PROMISING OUTCOMES FROM LESS THAN IDEAL SEASON
I sure am glad the season has ended. Now we have a legitimate reason to find our Super Stocker sitting in the race shop instead of the trailer preparing to go down the road to a race track. This was a tough summer. A couple of great sponsors came on board for 2018 and we busted up our motor real bad, missing most of the season due to unavailability of parts to replace the broken ones.
Ray and Carrie Bonin, the owners of Kangacruz Mini Golf Carts, in St. Catharines, Ontario, have just confirmed that they want to continue our sponsorship agreement into the 2019 season. Now, that there is a vote of confidence in our team. Barry and Jackie Trap and the staff at Performance Unlimited in London, Ontario, will continue to find us all the parts and pieces necessary to maintain our inventory and we're grateful to have such a wonderful local supplier in our corner. A big thank you to all of them for their continued support.
On top of that, Jory, who drove the car to a win at the first race of the year, would like to take another crack at the NHRA's divisional title like we did in 2014, with the goal of qualifying for the most prestigious drag race in the world, the U.S. Nationals. That’s great news!
The new motor (block, crank, camshaft, pistons, rings etc.) has just been finished at Rob Carpenters shop in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Head engine builder Joe Fioravanti likes what we've got. We’ll be sorting it out on the engine dynamometer the first week or so of January. Using a "dyno" to measure horsepower and torque is a real time saver at the race track, providing a baseline for performance. We will know the numbers the motor produced, then it’s up to our team to put the best possible numbers (elapsed time and mph) up on the scoreboard.
Gloria made an interesting statement a few weeks ago. I was debating whether or not I wanted to spend the money for a spare engine. She said, “At our age it’s tough to sit out a season because of breakage, we can’t get that lost time back but when we’re finished racing, there will be some value in the spare engine”. Ok Gloria, so that’s a done deal. We've got a machine shop in Buffalo, New York, already preparing a crankshaft and will continue sourcing the necessary parts throughout the winter.
Components for these engines come from specialty manufacturers right across North America. The good stuff is expensive and hard to get, unlike the professional nitro categories where every team runs the same engine combination, making parts more plentiful. The piston rings in the motor we busted were diamond coated for better sealing against the cylinder walls, and cost more than a couple of thousand bucks. Since the financial collapse in 2008, no one is stocking inventory. And, with every engine builder wanting the manufacturer to change the dimensions of a piston a few thousandth’s of an inch, or the weight of a connecting rod a couple of grams, or the profile of a camshaft a few degrees, to suit their needs, it’s a tough compromise between customer service or having too much inventory on the shelves. However, the good side is that drag racing is super healthy and the performance manufacturers are making money. So are the professional race shops that are putting the stuff together. But be prepared to sit in line for months just to get an engine ‘freshened-up’ for the following season. When you show up like we did the first week of July with a wheelbarrow full of scrap iron and aluminum, it’s hard to break into that lineup. We won’t get caught up in this situation again.
So, from our Northern Force team; Gloria, Jory, Kirk Vanni, and all of our associates, we hope you all have a wonderful Holiday Season and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s.