CAYUGA, Ontario (August 1, 2004) - Doug Foley earned his first career Top Fuel win Sunday at the Third Annual ACDelco Canadian Nationals at Toronto Motorsports Park in Cayuga, Ontario. Foley, of Sewell, N.J., defeated Louie Allison in the final ...
CAYUGA, Ontario (August 1, 2004) - Doug Foley earned his first career Top Fuel win Sunday at the Third Annual ACDelco Canadian Nationals at Toronto Motorsports Park in Cayuga, Ontario. Foley, of Sewell, N.J., defeated Louie Allison in the final round with a 4.854 ET at 305.22 mph to win the event.
Mike Janis, Lancaster, N.Y., Pro Modified; Jim Sickles, Caledonia, N.Y., Funny Car; and Robert Patrick, Fredricksburg, Va., Sunoco Race Fuels Pro Stock were winners in their respective categories.
The first round of Top Fuel resulted in a number of upsets, including Todd Paton's win from the No. 8 qualifying position over points leader Clay Millican, Allison defeating No. 2 qualifier Tim Cullinan and "Doc" John Sipple defeating Bruce Litton. Foley defeated Bobby Lagana Jr. with a 4.810 ET at 301.54 mph.
In the semifinals, Foley faced Paris, Ontario-native Paton. Fresh off his win over Millican, Paton had the starting line advantage, but had trouble getting down the track and Foley took the win. Allison defeat Sipple with a 4.874 ET to advance to the final round versus Foley. In Foley's first final Top Fuel final round, he defeated Allison with a 4.854 ET.
"This is our seventh race in the Top Fuel car and to win it is just amazing," said Foley. "We've had a lot of help from Bruce Litton and he gave us a great car to begin with. My team has been watching Litton and (Clay) Millican and how their teams function. We want to be a top team.
"Saturday morning it was raining and we weren't sure if we would get another qualifying chance, which would leave us out of the field," said Foley. "We got the qualifier, made the field and then used the data from the quality runs we made at Milan Dragway to give us a base for race day."
The first round of Pro Modified placed No. 1 qualifier Billy Harper against Mike Stawicki. Stawicki had the better reaction time, but Harper took the round with a 6.450 pass. Janis faced Ontario's Carl Spiering and laid down a great 6.224-second pass and advanced to the second round against current points leader Harold Martin. It was Janis all the way, with the reaction time advantage and a slightly quicker 6.212 ET to Martin's 6.216. On the other side of the ladder, Harper took out the defending world champion Mitch Stott with a 6.253, 227.57.
The semifinal match-up was Harper versus Quain Stott and Janis versus Ed Hoover. Harper had just defeated Quain's brother Mitch, and in a very similar race, defeated Quain. Janis used a 6.254 ET to defeat Hoover and advance to the final against Harper. Janis was first off the starting line and beat Harper to the finish with a 6.258 ET.
"It was like throwing darts at the wall this morning to figure out the tune-up," said Janis. "We took what happened during the last round at Milan Dragway and that combination worked. The car was great first round and once we had it figured out, we stuck to that game plan."
Number one Funny Car qualifier Rob Atchison, of London, Ontario, began the day defeating fellow Canadian Mike Etter in round one. Etter had the better reaction time, but Atchison's event low 5.844 ET was good enough to take the round. Mark Thomas faced Joe Comella. It was Thomas all the way, winning with a 5.866, 240.17. Sickles took out a red-lighting Vincent Rastelli with a 5.870 ET.
Thomas defeated Neal Parker in round two to set up the semifinal match-up with Atchison. Atchison ran an event top speed 241.24 mph but Thomas used a better reaction time to take out the defending event champion. Sickles' second round opponent was Alberta-resident Trevor Lebsack. He advanced past Lebsack and then defeated Terry Munroe in the semifinals to meet Thomas in the final round. Sickles used a reaction time advantage to defeat Thomas and win his first IHRA event since August 2003.
"We've just kept plugging away at this car," said Sickles. "After struggling two weeks ago, we came here without a tune-up but made it work.
"Thomas and Atchison are really flying down the track. When I won at Norwalk (Raceway Park) last year, we dominated. But this year, we just aren't where we need to be yet," added the 44-year-old Sickles.
In the first round of Sunoco Pro Stock, Patrick, qualified thirteenth, faced Tony Gillig. It was a great race, but Patrick was too tough, leaving the line first and running a 6.548 ET to Gillig's 6.574. John Montecalvo, the current points leader and No. 2 qualifier, made the best pass of the weekend at 6.518, 214.83 to defeat a red-lighting Richard Penland. Montecalvo's run reset both ends of the track record.
In round two, Patrick took out Larry O'Brien then faced Ron Miller in the semifinals. Miller had just defeated reigning world champion Brian Gahm, but couldn't match Patrick's 6.547 ET. Montecalvo defeated Pete Berner in round two with a 6.534, 214.42 and a red-lighting Mike Bell in round three to advance to the finals against Patrick, whose last event win was in 1996 at Norwalk Raceway Park. Patrick had the reaction time advantage and it made the difference. Montecalvo had the better ET at 6.553, but Patrick's 6.550 and his better reaction time won the round.
"My crew made some great calls today and that made the difference," said Patrick. "My car was putting out a lot of power and when I had to I cut some good lights. It's great to be back in the winner's circle.
"It's great to come back home (to IHRA) and win a race. Even when we lose, I enjoy racing," added Patrick. "We'll give it everything we have and try to get a top five finish for the year."
The next event on the 2004 Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series is the 23rd Annual Torco Race Fuels Northern Nationals at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Grand Rapids, Mich., August 12 - 14, 2004.