In early October Eastern Ontario’s Shannonville Motorsport Park hosted the 7th Annual Jim Parkhurst Memorial weekend….

That race weekend (Oct. 6-8th) is a race known as the place to be for a good time lived up to its reputation as it continued to commemorate the memory of Eastern Canadian drag racing proponent Jim Parkhurst.

Jim Parkhurst (centre) was the patriarch for a multi-car drag racing team which remains highly active within Eastern Canada still. (this image is from St. Thomas Dragway in 2000).

Friday night started off with a great turn out which saw the pits filling up late into the evening, despite a wet forecast for the weekend.

If you woke up around 6 AM and looked outside you would have seen a dry race track waiting to be used! But soon after that the rain came and started to make the day look gloom. With optimism from track staff and racers, and help from the rain stopping and sun coming out, we were on the track around 1:30. This race weekend holds a special place in may competitors hearts as this is the one and only time a year where you are racing for the coveted “Jimmy” trophy. Around 7 PM we wrapped up the finals in an excellently run event to complete the race.

Jim Parkhurst’s grandson Nathan Hoskin put his Junior Dragster in the winner’s circle!

Jimmy’s started getting handed out to our champions, Junior Open was Raiden Steane. Our Nostalgia winner Stuart Mackenzie travelled down from Sudbury to have a great weekend. Jim Parkhurst’s grandson Nathan Hoskin put his Junior Dragster in the winner’s circle to pick up his grandfathers trophy. And the biggest story came from the Chatwood Racing Team as Julie took home the street class, Papa John won the Sportsman category, and Jason who created the Jimmy trophy picked up the win in Super Pro!

Jason Chatswood’s win racing this ex FJ Smith Oldsmobile was one of three wins for the Chatwood Racing Team during the racing weekend

The race was followed by a celebration for John Chatwood put on by Cannifton Garage for his retirement after 48 years of service!

Sunday morning came and it was a windy one. This was one more thing threw into the mix to challenge these racers. But that made it all more fun! A beautiful day to have a race car finished off with Trevor Connell turning on the last winlight in Junior Open. Nathan Hoskin picked up his second Jimmy in a row as he also sealed the deal to win the SMP Drags Junior Dragster Championship. Nostalgia saw Roy Hopkins add to his collection of winner circle photos. Merv Shannik on his snowmobile picked up his second Jimmy of his racing career. And last but not least Jamie Bridge turned on the final winlight of the 2017 SMP Drags Series in Super Pro.

Sunday’s Super Pro winner – Jamie Bridge

The Junior Banquet Sunday night is a tradition Jim Parkhurst loved, he loved to support the future of drag racing and all of their accomplishments. This is what it is about, the family and the party. Winning races was not a priority of Jim’s, it was having the most fun that you can have on a weekend with people who become closer than just people you meet at the track, they become family. This is why we celebrate his life every year to finish off our season, his memory reminds us of what this is all about and why we do what we do.

“Thinking of Blue Skies and Green Lights”

Posted by Brandon Barker

Photos by Brennan Shortall & DragRaceCanada archives