Edmonton’s KD Motor Racing has evolved into an effective racing fan entity within Western Canada’s drag racing scene…..

Reg DeForest and Mike Reynolds

Reg DeForest and partner Mike Reynolds who currently run a fan favourite and supercharged 23T altered, have been laying down a lot of rubber and turning a lot of heads!

After being first introduced to NHRA drag racing back with the Capital City Hot Rod Association in the late 1980’s by his brother Keith (who then ran a pretty hot 1972 Chev Nova) driver Reg Deforest was instantly hooked. But when the unfortunate passing of Keith happened, Reg firmly decided to keep that racing spirt alive and ventured forth to continue campaigning Keith’s big block Nova until 1991 when it was sold.  But that anchored only a beginning.

It was soon after that Reg purchased a 23T altered from Al Weicks (from Calgary) — a roller that was first owned by Vern Schultz (Calgary) and then by the Beauchemin Family from Saskatchewan. Now needing a crew — it was about then that Reg first hooked up with his present day racing partner Mike Reynolds who was managing a Bumper to Bumper store on the south side of Edmonton. With some help with parts and some initial sponsorship from Bumper to Bumper, that bond began to form and eventually Mike Reynolds became a full part of the Reg’s crew. Fast forward and now some 25 years later; the KD Motor Racing (named in honour of Keith) are still diligently at it.

Mechanically, the KD Motor Racing 23T has seen quite a methamorphisis. Originally carbureted, it has since seen both alcohol injected and then supercharged motor programs. The present day machine features the handy work of some close team friends, Jim Durovick (JD Motorsports) and Ed Shappka (Castrol Raceway’s original and current starter) who were both involved in the chassis and body construction. After an unforeseen incident (up close and personal with a wall) during a 2012 Super Chevy Show in Edmonton — the car was rebuilt in time for the 2013 season (including a new chassis front half and an Advanced Chassis rear end) and that same car continues to compete today.

Reg DeForest’s aggressive driving style always does keep the fans faithful!

Reg and Mike also strategized for an interesting theme for their race car – and that decision has provided them with some great identity.

“We thought long and hard about how the paint should look,” admitted Mike Reynolds. “We agreed on the need for something that could resonate with the “old farts” but at the same time be accepted by the younger generation. And it had to stand out and be unique and stay true to nostalgia roots. Surfing the internet we came across a photo of a 1934 Ford Hot Wheels car that had the Mr. Horsepower “woodpecker” on the side. Bob Jansen of (Old Dodge Garage) acquired those drawings — and the final creation was on.”

Performance-wise, and unchained, this car is very capable of running deep into the six seconds zone and over 200 mph – as a Top Dragster class car.  However for the most part this team does target it’s competition within the various available 6.9-7.0 index racing circuits that are popular within the Western region. Power comes from a BB Chevy Dart block motor expertly prepped by Larry and Les Brown (at BEL Engines in Edmonton). That assembly features a combination of an Enderle buzzard hat, Roy Mierch intake, Ken Sitko blower and Profiler solid heads by Chad Speier. The team also employs a TSI Powerglide transmission, 3.90 gears and 34.5” M/T tires. Western Canadian tuning experts Les Davenport and Shaun Brown both provide advice for properly tuning and harnessing correctly the team’s available 2000+ HP.

Leaving the line at Saskatoon & coming to a halt at Bakersfield – last season!

The team also cites valued behind the scenes support from numerous sources. That includes fellow racer John Schmidt – who plays a significant part on the team (“a voice of reason” according to Mike) and also Hans Silberbauer who is both an electrical and machining expert. Kevin Hoyle and Dale Bristow play important roles for trackside and transportation and Reg’s wife Marj and Mike’s wife Shauna keep the home front organized so the team can hit the road.

When not racing, as professions, Reg is a job planner contracted to the power utility industry while Mike is now the Canadian Director of Sales for Haws, a large safety company.

Reg DeForest’s dedication to drag racing in Western Canada is impressive!

“When we go racing — our main focus is being competitive within nostalgia racing classes,” Mike summed up. “We continue to have a lot of fun doing this but we try to keep our racing easy and safe as well as our cost for racing in check. We like our roles of being crowd favourites both at and away from the racetrack. We do show the car a lot and try to be ambassadors for the sport.”

Posted with files by Bruce Biegler & Mike Reynolds
Photos by Bruce Biegler & Dave DeAngelis