NEAR MISS AT REPEAT WIN DURING SEASON OPENER
Exactly one year to the day from the team’s last win, they nearly did it again, finishing as an honorary runner-up, after mechanical issues prevented them from completing a bye-run in the semi-finals, which would have advanced them, uncontested, to the final round.
Having not competed since this same event one calendar year ago, driver Jory Elliott was in the flow at the controls of the teams 650 horsepower GT/EA Chevrolet Cavalier, putting together his most consistent and accurate string of starting line reaction time’s in his eight years of competition. “I was feeling the flow on Sunday, there’s no question about it”, said Elliott. “This sport is a real balancing act most of the time, where the driver and car often compensate for each other when one or the other isn’t completely up to par on any given run.” On this day, with the added challenges of a gusting tail wind and track temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, it was the driver that carried the load most of the way. “There have been plenty of days that the car has done the heavy lifting and I’ve just been along for the ride, so it was about time I returned the favor.”
With three round wins in their back pocket, the lifting got too heavy for even the most talented driver to overcome. As Elliott went to fire the car for the team’s semi-final, bye-run into the final round, something went wrong. “I flipped the switch to fire the car and it cranked a very lethargic one and a half turns and then quit”, recounted Elliott. “As I pulled my hand off the starter button and went back to it, I realized the car had lost all power because my digital dash display was completely dark.” That was all a result of a faulty starter, which malfunctioned, essentially prohibiting the firing procedure for the car.
“Once I realized what was happening, I did everything I could to get the attention of nearby track personnel and our crew and within 30 seconds we had people crawling all over the car trying to help remedy the issue”, Elliott said. “The rules are such that you have to run the race when you’re called to do so and it’s at the sole discretion of the race director as to how much time you’re given to do that. After a few minutes of troubleshooting we realized we weren’t going to be able to make the run and oh man, did my stomach ever sink at that point, knowing we had missed a glorious opportunity.”
It’s a common theme in motorsport, the loss of a race due to a small piece of the car not standing up to the rigors of the G-forces exerted on it in this type of high performance competition. That competition, including the highs and lows of it, is why engineers continually strive to design better parts, why crew chiefs continue to analyze the parts and pieces they have and why drivers keep coming back for another shot at glory.
All said, the Kangacruz Mobility sponsored team came away with another solid season opening outing, positioning themselves well to compete for the 2019 Can-Am Stock/Super Stock Series championship.
The team’s next event is in less than two weeks where they will take to the same quarter-mile dragstrip at Toronto Motorsports Park in Cayuga, for the NHRA National Open, presented by John Scotti Classic Cars, CDRHF.com and BlastallEquipment.com, May 30-June 2.
Photo Credit: Tony Hayes & Can-Am Stock/Super Stock Series