A very dedicated and North Central BC area drag racing team reached an important milestone during 2016…

And the Kowalski Racing Team who are based from Fort St. John, celebrated that accomplishment this summer racing a very well prepped and very cool looking new race car.

For 2016, team driver David Kowalski, who had a family drag racing baton passed to him by his father Mervin, have crossed over the 25 year mark with regards to involvement with drag racing.

David and Mervin have been hitting various Western Canadian drag strips this year racing a supercharged C7 that was built by RJ Race Cars. The candy red Kowalski Racing Team Corvette was, according to Dave, actually the first C7 machine that Rick Jones’ company built.

The Kowalski Racing Team's Corvette races in both Top Sportsman and Pro Mod classes.

The Kowalski Racing Team’s Corvette races in both Top Sportsman and Pro Mod classes.

“The car’s construction was delayed a bit while waiting for the C7 body to be released,” David reported. “This is actually the very first C7 body and the chassis was basically built under the body so that everything could be fit. It was finished last September and we first ran it then – testing and licensing in it at Mission Raceway. Then we entered it for competition for the first time at a NHRA race in Las Vegas last fall.”

The Kowalski’s Corvette can be run either as a Top Sportsman car or as a Pro Mod car. It has a Steve Schmidt 548 CID Brodix Chevy motor program and uses a 14-71 PSI supercharger, Rossler 3-speed transmission and Pro Torque converter. With about 2250 HP to work with, that is a rather perfect fitting combination for within the variety of regional drag strip surfaces the team runs on — offering them some versatility options.

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“This car was purpose built for Top Sportsman and that is our main target class,” David continued. “When we step on it — it is 6.50 (secs) capable.”

During the summer of 2016 the team did experiment for the first time in a Pro Mod class configuration by running a couple of the WDRL’s events held at Edmonton and Mission – entered in that category.

“The WDRL is a good stepping stone for racers like us in Western Canada,” he continued. “Our Corvette is not a hard-core Pro Mod and not 5-seconds capable. But the WDRL offers us a place to go and race and have fun (either in TS or PM). We can enter whatever class makes sense for us and we don’t have to beat ourselves up to much.”

Mervin, Dave & Devon Kowalski during their 25th season anniversary tour!

Mervin, Dave & Devon Kowalski during their 25th season anniversary tour!

Prior to the new Corvette the team did campaign a 1971 Vega which Dave’s father Mervin pioneered with. Dave and Mervin ran that machine (known as the Ultimate Rush) in various configurations for a very long time including as a ET Bracket car, a 9.90 car and even in Outlaw Street.

“Our new Corvette has been a pretty big step up for us from that Vega — but it’s been a hoot for sure,” Dave added. “There’s been a real learning curve and we’ve been chipping away at it. I’ve now now got some 60+ runs on the car and we can run deadly consistent 6.8’s.”

David is funding his team from the proceeds of an oilfield service company that he sold off a while back (Dakow Ventures Ltd). Daryl Brunt is the team tuner. He also reports that he is also grooming his son Devin to be a future team driver. Devin (17) is currently racing the team’s Junior Dragster.

Post and photos by Bruce Biegler