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in the world of drag racing

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The latest update as of May 4, 2000

It's Day One -- sort of -- for the Lordco BC Nationals at Mission Raceway Park. Following yesterday's testing sessions (much abbreviated apparently by the intermittent rain and occasional thundershowers), the gates open at noon today for trailer parking. Tech inspection and registration go from 2 pm - 6 pm. And yes, the weather forecast for today is no better than yesterday.

In fact, as I write this update at 10 am, in North Vancouver (about 40 miles west of Mission), it's raining and very dark. The latest weather report from Environment Canada is not very encouraging for the entire area for the next week. So in case you were wondering: the rain date is next weekend, May 14-15.

Until I get out to the track later today and talk with the people who call the shots, I have no way of knowing just how they plan to deal with the weather. Obviously the jet drier will be working overtime, and with current fuel prices very high in Canada, that could be a major cost factor over the weekend.

Since I'm working this afternoon and evening, today's report from the track won't be posted until after midnight. Hopefully, it will include some pics of the racers arriving and a dry track waiting for the action to start at 9:00 am tomorrow. Hope being the operative word there.

That's all for now, except for this article published in one of the local newspapers this morning. The picture at the top was of last year's event winner Melanie Troxel "heating her tires prior to running in the elimination rounds for top fuel dragsters at Mission Raceway".

Damn! A year ago at this time I was enroute to Australia and NOW I read that I missed TOP FUEL cars at last year's event. Arrrggghhh! Yeah, I know, she was driving an injected nitro car, but obviously the "straight media" lost a little in the translation. As usual. At least this year's preview article wasn't about the bikers and their "honeys" in the audience.

Mission: Get There

They brave distance and ornery customs guards to take part in the action at Mission this weekend.

About 450 racers from the western U.S. and B.C. began pulling in to Mission Raceway Park Wednesday, driving coaches and campers, and hauling trailers full of high-tech cars and machinery for the Lordco B.C. Nationals, the second points race of six in the National Hot Rod Association's Northwest Division.

"Everything about Mission is great," said Mike Ferderer of Buckley, Washington, a six-time divisional champ and 1985 world champ in the super gas category. "The people are nice, the setting is pretty, there are good restaurants in Mission and Abbotsford, the track surface and (sea-level) air are good for racing. This is the most popular track in the division. People go out of their way to come here."

If only the weather co-operates. Races last year dragged on until after midnight Sunday (after the high-end heats were over) because of rain delays. Wednesday, racers waited impatiently for the track to dry for testing. "I just got the first pass of the day in," Ferderer said around 4 p.m.

There are eight categories in this weekend's Federal-Mogul points series: Dragster, funny car, competition, super stock, stock, super comp, super gas and super street.

Melanie Troxel, Northwest champ and runner-up overall in 1999, headlines the dragster drivers. Record-setting Pat Austin leads the funny car category, while Gary Rouse in super stock and Don Little in stock are other defending divsional champs in the field.

Gates open at 7 a.m. and qualifying starts at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Final eliminations go at 9 a.m. Sunday.

by Gord Mcintyre - Sports Reporter
The Vancouver Province - Thursday, May 4, 2000 - Page A57

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