NDRA Decides Champions 

Larry Dobbs defends his AFC Championship and Dave Earhart wins the Inaugural Pro Doorslammer title…..

The National Drag Racing Association Series closed out their 2013 Alcohol Funny Car and Pro Doorslammer final outing with plenty of close action on the Labour Day long weekend at the Toronto Motorsports Park – Cayuga Dragway.

The 2nd Annual Canadian Funny Car Championship wound up with Welland, Ontario’s Larry Dobbs as two-time champion in the NDRA Alcohol Funny Car Drag Racing Series presented by Ohsweken Speedway. Going into the event, Dobbs was determined to take his 2002 Pontiac Firebird, sponsored by Sportz Truck Tents by Napier Enterprises fueled by Shellbourne’s M53 racing fuel to the winners circle despite the quality of competition that he faced.

Larry Dobbs and the rest of the Kardiac Kids have prevailed to win their 2nd consecutive NDRA AFC points championship.

Larry Dobbs and the rest of the Kardiac Kids have prevailed to win their 2nd consecutive NDRA AFC points championship.

With two earlier 2013 event wins and his 2012 title on the line, Larry fully understood the importance of taking the final stripe for his 3rd win out of four events. And that is exactly what he did.

He made his way to the final to face London, Ontario’s Paul Noakes and his 2002 Meritor Motorsports Euclid Harman HVS Ford Mustang.

Noakes came to the party being the #1 qualifier with a 5.76 / 253, picking up the Low E.T. of the event (5.676 – 2nd round)  and taking the Top Speed at 255.10. Dobbs was the #2 qualifier with a 5.83 / 248. Indeed, it was a good match-up.

When the green flashed, Larry had some tire spin while Noakes’ car went out of the groove and crossed the centerline resulting in a DQ and the win for Dobbs. Two great racers and two great cars will be around to face off another time.

When asked how he felt about capturing his second NDRA Alcohol Funny Car Drag Racing Series championship, Larry had this to say, “Certainly, it’s extremely satisfying to win the series again this season! Our approach this season was to get the car down the track consistently… with decent ETs”

“We had a few lucky breaks along the way and a couple of times the guy in the other lane helped us out. We made it to the finals in all four (NDRA) events and won three of them. The car is still not running what it is capable of (best is 5.60 at 260 MPH at Charlotte, NC) but is getting closer!”

“My crew has been absolutely amazing all season. This year, we had some bearing issues and these guys stayed right on top of this problem by checking all the bearings after every run. I’m totally impressed with how quick and thorough they have become.”

“This team has been the reason for the great success of the Pontiac Trans Am and our trips to the winners circle. Kevin Dobbs, our crew chief, and Tyler Scott take care of the bottom end stuff. Londos D’Arrigo came on board with us for the last two races and is great with the clutch. George Monoghan handles the valve train and plugs. Bruce Ellison and Andy Kittle contribute to the overall maintenance and my nephew, Jim Granger lent us a hand this weekend. Last but certainly not the least is Avril Tomimatsu who looks after so many things like our team shirts and starting line passes and keeping the whole crew fed. She is priceless!”

“I would like to express my sincere thanks to my sponsors who play a huge role in our operation and successes. Sportz Truck Tents by Napier Enterprises (St. Catherines, ON) who sponsored a free truck tent draw at each race, Praxair (St. Catherines, ON), Home Hardware (Welland, ON), Atlantic South Power Systems (Highland, North Carolina), Weber Supply Co. (Kitchener, ON) all contribute immensely to our entire racing campaign.”

“Finally, I want to say that Dale Boeru is the real champion of all this. He brought the NDRA to the level that it is today. I know that it hasn’t been easy at all, but he did it. I’m glad to be part of this AFC series and support Dale’s great efforts and accomplishments all the way!”

The NDRA Pro Doorslammer Series championship was especially coveted by 13 trophy hungry competitors in the division’s first year.

As the last round win light flashed, Tom Stuart of Chatham, ON powered down his ’92 Pontiac Firebird and headed for the winners circle as the event winner.

Tom Stuart of Chatham, ON won the Pro Doorslammer eliminator at the NDRA's season finale.

Tom Stuart of Chatham, ON won the Pro Doorslammer eliminator at the NDRA’s season finale.

Stuart had this to say about his winning weekend. “Winning the last NDRA event of 2013 was a great way to end the year. It also puts a bull’s-eye on our back for next year, which is a good feeling to have.”

“Thanks go out to the Dale Boeru and the NDRA staff and the rest of his team for all their efforts this season. Special thanks to my family and crew, wife Cathy, Cameron, Brandon, and my two biggest “little” fans Holley (5 years old) and Carson (2 years old). We definitely could not do this without a full team effort”

“Special thanks to our sponsors this season including Chatham Kent Construction Products, Huron Construction, Maple City Electric, New Day Roofing, Ray Mac CARQUEST and Tri County Crane and Machinery Moving of Chatham.”

As for the series championship, the competition between Trevor Deeks of London, ON and Dave Earhart of Strathroy, ON was a nail-biter as predicted.

Each driver had one win during the preceding three events and there was a mere three-point gap going into the event with Earhart above Deeks on the NDRA spreadsheet.

The qualifying round put Deeks in #1 position with a 6.64 / 212 and Earhart came in a close second placing with a 6.65 / 213.

Both worked their way to the semis where they lined up together. Again, it was a tight competition, to say the least!

Deeks beat Earhart on the light with a .025 vs Dave’s .035. Then it was a side-by-side dash all the way for the stripe. When the beam was broken, Earhart’s 6.604 at 212 MPH was just a wee bit better than Deeks’ 6.624 at 211 MPH.

Earhart went on to face Tom Stuart in the final but he broke and gave the race to Stuart.

Still, Dave Earhart aptly earned the first prestigious National Drag Racing Association Pro Doorslammer Drag Racing Series championship!

Earhart had this to say about his victory, “This season was a tough battle for us with lots of engine and parts issues. I certainly spent a lot of next year’s budget on this year’s effort to stay in the hunt.  Despite the seemingly continuous hurdles, we prevailed. I couldn’t be more pleased.”

Dave Earhart's wickedly cool supercharged Camaro is the 2013 NDRA points champion.

Dave Earhart’s wickedly cool supercharged Camaro is the 2013 NDRA Pro Doorslammer points champion.

“In the end, it came down to that one round, one race and 1/100ths of a second at the finish line. It’s the closest race that I have ever had in my fourteen years that I have been racing this car.”

“The event started out tight in qualifying with Trevor (Deeks) scoring # 1 with his 6.64 at 212 and me taking the #2 spot with my 6.65 at 213.”

“When we got to the semis, Trevor beat me on the tree by exactly 1/100ths but I ran 2/100ths quicker, leaving the finish line to me by 1/100ths of a second and what looked like about 3 feet when I looked out the passenger window at the stripe. Trevor and I were looking at each other all the way down the track! Yeah, it was a really close race!”

“Trevor left with a .025 light edging my .035 … which is stellar for me with a clutch back in the car this year. Our numbers stayed extremely close right to the top end where I barely bettered his 6.624 / 211 with my 6.604 / 212.”

“As a matter of fact, the whole year was close for both of us. There was only a three-point difference in my favour by the end of the third series event. It really was down to the wire in event #4”

“It was great to race against Trevor because he has always been a seriously tough competitor. Racing with a guy like him really amps me up and elevates my game.”

Dave continues, “I want to thank my crew; Simon Couto (Crew Chief), Chris Melo, Sherry Earhart, and Tanya Vieira for their countless hours in the shop and the pits. The expertise and support that I get from them is no less than outstanding!”

Earhart recognizes his sponsors that back his entire racing campaign; Earhart Heating & Cooling INC., Strathroy, ON and Barry Trap, owner of Performance Unlimited, London, ON.

The Low E.T. of the event went Earhart too, for his 6.604 in the semi-final.

Jack Brohman of Jarvis, ON took the Top Speed of the event in his Brant Flo Hydraulics & Pneumatics  backed 1969 Camaro SS.

The NDRA Alcohol Funny Car Drag Racing Series and the NDRA Pro Doorslammers Drag Racing Series wound up their 2013 season with great action and hard-hitting competition last weekend. Fans at the 2nd Annual Canadian Funny Car Championships at Toronto Motorsports Park – Cayuga Dragway certainly got value for their ticket!

Cayuga Dragway’s Track Manager, Neale Armstrong was pleased with the National Drag Racing Association show and had this to say about the NDRA. “Three years ago, Dale Boeru came to me with his plans for the NDRA looking to add the Alcohol Funny Car Drag Racing Series to our track schedule; the organization has come a long way since then and I’m impressed with how quickly they have developed.” He continues, “This weekend’s event was successful and the NDRA was a major part of that success. I wish Dale, his staff and the drivers much luck as they continue to grow their quality drag racing entertainment.”

Dale Boeru, NDRA President & Director of Operations summed up the 2nd Annual Funny Car Championship and outcome of the 2nd season of the National Drag Racing Association Alcohol Funny Car and Pro Doorslammer Series.

“Certainly, there is a lot of time, energy and resources required to develop, manage and grow successful drag racing programs such as the NDRA. I want to thank our dedicated staff who put in countless hours to ensure that the entire operation puts out a quality product that gives value to our clients and racing fans.”

“The drivers and their teams are the focus of our entertainment package and I can’t say enough about them! Not only are they great competitors, but they are great entertainers too. I truly appreciate that all of our drivers are out there to put on a dynamic show, each and every event! The cars are high quality and it is easily apparent that the fans are thrilled when our show hits the track.”

“To our sponsor family; thank you for your support and contribution to the development and growth of the National Drag Racing Association. We appreciate your involvement with the association and that you help us with much needed resources for our day to day operations.”

“Thank you to our drag strip partners and your staff.

Cayuga Dragway’s owner Uli Bieri and Track Manager Neale Armstrong, and Paul and Kim Spriet from Grand Bend Motorplex.”

“The National Drag Racing Association has enjoyed a very successful 2013 season and we are looking forward to steady growth and many more successful seasons in the future.”

“Last but not least; Congratulations to our Series Champions and the winners of the series events over the past two years. Good Luck with the growth of your individual operations. I look forward to seeing you all in 2014!”

The NDRA is proudly supported by Ohsweken Speedway, Essroc Ready Mix, Miska Trailer Factory, Xylotek Solutions Inc., Fast Entertainment Inc., Trackless Vehicles Ltd, Cambridge Concrete Pumping, Shellbourne Fuels, Sousa Concrete, ClearShot Customs, Pegasus, InSight Graphics & Design, Carmen’s Banquet Centre, Sportz Truck Tents and Canadian Drag Racer Magazine.

For more information about the NDRA and the 2013 results, visit the website: www.ndra.

Posted by: Dale Hickey

Photos by:  John Marechal