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The latest update as of May 27, 2010

Mission Raceway Test 'n' Tune Day

Despite the very mediocre weather forecasts for the week, today has dawned bright and sunny in the city, and hopefully, over Mission Raceway as well. There's still a small possibility of showers today, while tomorrow's outlook is decidely damper, with a high probability of precipitation all day. Bummer! Saturday's outlook is better, with a much lower chance of rain and Sunday might see some sun to round out the weekend. All in all, it looks like a typical Mission race weekend shaping up. Don't lose the umbrella, make sure the windshield wipers are working and pack some sunscreen. In other words: not much chance of snow, but anything else could be on the menu.

Once we've done a little housekeeping around here, packed up the camera bag, dug out the old media pass from wherever it's been hiding for the last few years and point "Big Red" in the direction of the track. Hope it can still remember the way there. Next report will be this evening. Hopefully with a few pics and some good gossip from the early arrivals at the track. Until then....

7:30 pm update

Despite the weather turning threatening, Thursday's test 'n' tune at Mission Raceway went off with nary a hitch. The track had some really biting teeth, the air was good and the mood was upbeat as many racers started the process of knocking the off-season rust off their combinations and seeing what the 2010 season held in store. But for every good pass, there were two or three aborted or early shutoff efforts. Here's most of the numbers from this afternoon.

Troy Sitko (licensing pass) TA/FC - 6.59 - 157.78 shutoff before 1000 ft. mark
"Advanced Powder Coating #6775 T/Dragster - 6.26 - 219.24
John Evanchuk TA/FC - 5.96 - 246.23 with a pedal job
Brian Hough TA/FC - 5.64 - 254.74 with a soft-ish leave
Rick DiStefano AA/PM - 11.59 - 75.36 shutoff at 100 ft.
Greg Sereda T/AD - 6.21 - 138.93 shutoff very early with chutes out
Ashley Bart T/AD - 10.13 - 78.98 shutoff at 300 ft

With all the fast cars having run, it was time to take a wander through the pits and do an inventory on the attendees and catch up with some old and some new friends. First stop was the Sitko pits where it was learned that Troy (younger brother of regular driver Nathan) Sitko was driving today. The plan is to make another pass later in the afternoon. Asking about their plans for the season elicited the comment that the patriarch of the family, long-time fuel racer, George Sitko, is builing a nitro motor for a possible Nostalgia Nitro flopper effort in 2011. Interesting!

Another nitro flopper was spotted further down the pit lane, with Tim Nemeth's brand-new '70 Mustang being assembled for what would appear to be some exhibition passes this weekend. It looks good and if he's got a "store-bought" tuneup in the car, should run well right out of the box. While looking over the car, I noticed a steady stream of racers heading for the staging lanes so I'm headed back to the starting line for the second and final test session for the alky cars.

Don St. Arnaud - no reverse and drove it through after the burnout
unidentified nitro harley - 6.49 - 205.90
another unidentified nitro harley - 12.35 - 100.45 - near the wall all the way down
Mike Austin (Federlin car) T/AD - 5.72 - 184.42 - shook hard in low, shutoff at 900 ft.
John Evanchuk TA/FC - 20.88 - 30.97 - went 50 ft. and shutoff
Troy Sitko TA/FC - 6.30 - 183.37 - another early shutoff
Greg Sereda T/AD - 5.67 - 212.01 - career best e.t. and shutoff at 1000 ft.

And that's all she wrote for the day. The weather held up, despite threatening to start raining for the last hour, and the forecast is for the storm to hit this evening and hang around for Friday and on into Saturday morning. But the weatherman has been wrong so many times that it's going to be a look and see day tomorrow. Be ready for anything.

In the meantime, I'll get busy going over the few photos that I managed to shoot today and get at least a few of them posted tonight, along with a few more notes, and other observations. While you're waiting, maybe you'd like to check out Dean Murdoch's really excellent event preview that was published on the front page of the local Mission City Record today. Good work, Dean. And if you want to see some really good motorsport photography, click on over to Paul Grant's 330 Images website.

Through the magic of elapsed time (in other words, a few days later) we've managed to put today's photos on today's page, instead of somewhere in the middle of the next century. Amazing, eh?

The left pic is just to knock the rust off the camera shutter (nice lookin' car tho')
And on the right we have the Sitko Family flopper backing up from their burnout

On the left we have Nathan spraying the injector hat, while Kenny walks away, so who's driving?
And on the right is the unidentified (until later - it's brother Troy) leaving hard on an early shutoff 6.59 pass

The left pic could spawn dozens of captions, starting with, for example" The Three Wise Men, The Three Wise Guys, The Good, Bad and Ugly (your choice), Three Lost Souls, etc, etc. By the way, how's the air up there fellows?
Meanwhile on the right, Andy Cate's (Cranbrook, BC) nasty looking '57 pulls into the water box

Two more shots of Cawte's Chevy starting to spin the tires, then pulling into the staging beams.

On the left is the Top/Dragster of Bellingham's Quentin Chambers, which posted a very fast 6.26 at over 219 mph. On the right is Edmonton's John Evanchuk starting the burnout in his TA/FC.

Left: John Evanchuk launching his funny car. Right: Brian Hough backing up after the burnout.

Four consecutive shots of Calgary's Rick DiStefano with his '70 Camaro, starting with the burnout, then backing up.

DiStefano continues backing up, then pulls forward into the staging beams.

Two views of Greg Sereda backing up his Top Alcohol Dragster after the burnout.

A pair of Ashley Bart pics: burning out and backing up.

On the left is Ms. Bart pulling up to stage, while on the right is Don St. Arnaud warming up in the pits.

Here's a closer look at St. Arnaud and crew going through the warmup, while a larger than life pictorial of Ashley Bart adorns the rear door of her trailer.

A pair of pics from the Federlin pit area, as they prepare their Mike Austin-driven car.

And on to the Tim Nemeth pits, where his "Iceman" AA/FC (nitro nostalgia flopper) is being prepped for action.

On the left is one more view of Tim Nemeth's new-ish nitro car, while on the right, the Sitko family goes through the maintenance routine.

One more shot of Don St. Arnaud's A/Fuel Dragster on the left, and Dave and Vicki Strell's '70 Duster in the staging lanes on the right.

John Evans's Lucas Oil-sponsored Top/Dragstger is checked over in the lanes, before doing the burnout.

On the left side, Evans is backing up, while St. Aranud does his burnout in the right side pic.

A couple of Nitro Harley pics now, unfortunately without any info as to the riders.

And another nitro harley pic before we move back to the four-wheeled racers. Here's Brian Hough and one of his crewmen checking the bite with their coefficient of traction potentiometer, or whatever it's called. The verdict: traction as good as at any national event.

New paint job and a new driver in the Steve and Patty Federlin car, with Mike Austin driving.

Austin prepares to launch on the left side, while on the right, John Evanchuk does another burnout.

Now it's Evanchuk launching on the left, while Troy Sitko (licensing) makes another burnout.

Sitko backs up after the burnout, then launches on his second pass of the day.

We finish with three more shots of Greg Sereda, burning out and backing up.

We finish this photo parade with Greg Sereda preparing to stage prior to running a new career best of 5.67 at a very early shutoff 212 mph.

To see previous updates go to the What's Old page