The hockey term “no puck luck” somehow seems very apt upon review of the first Napa Ultimate Showdown event of the season…

A much anticipated start for season three for the potential ridden Eastern Canadian drag racing series was unfortunately full of challenges.

Despite extensive pre-event planning, including a very high emphasis on track prep (that included Ralph Mabrier – from Kurt Johnson’s Total Venue Concepts), the harsh reality was that season race #1 for 2017 was dealt a poor hand.   A very un-cooperative mother nature ultimately had other ideas for the event’s fate.

Racers were met with very high winds and cold track temperatures during Saturday’s qualifying schedule. That combined with some significant delays due to a flurry of on-track incidents (see below*) resulted in a trying day for all concerned.

Napa Ultimate Showdowns and Cayuga Dragway officials did attempt to compensate for the conditions by shifting the event to a 1/8th mile format however even that could not bring qualifying to it’s scheduled conclusion.

Then on Sunday, after waiting out a long morning track drying process, untimely precipitation returned just prior to the scheduled start for round one of competition, forcing an event cancellation. Plans to complete this event are being drawn up and details will be announced at a later date.

For the first time in Napa USDS history – Alcohol Funny Cars went down the track!

Despite the obvious setbacks, there were for sure some positives to take away. That included a pretty solid debut for the area’s Alcohol Funny Car class category contenders who now (thanks to sponsor Austin Apparel) have a firm and dedicated local circuit to go and race at. Tyler Scott, the driver for Larry Dobbs’ “Kardiac Kids” Chevy Camaro paced a field of six cars entered (so far) with a 3.854 secs best 1/8th mile run.

Inaugural (2015 season) NAPA USDS champion Robbie Atchison qualified his Corvette #1 in Pennzoil Pro Mod.

The Pro Modified class (presented by Pennzoil) drew in 10 cars and that field saw London’s Robbie Atchison grab the #1 with his supercharged ’63 Corvette at 3.985 secs. Other pole sitters included Quebec’s Sylvain Nadon in his mountain-motor Mustang (Wiseco Top Sportsman), Tony Positano’s supercharged car in (Samson Top Dragster), Tony “the Barber” Pontieri  (Billy Braggs/Bullseye Power Outlaw 10.5) and Brooklyn Noakes (Junior Dragster).

Quebec’s Sylvain Nadon set the pace in Wiseco TS at 4.426 secs.

The Victoria Day Weekend feature race included the (first season appearance) for Can/Am Stock/Super Stock Series drivers and  the latest action for the track’s very own “Race Cayuga” Sportsman Series.  Added attraction runs from Neale Armstrong’s “Northern Warrior” Jet Dragster and some licensing Top Fuel runs by Audrey Worm also occurred.

The cars from Eastern Canada’s marquee popular Can-Am Stock/SS circuit made their first appearance of the 2017 season.

Check out the event’s very extensive official photo gallery: HERE

*17-year old Cristina Johnston was involved in one of a number of incidents – see separate commentary – HERE

Post by Bruce Biegler

Photos by Bruce Biegler & Brennan Shortall