Time Capsule – Northwest Doorslammers of the 1990’s
Looking back at how fast Northwest doorslammers were, it’s apparent that things started to get serious in the mid 90s. In fact it was the Canadian contingent who outpaced their American rivals for a few years. You didn’t read much about that in the magazines.
For a time Mission Raceway Park was the center of the NW door car world with both Pro Mods and Pro Street standouts coming out of the famed Canadian track.
Canucks like Glen May, Trevor Lowe, Joe Delehay and Rick Distefano ran both locally and made extended journeys to major IHRA races when that group lead the Pro Mod world. It was a time when the Hemi was outlawed, but that didn’t matter to Glen May. His Walt Austin Hemi powered ‘94 T-Bird was the first doorslammer over 220 mph during an NHRA points race at the obscure track called The Eagle Motorplex.
A southwest group called West Coast Pro Mods was quite active at Mission and Boise in the late 90s attracting many name drivers. Guys like Wayne Torkelson, John Scialpi, Monty Berney (a transplanted Canuck), Pat Stoken, Kirk Kuhns and long distance stars Billy Harper, Charles Carpenter and others always put on a show.
It was Braid who went south to Las Vegas in 2001 for one of the first Pro Street appearances at Las Vegas running exhibition. It was about this time that the Pacific Street Car Association came to be.
Within a half dozen years the PSCA was hosting ‘street car’ races throughout the southwest headlined by the Street Car Super Nationals in November at LVMS – a race where northwest drivers enjoyed great success in a number of classes. And it wasn’t just cars that were part of the competition as trucks were well represented as May, Delehay, Garrett Richards among others campaigned some very competitive rides.
An outgrowth of all this was a group called the Canada West Doorslammers. They still run events today and feature one of the top Pro Mods in NHRA – Washington’s Shane Molinari.
The northwest has a rich doorslammer history, perhaps not as significant as other areas, but considering the small number of tracks, that history is even more impressive.