TNT Series Boasts 3rd Canadian Winner

Chris Van Baalen became the 3rd Canadian to win on the 2012 TNT Super Series tour following a big win at that series’ stop in Lancaster NY last weekend…

 “I wanted to get an entry into that September race and now I got one!” said Wellandport Ontario’s Chris Van Baalen after winning his first event in the Joe’s Transmission TNT Super Series.  Dunn Tire Raceway Park hosted the popular sportsman drag racing series last Friday with 31 cars coming through the gates.

Scott Jahren Paint presented the mid-season event at a track where winning doesn’t come easy and in a season where the average TNTSS car count is exceeding 28 cars.

In the first qualifying session, Chris sat atop the field with a 7.018 but was pushed back to sixth in the second session – even though he ran a better 7.011.

Round one had him up against recent Skyview Pro Am winner Jerry Stoutenberg where he took a .007 margin of victory running 7.004 to Jerry’s 7.005.  Then he missed the tree in round two but the car saved him from Jeff Kerl by running dead on 7.007 and a close .011 MOV.

Gary Stowell took the stripe in round three by .012 but went too fast doing it with a 6.985 trying to catch Chris’ .512 light and 7.008 package.

Winner - Chris VanBaalen

In the semi’s, Chris bettered Roy Brockway on the tree by .006 and took the win light in a double breakout 6.996 to 6.986.  That set Chris up to face Welland Ontario’s Roy Lister in the final for the highly coveted TNTSS win which included $700 and a bunch of contingency.

When Roy missed the tree (.533 to .578), his dead on 9 run wasn’t enough as Chris coasted through with a 7.021, taking the event win and earning himself a spot in the 2012 Performance Improvements TNTSS Race of Champions.

“I have to thank my parents, Pete and Sherri Van Baalen.  If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be out here,” said Chris.  “My dad helps out a ton.” 

Support for Chris’ racing effort includes help from Matt & Sherry Devries at Matt’s Auto Service in Bismarck.  “I’ve wanted to get in that ROC so bad and finally we’re there.  I have to thank Joe Boniferro (TNTSS title sponsor) and Scott Jahren (event sponsor) for making this series and the awesome payouts possible,” added Chris.

“My lights weren’t great all night long but the car pulled me through.  Funny thing was I forgot my weather station and log book at home.  We had to call my brother to figure out where to start with the throttle stop setting.”

Chris’ 1986 Monte Carlo SS is no stranger to hot rod competition.  His dad Pete drove the car for years in both bracket and hot rod trim but sold it around 2003.  Chris raced a Mustang for a few years but when he got wind the Monte Carlo was looking for a new home in 2010 – 8 years later – he didn’t hesitate to get it back in the family.  Powered by a 509 cid Chevrolet running on pump gas, the very black Monte Carlo was extremely consistent all night long, running dead on the index three times in eliminations.

This is the second final round for Chris in 2012, moving him to within four points of the lead.  “And if you think qualifying points don’t mean much,” said Ted Barnes TNTSS Director, “here’s a case where they could mean the difference between a championship and a number two spot!”

Specialty Awards

  • Hoosier Tire Canada $100 certificate– Number One Qualifier
    • Gary Saska (Ingersoll, Ontario) with a 7.001
  • J&S Collision $50 – Closest to the Index (1st Round Loser)
    • Jerry Stoutenberg (Rush, NY) with a 7.005
  • Dunn Tire Raceway Park FREE PASS – Best Reaction Time (1st Round Loser)
    • Mark Herbold (Elma, NY) with a .502

The IHRA Nitro Jam at Grand Bend, Ontario is the next stop on the 2012 Joe’s Transmission TNT Super Series schedule.  Friday July 20th will see a $1000/win TNTSS event presented by Rosehill Auction House.  Visit for full details. 

2012 Joe’s Transmission TNTSS Points Standings – After 6 of 13

1 Jon Jablonski 410
2 Chris
Van Baalen
Van Baalen
3 Harry Phelps 378
4 David Surmatchewski 377
5 Tom Coonly 370
6 Larry Pulver 358
7 Mark Herbold 351
8 Paul Young 351
9 Gary Saska 340
10 Jeff

About the Joe’s Transmission TNT Super Series (TNTSS):

Since it began in 2006, the TNT Super Series has grown into one of the strongest, most competitive sportsman drag racing series in North America and has catapulted many competitors to success on the national and divisional stages.

The TNTSS is a self-governing organization with input from its teams.  Based on NHRA’s Super Street & IHRA’s Hot Rod classes, competitors run on a 10.90 index in the 1/4 mile (7.00 in the 1/8 mile) and race for a guaranteed purse that pays back more than 100% of the racer’s entry fees.  The yearend points fund pays the top five finishers and the Series Champion receives a prize package worth over $3500.00.

The TNTSS is committed to providing the highest level of competition backed by solid media support to showcase its participants across North America.  Events are contested at various drag racing facilities in southern Ontario and western New York and put on a spectacular show for the drag racing fan.

About Joe’s Transmission

Joe Boniferro has owned and operated Joe’s Transmission Service in Niagara Falls, Ontario since 1984.  From the original single bay location, the business has progressed to a six bay, five employee automotive complex on Arthur Street.  The two storey building houses Joe’s Transmission (Commercial, Fleet and Performance Divisions) and Al’s Radiator Service.  They sell and install aftermarket high performance parts and accessories.  As a Firestone Dealer they sell and install drag racing tires.  Their specialty is building and repairing high performance transmissions.  Contact Joe and his team at (905) 374-6116 or visit them online at .

Posted by:  Lewis Robinson – Photo by:  Ted Barnes