Sports

Drag racers roar into Mission

by Dean Murdoch

News contributor

The Lordco B.C. Nationals blast down Mission Raceway Park this weekend for one of the biggest events of the motorsport calendar.

More than $3 million worth of race cars will be competing in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing series for divisional, regional and national points, plus their share of the $150,000 purse, and over $520,000 in championship points.

This massively popular annual event is coinciding with Mission Raceway Park's 20th, and the B.C. Custom Car Association's 60th anniversaries.

The featured classes are top alcohol dragsters (TAD) and funny cars (FC), and these 260 mph, 3,000 horsepower beasts will overload your senses.

Five Canadian teams will battle (four in TAD and one in TAFC) in the two fast classes. In TAD, Hugh Ridley is the Canadian favourite. Ridley will have last year’s event champion Ray Martin muscling the car down the quarter-mile, and this car is capable of being near the top of qualifying.

The Sereda “Plum Crazy” TAD team is from Edmonton, and owner/driver Greg Sereda is looking for his career best finish this weekend. The prohibited favourite in TAD is Joey Severance, who was the defending Division 6 champion last year and finished fourth in world national points in 2012.

A new driver, Clif Bakx, will debut this weekend in TAD, and Ken Gilmore Motorsports have brought in Greg Hunter as the new driver for the Calgary based TAD team. This is a car with a lot of potential but mechanical issues have kept the team from running consistently.

In TAFC, a half-dozen Americans will make it tough for Edmonton’s John Evanchuk, but with tuner Bill Moore making the horsepower, John should give the U.S. drivers some concern. Brian Hough, Steve Gasparelli and Clint Thompson are the top picks from south of the border.

Qualifying starts Friday with sportsman classes including stock and super stock, top sportsman, top dragster and comp eliminator. Twenty degree dry weather is forecast, so many national records could be set.

For more information go to www.missionraceway.com and www.speedzonemagazine.com for results.

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