On Friday morning, Glen Gray, NHRA’s Vice President, Technical Operations, informed Nostalgia Funny Car driver Tim Boychuk his victory at the Bakersfield March Meet on March 4 was being stripped.
Boychuk was disqualified from the event and runner-up Chad Head, a rookie Nostalgia Funny Car driver, was declared the winner.
“What happened was following a post-race inspection both Tim Boychuk (Funny Car) and Rick White (Top Fuel) were found to have fuel pumps that exceeded the maximum allowance for fuel delivery,” said Gray in an interview with Competition Plus Friday. “So, after reviewing that data, we have a (rules) committee for the (NHRA) Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series, and we disqualified both drivers. Since Tim (Boychuk) was the winner he was disqualified from the event and Chad (Head) was declared the winner based on that. Since Rick (White) was a runner-up, nothing changed there.”
Gray added Boychuk and White also lost their points and purse they earned associated with the March Meet. Jim Young beat White in the Top Fuel finals.
Not surprisingly, Friday’s news didn’t sit well with Boychuk, who is from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and races a Funny Car in IHRA.
Phone calls initially made by Competition Plus Friday afternoon to Boychuk were not returned, but later Friday Boychuk sent a text back to Competition Plus saying “My comments are on my website, boychukraing.com.”
A statement from Tim Boychuk on boychukracing.com read as follows:
In regards to our disqualification of our win at the March Meet at Famoso Raceway, Bakersfield, I would like to express both Ron and my utter disappointment in the results. As far as we are concerned all of our Fuel systems are within specifications that is required by the NHRA. All data we have proves that.
If NHRA finally wants to take a vested interest in the Heritage Hot Rod series, then maybe they need to be consistent in the way they inspect and test our products.
The kicker to this is that this decision is unappealable!
Ron, Bob and I feel very saddened by this turn of events and apologize to our Friends, Fans and Sponsors.
Later Friday Head also had time to react to him being named the March Meet winner. Head, the director of racing operations at Al-Anabi Racing, is the son of iconic Funny Car driver Jim Head.
“It is what it is,” Head said. “I short shifted and made a bonehead move in the final and that (the disqualification of Boychuk) doesn’t fix that. Who knows how thick their pump was, it doesn’t matter. I’m sure he didn’t mean to do it and (it is) kind of a bad way to lose a race and kind of a bad way to win a race. Really it is all the guys that did it (helped Head get the victory). My dad’s guys killed themselves. They raced Phoenix and we tested Monday after Phoenix. They left one of the rigs in Phoenix and drove one of the rigs home. Then, the guys flew back to Phoenix and drove the rig to Bakersfield, set up, and then drove that rig all the way back to Columbus (Ohio). Then they loaded up and went from Columbus to Gainesville (Fla.) and then back to Columbus. Those are the guys who did all the work and busted their a**. Chris Cunningham, Marc Denner, Tom Leskoven and Geff Whitt (also) were there, and they were great to work with.”
Gray said the fuel pumps were confiscated on the two Funny Car finalists cars – Boychuk and Head – and on the dragsters for Young and White during the post-race inspection March 4 at the March Meet.
“On Monday (March 5) we sent those pumps to K.J. Crawford (who has the certification house for NHRA),” Gray said. “He certifies them (the fuel pumps) before they go into competition, and then he seals them and then he is also the place we send them if we do a post-race inspection. This limit on the fuel pumps has been in effect at least a couple of years, and this was the first time we pulled them (the pumps) after the event and tested them. There will be random inspections like this continuing not only on fuel pumps, but other components just like we (NHRA) do with any category.”
K.J. Crawford, Inc., Fuel Injection Systems is based in Santa Rosa, Calif.
“We (NHRA) had the results back Friday, while I was in Gainesville (Fla.) (for the Gatornationals),” Gray said. “Then, we had a conference call on Tuesday (with the rules committee for the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series) because I was traveling back from Gainesville. I wanted to get everybody together to go over the results before we made the final decision. We made the announcement about our decision (Friday).”