EDMONTON, Alberta — Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Canada’s biggest drag race, enthusiastic fans came out in droves on Friday to see what very well may be a record for different classes as the International Hot Rod Association and Castrol Raceway kicked off the Mopar Rocky Mountain Nitro Jam Nationals Friday night.
Of the nearly two dozen classes on the property for the big weekend in Edmonton, several pro classes hit the track for the very first time for qualifying and exhibition action headed by the return of Top Fuel Dragsters to the Nitro Jam lineup.
In Top Fuel, Scott Palmer headlined the nitro-powered rail class with a 5.512/183.19 as all four dragsters battled the tricky track on opening night. Bobby Lagana Jr. was second, followed by Kyle Wurtzel and Bruce Litton. The quartet will battle in Chicago-style eliminations the rest of the weekend with winners both Saturday and Sunday.
One class that will feature a more traditional field throughout the weekend is AMSOIL Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car as Spruce Grove, Alberta native Jay Mageau topped the field with a solid 5.925/237.30. Jim Obalek also dipped into the 5s with a 5.938/239.48. Tim Nemeth, Ken Webster and Nathan Sitko rounded out the field.
The biggest field on the property resides in Nitro Harley as Amelia, Louisiana’s Randal Andras roared down the track with a very quick 6.630/218.12 to head the field entering the second day of qualifying. Damian Cownden was second, followed by Tommy Grimes, Joey Sternotti and Mike Scott. Mike Pelrine, who qualified sixth, topped the speed charts on Friday with a very quick 229.04 atop his 2010 Weekend.
Rounding out the qualified fields on Friday was the Rocky Mountain Nostalgia Funny Car class as Fort McMurray, Alberta’s David Brant drove “The Reaper” ’77 Firebird to a 6.993 pass on the 6.99 index. Cal Tebb was second, followed by Norm Kowich, Ron Sekura and Troy Sitko.
Friday’s other nitro warmup came in Nostalgia Fuel Altered as Kyle Hough drove Nanook to the quickest pass of the night with a 6.856/190.86 entering eliminations on Saturday.
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