We’re all back at the shop now safe and sound after a good day of destructo racing! As always, it was a great weekend filled with good times, revving engines and bent metal. There is something about this weekend that differs it from any other race weekend that we attend. I mean, it’s still racing, but it’s another world of it, there is truly nothing like it.
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We got everything loaded up Saturday and took the cars to pre-register there at the track, which not only saves you a couple bucks, but you avoid the insane line up Sunday morning.
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Registration and tech was pretty simple, we only had to change a couple minor things to pass inspection, and there we left the cars for the night inside the track gates awaiting the demise that Sunday will bring.
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The starting line up is in a first in basis, so the earlier you get there, the better chance you have starting at the front. I was lucky enough to pull in 9th putting me at the outside 3rd row. Which is a pretty good place to be.
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Starting 9th!
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My brother didn’t pull a bad number either, a 28th place start which is a whole lot better than starting 50th or so dead in the middle of the pack. With sometimes up to 100 cars starting at once, you wanna be up ahead as you can. It gets nasty in the back of the pack.
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So after dropping the cars off we headed back to the shop to pack the tools, equipment and coolers. Hooked up the pop-tent to the van and headed back. We decided to camp at the track this year to avoid the hustle and bustle of a raceday commute from the GoFast shop to the track. And I’m sure glad we did. Sunday morning, while everyone was scrambling, we were all set, just sat and had some coffee. The cars were inside, we were registered and nothing to do but wait. We took advantage of the time to walk around the track to spot anything. It was a good thing we did that, it gave us a good idea on where the trouble areas would be, like into turn 1 where the dirt was pushed up looked like it would suck you into the wall.
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We watched as the racers and fans started to pull in, had a look at all the cars and scoped out the competition. There wasn’t as many cars as last year and the years before, probably the smallest turn out I’ve seen, but still over 500 cars covered the 4 race classes.
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We caught up with everyone who had come to watch us, and Erin, being her first time ever seeing something like this was a tad nervous. She’s in the medical field and this all pretty much goes against any proper judgement of man and machine.
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“This is a world I never even knew existed.” She says.
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And it’s true, sometimes I tell people what we do this 2nd weekend of Sept. and they usually respond with blank awe, the, “are you crazy?” and the…”what? Really?” But nonetheless, we thank everyone who comes out to cheer us on. We do our best to put on a good show for ya!
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So once everyone is settled in, and they call the drivers meeting…you start to feel the butterflies. I mean, if you didn’t, there’s probably something wrong with you, you’re about to go out and smash your car, into 80 other cars at flying speeds…on purpose.
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As the meeting goes one, the water truck are out wetting the track to slow us down, and the ladies 4 cylinder is lining up and getting ready to go.
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And it’s now officially race day. The green flag drops as 40 women in beat up 4 bangers take out all their frustrations on the race track. The ladies only get to run in the 4 cylinder class by themselves, and really, I think it’s to protect the men. Rough and ready they are with a half cup of no fear and a half cup of craziness.
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At about 15 laps to go, I had to go down and prepare for my race. The Mens V6 class was up next and I had to get my helmet cam and all sorted out before I got onto the track.
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I had trouble placing the GoPro cam for the last couple days, either the bracket for the roof was too flimsy, or the camera was placed where I couldn’t reach to clean it, it’s hard to find a spot where to place it to get a good view. I have to thank Luke Marti, he really saved me. He called home and got a buddy to rip down to the track with new camera mounts to stick the camera onto my helmet. And what timing, they called the drivers to come out and Luke was tying up the camera to my helmet. I lost my 9th place start cause I was late going out, but at least I got the footage. Luke must have ran a billion kilometers to help me get setup back and forth from the parking to the pits, and I can’t thank him enough.
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And out I went. It was derby time in Cornwall.
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“And we’re going green in 3…2…1….”
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You could see from the start that I had trouble with the RWD, but that was expected. I guess it’s a good thing that I’ve been working on the Canada Synthetics / Gold in the Net Drift car all year, cause that sliding came into play around every turn.
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I basically had to steering and no traction. And once I got going, a turn was coming up. So, I basically waited for someone to come up beside me on the outside, ran into them and they by no choice had to help steer me around the turns. I got some good laps in before the first red flag in which someone flipped their car on turn 1 (that same trouble spot Carney and I found earlier), they flipped him back over and ironically, he was the one who went on to win the race. UNBELIEVABLE.
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It was a few more laps in that my oil light started flickering then came on to stay. We stopped at another red flag and I was able to sign to my brother that I was going to pit for oil. Green flag came and around I went into the pits.
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They topped me up and I was hoping I hadn’t blown an oil line, and off I went back out into the race.
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I had a hard time getting back onto the track with the traffic, and luckily, Jason Barrett saw me waiting and ran a blocker into another car to help me get out.
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Did a few more laps then I noticed I was losing power…and fast. At first I thought the engine had died due to oil starvation or something, then it felt like the tranny…I mean, my foot was to the floor and I was going maybe 3 km/hr.
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Into the pits I went again.
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It was there that everyone spotted the problem. A gusher of a gas leak. This is always bad news, so I headed to the pits and my team went to work.
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This is how we fix a fuel line in a derby race:
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Yup, flip it on its side and get to it. Hugh was in there right away cutting and pulling and managed to get the main line fixed. I climbed up the side of the car to reach down and start the fuel pump but unfortunately there was another leak coming from way up inside the fuel tank area. And that was the end of my day at the Cornwall Fireball Enduro.
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I ended up only getting 15 laps in, but what a time I had. The car was still in good condition so I parked it on the trailer and went back to watch the end of the race and get Carney setup for the 4 cylinder mens. It worked out good for Jason though, he took home 3rd place which is quite a feat…a big congrats to him and his crew!
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Now my little brother…in his 2nd year racing here, was set to go. Last year he finished the race in the Cavalier, which was quite a feat considering the beating he took, and this race wasn’t going to be much different.
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He had it rougher than me no doubt.
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He took some nasty…nasty hits but kept on going. He got spun around and banged up for the first few laps, but once he found his groove, he was able to stay out of trouble, pitting only once for a tire (and another huge thanks to Luke Marti) and he kept on to finish the race. He’s 2 for 2 here at Cornwall, and we’re all super proud of him! Way to go!
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And onto the V8′s we go. Luke Marti was driving the #3 Ford Taurus, and well, this guys knows what he’s doing when it comes to derby racing. Prior to the start of the race, he’s a 3 time champion and had a car that was quick and able.
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Once the green flagged dropped, the rest of the field didn’t stand a chance. He led every lap and claimed a 4th victory, probably a record there at the speedway.
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Here’s Luke’s in car cam:
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I’m really happy Luke won his race, he has been a huge help to us here all along and a good guy deserves a good win. Congrats buddy!
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So now that the weekend is over, we’re all still in one piece and we can look back at the race. It’s amazing at how much time we put into a car, the work, the hours, just for a few laps of smash’m'up racing. It’s astounding really.
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What these cars go through is unreal. It’s a one of a kind weekend and I can’t wait for next year.
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There’s a ton of people who help make this happen and I couldn’t have done it otherwise.
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Hugh Debeor – Always a staple in our race. Always has my back and is always there to help. Great mechanic, great friend.
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Randy Tontsch – When it comes to race weekend, he’s always there to dig in and help out, thanks again Randy, you da bomb!
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Luke Marti – Can’t thank you enough, your knowledge, experience and willingness to help is beyond words.
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Erin O’Brien – for stickin through cancelled dinners and me wrecking cars. You’re a trooper gypsy!
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Carney, Dad, Mom – Where would we be without ya’ll…
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The rest of the crew who ran to help, Bubba, Taxi Bob, Luke Smart, Jason Barret, Wendy for a kick ass breakfast, Tiffany for painting such a wicked logo on the hoods and to all my friends that came out to support us and the GoFast team, Thank you…you’re all awesome and without a doubt, I know you’ll all be there again next year!
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Sep 14th by Bannon



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