Drag racing: Thomson, Valerio, and Tyler win regional titles for 2016

He may have only won a single event in this year’s Joe’s Transmission TNT Super Series, but Jim Thomson of Niagara Falls captured the championship in this popular Southern Ontario – Western New York drag series.

Now in its 11th season, the TNT Super Series is based on the NHRA’s Super Street and the IHRA’s Hot Rod classes with cars running on a 10.90-second index for the quarter-mile. This year the series held 10 events at the Cayuga Dragway of Toronto Motorsports Park and the New York tracks of Empire and Lancaster.

Thomson’s sole win with his Chevy Nova came at Lancaster late in the season. Taking second in points this year with a victory at TMP in May was Hamilton’s Dave Gunn with his Mopar, third was Harry Phelps of Newark, NY with his Chevy Nova, and fourth was Dave Surmatchewski of Oakland and his Olds Cutlass. The team of JJ Jablonski and his Camaro and Jay Vitez and his Chevy II out of Alden NY placed fifth in points.

With two decades of racing behind it, the Can-Am Stock/Super Stock Series held 13 races in 2017 with Welland’s Tony Valerio winning this season. Valerio and his first-generation Camaro won the season opener at Cayuga, and race four at Empire.

Second place in points was a tie between Chris Lozon of Chatham and Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Chuck Nagy, while former series winner Rob Becker of Port Colborne was after that with his Camaro. Next was another tie in points between Frank Frederico of Stoney Creek and Mike McGrath of Rochester, NY, while fifth in points was George Gagnon, also of Stoney Creek.

Scott Tyler had a lead going into the Canadian Funny Car Championships at TMP, the final round in the NDRA Funny Car season, and although London’s Paul Noakes won the meet, Tyler and the Welland-based Kardiac Kids entry collected enough points to win the series. Finishing second for the year was Tyler Hache, also of London, while New York’s Vince Rastelli took third.