Grand Bend, On June 16, 2013 – As predicted, Grand Bend Motorplex(GBM) in Grand Bend, ON put on another grand event last weekend (June 15 – 16) as they hosted “Canada’s Biggest All Bike Race Weekend”.
Even though Mother Nature dumped whack of precipitation over-night on Saturday, she didn’t dampen the efforts of the GBM track folks or the racers. As soon as the last few drops quit, the crew was hard at it to dry and prep the drag strip. They quickly got the day in gear for the Rocky’s “Harleys by the Beach”, racing and the National Drag Racing Association’s 2nd Pro Doorslammer Series points race.
Race fans enjoyed plenty of thrilling two-wheeler action as bikes of every make full-throttled their way to the top end, with the Top Fuel Harleys producing some “on the edge of your seat” entertainment.
Douglas Horne of Aberdeen, MD took the Top Fuel Harleys class championship with a 6.491 second pass at 207.23 MPH and runner-up, Mike Scott of Blind Bay, BC crossed the stripe with a 6.736 / 170.55 run.
The National Drag Racing Association (NDRA) switched the focus from the throttle twisters to the thundering spectacular of their ever-popular, multi-styled door cars as they rolled into the staging beams.
In only their 2nd outing since the Pro Doorslammers joined up with the NDRA’s Alcohol Funny Cars earlier this year, the drivers were “all out” to win and entertain. Only one can win, but all of them entertained!
Congratulations to Wayne Nielsen of Bayfield, ON, who piloted his sponsored StoneyBrook Auto Service nitrous-boosted 1994 Lumina Z34 to take the championship with a 7.196 / 198.41 run. As Wayne stated about the 753 ci, 2300 horsepower mill, “It ran consistently all weekend, so barring any other complications, we knew the engine was good to go for a win.”
Next to a capable car, Nielsen pointed out that the win was due to his pit crew who help to ready him and the Lumina for every race. His son, Luke is the crew chief and has been part of the family racing team for 18 years since he was 10 years old. Wayne’s wife Pam and good friend, Mike Warne , along with Blair Battye, Jake Moon make up the rest of the crew.
About the race, he said, “It was really unfortunate that my NDRA pals had some breakage which helped me. As well, we had a little luck on our side – Luck plays a big part in this game.”
“The track conditions were pretty good, considering the previous night’s rain. It was still spitting around 9:30 am, but as soon as it stopped, the track personnel did a great job, as always, to dry and prep the track. Their effort is much appreciated. The rest of the day turned out really nice and the racing was decent.”
About the guy in the other lane, Wayne said, “I just met Al (Martorino) and think he is a great guy and a good competitor. It was a pleasure to run against him.”
As far as the win goes, he mused, “It’s fantastic to pick up a win, but this one was special because I am a Harley rider (2012 Road Glide Custom) and this bike event means something to me to win. Also, it was a super Father’s Day gift in a sense. Only, it would have been even better if Luke was here, but he is away on a business trip in Paris.”
Nielsen closed his comments, “I really want to thank Dale Boeru at the NDRA for giving me and the rest of the Pro Doorslammers a point series to compete in. Also, I want to thank Grand Bend Motorplex and Cayuga Dragway (Toronto Motorsports Park) for hosting our races.”
Runner up, Al Martorino had to endure some aggravating “hiccups” and issues with his 526 Hemi powered ’06 Mustang throughout the weekend. That said this seasoned competitor knows that these challenges are just part of drag racing. He took it all in stride and did what it takes to stay in the game.
Martorino had the perseverance to go full track even when ignition troubles shut the engine down 21 times in the final round. Lots of guys would have shut her off. He truly exemplifies what all of the NDRA racers are made of.
About his day, Al modestly says, “We spent the day just making rounds to stay in the points and didn’t expect to end up in the finals.” He good- naturedly adds, “Wayne took this one, but we’ll get him next time.”
Al realizes that he is not the only one to deal with the car’s complications at any given time. Martorino expressed gratitude to his crew chief, Dave Archer and the pit crew; Chris Umble, Lyle Williams and Shaye Brent. “All of them contribute so much to our combined racing effort. I can’t thank each of them enough.”
Besides the crew, Al related his appreciation to fellow NDRA racer, Billy Dineen and his father, Kim. Unfortunately, Dineen’s car was out of the competition but he and Kim offered their help to Al for the rest of the weekend.
As a matter of fact, in the last qualifying round on Saturday, something flew up from the track and put a hole in Al’s aluminum fuel cell. “Dave (Archer) and Billy took it all the way to Billy’s shop in Goderich – 40 minutes each way – and welded it up for me. I was done without his help.”
Martorino reflects that all of the NDRA racers continuously step up to help each other out. “We’re competitors, yet partners. That’s what the NDRA is all about.”
Although, Al does not have any “corporate” backers, he has the unique ability to have his own Cobourg, ON business to sponsor his racing operation. Xtreme Motorsports is an automotive and performance shop where he has everything right down to a chassis dyno to keep the Mustang heading for the stripe.
Both of these drivers and their rides represent the National Drag Racing Association’s entire contingent of Pro Doorslammers and Alcohol Funny Cars. They all have the same drive to win, a team spirit and a passion to entertain.
No matter where these two and their NDRA compatriots perform, fans are in for a quality and definitely exciting show.
You can catch them next, along with the NDRA Alcohol Funny Cars and the NDRA Nitro Nostalgia Funny Cars, at the 4th Annual Canadian Nitro Nationals – July 13 – 14 at the Toronto Motorsports Park – Cayuga Dragway, Cayuga ON. Come on out and join the high octane fun!
For information about the National Drag Racing Association, visit the website: www.ndra.ca
From: Dale Hickey- Media/ Public Relations, National Drag Racing Association
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