The two Canadian Motorsport Halls of Fame announced their latest inductees recently and I have some comments to make on both slates. Fifteen were entered into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame including one who really touched my heart. ‘Big Bird’ as I called him, John Massingberd was inducted posthumously and it was a very well deserved honour for the late broadcaster. He was the consummate interviewer on both TV and Raceline Radio over the years prior to his untimely death after a battle with ALS.
Long-time friend John Waldie was honoured for his lengthy dedication to drag racing in general and the Pro Mod class in particular. James Hinchcliffe was a natural for sure. Good driver and great entertainer.
I have read the Sprongl name for years in rallying and usually with ‘P1’ next to their names. Mark Dilley has been at it for a long time and has some great credentials to back his induction.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame (CDRHF), not wanting to be outdone by the ‘other’ Hall had 16 nominees, one more!! Some notables there as well. Long-time friend Wayne Huber was inducted, sadly, posthumously. Wayne was the Head Mechanic / Performance Advisor at the Central Chev High Performance Center in London (ON) were I had the great job of selling those factory hot rods back in 1968/69.
He was also my Heavy Truck Service Manager at Motion. His magic under the hood worked wonders for Jack Hyde (Jack and the Green Stock), for the Sandy Elliott Racing Team of Barry Poole and John Elliott as well as several others. He had some serious stock car crew chiefing credentials as well.
Bob and Rob Atchison have a great track record to look back on with Bob going all the way back to when we raced at the St. Thomas Airport in 1960 and 1961 prior to the opening of St. Thomas Dragway in 1962.
Both Bruce Mehlenbachers, Senior and Junior, were well deserved inductees along with longtime Cayuga Track Manager (and Jet Car pilot) Neale Armstrong.
I worked with Don Henderson in the tech lanes at Cayuga for several years back in the ‘60s and was always in awe of his ability to get more out of a Ford motor than anybody else on the planet.
I also argued with Farmer Dismuke, NHRA National Tech Director, while working the 1967 Indy Nationals when the factory cars protested Don. Farmer then made him tear down thus keeping him out of final eliminations (he was deemed legal).
Doug Box has been a loyal and dedicated competitor in the CanAm Stock/Super Stock Series for years winning more than his fair share of events.
Both Patons, Barry and Todd, should have been in there years ago but better late than never. Sharon Fletcher was the behind the scene stabilizing power for John over the years and also a good pick.
Tim Miller and Chris Biro have done great jobs writing about the sport for many years.
I remember a very quiet Carl Skura twisting the wrenches on a very consistent and fast Percy Also way back in the day. The fact that the Awards Gala was held in CDRHF Founder John Scotti’s incredible ‘Power Palace’ made it even better. A first-class facility for a first class ‘class’!!
A couple of top ranked Canadians are entered for the Snowball Derby, Sunday, December 3 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola (or as a certain legendary Canadian stock car driver / builder calls it – Pepsi Cola!!). NASCAR Canada Pinty’s Series 2023 Champion Treyten Lapcevich from Ontario and 2023 Oxford 250 winner Cole Butcher from Nova Scotia are both slated to compete for the win at the track on the Florida panhandle. Good luck guys!
It appears that the FIA, Formula One and Liberty did not realize that Las Vegas, in spite of being in the desert, gets cold at night in November. There are now some concerns about the tires. Interesting. One would naturally assume that any organization spending a half a BILLION dollars on a racecourse would conduct their own due diligence first.
FORMULA ONE: Their next race is Las Vegas, Saturday at 11.30 P.M. on TSN 1 & 5.
NHRA: The whole season came to a climax on the weekend at Pomona Raceway for the In-N-Out NHRA Finals. Awesome title sponsor with awesome burgers!!
In Top Fuel Austin Prock qualified number one with 3.636. Canada had two entries – Quebec’s Dan Mercier qualified 12th with a 3.716 while Spencer Hyde from Stratford, Ontario qualified 15th with 3.778 after a brutal engine explosion Friday. Hyde was driving one of the Paton Family Top Fuel dragsters with sponsorship from Elite Motorsports. Full field.
In Funny Car Robert Hight was number one with a 3.844. 19 entries.
In Pro Stock Greg Anderson’s resurgence has paid off with another number one spot at 6.492. Canadian Eric Latino missed out by seven thousandths of a second. 23 entries.
In Pro Stock Bike no surprise with Gaige Herrera grabbing the top spot with 6.661. 17 entries.
In Top Alcohol Dragster B.C. native Shawn Cowie was tops with a 5.162. The cool rivalry saw Angelle Sampey qualify 6th with Tony Stewart 8th. Angelle lost in round one while both Cowie and Stewart advanced. Tony lost to Shawn in the 2nd round.
Doug Kalitta (3.673 @ 334.98) defeated Leah Pruett (3.720 @ 326.16) in the Top Fuel final. 4 upsets (lower qualified car wins) and 7 ‘smokers’ (one or both cars had traction problems). Both Canadians, unfortunately, were ‘first round runners-up’!!
Chad Green (3.916 @ 328.54) took out Tim Wilkerson (3.900 @ 327.59) in the Funny Car final. 6 upsets and 7 smokers.
Matt Hartford (6.534 @ 208.91) topped Aaron Stanfield (6.519 @ 210.14) in the Pro Stock final. 5 upsets and 3 smokers.
No surprise but Gaige Herrera (6.721 @ 201.46) beat Eddie Krawiec (6.796 @ 199.52) in the Pro Stock Bike final. 2 upsets.
With his win Kalitta is the 2023 Top Fuel Champion, a great victory for Connie.
Matt Hagan won the Funny Car Championship.
Erica Enders was the Pro Stock Champion.
Gaige Herrera took the Pro Stock Bike Championship by just showing up at Pomona.
I have to say the dragracecentral.com was WAY off their game for this race. I’m not sure what was happening, but they didn’t post Top Fuel Round One results until way after the other classes had run Round Two. Summer interns still there?
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