Just a few weeks after earning his first career national event win in Alcohol Funny Car at the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals in Reading, Canadian racer Paul Noakes will make his official NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel debut at the NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, according to DragRaceCanada.com.
Noakes, who has raced Alcohol Funny Cars for close to 25 years, will be behind the wheel of the Paton Racing dragster owned by Barry and Todd Paton.
Noakes’ Top Fuel debut came together quickly due to a lot of hard behind the scenes work and unrelenting dedication.
“I feel truly blessed on how the stars have all lined up once again,” said Noakes. “First came the blessing from my wife Gina to pursue my dream this weekend and then with the help of long time sponsor and good friend Jay Johnston of Harman HVS we put a package together. My sponsors at Meritor (Marty Hetherington and Walter Sherbourne) made this happen in such short notice and I am very thankful for their efforts. We will have Meritor representation on the car and also company officials there to enjoy an exciting weekend of racing at Las Vegas.
“I can’t thank Barry Paton enough after he approached me in Reading about this,” he continued. “His team’s longtime supporter John Hoey of Tim Horton’s is also involved in helping as well. I’m ecstatic and very fortunate about the opportunity and that Todd and Barry are working together proctoring me. I truly believe Barry has some of the best equipment and crew personnel in place for Top Fuel racing. At Las Vegas my personal goal is to qualify in the top half and win the race while making no mistakes behind the wheel. People will think this is a lofty goal — but I believe there is really only one reason to go racing.”
The Paton Racing dragster was acquired from DSR and was previously driven by Antron Brown.