Top Fuel battle reaches fevered pitch in Grand Bend
Nitro Jam Media
Jul 5, 2011
Exactly one year ago at the annual summer spectacular known as the Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals at the Grand Bend Motorplex in Ontario, Canadian owner/driver Todd Paton piloted his Tim Horton’s backed Top Fuel dragster to a victory over former champion Bruce Litton to claim the very first Canadian Top Fuel victory at an IHRA Canadian event.
Next week, Paton hopes history will repeat itself once again.
With the 11th annual Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals less than two weeks away, Paton will be back in action at Grand Bend the weekend of July 16-17 looking to once again put his familiar red and black nitro machine in victory lane against a trio of very tough Top Fuel opponents at one of Canada’s premier drag racing events.
“We were a late addition to the show last year and we surprised even ourselves by coming out on top and finally getting a win in this thing,” Paton said. “Hopefully we will have the same kind of success in Grand Bend and win another Ironman for Canada.”
Bobby Lagana Jr.
Paton, whose race team is based in Ontario, will be making the short trip to Grand Bend next weekend looking for career Top Fuel victory number two against the likes of former world champions Bruce Litton and Bobby Lagana and Top Fuel newcomer Kyle Wurtzel.
Last year Paton made quite a splash on the final day of competition in Grand Bend when he blew the body off his Top Fuel machine and was forced to make a quick trip back to his shop to obtain a second body just to be able to finish the event. He then went on to post the second quickest pass of round one before defeating Litton in the final to claim his first career Top Fuel Ironman.
But he won’t be the only one looking for an all-important victory in Grand Bend.
Litton and Lagana are currently locked in an epic battle for the Nitro Jam Top Fuel championship and with Grand Bend providing the last Top Fuel action of the year in Nitro Jam competition, the championship will ultimately be decided on the beaches of Lake Huron.
Lagana currently holds a commanding lead over last year’s other Grand Bend winner Litton and is looking to seal his second straight Nitro Jam championship. Lagana’s dominance this season has included nine victories and a 15-9 round record.
“We have definitely had a good year. Bruce and I have become really close friends and work together at each race, but when we get on the track we want to win just as bad as ever,” Lagana said. “Now we are on the verge of winning another championship trophy which is always exciting. It should be a fun weekend in Canada.”
The fourth piece to the Top Fuel puzzle is Top Fuel rookie Kyle Wurtzel. Wurtzel purchased one of Litton’s dragsters last year and has been working his way up the ranks ever since. In his Nitro Jam debut last month in Edmonton Wurtzel had a strong showing, recording a pair of victories over veteran Mike Strasburg and he is looking to continue that success with a strong outing in Ontario.
Now the battle for the championship in the quickest accelerating class on earth all comes down to one race at the Grand Bend Motorplex July 16-17 at the Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals.