You Did What Now?!
Hey BracketLifer’s! Since Brandon shared one of his memorable race weekends, I thought it was only fair that I shared one of my own. So, let’s go back all of the way to 2016 in Wawa, Ontario.
Every year my family and I, along with our entire home track crew make the trek to Wawa, Ontario. For those of you that don’t know where this is, it’s 14-hours up North in Ontario, Canada and frankly, in the middle of nowhere. The entire drive to Wawa consists of A LOT of trees, winding roads, and terrible cell-service. You follow the same road for majority of the trip and once you see the big ‘goose’ statue, you know you’ve made it to Wawa!
Now, although I’ve made it sound like an incredibly unappealing place to travel to, it is actually one of my favourite places to go. Yes, the drive sucks A LOT! But the town and community people are amazing! We’ve met so many great people there and are always willing to go above and beyond for us (more on this later)!
Anyways… we arrive at the track (Wawa Airport) Friday afternoon and make it just in time for the Friday Night Gambler’s race. Now, after a 14-hour drive, the last thing my dad wants to do is unload 3 dragsters (+ a jr. dragster) to put his two daughters and wife in their cars to race – but hey that’s what we came for right!? So, we convince dad (like always) that we NEED to compete in the gambler’s race and away we went to start unloading the cars and getting them ready.
As the first few rounds started, things were going well for me! I was nailing the tree, the track was good, car was running well and I was going rounds! I had only been racing in super pro for one year, and this was the third race of the season for me (since I was away at university). I was so proud of how I was doing, but you all know where this story is headed ...
As I continued to go rounds, one of our good friends, Kyle, was having some issues with his transmission. Like anyone would do at the track, everyone rushed over to help him fix his transmission (including my dad). After going out and winning the next round, he came back only to have to completely replace the transmission. So away the boys went to fix it!
By the time I came back from fourth round, I noticed the rear-end in my dragster was starting to make a weird noise. Now – I was super new to super pro and to being behind the wheel of this dragster, so when I mentioned to my dad that I heard a funny noise, he did a quick check – said everything was fine, and sent me on my way! We never thought anything of it, and dad went back to finish working on Kyle’s transmission!
By some miracle, I ended up winning the quarter-final round, but when I was driving back to the pits – I knew something was really wrong with the rear-end in my car! When I came back yelling for dad to come look at my car again – he realized it was a lot worse than what he thought and told me that there was no way I could run the semi-final round. Even worse, we didn’t have the spare parts needed to fix my car for the rest of the weekend. I was devastated.
Now, I know you are probably thinking ‘your family has multiple dragsters, just hop in another dragster’. Well … I was definitely not ready for that and neither was my dad! So, after crying my eyes out that I was done for the weekend, and my dad feeling HORRIBLE that he let his daughter down – something absolutely insane happened!
One of the super pro dragster drivers (who had just completely barrel-rolled and destroyed their dragster) came up to dad and said that we could use the spare parts off of their dragster to fix my car, and even better, their garage was right beside the track and we could use their garage to fix my car. Now, in NO WAY were we about to say yes to this offer. Nothing about this offer seemed ok or respectful or even remotely like it was a good idea. It was also already 9:00 PM. BUT, of course, all of our racing friends rallied behind us and convinced my dad that it was a great idea to fix my car and they were all going to pitch in – and so we did. I mean, how hard was it going to be!?
Now, I’ll be honest, I don’t know any of the fancy terms for what actually broke in my car. All I know is that whatever type of rear end I had, and whatever type of rear end the other dragster had – were in no way similar! After multiple attempts to try and fix the rear end – at 2:00 AM, we had yet to find a solution. I remember sitting on the garage floor staring at the guys dragster wondering if this was even happening. At one point, I remember we were welding pieces, then we were hammering pieces (because there were no power tools) and just staring at my dad going ‘I think this was a bad idea’. But by 3:00 AM we had somehow figured out how to make it work and they had managed to get my rear end back together!
If it wasn’t for our buddies Lewis Gagne & Mike Chenier cheering on my dad every second saying “you can’t give up, it’s for your daughter” and “I will stay here until the end with you, we got this” we would have given up hours ago!! Carl Jessup was also there with us until the very end, showing us how to do things the old-school way and we will be forever thankful for that!
Now, when I mentioned above that the people of Wawa are truly incredible I meant it! I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere, where someone has offered us up parts off their wrecked dragster AND their personal garage to work from.
It all sounds crazy now, and it absolutely was! Every part of it was a blur, but it’s a night my dad and I will never forget! I wish I could say that I went out Saturday and Sunday to win the big $5K & $10K races, but I didn’t! If I remember correctly, I barely made it past third round either day. All my dad’s hard work ... for nothing! But hey, we get to laugh about it now, right?!
Catch you next-next week,