EDMONTON, Alberta – Game, set, match. Tim Nemeth.
After trading the top spot in Nitro Funny Car numerous times throughout the weekend, Tim Nemeth capped off a wild weekend in the nitro-powered Funny Car category at the IHRA Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals with a thrilling victory over Tim Boychuk to lead the way at IHRA’s biggest event of the season.
Ike Maier (Top Fuel), Joe Delehay (Pro Mod), Damian Cownden (Nitro Bike), Shane Reykdal (Pro 6.90) and Dawn Perdue (Jet Dragster) also were winners at the IHRA Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports and Parts Canada Sunday at Castrol Raceway.
Sunday’s sportsman winners on the Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by Amsoil were Cody Liwiski (Top Sportsman), Scott Hearn (Top Dragster), Mark Faul (Super Stock), Ed Matiejewski (Stock), Mike Shannon (Quick Rod), Dave Stobbe (Super Rod), Carey Borchuk (Hot Rod). The remaining sportsman winners included George LeBlanc (Box ET), Ray Peck (No Box ET), Jenna Michaud (Junior Master), Kassie Thomas (Junior Advanced) and Connor Scott (Junior Beginner).
Nemeth and Boychuk, who have combined to win the last five Rocky Mountain Nationals events in Nitro Funny Car, spent the majority of the weekend trading the fast lap for the weekend. Nemeth led the way after qualifying on Friday, but he conceded a great lap to Boychuk on Saturday to give the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series regular the top qualifying spot.
But on Sunday, Nemeth saved the best for last and drove his way to his second consecutive Rocky Mountain Nationals victory.
“We were really excited about this event. We got here early, got setup and really focused on the possibility of back-to-back wins at one of our favorite tracks,” Nemeth said. “We started the weekend off rough. We had a good first round of qualifying, but after that we started to struggle and we thought this might not be a back-to-back weekend after all. But last night, I got everyone together, we had a nice dinner and I told them to suck it up, put the bad behind us and go to work. We got up this morning and everything just came together.”
From the No. 2 spot on the Amsoil Nitro Funny Car ladder, Nemeth, in the “Iceman” ’77 Firebird, won a thriller over Boychuk with a 5.929-second lap at 238.05 mph. Boychuk, in the “Forever Forward” ’77 Firebird, had a 6.190 at 205.19 in the runner-up effort.
“Tim and I are really good friends on and off the track, but it looks like there is a little bit of a rivalry developing between us,” Nemeth said. “Friday we went out there thinking we are just going to repeat what we did last year and it didn’t happen. We just held on to the top spot until Tim came back on Saturday with a number and we thought, wow, this is going to be a tall order. But we just stuck to our guns, stuck to our game plan and Sunday turned out to be our day.”
Nemeth added a win over Jordan Pawlick earlier in the day and received a bye into the final in the non-points paying Canadian showcase.