Rain the Ultimate Victor at Mission                               

It has become probably the most anticipated event on the calendar at Mission Raceway Park — each year the fabled facility combines it’s annual Lucas Oil NHRA National Open with the biggest Nostalgia Funny Car event of the year in Canada….unfortunately Mother Nature had other plans…..

But after a couple of weeks of good weather, it turned bad just in time for the weekend, raining out the Friday test day, and it was a bit of a miracle that it got as far as it did, which was 5:15 on Sunday afternoon, before the rains came. After a perfect Saturday evening for qualifying the Funny Cars, Sunday’s forecast was “chance of showers” all day, so it was no surprise that the wet stuff eventually arrived, and the racers and fans were actually pretty fortunate that they held off that long. Unfortunately, the rain left the event uncompleted, though, with all but the Nitro Funny Cars to be finished up at some future event this season where the competitors will all be at once.

Again this year, the target for the Jet Equipment / TDM Constructors Funny Car show was 32 cars, and the two alcohol circuits, the Northwest BBFC and Rocky Mountain Nostalgia FC groups, did their parts, bringing 9 and 10 cars respectively. But, there were only 10 Nostalgia Nitro FCs, making for a grand total of 29 cars. Nothing wrong with that, though, and they all put on a great show. Still, with no final results to report on, we are going to touch on several of the highlights.

Alberta's now infamous Sekura Brothers were once again up to their crowd pleasing antics!

In Nitro FC, Mission’s own Jim Obalek set Low ET in the first pair down the track Saturday, a 5.86 in Twig Ziegler’s Satellite. With the likes of Hodgson/Boychuk, Austin/Krabill, and Tim Nemeth on hand, one might have thought that that run could have been bettered, especially given the temperatures in the mid-teens and corrected altitude of about 300 feet on Sunday, but it didn’t happen. With the small fuel systems on the cars, they were all running lean, and many pistons were sacrificed over the weekend.

Misson City's own -- Jim Obalek -- set Low ET at 5.86 secs

A race that had the fans on their feet in the second round was Nemeth versus Boychuk, and they didn’t disappoint, the local Mustang beating the track record holder (at 5.70) Alberta Firebird, 5.97/246 to 6.03/237.

Western Canadian class stalwarts Tim Boychuk and Tim Nemeth face off.

When the rain arrived, there were still three cars in contention – Krabill, Nemeth, and Ken Webster, with a bizarre story of a flawed body wrap being removed in ugly fashion and leaving the surface of the ex-Lesenko Camaro a very messy flat black. We’ll never know what might have happened, except that the final would have been near 8:00 pm, a bit late after a noon start, but the fans saw great racing under the lights Saturday, and two good rounds Sunday.

The Rocky Mountain boys put on their usual smoky show, with most of them breaking out at least once on the 6.90 index over the two days, and the final would have pitted Cal Tebb versus Cory Kincaid, the former the only semi-finalist not to have broken out, running 6.95. The moment to remember, though, was Corey Sekura’s first qualifier Saturday, when he went into a big wheelie and crashed down, breaking a frame rail and putting him out for the weekend. The wheelie bar had ceased functioning, for some reason….

Pro Street was a battle royal, with Dale Pedersen and Dal Sangha qualifying at 6.26 and 6.27 respectively in their turbo cars, but then Sangha fouled away a first-round 6.28, and Jay Syvertsen ran his best-yet 6.15/240 in his new Pro Mod ’57 Chevy, and all bets were off. They’ll decide things at their next race at Mission.

Dale Pedersen's ultra cool turbocharged Pro Street Chevy!

Competition Eliminator was a good show, with some extra money put up to draw a good field of ten cars, and showing up to do a little testing was Washington’s Mark Wolfe in his NHRA-legal Pro Stock Mustang with Morgan power, getting ready for Sonoma and Seattle, and running as a very heavy A/A. In Round One, he red-lit by a bunch, but he ran a personal best, and a Canadian record, 6.56 at 210, so he might just be a contender, at least at Seattle if the weather stays unseasonably cool. That must be the most Pro Stock performance for the fewest dollars spent in many years.

Washington's Mark Wolfe tested his NHRA-legal Pro Stock Mustang as an A/A in Comp

So, despite the unfortunate premature ending to the race, there were numerous highlights, and informed speculation has the Nostalgia Nitro FC portion of the event being much bigger next year, as part of a certain major racing series.

Posted by:  Gerry Frechette – Photos by:  Gerry Frechette