Rookie to Make TF Debut at IHRA Canadian Events

Kyle Wurtzel to make Top Fuel debut at Canadian Nitro Jam events — will be guided by two former Top Fuel Champions… 

With the help of past IHRA Nitro Jam Top Fuel world champions Bruce Litton and Bobby Lagana Jr., Indiana native Kyle Wurtzel will finally realize his lifelong dream of competing in Top Fuel at the upcoming Canadian Nitro Jam national events June 24-26 at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton and July 16-17 at the Grand Bend Motorplex in Grand Bend.

Wurtzel, a former nostalgia Nitro Funny Car competitor, made the switch to Top Fuel in 2010 when he purchased one of Litton’s dragsters and then received his Top Fuel license later that year. Now, after a year of preparation and with the backing of two former world champions, Wurtzel is ready to make his official Top Fuel debut beginning at the Mopar Rocky Mountain Nitro Jam Nationals in Edmonton next weekend.

Top Fuel class newcomer Kyle Wurtzel

“The KWR racing team is overwhelmed with excitement and ready to mix it up with past world champions,” Wurtzel said. “To get an opportunity to run against these legends is unbelievable, but to have these two guys help me along in my Top Fuel career is a dream come true.

“You won’t find two better families in the racing world, but I still know that when the tree drops they will be ready to tear me apart. We will be on our toes and, as a newbie Top Fuel team, I think we can hold our own.”

Wurtzel will be one of four Top Fuel competitors at the upcoming Canadian Nitro Jam events and will receive assistance from both Litton and Lagana’s Top Fuel teams.

“Kyle is quite an experienced racer in nostalgia Funny Car and he has got good equipment and with my team overseeing it I think he will do quite well,” Litton said.

Wurtzel began his nitro racing career in 2005 behind the wheel of the “Nitro Pony” and “Motown Shaker” nostalgia Nitro Funny Cars where he was the second car in the Midwest to break the five-second barrier.

After five years as a driver, owner and crew chief for his car and other racing operations, Wurtzel finally decided to take the next step and move up to Top Fuel at the beginning of 2010 when he purchased one of Litton’s Top Fuel machines, the same car Kenny Bernstein drove to a championship with the NHRA in 2001

Now Wurtzel hopes that, with a championship winning car and the backing of two former champions, he will be able to move quickly through the ranks, hopefully leading to his first IHRA Nitro Jam Ironman at one of the two Canadian events.

“I bought the car in the summer of 2009 from Bruce Litton and his crew chief Mike Wolfarth helped me put it together and put the tuneup in the car for our debut in 2010,” Wurtzel said. “With the help of Mike, Bruce, Bobby and Dom Lagana and Sonny Nemitz, I was able to get my license right away and have made a few runs in the car since then. I really look forward to making our big debut coming up in Edmonton.”

Wurtzel will be joined by former Top Fuel champions Lagana and Litton, along with longtime Top Fuel competitor Mike Strasburg, at the Mopar Rocky Mountain Nitro Jam Nationals at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton June 24-26 and will race the championship pair once again at the Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals at the Grand Bend Motorplex July 16-17 with the fourth car being fellow newcomer Ike Maier driving with Barry Paton’s Canadian-based Top Fuel team.

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