ADVERSITY BREEDS POSITIVITY HEADING INTO HOME STRETCH
Well folks, it’s been another interesting year for the Northern Force team and it's set to wrap up in the coming weeks.
We got the car back from PK Race Cars in Millersport, Ohio, the third week in August, after that wild ride for Jory in New York back in June, and went testing. The results were decent, but didn’t quite match our optimism. Pat and Andy Kronenbitter are great folks and worked hard to repair and set-up the new chassis parts. Together we’ll get this car figured out!
While our car was being repaired, Jory and I were able to get to a couple of tractor pulls with my friend Dave ‘Ace’ Rosebrugh, from Paris, Ontario. One of Dave’s pullers is called a Multi-Engine. It has four supercharged Big Block Chevy’s sitting in the chassis. I sat in the tractor while we fired up all four engines for the warmup, and performed some minor tasks; what a blast! We finished first at one pull and third at the other. My knowledge of supercharged stuff is still fairly relevant and was able to help Dave in a couple of areas.
At our first race back, the Can-Am series event at Toronto Motorsports Park in Cayuga, Ontario over the Labour Day Weekend, we broke the low gear assembly in the transmission during testing Friday afternoon. Quite honestly, I was ready to load up and go home, but Jory and Kirk wanted to swap it out, so we ‘burned the midnight oil’ and put in a spare that Kirk had, working until 10:30pm to complete the swap. Despite it not being Jory's best day as a driver or the car's best day with consistency, we made it to the quarter finals on Saturday, which made the work that went into the transmission swap worthwhile, and proves again that some days it's just your day in racing. My cousin Dave Johnson and his friend were in attendance Saturday, while Jory's college friend Bobbie, and her son William, visited with us Sunday, where we lost out in the first round of competition.
Hutch’s Transmission in London, Ontario, did the necessary transmission repairs in the days following the event and we were off to Empire Dragway in Leicester, New York two weeks later. Jory did an outstanding driving job and took out a couple of ‘heavy-hitters’ with sharp reaction times and we again went to the quarter finals on Saturday, losing by hundreths of a second to Can-Am series point's leader Allen Sawicki. Sunday brought tighter track conditions, which contributed to a much faster reacting race car on the starting line. Despite our best efforts to "delay" Jory's reaction time's to match the conditions, an -.013 red light led to our second Sunday first round loss in a row.
John Hutchinson (Hutch) is one of the finest transmission ‘guru’s’ in North America, and I can call him a friend. John also helps me understand the data that our RacePak data recorder captures every round. Our team has a great group of supporters like John.
In spite of missing half the points earning events in the Can-Am series to this point, we’re currently sitting in 14th spot in the standings. Our final event in this series will be October 5th and 6th at Toronto Motorsports Park. A good showing could get us a top-ten standing to finish the year. That would be excellent, all things considered!
Gloria and I had a thank-you plaque made up and took a day to personally deliver it to Ray and Carrie Bonin, the owners of Kangacruz Mini Golf Carts in St. Catherine’s, Ontario. We enjoyed the get-together, during which Ray announced that they would like to continue the sponsorship through the 2020 season. He said that he is now reaching the motorsports community and contributed that to showcasing the brand as part of our team. Part of the renewal will include an upgrade to a brand new Aspire RS-A (48 Volt Alpha Series) Mini Golf Cart. This is great news and an endorsement of how well our combined marketing strategies have been working.
Progress has begun, at Rob Carpenters engine shop in Niagara Falls, Ontario, on the final machining and assembly of the second motor. Although we have all the major parts, Rob would like to do a crankshaft/connecting rod update that will be state-of-the-art, plus add a few extra horsepower. Rob’s ideas are top-notch and Joe Fioravanti’s attention to detailed assembly is second to none.
As we continually chase the best set up, we sent our Ultimate Convertor Concepts torque convertor back to Lenny in Charlotte, North Carolina, to have a minor adjustment made. The tourque convertor is what transfers the power from the motor to the transmission and it’s very important to have it suit the torque and horsepower the motor produces, in order to get the car moving as quickly and efficiently as possible. We also changed the low gear ratio in the transmission to better suit the torque curve of the motor, and over the winter the differential will come apart and be inspected. We’re looking at making a gear ratio change in this area as well to help improve the cars performance.
We're very grateful for the support our fellow racers have shown to both us, and our sponsor, in 2019. Thank you everyone!