JULY 22-24, 2016
Coverage here at Speedzone for the Lucas Oil National Open at Mission Raceway is presented by Joey's Place Paint and Restoration. All all the current news and info about one of the premier custom car shops in Western Canada go to his newsletter. Also visit Joey on Facebook.
Nitro Funny Car Sunday elimination's saw a full eight car field for the first time in a few years. The parings would see Ryan Hodgson face local fan favourite Tim Nemeth, Tim's car was real solid early on in each qualifier but from 200 feet on his car was loose and did not want to stay in the groove, for that reason Tim found himself on the back half of the field. Mark Sanders the #2 qualifier after his great 5.67 would take on Clint Thompson who was #7 with a 6.60. Thompson and team owner Paul Shackleton were using the four races in the North West as a learning curve to establishing a tune-up for when Paul takes over the reins. #3 Kris Krabill, who have been pretty dominant this year and is leading the Heritage points would face #6 Jay Mageau, who really is just trying to make consistent runs and do it without too much carnage. His car has run well in the past, but it has been close to five years since he was in the low 6's/ high 5's. In the final pairing it would be two teams from Edmonton. One is a big dollar team that has run well in the last month and a half, as Tim Boychuk has an IHRA win, a booked in win in Spokane and is hoping to book end those victories with a Heritage win this weekend. Sitko was the higher qualified car, running a 5.87 in qualifying but their car, according to CC Ken Sitko did not respond well to the changes he and the team felt it had to make to run low 80's or high 70's in the better air condition's at Mission.
In the first pairing, it was the closest race of the round and the only side by side 5 second pairing. Tim Boychuk got a slight holeshot on Nathan (a bit surprising young gun!!!), and made his best lap (other than his Friday 5.72 test run) with the second quickest of elimination's 5.749/250 .
Nathan was game but his 5.956/243 was well back at the finish line. Ryan Hodgson was up against Tim Nemeth next.
Nemeth got a .036 holeshot and had the lead until close to 300 feet where his car fell off and was well back by 660. Hodgson was marching in the heat and by the finish line he was a couple hundred feet ahead turning on the scoreboards with a 5.807/250.
Nemeth's scoreboard lit up to a 6.314/225. In the third pair, Mark Sanders took on Clint Thompson. they left within .01 of each other but Sanders had the lead by 60 feet, and continued to improve on it all the way down track.
At the finish line, it was sanders with the second best run of the round, a great 5.767/237. Clint's scoreboard read a 6.292/204.
The final pairing saw Heritage points leader Kris Krabill and oft running Jay Mageau doing battle. These two drivers left with a hun of each other but that was as close as they got. Krabill steadily pulled ahead and ran a 5.858/243. I thought that Krabill would be even quicker, than that as they were in the middle of the pack after qualifying.
Second round pairings: Hodgson vs Boychuk and Krabil vs Sanders.
The first pairing was a battle of Washington State hitters, Mark Sanders and Kris Krabill. The legend of the Krabill driven car tuned and owned by Bucky Austin, the Austin/O'Brien Firebird was one of big numbers and a consistent runner. They have come close to the Heritage series title before and this year Kris has a big lead. Sanders has been pretty steady all year and Mark's son Jake has had the car tuned up and it has been one of the best cars in the IHRA this year. Krabill got a .032 holeshot but by 300 feet Sanders was out in front and pulling away. Mark continued pulling hard and at the finish line he was in from by .07 about a car length. His 5.753/237 was a good run in the heat. Krabill turned on the scoreboard with a 5.855/242
The other side of the ladder saw the Hodgson /Boychuk team from the past form two different teams. Driver Tim Boychuk took on his old team on the Hodgson/Papernik Camaro with second year driver Ryan Hodgson behind the wheel.
The Hodgson car has been real good at times and at other events they have been a bit off. Boychuk had what he called a bad red light, going .013 on the tree Ryan was over a tenth back going .157 (the typical light for a NFC driver). Ryan left real hard but at 330 feet , he was still well back.
The gap was closing at half track and continually got less the further down track. At the finish line Ryan's scoreboard lit up to a 5.731/254. Boychuk's reader board said 5.818/ 243. There was .087 difference in ET's but .144 difference on the starting line. Boychuk took the win by .057 and was off to the final round.
The # 2 and the # 5 qualifiers would battle in the final. The two IHRA regulars surprisingly have not raced each other in competition in the other series. If I had to give an edge to anyone it would be Sanders simply because he went back to back mid 5.7's. Boychuk went 5.74 and 5.81.
The reaction times were only .002 apart so this would be a battle of Horsepower pure and simple.
At half track the two were separated by only a couple hundredth, with Boychuk having a slight edge.
His lead continued through 1000 feet and at the finish line Tim and the "Happy Hour" Camaro crossed first with a solid but engine expiring 5.798/243 to Sanders 'explosive' engine expiring 5.846/237. Both cars lit up the shut down area with heavy smoke as both drivers pushed their loud pedal through the frame rails.
Happy Hour was now underway. Time won three of the last six races he has attended and he is now the four time winner of this event.