Defending two-time Canadian Top Fuel champion Damian Cownden will be remembered in the history books as the first CMDRA Top Fuel winner at a race held in Quebec. The DCR Top Fuel Nitro Harley-Davidson team took on a five-strong field and less-than-ideal track conditions to come out on top of the inaugural CMDRA Rendez-Vous Nationals at Napierville Dragway.
Cownden’s run of 4.88-seconds at 170 mph (Top Fuel was only running to half-track due to safety issues) in qualifying put him in the second position behind Edmonton’s Kevin Boyer, who he would ultimately meet in the finals. There, Boyer got the starting line advantage and the pair were locked side-by-side until Boyer suffered tire shake, giving Cownden the break he needed. He sped to an impressive 4.41-second lap at a slowing 167 mph (268.76kmh) to take the early season points lead.
“It’s a great way to start the CMDRA season, and makes the trip across the country well worth it,” Cownden admitted after the race. “The team tuned the Parker Johnston Industries Harley-Davidson perfectly, and we couldn’t have been happier.”
It was a great way to start an intense four-weekend tour that sees the team leave Quebec to head for Toronto Motorsports Park (Cayuga, ON) next weekend, then all the way to Edmonton the week after before bee-lining it to Bristol, Tennessee for an NHRA Invitational race the following weekend.
The next event for the Damian Cownden Racing team is June 2nd and 3rd at Toronto Motorsports Park in Cayuga, Ontario.