Over the past three years no one has been able to unseat the impalpable Tim Boychuk as the Funny Car King of Canada.
Since 2010 the Edmonton, Alberta native has been remarkably consistent and blazingly fast in IHRA’s AMSOIL Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car class leading to three consecutive victories at his hometown MOPAR Rocky Mountain Nitro Jam Nationals at Castrol Raceway, most of them in dominating fashion. Many have tried, but none have been able to unseat the fastest Funny Car pilot north of the border.
But one man hopes to change all of that.
Three-time IHRA Top Fuel World Champion and recent Funny Car convert Paul Romine will come out of semi-retirement and return to action for the first time in more than a year when he takes over driving duties in the “Power Steel” Camaro owned by Jim Broome at the MOPAR Rocky Mountain Nitro Jam Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports at Castrol Raceway.
Teaming with the southern Arizona Funny Car team, which also fields the world-famous “Candies & Hughes” nostalgia flopper that will also be in Edmonton, Romine hopes to return to his winning ways the weekend of July 5-7 as he tries to unseat the reigning Funny Car champion at his home track.
“Boy am I excited. It is always fun to come back and run IHRA and we are looking forward to teaming with Jim (Broome) and those guys and give it our all up in Edmonton,” Romine said. “It is hard to believe, but in all the years that I raced I never raced that far west in Canada, but let me tell you the fans in Canada are tremendous. They are always on the gas and they should be in for a great show this year.”
Adding to the excitement, Romine will be reuniting with his old crew as he teams with longtime tuner Mike Cavalieri and crewman John Bullard – both of whom have played pivotal roles with Romine over the years – as the team tries to get the “Power Steel” Camaro up to snuff against a very tough field in IHRA’s only qualified Funny Car competition of the season.
“We are getting the band back together,” Romine said. “It has been a little while since the last time I was behind the wheel, but with these guys I am sure we can get the car and myself up to speed pretty quickly. Mike used to help me with the Funny Car and John has been with me forever and having those guys with me up in Edmonton will make for a pretty awesome weekend.”
Romine is hoping things go as smoothly as they did the last time he competed at an IHRA event. In 2011 at the West Palm Beach Nitro Jam in southern Florida Romine competed in his first IHRA race in nearly a decade and came away with the win. In his first IHRA action since that win, Romine hopes his luck will continue against a tough field on a very fast track.
“I don’t know many of those guys up there, but I have raced Boychuk a number of times and I look forward to going up against him again,” Romine said. “The other thing is that the times are going to be really, really good. That place is a mineshaft for sure and the track is always really good and has produced some unbelievable numbers in the past. That track certainly has a reputation for being awfully good.”
Romine, his “Candies & Hughes” teammate and Boychuk will be among the many drivers trying to tame the Edmonton quarter-mile when the fastest Funny Cars in the country take to the track at Canada’s biggest drag racing event. Featuring some of the wildest and most unique classes and competitors in all of motorsports, over a dozen different classes will be in competition including Top Fuel Dragsters, Fuel Altereds, Nitro Harley and much more.
Can Romine take over where drivers like Andy Beauchemin, Michael Grekul and Jim Obalek – all runner-up finishers to Boychuk over the past three years – left off? We will soon find out.
“Anytime you can go up there and whoop up on some Canadians that is always fun,” Romine said. “I can’t wait to see what the cards have in store.”
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