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Event Preview

Internet Media Coverage

Even though I had most of the information about which racers will be attending this year's watershed event at Castrol Raceway, my source beat me to the internet punch by getting the details up on his preview page first at SpeedZone Magazine. Thanks for letting me know before I read it elsewhere though, Dean. For the best coverage of the Rockies, keep the SpeedZone site handy, this site too of course, and for the data and a few tidbits of note, Drag Race Central. And before we forget, more Canadian content in the form of Bruce Biegler's Drag Race Canada will be out in force covering the race.

One internet outfit that won't be attending the Rockies, or any other IHRA races now or in the foreseeable future, is Bobby Bennett's "Competition Plus", an internet magazine that virtually lived the IHRA lifestyle until the bottom suddenly dropped out of the money bucket for the I-team after the spectacular Evan Knoll implosion two years ago. Since then, a combination of factors, including less money for the Comp Plus crew, much smaller events in the area of pro competition, and a lessening of general fan interest in the IHRA has led Competition Plus to concentrate on NHRA and ADRL events almost exclusively.

Oh well, with a little more room to operate in the very small media "centre" at Castol Raceway, with fewer drag racing media attending and Jim "Notebook" Luikens doing other things these days (ADRL) so we'll definitely have a little more elbow room to work with. If the laptop which is in the shop being fitted with a wireless connection cooperates and the hotel we've booked has the promised "high speed" internet access we'll be able to provide better, faster and more complete coverage of all the news from Castrol Raceway quicker than we've ever been able to previously.

If you visit the IHRA - NitroJam website, you'll find lots more information on the event, starting with the latest story about the Prostalgia Funny Car field. To make it easier to find all this stuff, here's a list of what I've dug up so far:

The Weather Report

I'd always assumed that with a large amount of flat prairie land surrounding Edmonton, changes in the weather in that part of the country were slow in coming and could be forecasted much more accurately than on the "wet coast" where I live, with mountains behind me and the ocean in front. However, each trip I've taken to the Rocky Mountain race has turned into a real weather adventure, with everything short of blizzards (but we've been close to seeing it snow) and full-blown tornadoes to deal with. Maybe this year will be different; maybe I won't bring the weather hoodoos with me from Vancouver. Maybe.

Even the Weather Network is being a little coy about what we can expect this coming weekend. When I checked the forecast last night (Monday) it was forecasting a good Saturday - Sunday, but a fairly high probability of rain on the Friday. Checking in this morning (on the link I've posted above) yields a slightly different picture, with the rain shifted to Saturday, and only a slight possibility of it then, and the overall weekend picture looking "mainly sunny" with high temps of 21 - 23 C (70 - 73 F). Looks good.... for now. Stay tuned, though.

The Entry List

This list is not meant to be complete by any means, but merely give a representation of the cars and drivers entered in what will be the BIGGEST and BADDEST event on the IHRA Nitro Jam circuit in 2010. Not only that, the Castrol Raceway audiences always make this race the best attended on the circuit too. Looked at from any aspect, the Rocky Mountain Nationals will be another winner for the racers, fans and track. While it's a little light in a few categories and some star power, the racing will be tough and close and in so many respects superior to the standard offerings from the circus-owned Nitro Jam shows seen at the other venues on the IHRA roster.

We'll add to and update this list through the week as we see more names mentioned on various websites.

Top Fuel

Pro Fuel

Prostalgia Nitro Funny Cars

(Top) Alcohol Funny Car

Pro Nostalgia Funny Cars (7.20 index)

Pro Mod (West Coast Pro Mod Association)

Nitro Funny Cars

In addition to the above mentioned categories and competitors, there will also be A Nitro Bike (Harleys) class, with a dozen riders trying to fit into an 8-bike field. Also, a Pro Mod Bike class will run an 8-bike field. Plus, we'll have a couple of Jet Trucks and Wheelstanders to round out the Pro Show.

The biggest attraction on the sportsman side of the ledger will be the 32-car Top Dragster and Top Sportsman fields, which will see them run their first rounds of eliminations on Saturday night at 7:00 and 9:15 respectively. On Sunday, the remaining 16 cars in each Top (Sportsman and Dragster) category will run their second round of elims at 9:00 am, then join the pro eliminations, running at 1:15, 2:15 and 3:15 pm. With the number of fast cars in Western Canada and the northern states to draw on, it should be quite a complementary attraction to the big show.

The Schedule

Here's the condensed version of the racing schedule showing the feature cars so you won't have to read through the acronyms and other esoterica of the pdf file that shows the whole competition schedule.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Nitro Jam Round 1 - 6:00 PM

Nitro Jam Round 2 - 7:30 PM

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Nitro Thunder (FanFest) - 6:00 PM

Nitro Jam Round 1 - 7:00 PM

Nitro Jam Round 2 - 9:15 PM

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nitro Jam Round 1 - 11:00 AM

Nitro Jam Round 2 - 1:15 pM

Nitro Jam Round Finals - 3:15 PM

Random Thoughts and In Conclusion

Here, in no particular order (and we'll add to it as things come to us) are a few extras for this preview page.


While the actual number for Castrol Raceway is 2200 ft., the corrected altitude on racer's gauges usually reads closer to 4000 or 5000 ft. We'll do our best to keep updating the readings throughout the weekend to allow you to see the effect the altitude has on performance in the various classes.

Nitro Voodoo:

Despite reading on a reputable, reliable source website that the two local nitro funny cars - not nostalgia, not junior, but full-on late model nitro nasties - of Edmonton's Jason Duchene and Randy Bykowski were going to be running at the Rockies, they don't appear on the schedule. Of course, I don't see the wheelstander(s) on the sched either, but expect to see these and maybe a few other attractions thrown into the show for good measure.

The Hooters Girls:

The biggest loss IHRA drag racing has suffered in recent years is not the collapse of the Knoll "empire" or the deletion of funny cars (nitro and alky), pro stock and pro mod from their roster, but the loss of Hooters as a sponsor at the conclusion of the 2005 season. Not that I ever stood there staring at them like some photogs, but their enthusiasticly energetic contributions to the show were always appreciated.