NOTE: Click on the thumbnails to display the full-size images
Friday's Photo Gallery
We start today's proceedings with a super-miniature pit vehicle in the form of a '55 Chevy Nomad (or something like that) on the left and Brent Harris's awesome Fontana-powered '33 Willys Pro Nostalgia Funny Car on the right.
Here's two more looks, with a closeup of the engine on the left and the ever-popular 3/4-rear view on the right. By the way, this car is running in the 6's now on a 99-inch wheelbase. Scary or what?
As we take our leave from Mr. Harris, there's time to snap a low-angle shot from the front of the car, before we start going through the Pro Mod pits, starting with Dan Vogt's somewhat battle-scarred '63 Corvette.
Coming literally out of nowhere, with nowhere in this instance being defined as Maple Valley, WA is Yvonne Lucas, a rookie in this class, but hot off a strong performance (6.46 - 217) at Mission Raceway last week. Here's two pics of her car, with more to come I'm sure. By the way, that's 736 cubes of Gene Fulton power in the photo on the right.
Moving to the other side of the road, we enter the Pro Fuel pits of Doug Doucette (Scott Murray driving) where he's discussing tuneup strategy with the Automan, Bob Ottow. In the right pic, Ottow is the taller gentleman on the left side of the picture and Doucette has his back to the camera.
Before we take our leave from the Doucette pit area, here's two more shots of the crew hard at work preparing the car.
One pit over is the Pro Fuel car of returning local racer Keith Falconer. He's been trying various ideas with his car in the past few years, even running in the Top Fuel class at one point, but he's back to basics this weekend with no clutch management, no nitrous and plain old 100% nitro in the tank. He admits that he's a month behind in his prep, but he's going to give it his best shot.
Two more shots of Falconer's car, one the long view and finally, Keith himself working on the engine.
One more spot down the road is the Ed Verenka Pro Fuel pit area. He was entered in Top Fuel, but apparently a protest by one of the "real" T/F racers caused him to be moved down to the Pro Fuel (injected nitro) class. Here the crew works on the car on the left, and moving in a little closer we can see them still working in the pic on the right.
One more view of the Verenka car before we move on to flopperland, starting with the starkly white body of Winnipeg's Scott McVey, trying to pick up a little bit of a tan before being mounted on the chassis.
Here's the results of a bad weekend at Mission Raceway last month for the Sitko Family team, when after a career best pass, the rods came out of this block on the starting line. At least it's a candidate for repair.
On the left we've got Ken Sitko working on son Nathan's funny car, while we move up/down to the nitro nostalgia pits starting with a "first time in Edmonton" racer, Steve Nichols with his "Mill Road Boys" car.
Here's the Mill Road Boys Camaro from the front and a pic of the engine - Chevrolet all the way.
Here's the Mark Sanders "Mr. Explosive" nitro Nova from the front and rear. He won last weekend at the Salt Lake City Nitro Jam and is looking to repeat here at Castrol Raceway.
Two very different cars here, with one common denominator: nitro. On the left, it's Edmontonian Jay Mageau's "Prospector" prostalgia funny car, while on the right is Minnesota's Jeff Hamelink unloading his Pro Fuel dragster.
Attracted by the sound and smell of nitro, we check out Tim Nemeth and crew warming up the "Iceman" while safely breathing through their gasmasks. On the other side of their trailer the "Tachman" Mustang funny car sits sans body.
The short and the long of it, with the body of the "Tachman" funny car of Andy Beauchemin sitting aside while Jeff Hamelink and crew unload their Pro Fuel dragster.
Trying to imitate a "push me - pull you" one of Jeff Hamelink's crewmembers tries to pull the car back while everyone else is pushing forward during the parking process. To the right, the crew of Spencer Massey's Top Fuel car work to prepare it.
While they share the same pit space in the Mitch King encampment, the Del Cox Jr.-driven fueler sits waiting for the crew to give it a look-see. Across the road, and still burning nitro, is the much shorter fuel coupe of Edmonton's Jason Duchene.
Next to Duchene's pit area is the Tim Boychuk-driven, Paton family-owned Top Fuel dragster. This will be the first appearance of the year for the car and the driver (in a top fuel car). The crew is working hard to knock the rust off their combination and get the car ready for the first round tonight.
Here's the other car that Boychuk drives; the Troy Lee designs Firebird Prostalgia funny car. In the right side pic, the crew is prepping it for battle tonight.
Heading down to the end of the funny car row, we get a closer look at the Chevy powerplant in Steve Nichol's "Mill Road Boys" prostalgia funny car. Carrying on with the Chevrolet theme is the Eddy Plazier '37 Chevy flopper, powered, appropriately enough, by another Chevy engine.
Looking at the Plazier car from the other end, the unique '37 Chevy flopper looks good in the ACE racing team paint. And a very sudden gear change finds us trackside to see Calgarian Gary Gummow try to launch his '63 Corvette Top Sportsman car. It's still having problems off the line though it runs well enough on the big end.
Looks like this will be the only on track action shot we get for a while, as Gary Gummow lights up the tires on his burnout prior to another troubled low 8-second pass at 171 mph. And on the right we've got a Vette of a completely different stripe as we snap a shot of Jay Mageau's streeter "Mr. Quick" Corvette.
Looks like a pretty serious blown alky engine, doesn't it? Wonder what sort of chassis it's sitting in, don't you? Check it out: mid-60's Ford Fairline that's run in the mid -7's with some pretty big speeds. Insane or what?
Here's the wide-angle view of the car, looking for all the world like a worked over streeter, except with that big honking blown alky motor for power. And the strangeness continues as we spot what may be the first nostalgia junior funny car.
We're not really sure of too many of the details surrounding these two cars, except they are both owned by John Childs. The '37 Chev is a 6-second running Top Sportsman, but I'm not sure of what the Funny Car deal is. Maybe we can dig up some info tomorrow.
Just in case the words on the report and what's new pages weren't enough to convince you, here's photographic proof that we're definitely done for the night. The pictures were taken through the windows in the timing tower, hence the splotchy appearance.
That's it from the first day of qualifying from the IHRA Rocky Mountain Nationals