Normally in victory lane, the winner’s attitude is pure excitement. For Jay Turner, winner in Nitro Motorcycle at the IHRA Mopar Canadian Nationals Presented by Williams Racing at Grand Bend Motorplex in Ontario, the prevailing emotion was relief.
“I thought we were ready when we got here,” the IHRA reigning champion said. “But from the time we unloaded, it was one thing after another … Spark plugs blowing out the holes. Fuel system. Problems with the starter cart. The heads. More problems with the starter cart. I think we just willed it to the finish line.”
Turner’s weekend nearly went south in the semifinals, when he faced off against Jake Stordeur. Turner had a terrible run of just 170mph, but Stordeur was even slower at 147 mph.
“I guess we’re entitled to one lucky round a weekend,” Turner said, “and that was ours.”
Perhaps even more of a lucky break was when Tracy Kile eliminated Bob Malloy, who had been on fire since his record-setting victory at Maryland International Speedway the previous weekend. Malloy, who was the top qualifier at Grand Bend, sailed through the first round with a bye run but then ran into problems in his match with Kile, running 6.606 seconds at 188mph to Kile’s 6.528 and 213mph.
Turner has a little time to sort things out before the second half of IHRA’s Canadian swing takes place at the Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals Presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports is scheduled for July 15-17 at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta.
Turner is cautiously optimistic about Edmonton given his history there.
“We’ve never had any luck at Edmonton,” he said. “But we’ll see if we can break the curse.”