An extremely well-crafted creation is the latest story line from a very dedicated and seasoned Canadian drag racer….

During the latter part of the 2021 racing season, fans in Southern Ontario did get their first glimpse of a very impressive new Super Stocker, fielded for the first time by the father and son team of George and Mike Kreiger.

Delayed from it’s original timeline — primarily a consequence of the pandemic — this Belle River Ontario-based operation were finally able to make their initial laps with a 1971 model Chevy Vega – and lets just say that the extra wait was well worth it! 

Mike & George Kreiger

“Originally the Vega was ready to come home from the body shop just about when COVID hit and the borders got shut down for non-essential travel,” revealed Mike Krieger. “That was frustrating, with every extension made to the closures, it put Dad further behind his objectives, including one being for getting the car down the track prior to his 70th birthday.  But as time went on and the car was shipped home and assembled — a new goal was then put in place — for Dad to make a pass in the car while still 70 years old.   That goal was met in late September of 2021 at Cayuga for the last Can/Am Stock/Super Stock race of the season.”

George’s Krieger’s immaculate new Super Stock Chevy Vega made it’s maiden hits late last summer at Cayuga Dragway.

In fact when George did make those laps — it was his return to the drag strip surface for the first time as a driver in nearly 10 years.  It also marked his first experience driving a EFI configuration car and despite that the end results included a very rewarding and best time of 9.71 secs at 138 mph.

“With a lot of great help from Pete Beauregard (from Michigan) and Pierce Jones (Chatham ON), Dad and I were able to navigate our way through the Holley software to get a base tune and make four test passes on that weekend,” Mike revealed.   “To say we were pleased with that initial outcome is an understatement.  It was gratifying after all the hard work to receive that kind justification for doing this build.  Dad did want to thank a lot of people for their help and friendship over the years — (names including) — Barrie Poole, Paul Mercure, Mike Pustelney, Steve Novosel, Al and Chris Lozon, Tim Ferguson, Doug Box, Todd and Bryce Welsh, Larry O’Brien and the Listowel Crew.” 

But while George’s return to the drag strip with this Vega is a significant story within its own right — it is also very much just the latest chapter from within his serious longevithy for participation within Canadian drag racing.

The DNA for all that started with some street racing on the county roads of Perth County, Ontario, Canada in the mid 60’s.   That proved to be the spark to his obsession and soon after getting out of school his main mission was to buy into a series of fast cars, beginning with big block Chevy Novas and including even a 427 Chevy Biscayne.  By the mid 70’s (while seeing the likes of Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins’ Pro Stock Vega) George set his sights to built a big-tired Vega for ET racing.  Although still on a shoe string budget — a 1973 Vega GT was constructed — his first purpose built drag car, a low 11-seconds runner, circa 1979 at Cayuga Dragway.

George’s next project inspiration came from seeing Larry Kopp’s then Modified eliminator Malibu at Indy’s NHRA US Nationals.  After looking for a year or two he found his own 1980 Malibu sitting on a used car lot in Leamington Ontario.  After building up that machine to a Pro Street style car, while being a member of the Comancheros Car Club, he would race the Malibu until the summer of 1989 (before selling it to Bryan Gilmore from Mississauga).

George Kreiger raced this high flying 1980 Malibu for close to 10 seasons.

Then in conjunction with his good friend John Waldie (Stratford Motor Products and also Pro Stock racers Jerry Eckman and Bill Orndorff) George did evolve for a time into a 1990 Outlaw Pro Stock Firebird – which was completed in 1991.  That car which ran 8.0 secs using a Sam Gianinio built 540 CID motor and a 4-speed Lenco transmission was eventually sold off to the Paone Brothers in 1992.

Kreiger drove this Outlaw PS Firebird for a couple seasons – before it was sold to the Paone Brothers

In 1993 George did some NMCA style racing – after buying what would be his 4th model,1969 Nova.  With help from Barrie Poole (who was racing Top Stock at the time) the Nova went through a full restoration and it was raced in Top Stock trim for the 1994-95 seasons.  Following some NMCA rule changes, and with some advice and guidance from racing legend, Paul “Checkmate” Mecure, the Nova was then switched over to legal B/S NHRA stocker.  It was during that time that George first started racing within the Can/Am Stock/Super Stock Association here in Ontario.

One of four different BBC Novas!

But as racing fate and fortune would have it — George sold off the B/S Nova and then made the move to reacquire his 1980 Malibu that he had previously sold.

“As luck would have it, just a week after the Nova left, the Malibu which was completed in the same garage 15 years earlier was back parked there,” Mike reflected.  “Between 2000 and 2002 he went through the car and also added a new engine combination (referred to as “Old Smokey”), which was a 427 oval port Super Stock motor.”

With that combo, 2003 proved to be one of George Kreiger’s best years of racing, including a Can-Am Stock/SS series Labour Day weekend win (at Cayuga) and a runner-up finish in final championship season points to Tim Ferguson (Amherstburg ON).

In 2012, following retirement after 40 years from Hydro One, George dabbled about 5 seasons racing Ice Oval snowmobiles, before the idea cropped up again that it was time to build another race car.  After son Mike made a casual offhand comment about “building another Vega” – things were again set into motion.

Their quest to find a clean 1971-1973 Chevrolet Vega hatchback was on and eventually they located their newest Vega from New Hampshire in 2017.  George then decided to task long-time friend and highly reputed Mike Pustelney of MPR race cars (Almont MI) for the build – which commenced in 2018.  Dave Kelsey (MPR) built the frame and cage. Before the car would come back over into Ontario, Tom “Muskie” Stiel did custom stainless headers, and Bill “Elvis” Stull (Kuzins Kustom Paint and Body in Wisconsin) did the Vega’s spectacular paint and body work.

And thus in the immortal words of radio icon Paul Harvey ….. “and now for the rest of the story”….

Posted by Bruce Biegler & Mike Krieger

Photos by Bruce Biegler & Courtesy of Krieger Racing 

Another unique team side project! >> Mike Krieger’s Hemi powered 1970 A-100 Fargo which was inspired by Mopar wheelstander legend Bob Riggle.