NDRA Credibility Continues

The 2nd year Canadian NDRA racing group helped to heat up the action during last weekend’s Canadian Nitro Nationals…

Toronto Motorsports Park – Cayuga Dragway presented another dynamic Canadian Nitro Nationals event last weekend (July 12 – 14, 2013) with thousands in the stands and some of the finest drag racing entertainment anywhere, the show was an obvious huge success.  And The National Drag Racing Association (NDRA) was a big part of the action packed program with their Pro Doorslammers, Alcohol Funny Cars and Nostalgia Nitro Funny Cars.

This was the third race of a four event series for the Pro Doorslammers and the second race of the Alcohol Funny Car four event series for 2013. It was the first Canadian performances for the NDRA Nostalgia Nitro Funny Cars.

For the Alcohol Funny Car program, Ron Bankes of St. Thomas, ON put the first notch on his gun as he piloted his Ron Bankes Marine Service / Federated Insurance sponsored 2002 Firebird for the win over 2012 NDRA Alcohol Funny Car champion, Larry Dobbs and his  Sportz Truck Tents by Napier Enterprises sponsored ’02 Firebird.

Bankes commented, “Although we’re always out to win, we really came out on Friday to test the car. It hasn’t had a complete run this year and no data to work with and we had some stuff to iron out. Picking up this win is definitely a bonus!”

Ron Bankes was the Alcohol Funny Car winner.

Ron Bankes was the Alcohol Funny Car winner.

He continues, “During qualifying, we broke an oil line on the first pass but got that fixed. Then our second was good. On Saturday night, the car touched the wall and banged up the headers. It looked like we were done but Dylan Hache came to the rescue. Earlier, he had some bad luck with his Funny Car and was out of the competition. Dylan and his ‘For Wheels Racing’ team pulled the headers from his car and walked them over to our pit. They fit perfectly and we were good to go for Sunday.”

In the eliminations, Bankes took Gasport, New York’s Vince Rastelli and his Vince’s Auto Wrecking / Climax Collision sponsored ’01 Corvette in the first round and had the bye for the second. He went on to win the event against Dobbs.

Ron summed up his weekend at the Canadian Nitro Nationals. “We’re really happy with this win. We are moving forward quietly. I’m getting some seat time and we are gathering good data to make the car go faster. There’s still work to do, but we are confident that Bankes-Cox Racing is headed in the right direction for the 2013 NDRA championship!” He adds, “I am most pleased that our new sponsor, Steve Whalen of Federated Insurance was there to witness it. It was his first-ever drag race and I sure hope that he enjoyed himself!”

“I want to really thank Dylan Hache and the For Wheels Racing team. Without their generous help, we wouldn’t have had a chance to get back on the track for this victory. As well, I want to thank my dad, Ron Bankes Sr. for all of the superb body work that he does and getting the car ready for every race!”

Over on the Pro Doorslammer side, Dave Earhart moved up the leader board with his capture of that class win.

Earhart and his Earhart Heating & Cooling INC. / Performance Unlimited sponsored 2002 Camaro took Brighton, Michigan’s Dave Sullivan and his ’63 Corvette with a 6.74 run at 216 MPH in the first round. The second round produced his quickest pass and speed with a 6.57 @ 218 mph for his triumph over Wayne Nielsen of Bayfield, ON and his Stoney Brook Auto Service backed Lumina. On to round three, he faced Jarvis, Ontario’s Jack Brohman’s ’69 Camaro SS. Even though Brohman ran the quicker E.T., Earhart beat him on a hole shot.

Earhart lined up against Jerry Ransford of South Lion, MI for the final round. He took the stripe with a 6.68 over Ransford’s 7.10 in his ’03 Grand Am.

Dave had this to say about his weekend at Cayuga’s Canadian Nitro Nationals. “We had our share of challenges over the weekend. In qualifying, we had ignition issues so we took the electronics out to go old school, mag only and got the car running smoothly for Sunday and even picked up a 6.57 run. In the third round, the tranny gave us some problems, even though we still won it.”

Dave Earhart won the Pro Doorslammers title with his popular supercharged Chevy Camaro

Dave Earhart won the Pro Doorslammers title with his popular supercharged Chevy Camaro

He adds, “This wasn’t just my win. Everyone on the Earhart Racing team worked really hard all weekend to clean up all of the issues. As a matter of fact, before the final round, the team showed what they are made of. Chris Melo took on the valve train and the rest of the engine maintenance and the girls (Tanya Vieira and Sherry Earhart) packed the chutes while Simon Couto (crew chief) and I replaced the 3-speed Lenco. We did it in around 20 minutes or so and got it all done just in time for the call up. Amazing! Yeah, this was a real team win!”

In closing, Dave expressed gratitude to his sponsors, Earhart Heating & Cooling INC. and Performance Unlimited, London, ON.

The NDRA Nostalgia Nitro Funny Cars capped the entertainment for the weekend.

Doug Cadman’s Chi -Town Hustler and Gary Kraus’s Pony Up wowed the crowd with their billowing burnouts and awesome passes.

Doug Cadman and Gary Kraus provided a very cool 3-round Nostalgia FC match race.

Doug Cadman and Gary Kraus provided a very cool 3-round Nostalgia FC match race.

Dale Boeru, NDRA’s President & Director of Operations summed up the event. “We had a good weekend of racing at the Canadian Nitro Nationals at Toronto Motorsports Pak – Cayuga Dragway. I want to thank all of the Pro Doorslammer, and Alcohol Funny Car teams for a great show that they put on for the fans. On one of the hottest temperature weekends of the year with a humidex in the 40’s, the drivers were literally heated up in their cars. Still, they put on a really cool show! Also, it was a great job, done by all of the NDRA and TMP – Cayuga Dragway staff. Finally, I want to send a huge thank you to the NDRA Nitro Nostalgia Funny Cars for an awesome match race all weekend!”

The National Drag Racers Association’s next event will feature their Alcohol Funny Cars on August 10 – 11 at the NAPA / Stratford Spectacular “Hot August Nights” at Grand Bend Motorplex – Grand Bend, ON.


The National Drag Racing Association presents two racing classifications in 2013 with its Alcohol Funny Car Series entering its second season of competition, while the newly added Pro Doorslammer division provides spectators with an enhanced dose of high-octane entertainment.

For more information about the NDRA visit our website at www.ndra.ca.

Posted by:  Dale Hickey

Photos by:  Bruce Biegler

To view additional images from this event visit the DragRaceCanada photo gallery:  HERE