A BITTERSWEET FINISH
Well folks, the season ending Can-Am Series Stock/Super-Stock race, October 5, 2019, at Toronto Motorsports Park proved to be bittersweet for our Northern Force team.
We went into this event in the 14th spot in the points standings and were hoping for a top 10. We got it! The car was super consistent and Jory was on his game with great starting line reaction times.
This was turning out to be an excellent day.
Our daughter Carey was in attendance with her two daughters and we were all enjoying a day at the 'drags'.
On the final winning run, Jory lost control of the car and barrel-rolled through the top end. He took a pretty hard hit, suffered a concussion, and spent the next two weeks recuperating.
The car didn't fare so well. An eye witness said it got airborne while barrel-rolling and came down real hard on the left side. It got air borne again, barrel-rolled, and came down on the right side. Although the main roll cage structure and restraint system held up and protected Jory from any serious injury, all the body panels, plus suspension and steering components from front to rear, side to side, were torn up. Some structural tubing was also bent. After conversations with a couple of chassis builders, we determined the car was fixable, but at a considerable cost, so, Gloria and I made the decision to cut our losses and sell it off. Chuck Nagy, a fabricator in Niagara Falls, Ontario, saw some value in it and bought the complete roller.
Ron Carle, also of Niagara Falls, made me a very good offer on our trailer and most of the support equipment. I hadn't really thought about selling the trailer, but the timing seemed right to 'clean-house' and re-group in 2020 with state-of-the-art stuff if the opportunity existed. The engine went to another Super Stock racer, Al Allison. I still have the brand new spare short-block sitting at Rob Carpenters race shop. Kirk Vanni has been most helpful with the restructuring.
So, here's the bottom line. As of April, 2020, I think as team owners, Gloria and I are probably done. Gloria had a serious medical issue in March that she's recovering from, and doing quite well, but along with this coronavirus, I feel that most everything is going to be set back a year or two. I just don't see us rebuilding our Northern Force team without some serious sponsorship help.
As for a place for me to hang my hat, I've talked to a couple of Alcohol Funny Car teams who would be happy to have my services. I have renewed my NHRA Competition Licence for the next two years in case an opportunity comes along to continue driving, and of course there's always my buddy, Dave Rosebrugh, whose enthusiasm and competitive tractors I've always enjoyed hanging out with at Tractor Pulls across Ontario.
Feel free to send me an email at: rwbobelliott (at) hotmail.com.
So, take care everyone, it's a crazy world.