2019 SEASON PREVIEW - KANGACRUZ RETURNS, OPTIMISM RUNS HIGH
Well folks, it’s getting close to ‘Go-Time 2019’ whatever the heck that’s going to look like this year. No one knows for sure, but as always, we remain optimistic and excited for another season.
The new motor was ready last November, and we went to the dynamometer with it this March. The dyno room at Rob Carpenter Racing wasn’t quite ready so we all met at Fred Smith’s race shop in Cayuga for the test. During the warmup phase we discovered an oiling problem so off it came and went back to Rob’s engine shop in Niagara Falls. This is what makes the Dyno such a valuable asset. We’re always learning. And better to learn on the dyno than have another melt-down at the race track. Rob likes to raise the bar when it comes to technology and I support his enthusiasm. The oiling problem is no big deal and being addressed as I write this. One side benefit of going to Fred’s was being able to catch up on race gossip and family news with both Fred and his wife Betsy. They have been good friends for over forty years.
The spare engine is well under way. We’ve got a new Dart SHP Pro block, Manley Tour-Lite rods, and a Jesel Belt Drive system. The damaged pistons have been re-manufactured by Rebco Machine in Wichita, Kansas, and the crankshaft straightened and lightened. Rob is waiting to see the horsepower and torque figures on the new engine before a camshaft selection is made for the spare. I’m glad Gloria pushed me in the direction of financing a spare motor. It will be peace-of-mind!
Kirk Vanni will once again bring his knowledge of Super Stock racing to our team, and Jory has announced that his hockey coaching schedule should allow for his driving talents early on in the season. That suits me just fine. Although I still feel right at home driving the car, I’ve come to enjoy watching the run, from the starting line, with Kirk. We then compare ‘notes’ as we go back to our pit area. I don’t miss the butterflies as you sit belted up, helmet on, in the staging lanes.
Schedule wise, we’ll probably start the season with the Can-Am Stock/Super-Stock Series at St. Thomas Raceway Park May 18-19. We won this race last year and look forward to going back. June 1-2 we’ll run the NHRA National Open at Toronto Motorsports Park. Not too sure where we’ll go after this. Kirk has the Pennsylvania Dutch Classic in Reading, Pennsylvania on his wish list and Jory would like to have a shot at running the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana. Both races are in September. The mid-season could take us anywhere between Montreal, Quebec, and Bowling Green, Kentucky. I’ll keep you posted. Wherever the season takes us, I’m sure we’ll represent our sponsors in the professional way that our Northern Force Team is known for. And, if you’re interested in joining our team as a sponsor to help promote your business or product line, send me an e-mail.
Thanks and take care.