“We got to chatting in the off season and Ike expressed his interest in hopping in the seat sometime this year” said team co-owner Todd Paton. “While we continue to pursue marketing partners for our 2022 season this seemed like a great opportunity for us to build on the success we had at the conclusion of the 2021 season and get to one of our favourite events on the schedule”.
“My brother Tony and his partners have a great brand they’ve developed called Fast Eddie Speedwear that offers all kinds of cool designs for race fans and gearheads who love the performance industry. They’re going to ride with us this weekend as our primary sponsor and get some incredible exposure with the NHRA experience.” Additional support will come from Performance Data Systems, Smokies Garage and 3FP.
The Canadian-based team attended the final three events of the 2021 season with Cameron Ferré at the controls, qualifying for all three races and recording the team’s first 3.7-second elapsed time en route to a semi-final finish at the World Finals, where they came up just short against World Champion Steve Torrence by .004 of a second.
“With all the Covid restrictions in place over the last two years, it made it difficult to keep up with the latest technology. As a result, we ran last year’s events with an older 5-disc clutch while most of the other teams were running the 6-disc setup. This will be our first event running the 6-disc, so we’re hoping that transition goes smoothly and allows us to pick up where we left off at Pomona last November.” said Paton.
“Cameron is still working on getting back out there, but in the meantime, running the car with Ike behind the wheel will allow us to continue to work on our combination and get more data on the 6-disc setup,” Todd said. “Gainesville Raceway holds a special place in our hearts. I won this race in 1999 driving our family-owned alcohol funny car and then we made it to the final round here in 2018 with Shawn Reed driving. Hopefully we can combine our recent success from last year with our rich history at this event for a successful weekend for Ike, Fast Eddie Speedwear and the rest of our Paton Racing team.”