presented by long time dedicated sponsor PC Richard & Son – was a double header affair July 25-26th.

Because of the continued pandemic situation, it was for sure a tampered down version with overall car counts down significantly.  It was also sans any participation from any of the geographical division’s US-based racers, due to enduring USA/Canada border closure.

The event did however highlight NHRA Lucas Oil Sportsman Series class cars in competition and was also supplemented by a creative independent Pro Modified eliminator program.

On Saturday, Quebec’s Guy Desjardins, driving his vintage ’68 Camaro got the win over Ontario’s Dave Turner in the Stock/Super Stock Combo. Sylvain Nadon (Laval PQ) driving his potent Mountain-motored Ford Mustang claimed the win in Top Dragster/Top Sportsman while in the SC/SG/SST combo it was defending 2019 NHRA Division One Super Gas points champion Charlie Kenopic who won the final Benoit Martin.

Quebec-based veteran Super Stock racer Guy Desjardins won the NHRA Stock/SS Combo on Saturday.

On Sunday it was Jean Phillippe Tremblay claiming victory , defeating Brian Clayton in the Stock/Super Stock combo. Benoit Martin was able to turn his Saturday runner up into a win over Jacques Menard in the SC/SG/SST combo.

Defending NHRA Division One Super Gas points champion – Charlie Kenopic (Renfrew ON) won in the SC/SG/SST combo.

The added attraction Pro Mod eliminator featured some of the regular runners from within Napierville Dragway’s home grown and very successful UDRA series however it was an invading Ontario driver — Jay Santos — who came away with the victory in that 1/8th mile showdown.

Racing his spectacular new for this season, Georgetown-based supercharged ’67 Shelby GT500 Mustang — Santos was able to defeat the world record holding, uber light weight, turbocharged and extremely fast 4-cylinder Pontiac GXP raced by Carl Brunet in the championship round – when Carl had a red light foul.

Jay Santos put his stunning new GT500 into victory lane in Pro Mod at Napierville

Brunet’s car had been the quickest on the premises starting with a 3.90 secs #1 qualifying effort.  Jay qualified #3 of the eight cars entered at 3.98 secs.

Racing on his home turf — Carl Brunet was the quickest car in the PM show driving his world record smashing 4-cylinder GXP

With this win — Santos was able to collect a very coveted NHRA “Wally” (his first) recognized as one of the most prestigious trophies available anywhere for drag racing. 

“So excited to have won a Wally!,” he exclaimed post race.  “Our team can’t thank the whole Brunet family and crew enough for the hospitality and great super clean facility.  Nick never stops working and the track is the best it can be.  On this surface we had our best 60 foot to date.  I just want to thank my crew (Angelo Carlos Tex Joe) for never giving up this weekend. Also want to thank MJ for all her support and never letting me give up.”

Jay Santos has a new “best friend”!

Posted by Bruce Biegler

Photos courtesy of Mike Lacelle and Maciej Zagoroski