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July 24-26, 2015

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.

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Weather affected all teams from testing on Friday so they would be going into Saturday's two rounds of qualifying without any track data. All the five teams competing though have a bunch of runs down Mission Raceway's smooth track over the years. One thing that was not expected in the middle of Summer was the cool conditions and corrected altitude of below 1000 feet, but that is what they had to prepare for.

Most teams had to reduce their compression and probably lower their OD on the blowers to compensate for the awesome Air.

Right from the first two cars down the track it was evident that there would be good numbers.

The first pair out was Rookie Ryan Boychuk and Veteran Claude Lavoie who took a couple years off racing but stepped right into it with a test at Woodburn then two weeks ago at Spokane. Both cars did solid burnouts and sounded mean when backing up, ah the smell of nitro!

The cars launched and were on real strong runs right through the 1320. Lavoie tripped the timers with a 5.80/243.77 and Ryan was just behind him with a 5.89/250. There was quite a bit of death smoke out of the left lane (Lavoie's)

Next up was local talent and track record holder Tim Nemeth

and Edmonton's favorite racing family, the Sitko's, with Kenny's youngest son Nathan behind the wheel (Son Troy was racing in Edmonton with the Ace Racing group).

Both cars again sounded mean and both laid down solid 5's, Nemeth tripping the 1320 with a 5.84/246.50 (again with death smoke). Nathan's scoreboard said 5.94/244.16 (no death smoke).


Last up was Kris Krabill, who sat #2 in the Heritage Nitro Funny Car points. Could he match the number he laid down (5.66/243) in Spokane two weeks ago under IHRA rules (they allow a slightly larger pump that appears to flow a gallon or more than the NHRA deal.

The car launched real strong and looked to be on a great run. It was, as the Austin/O'Brien Firebird went through the lights with a great 5.67/243.23 with death smoke. Five runs and all five were in the 5's.

Qualifying order

1. Kris Krabill: Kent Wa, 1977 Firebird 5.67/244 mph
2. Claude Lavoie: Redding Ca, 1972 GTX 5.80 243
3. Tim Nemeth: Chilliwack BC, 1977 Firebird 5.84/246
4. Ryan Hodgson: Edmonton AB, 1969 Camaro 5.89/250
5. Nathan Sitko: Edmonton AB, 1977 Arrow 5.94/244

Round two:

With the carnage in round only two cars made the call for round two, or was there other reasons they did not make the call. It was disappointing for sure, but two of the no show teams were still thrashing when the call was made. Nathan Sitko and Ryan Hodgson had the most to gain by improving their earlier runs and those were the two that made the call. The dark skies were full on so it meant we likely would see some decent header flames.

If fact when they did launch the flames from both cars were solid for the entire run. They crossed the finish line very close together and both were 5.90 runs. Ryan ran a 5.9/250.83 and Nathan went 5.96/245.70


Round one pairings

1. Kris Krabill bye run; #2 CLaude Lavoie vs #5 Nathan Sitko. #3 Tim Nemeth Vs #4 Ryan Hodgson

Well, the solid day of qualifying did not turn into a great day of elimination's as Sunday morning was WET!!! and I mean really wet. The rain did not stop until around 1:30pm but the race was called by 11:45am. Could they have waited it out, yes they could have, but based on the weather when the call was made, you could not anticipate it clearing up and then not raining for the rest of the afternoon. In fact it was quite nice, too bad as it could have been a great (but long day). Mission Raceway;s schedule showed Monday as a rain date, but the NHRA crew was unable to stay for the extra day.

The decision was made to run elimination's at the Hot Rod reunion in October. The crappy thing about that is the Sitko team will likely not make the 2000 mile trip South, preventing them from having a chance to race for more than a round one loss.





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