After getting an initial rough ride in May from Mother Nature – determination is boiling over in the NAPA Ultimate Showdowns series….

There is no denying the reality of it – the planned 2017 season race #1 for Eastern Canada’s NAPA Ultimate Showdowns Drag Racing Series last Victoria Day Weekend at Cayuga Dragway – fell short of it’s objectives.

A very un-cooperative Mother Nature played havoc with that initial race and in the end it’s cancellation came much to the chagrin of event organizers, circuit racers and drag racing fans in general.

Well the reset button is about to be hit!

The series will return to action at Cayuga Dragway this Canada Day Weekend where it will play an intricate part in the largest independent drag racing event held annually in Canada – the 8th annual Canadian Nitro Nationals.

The NAPA USDS brand of race cars – Pennzoil Pro Modifieds, Austin Apparel Alcohol Funny Cars, Billy Briggs/Bulleye Power Outlaw 10.5, Wiseco Top Sportsman, Samson Top Dragster, Corriveau Concrete Forming Pro Sportsman and Magical Dream Journeys (Royal Purple & Mennonite Mafia) Junior Dragster classes will hit the track beginning with Friday’s evening event schedule.

Defending NAPA USDS Pro Mod Champion – Derek Hawker – will once again be “all in”!

Race anticipation and event entries are both at very high levels according to Series Race director Steve Martin.

“Our first event was unfortunate — it seems we just couldn’t catch a break,” Steve reflected. “But since then we’ve licked all our wounds and we’ve regrouped. The one good thing that emerged from our Victoria Day Weekend experience was how overwhelmingly our racing community family has rallied with their support behind us. We are all involved in a common goal — and this weekend is shaping up to be our best event presentation — ever!”

Steve cited an example being his Pennzoil-presented Pro Modified class category which has now reached a near record level of pre-entered cars. If those machines do in fact show – it could implement for the very first time a USDS class clause which expands the qualified field to 16 cars from 8 cars. Steve confirmed that his pre-entry list is currently flirting with that very real possibility.

Other event enhancements to watch for include momentum for the series’ Pro Sportsman category which is presented by Corriveau Concrete Forming. Expectations are that category could also reach record entries. It features not only non-qualified Top Sportsman and Top Dragster competitors — but also any legal race car on the premises that is capable of running quicker then 8.50 secs – can enter to compete.

Ontario-based drag racing proponents and Top Dragster and Top Sportsman drivers Louis Ouimette and his wife Diane Thiffeault (who are the founders and co-owners Active Collision Services (Timmins) have announced a cool new contingency applicable to the Nitro Nationals event. To create even more incentive during qualifying rounds (for Pro Mod/AFC/Outlaw 10.5,TD,TS) the best overall reaction time will earn a racer an extra $500.00. Racers in the two Junior Dragster classes will compete for $100.00.

Louis Ouimette and Diane Thiffeault – will sponsor a new RT contingency.

After hitting the track for the first time at 8:00 PM on Friday evening the NAPA USDS machines will run a total of four qualifying rounds (including three on Saturday – 2:00 – 6:00 – 8:00 PM) before entering final eliminations starting at noon on Sunday.

Posted by Bruce Biegler
Photos by Bruce Biegler & Brennan Shortall

Canadian Nitro Nationals Preview – Biggest & Best – Just Around The Corner!

For the eighth consecutive year, the Cayuga Dragway of Toronto Motorsports Park will host the Canadian Nitro Nationals at the fabled Southern Ontario dragstrip. This year’s three-day event features a colorful and exciting package of heart-pounding, ground-thumping action to help celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

Chris Darnell’s awesome triple engined “Shockwave” will make multiple runs!!

Fans will be able to experience the rare opportunity to see and hear the most powerful jet-engined truck in the world, along with the largest gathering of nitromethane-fueled Dragsters and Funny Cars in Canada.

Headlining the Nitro Nats this year will be the 36,000-horsepower Shockwave Jet Truck with its three jet engines and top speed well in excess of 250 mph. In addition, the Canadian-based Northern Warrior and Terminator jet dragsters will be competing, along with the Flashfire Dodge and Chevy pickups.

Canadian “Jet Boys” Lou Pereira and Neale Armstrong will battle head to head for bragging rights!

The show will also include an unprecedented number of nitro-burning machines, including appearances from Canadian native racers, Todd Paton, Ike Maier, and Smax Smith.  The Funny Car contingent will see the return of U.S.-based drivers Jeff Diehl, Terry Haddock and Dale “Peanut” Creasy.

Two of the nicest people in Canadian drag racing –“Independent” Ike and his wife Deb will bring their potent Top Fuel dragster operation back to Cayuga!

Running the volatile nitromethane fuel, the engines in these cars produce upwards of 10,000 horsepower and are capable of running the quarter-mile from a start in about four seconds at speeds well over 300 mph.

Along with these fastest-accelerating cars in the world, this year there will also be Nostalgia Nitro Funny Cars helping to scorch up the Cayuga quarter-mile surface.  But it doesn’t stop there. The Nitro Nats will host racing for the popular USDS Series, which features the popular Pro Modifieds, Alcohol Funny Car, Outlaw 10.5 Top Sportsman, and Top Dragster classes.

Top rated Canadian Alcohol Funny Car driver Paul Noakes will gun for the USDS Austin Apparel event title.

The area’s outrageous and super quick Outlaw 10.5 cars will be again be featured!

A full round of Cayuga Dragway Bracket racing will also compete. And to celebrate this special Canada Day, a huge fireworks display is planned for Saturday after the racing.

Adult ticket prices are $20 for Friday June 30, Saturday July 1, $60, and Sunday July 2, $50. A three-day weekend pass is available for $100. Children 15 and under are free. Camping is available on the TMP grounds starting at $30.

The Cayuga Dragway at Toronto Motorsports Park has provided racing since 1954, and is the oldest operational drag strip in Canada. The quarter-mile drag strip is just one performance venue at the Park, which also features a three-kilometer road course for auto and motorcycle competition, Dream Car  Experience, track lapping, testing, and media opportunities.

For more information visit:

Posted by Tim Miller
DragRaceCanada file photos by Bruce Biegler