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The latest update as of July 21, 2018

NHRA Heritage Series Funny Car race updates - Testing & Qualifying

Our first visit to Mission Raceway since last year's Funny Car race started out under a mix of sun and cloud, which gradually turned into a warm, but not hot, afternoon. The first impression of the raceway, circa 2018, was all the missing trees adjacent to the staging lanes. It's put a huge hole in the vista, but has opened up views of the river. However, the addition of a big steel fence has taken away much of the ambience of the venue, and in the process removed quite a bit of shade from the large canopied trees.

Another disappointment was the lack of Funny Cars in attendance, with just 20 on the property: six Nostaliga Nitro Funny Cars, five Rocky Mountain Funny Car association cars, and nine Northwest BB/Funny Car association members. From the nitro-burniung side, Jason Rupert was missing, along with last weekend's runner-up in Edmonton, Ryan Hodgson (defending NHRA Heritage series champion), and Edmonton semi-finalist Jay Mageau in his "Prospector" Corvette.

Bolstering the somewhat thin turnout were two unexpected competitors, as Shawn Bowen in the "Bartone & Lebor" entry, and California's Dan Horan not only showed up, but laid down some impressive numbers. They were out for test runs in the afternoon; Bowen seeing the Mission track for the first time, and Horan making his second visit to the facility.

Shawn Bowen - Bartone & Lebor --- Mark Sanders - Mr. Explosive

Dan Horan (not pictured) was the first nitro car out of the pits, hitting the track just after 2:00 pm. The car left hard, went 3.84 to half track, then shut off well before the finish line. On the left, the second fuel car to test, that of Shawn Bowen came out an hour later, laid down a hard burnout, then was shut off just as he prepared to stage the car. Looked like an oil pressure problem from our vantage point. Just before 4:00, west coast favourite Mark "Mr. Explosive" Sanders, (right) made a strong pull to the 500 ft mark, then clicked it off to a 7.58 - 121.26 clocking.

Phil Davis --- silver Corvette

Some local doorslammers, including (on the left) Phil Davis in his beautiful flamed Willys, made passes during the afternoon. Davis stopped the clocks with a solid 7.74 at 176.15, while we didn't catch the name or numbers for the silver 'Vette on the right.

Hart Braker Too --- Grant Howell

Making a series of license passes, was the new (unidentified) driver in Don Harter's "Hart Braker Too" Arrow, culminating in a final
7.53 - 182.81 pass in the late afternoon. On the right, there's another local doorslammer, Grant Howell, who posted a 7.71 - 175.71 time.

Bobby Cottrell - Bardhal Special & Dan Horan - Patriot --- Tim Nemeth - Iceman

As the Nitro Funny Cars began lining up in the staging lanes for the first qualifying session at 6:00 pm, a pair of them (left) featured Bobby Cottrell and Dan Horan at the head of the line. On the (right) it's Tim Nemeth stopping at the end of his burnout in the "Iceman" entry. His opening effort didn't produce the results the "Iceman" team were looking for, as a 6.32 - 198.67 was punctuated by a lot of smoke and hurt engine parts on the top end.

Tim Boychuk - Happy Hour --- Dan Horan - Patriot

Facing Nemeth inb the first pair down the track in qualifying session number one, was (left) Tim Boychuk in the "Happy Hour" Camaro, and he opened his scorecard with a soliud 5.95 - 241.61 pass in the late afternoon heat. In the next pair, Mark Sanders (not pictured) put down a very strong 5.72 - 251.67 number, as Dan Horan (right) smoked the tires and quickly shut off to a 14.79 - 66.30 in the "Patriot".

Bobby Cottrell - Bardahl Special --- Shawn Bowen - Bartone & Lebor

A very familiar sight for Northwest drag racing fans (left), Bucky Austin's Camaro, with Bobby Cottrell at the wheel, lights up the tires prior to his first qualifying effort - the quickest of the session - 5.69 - 253.24. On the (right) we've got Shawn Bowen speeding down track on his way to an engine-hurting 5.81 at a slowing 226.39 mph.

With only six cars in the lanes (and the pits) it was a very quick round with little downtime, despite lots of smoke on the top end, and at least two severely damaged engines. Looks like the nostalgia guys are learning to keep the oil contained these days. The qualifying list stretched from Bobby Cottrell at #1 with a 5.69 to Dan Horan on the bottom at 14.69. With only one more qualifying session scheduled at 9:00 pm, the pressure was on the slower teams as they returned to the pits.