Nemeth Stars At Edmonton Nitro Jam
Lagana’s win was made even more special by the unique crew assembled especially for this weekend. The mish-mash crew consisted of his brother Dom, Nitro Harley riders Jay Turner and Mike Scott, Funny Car driver Mark Sanders’ son Jake Sanders and others all helping fill in while Lagana’s father recovers from a heart attack suffered earlier this year.
“All of these round wins are for dad. The poor guy is at home, but as hard as it is for him to be away right now he just needs to heal. This win is for him,” Lagana said. “We got this crazy crew together, Jay, Jake, Mike Scott, Tracy – they are a great group and we were glad to have them on board.
“This win is also for the fans. We love coming up here and we are really excited to get both wins here this weekend.”
In the consolation pairing Bruce Litton went two-for-two in round wins when he took the green light against a broken Kyle Wurtzel. Maier added a near-track speed record pass of 324 miles per hour Saturday night.
Sunday’s only winner to call Edmonton home was Joey Steckler who won the Rocky Mountain Nostalgia Funny Car class during a wild weekend that included a number of upsets. Steckler eliminated two of the top five qualifiers – including top qualifier Cal Tebb — on his way to the final all after qualifying last on the charts.
In the final it was a battle of the Corvettes as Steckler drove his yellow and purple ’69 Chevy nostalgia machine to a win in the 6.99 index class with a .117 reaction time and a 7.176, 190.67 pass. Final round opponent Jeremy Jelinski put his silver Lucas Oil ’82 Vette in the runner-up spot with a 7.188, 190.54 pass.
“When we came in on Friday things just weren’t going our way. We forgot to fuel the car in our first pass and ran out of fuel and just never had any luck, but we really turned it around today,” Steckler said. “This is my second event that I have won in the last couple of years and it is just awesome. I can’t thank IHRA enough for coming up and putting on this race. It really gives a lot of credibility to our group and our track. It was a long day with all of the rain, but in the end it all came together.”
Nemeth had wins over top qualifier Cal Tebb and David Brant on his way to the final.
Wrapping up Sunday’s professional competition was Nitro Harley as Nathan Gagnon of British Columbia drove to his first Rocky Mountain Nationals wins over Andy Beauchemin. From the No. 2 qualifying position Gagnon defeated Lyle Newton and Ben Ground on his way to the final, saving his best for last with a tremendous .0126 light and a 6.733, 207.94 in the final to defeat Beauchemin who had to get off of the throttle early.
In sportsman competition Mike Shannon (Kelowna, British Columbia) highlighted Sunday’s winners with a double win in Quick Rod and Super Rod just a week after doing the same at an IHRA Division 6 race in British Columbia. Shannon recorded wins over Brian Malcolm and Tom Patterson to record his second double in two weeks.
Mark Faul pulled a two-day double and reached three finals over the weekend with his victory in Super Stock on Sunday over Mike Semenik. Faul also won Super Stock on Saturday and reached the finals of Stock before losing to Ed Matiejewski.
Edmonton’s native Jodi St. Arnaud, in only her second ever drag race, recorded the win in IHRA’s quickest and fastest sportsman class, downing Scott Taylor in the final to give the young lady her first ever drag racing victory all at the biggest race of the year at Castrol Raceway.
In exhibition action Jason Rupert had a number of tremendous passes in the Synoil Alcohol Funny Car and Kyle Hough put himself in a position to take a win in Nostalgia Fuel Altered, but rain forced the cancellation of the finals of that class.