NOTE: Click on the thumbnails to display the full-size images
Sunday's Photo Gallery
The old saying about the fat lady definitely doesn't apply here, as it "isn't started until the slim lady sings" as Michelle and IHRA President Aaron Polburn stand with the rather thin (at this point) Sunday crowd to hear the anthems sung. Kicking off the proceedings with a big honkin' burnout is Pro Nostalgia racer Darrell Webb.
After the burnout comes the launch, and here's Darrell Webb doing it on his first round bye run. Burning out (before breaking) on the right is Alaska's Ted Queen in his '63 Vette.
Oops, looks like he didn't exactly break ON the burnout, AFTER would be more correct. In any event, Mr. Queen didn't make it to the starting line to face Cody Anstead, seen here launching in the far lane.
Side-by-side smoky burnouts, with Troy Sitko driving the "Happy Hour" '71 Mustang in the near lane, and Cory Kincaid just visible in his '55 Chev in the far lane. On the right side of the column, Kincaid backs up after his tire heater.
Blazing the hides to another half-track burnout is Corey Sekura in the team's '82 Trans-Am, while the cowbell girl looks a little forlorn ringing her bells in front of a half-empty grandstand.
You can almost hear the "Yee-hah!" coming out of the cockpit as Corey Sekura brings the wheels up on the launch. Wheelies must be catching as Joey Steckler duplicates the feat in his '69 Corvette.
Ron Sekura backs up before taking a single in the final pairing of the round (opponent Cory Kincaid was shut off behind the line) and doesn't break out with a 7.03 pass (on a 6.99 index) at nearly 203 mph. Then it's time to switch gears again with the West Coast Pro Mods coming out for their first round of eliminations. Leading things off is Tim Vogt in his '94 Corvette.
In the second pairing of the round, one of the most photogenic cars in the field comes out: Yvonne Lucas in her gorgeous '68 Camaro. She cuts an almost perfect (.001) light, and holds off Tommy Johanns to the 330 ft. mark before fading to a 6.53 - 206 mph losing clocking.
Here's a couple of first round opponents: Tommy Johanns on the left and Yvonne Lucas on the right. Johanns picked up nearly three tenths from his qualifying number and beat Lucas by three car lengths, 6.34 to 6.53.
Another first round matchup, with Dan Vogt on the left in the '63 Corvette and Perry Krinitt on the right in his '51 Chev. Vogt took the win with a 6.56 to Krinitt's 6.72.
On the left is Dan Vogt launching on his way to the first round victory, while Rick Di Stefano lays down a hard burnout on the right side pic.
Di Stefano pulls into the stage beams as his crewman turns on the onboard computer, while on the left side we've got his opponent, Ross Hogenson, leaving late and running a 6.51 to Rickie "D"s winning 6.20 pass.
Moving on up to the next class, it's time for the first round of Alcohol Funny Car, with Nathan Sitko on the left and Rob Atchison on the right.
Despite holding lane choice, Nathan Sitko shook and went sideways, giving the victory to an excellent 5.75 - 250.74 mph pass by Atchison.
Next out of the lanes was low qualifier Roger Bateman on a bye run due to the seven-car field and nearly matching his low e.t. 5.70 with a first round 5.75 at only 244 mph. And in case you're wondering: yes, that's a 2010 Mustang body on the car.
In a real David vs. Goliath battle, the #2 qualifier, Ken Webster in the SynOil car, takes on Jay Childs with lane choice by nearly half a second. The result of this match was pretty predictable, as Webster took no prisoners, with a 5.85 to 6.36 verdict over Childs.
The last pairing of the first round brought local favourite John Evanchuk (left side) out against Winnipeg's Scott McVey (right side). In the closest race of the round, Evanchuk took out McVey's 5.97 with a very good 5.83 pass, and gained lane choice against Webster in the semi-final.
With the first round of the alcohol funny cars over, there was just enough time to check out the nitro pits and staging lanes before the "big dogs" started to bark. First to come into sight was the Tim Boychuk-driven Paton Racing Top Fuel Dragster. As you can see, it's a very tight fit manouevering these beasts around the pit area.
One space down on pit road was the Lagana Family Top Fuel car. Another series of push me - pull you gyrations managed to get the car out and on the way to the staging lanes.
While the crew sweats and strains on the left side, patriarch and east coast legend Bobby Lagana (Sr.) stands waiting for some more help in the right side picture.
Up behind the starting line, a group of other legendary racers gathered before the storm. In the left side photo we've got (from left to right) Paul Smith, Roland Leong and sitting on the rail, Terry Capp. The right side pic shows Leong (tuning the Boychuk Prostalgia nitro flopper) making a point with Smith who's tuning both Mitch King Top Fuel cars (driven by Spencer Massey and Del Cox Jr.).
In the staging lanes we've got a host (well all six anyway) of fuelers, with (on the left) Spencer Massey and Bruce Litton and (on the right) the Tim Boychuk-driven Paton Racing dragster.
The "ringer" in the Top Fuel field is local nitro flopper pilot Jason Duchene in his Castrol sponsored "Trial 'n Error" Firebird. The new chassis and nearly new body this season has them primed to make the next step forward with their racing program.
Looking long and lean and mean is the Top Fuel car of Bobby Lagana Jr. (left) and on the right are the Del Cox Jr. car on the left and Lagana on the right.
Leaning on the roll cage on the right side of the car (left side picture) is car owner Mitch King. And in what appears to be a scene straight out of Spokane Valley, Washington, there's a gathering of Sherrif's cars in the hot car pits.
While the Paton Racing team work at strapping Tim Boychuk into the car, the Spencer Massey crew get ready to bolt him in their car.
Finally time to make some serious noise, as Bruce Litton starts things off with a big burnout on the left side, while to the right we've got Del Cox Jr.'s backup girl jogging him into position after his burnout.
While Litton's crewmember guides him back on the left side, the Cox backup girl waits for Del to move forward into the beams.
Then it's time to bring Litton forward to the starting line, before he leaves hard. Too hrad, in fact, as he's up in smoke (again) before half track.
In a strange matchup that has only one similarity between the contestants (they both hail from Alberta), Tim Boychuk burns out in the Patron Racing car (on the left) while Jason Duchene performs his tire-heater on the right side.
Here's the one-off view of a fuel funny car and fuel dragster backing up side-by-side after their burnouts, while Duchene takes center stage in our right-hand pic.
Two more pics of the "odd couple" pairing, as Duchene and Boychuk stage, then leave together and stay that way until half track when the Firebird breaks traction and Boychuk motors on to winners circle.
Bobby Lagana comes up next and lays down a patented smoker, while on the other side of the page, his opponent Spencer Massey gets on it too.
Dual backup shots next, as both cars, Massey on the left and Lagana on the right work their way back to the starting line.
Our last shot of this first round of Top Fuel competition shows Lagana leaving strongly enroute to a low e.t. of the round 5.12, easily covering Spencer Massey's tire-smoking effort, to move into the championship round this afternoon. On the left side of the page, the first Pro Fuel dragster of the day, Jeff Hamelink, starts his big burnout.
A tale of two backups: Jeff Hamelink with his state of the art Hadman car on the left, while local racer Keith Falconer guides his homebuilt "Phoenix" entry back prior to its first run of the day.
A pair of pics of the protagonists, with Falconer staging on the left and Hamelink leaving on the left. The "race" didn't really materialize though, as Falconer left before the tree was activated, and Hamelink hazed the tires to a 6-second clocking.
Last night's Pro Fuel winner, in her Blown Alcohol dragster, Ashley Bart burns out then backs up before staging up against fellow "fill-in" Greg Sereda in his similarly motivated (ie: blown alky) car.
On the left, Bart launches with the wheels up slightly and lays down a great pass at 5.60 - 258.71 to easily handle Sereda's 5.75 at 248 mph. Her tenth of a second quicker leave didn't hurt either. On the left side column is Tim Nemeth leading the Prostalgia Funny Car charge with his burnout.
The first pair of the first round of Prostalgia today features Tim Nemeth (on the left) and Steve Nichols (on the right) getting ready to rumble in this pair o' pics.
Moving to the next pairing, which is actually a solo run (due to the 7-car field), Tim Boychuk burns out and backs up in the "Troy Lee Designs" Firebird.
Pulling into stage under the guidance of nitro guru Roland Leong, Boychuk readies himself to break the track speed record with a 246 mph clocking, and probably earns himself a championship round ticket with the 5.90 e.t. on the pass. Next out of the lanes on the left is "Mr. Explosive" Mark Sanders who blazes a path past the starting line before his race against Andy Beauchemin.
Both competitors, Sanders on the left and Beauchemin on the right, back up before their match.
Sanders leaves with the wheels up and nearly matches strides with Beauchemin, holeshotting the Tachman car by .029 second but faling just over a hundredth of a second short at the finish line, 6.013 - 245.76 to Beauchemin's winning 5.968 - 234.78 lap. On the right side we've got Todd Losenko's "Jolly Rogers" car melting the hides before his race with fellow Edmontonian Jay Mageau.
Both cars get their reverse gears working, with Mageau bringing his '78 Corvette back on the left and Losenko backing up his '70 Camaro on the right.
Forward now as Mageau and Losenko stage up before blasting to 6.17 - 228.81 (career best e.t. for Mageau) and 6.03 - 241.93 passes (for Losenko).
Despite the lack of any competitive times over the weekend, Alaska's Ted Queen is still here (as an alternate for a broken 1st rouund no-show) and ready to "race" Cody Anstead. Queen finally defrosts his "Frozen Assets" 'Vette to the tune of a 7.710 - 174.75 mph pass, but still lost to Anstead by nearly a quarter second. At least they hit the long road home with one decent pass under their belts.
The second (and last) pair of this round of eliminations, Cory Kincaid (seen burning out on the left) and Darell Webb (backing up on the right) prepare to meet.
As can be seen in the left-side pic, Kincaid is being pushed back after the burnout, ending his weekend and allowing Webb to move uncontested into the final with a solid 7.32 - 180 mph pass. This latest bit of breakage for Kincaid punctuated his "two weekends in hell" as he had a series of small, but crippling, issues hamper his efforts in Calgary last weekend and Edmonton this week. Moving forward to the Pro Nostalgia A field, Brent Harris starts his burnout in this right-side photo.
Harris stages his '33 Willys (near lane) against Joey Steckler's '69 Corvette (far lane) in the left pic, and leaves strongly in the right pic.
The Sekura brothers meet up once more as Ron blazes the tires with another full throttle (check out the full-size image) burnout, then backs up at near warp speed to face his sibling on the starting line.
The Brothers "S" stage up before engaging in a very entertaining side-by-side 6-second battle. Winner Ron broke out by two hundredths, but younger brother Corey did the dirty deed by nearly two tenths, trying to make up for a tardy (.185) light. The nostalgia flopper race of the meet and worth it just to see the celebration(s) by the winning and losing teams. Then it's onward and upward to the Pro Mods with Joe Delehay starting the semi-final round for that breed with a strong burnout.
Delehay brings his low-qualifying car back to the line in the near lane (left pic) then stages carefully to face fellow Calgarian Rick Di Stefano who laid down a low e.t. of the meet 6.20 in the first round earlier today.
On the left side we see Delehay leaving hard before he shakes himself nearly to pieces, shutting off almost immediately and handing the easy win to Di Stefano's somewhat snaky 6.46 pass into the final. On the right we see Tommy Johann's sharp looking '53 Vette backing up before facing Dan Vogt in the other semi-final.
We turn our focus to the near lane now where Dan Vogt readies to face Johanns, then leaves - very late I might add - second by two tenths of a second and then runs two tenths slower to really lose the race at both ends of the track by a very wide margin. Johanns does run an excellent 6.31 at 223 mph to take lane choice over Di Stefano for the final round.
Pumping up the volume once again, it's Alcohol Funny Car time, as Ken Webster burns out and backs up before his match against John Evanchuk.
Evanchuk moves slowly into the staging lights as a crewman prepares to arm the onboard computer before facing Webster, who's leaving the line in the right side picture. For a change, Evanchuk held lane choice for this battle and reversed the usual outcome with a very popular (with the partisan hometown crowd) victory over the Calgarian, 5.88 - 240 to a pedalling 6.03 - 245 mph pass for Webster.
On the left is Ontario's Rob Atchison burning out in his Monte Carlo, then backing up with opponent Roger Bateman coming back in the far lane before the other semi-final match.
Atchison leaves strongly on the left before carding a 5.91 - 248.48, slowing substantially from his first round 5.75, to fall to Bateman's near-low e.t. of 5.70 with a 2 (just one thousandth of a second than his low qualifying number) at 249.21 mph. Then, turning to the right side of the page, the Pro Nostalgia "B" final is ready to run as Darrell Webb returns to the starting line (with the "sunroof" open) after his burnout.
Webb marches off the line smartly over comatose opponent Cody Anstead (a .312 light...) and takes the easy victory with a 7.30 to 7.24 verdict, greatly aided by his nearly two tenths holeshot. On the right side of the column, is the Pro Nostalgia "A" final, Ron Sekura (near lane) and almost out of the frame Joey Steckler (far lane) burn out before their "brawl for it all".
The left pic shows finalist Joey Steckler backing up in his flaming 'Vette, while on the right we see Sekura leaving to a winning (and almost perfect) 6.994 on a 6.99 index to force a late-leaving Steckler to break out with a 6.94 at just over 200 mph.
Just getting started on the celebration is the winning Sekura Brothers team, with Ron victorious over the very tough Joey Steckler team. But the action continues on track, as Pro Mod finalist Rickie "D" blazes his way across the starting line before his final round match against Colorado's Tommy Johanns.
Watching the proceedings with grimaces instead of smiles, the semi-final finishing team of Joe Delehay (left) and crew chief Ken Eisler (right) survey the scene, before Di Stefano (near lane) and Johanns (far lane) take the green. Di Stefano fell victim once again to the idiosyncracies that have plagued his new Camaro, shutting off early as Johanns scooted away to his third straight 6.30 clocking of eliminations for the win.
To show that we're not playing favourites, or ignoring some classes completely (actually we are, but they're mostly slow and not terribly photogenic) here's two shots from the Nitro Harley finals. On the left, local racer (and many time champion) Ken Kent smokes the slick before staging up against B.C. interloper Jason Arkinstall (far lane). And the B.C. boy took the match, in a side-by-side 6-second race, 6.672 to Kent's losing 6.81, with both bikes over 200 mph on the big end.
On the left we've got the Top Dragster final, with Garth Giroux (near lane) dropping the decision to Dave Anderson (far lane) by way of a red light, elaving just 14-thousandths too early. Both cars ran less than half a tenth off their dial-ins too to make for a very close race at the finish line, despite the red-light start for Giroux. On the right, we move to the Top Sportsman final, with Shawn Tracy warming up the tires on his '64 Corvette.
On the left we have Tracy leaving the line with a very good (.025) light on his way to a winning 8.34 pass on an 8.33 dial-in. To the right it's Gary Weslosky in the Top Sportsman Elite 8 Shootout, lighting up the tires before facing Pat McNally.
There's a green light shining in Weslosky's lane as his opponent, Pat McNally, put on the red and gave away a one second performance advantage in the heads-up shootout first round. On the right side, Dean Branham in the "Bad Fish" 'Cuda bringing the wheels up as he leaves on a 6.94 - 209.46 pass for a first round victory.
Two more Shootout contestants here, as Maurice Boissonault burns out in his '94 Beretta before dropping a rather one-sided decision to Dale Giroux (left side pic) and Gary Urlacher's cool blue '63 Vette pulls into the beams as he prepares to face Randy Modersohn in the final pair of the first round of the shootout.
Urlacher closes out the shootout first round with a solid, but late, green that was still quick enough to handle Modersohn by nearly half a second in the heads-up race, 7.32 to 7.91. On the right side we've got the funny car finalist, John Evanchuk, blazing the tires in his "Red Wolf" entry/
Evanchuk backs up in the near lane, with fellow finalist Roger Bateman on the other side, then both drivers leave strongly before Bateman rattled the tires hard and handed the very popular victory to Edmonton's newest hero, John Evanchuk, who took the title with a consistent 5.84 (fourth consecutive 5.80 pass) to Bateman's shutoff 8-second time.
Here's a bunch of Prostalgia pictures, with Jay Mageau burning out on the left, then backing up with Mark Sanders on his far side, as they prepare to fight it out in the consolation final round(s) for the Prostalgia gang.
Mageau pulls up to the starting line in the left side pic, and leaves against Sanders in the right side shot. Both cars ran well in this matchup, with Mageau putting down another strong 6-teen pass, at 6.19 - 230.72 mph to drop the decision to Sanders' 5.95 at 231 mph clocking.
After the first pair of the consolation round ran, a bit of cleanup was required, which coincided nicely with a power outage in the tower. So it was time for a little "walkabout" at the head of the lanes and a peek under the "hood" of Andy Beauchemin's "Tachman" entry (left pic) and Tim Boychuk's "Troy Lee Design" car on the right, as they patiently waited to run in the championship final of Prostalgia Funny Car.
Then right underneath the tower we got a closer look at Todd Losenko's "Jolly Rogers" Camaro while he waited to face Steve Nichols in the second consolation final.
From the media centre level of the tower, we can see the staging lanes only have the dragster finalists and the jet trucks waiting to run. Zooming in from above we get another look underneath the body of the Tim Boychuk-driven Firebird.
With the power restored and the track cleaned, it was time for the consolation final, with Todd Losenko on the left and Steve Nichols on the right ready to race. The race itself was somewhat of an anticlimax as Losenko blew up at half track and Nichols failed again to reach the 5-second zone, just falling short at 6.03 - 237 mph.
That's it from the IHRA Rocky Mountain Nationals at Castrol Raceway. Until next year. Next stop Seattle.