The NAPA AUTOPRO ULTIMATE SHOWDOWNS DRAG RACING SERIES wrapped up it’s inaugural season on Labour Day Weekend at Grand Bend Motorplex, with some great racing action, all part of the annual Thunder by the Beach, presented by Teamsters Local 879.
Under extremely hot and humid conditions, the Ultimate Showdown Series competitors fought it out for not only the event titles, but also for season Championship recognition.
After the tree dropped for the last time this season, we had two new event winners in both Pro Modified, and in our Top Sportsman / Top Dragster classes. Our first ever NAPA AUTOPRO ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN SERIES Champions were determined in this third and final event of the season. Overall the Series was a huge success with great participation and excellent racing, was provided by the competitors vying for some of the largest purses in “Series” drag racing in North America.
In Pro Modified, Rob Atchison led the way in qualifying, running 6.000 to tease the rest of the field by showing his ’63 Corvettes’ potential at only 213.92 mph. Atchison’s Mattress Depot, Atchison Machine Service, and West Coast Transportation sponsored entry was leading the Pro Modified points going into this event. By virtue of his two previous event wins. Derek Hawker, Jeff Roth, Bruce Boland, and Al Martorino, rounded out the top five qualifiers in the eight car Pro Modified field.
In round one of eliminations Atchison laid down low et and top speed of the event with a 5.935 elapsed time at 241.74 mph while defeating Sal Cammisuli’s Corvette. In round two, Atchison was paired up with number four qualifier, Bruce Boland and his A & A Auto Parts sponsored 1941 Willys coupe. Boland had laid down a 5.969 elapsed time in round one, while defeating Al Martorino’s Mustang. Both drivers were definitely “up” for this race, as they knew that the car in the opposite lane had the potential to end their race day, if they weren’t “on their game”. When the ambers flashed on the pro tree, Atchison moved first but left too early by six thousandths of a second. Boland sped to a 6.008 at 230.23 mph for the win.
On the other side of the Pro Modified ladder Derek Hawker’s ’68 Firebird, running for Hawker Construction and Empey Tire. Picked up a first round win over Gary Mater’s twin turbocharged Mustang with a 6.069. Then eliminated Sam Andreacchi in the Wolf Electric ’69 Camaro in round two with a 6.079. After qualifying second at each race this season, it felt like Derek Hawker was due for a win during the final race of our NAPA Ultimate Showdowns season.
In the Pro Modified final, with both drivers “pumped up” to try to capture the win and the $7000 top prize overhead. Both Derek Hawker and Bruce Boland staged carefully but at the hit, Hawker’s Firebird moved too early resulting in a red light start.
Both drivers drove it out the back door. In a side by side drag race, with Boland running 6.045 at 237.15 mph for the win in the A &A Willys. A strong 6.023 at 238.60 mph for Hawker’s Firebird, after his red-light start.
After capturing two wins and qualifying number one at each of the three Ultimate Showdown events. Rob Atchison from London, Ontario becomes our first NAPA AUTOPRO ULTIMATE SHOWDOWNS Pro Modified Champion for 2015.
Congratulations to Rob and his entire team, including Rob’s wife Julie, their kids Wyatt and Alyvia, his Dad Bob (Crew Chief) and crew members Kyle Harris, Tim Rodger, Fraser Evans, and Mike Papoff.
Don’t forget the NAPA ULTIMATE SHOWDOWNS AWARDS CEREMONY is coming up on Saturday October 24, 2015, at the Cairn Croft Hotel in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Advance tickets are on sale now at $75.00 per person, and special discounted accomodations are available at just $89.99 per night. Group #3910 Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for info on tickets.