GRAND BEND, Ontario – Just one year ago Bobby Lagana Jr. hoisted the IHRA Ironman trophy after a dominating run in Top Fuel at the Grand Bend Motorplex.
Friday night, Lagana looked like he hasn’t missed a beat.
Coming off of a weekend sweep at the IHRA national event in Edmonton just two weeks ago, Lagana (Scarsdale, N.Y.) continued his dominance on the IHRA’s Canadian tour with a top run of the night during opening night at the Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals presented by Parts Canada at the Grand Bend Motorplex.
IHRA’s professional classes got a qualifying hit at the track Friday night in preparation for Saturday and Sunday’s eliminations with Lagana leading the charge with a chart-topping 4.916 second pass at 313.29 miles per hour. He beat Kyle Wurtzel, Grand Bend’s other winner a year ago, in a great side-by-side drag race as Wurtzel produced a 5.056, 249.49 lap.
In AMSOIL Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car Peter Gallen (Broomall, Pa.) showed why he is the record holder and best-in-class with a very quick 5.858, 231.64 pass, barely holding down the top spot in the “Poverty Stricken” Monza over Mike Minick who drove the new bodied “Chi-Town Hustler” Omni to a 5.929, 233.88.
Tracy Kile had the top pass of the night in Nitro Harley ,blazing down the track to the tune of a 6.639, 211.33 to hold off Jay Turner’s 6.702, 205.22.
Wrapping up the evening was an exhibition pass of Mountain Motor Pro Stocks running the IHRA quarter-mile for the first time since 2009 as Canadian John Konigshofer led the way with a 6.440, 219.01 in his first quarter-mile pass in his brand new Mustang-bodied machine.
Round one of qualifying in PMRA Pro Mods wrapped up the evening with points leader and four-time race winner in 2013 Rocky Di Leece pacing the field for the fourth race in a row with a stout 6.109, 237.30 pass. Two-time IHRA Pro Mod champion Kenny Lang was second with a 6.104, 238.85 followed by 2012 Grand Bend winner Eric Latino with a 6.355, 235.35.