Despite the heavy rains that fell on Thursday, the volunteers that put together the Northern Nationals worked hard and by the end of the day (bleachers, jerseys, fences, control tower, speed/time displays, tents) – the Wawa Municipal Airport was transformed into a drag strip. The parade had to be cancelled though, and things were quiet at the Wawa Motor Inn for the kick-off.
That all changed bright and early Friday. Time Trials began at 2 in the afternoon, and run after run was made down the track! Late in the Super Pro competition, Chris Burry approached the finish line and, organizers say, “it looked like the left front wheel broke off the car sending the car into a horrific barrel roll which saw the car tumble 6 to 8 times on the asphalt before coming to rest. The only good news coming out of this story was the fact that Chris was not injured at all, and was out of the car and walking around by the time we reached him.” The car was totalled, and several times later, the other dragster sponsored by Mission Motors stopped halfway down the track. The word from the Control Tower “it looks like the transmission is blown”.
An amazing comeback was made by Kyle Jessup who had to replace a broken transmission, but with it repaired defeated Chris Manzo to win the Super Pro Gambler’s Title and the purse of $1000. Semi Pro Alan Siebart went against Paul Robilard for $1000, and the Junior Dragster Gambler was won by Madison Millette. Wawaite Pat Fowler won the Street Shootout.
Saturday the racing went well, there was no rain – but that changed around 3 with light sprinkles, and then a downpour by 4. With the track soaked, racing stopped and was set to begin Sunday morning. James Dumont won the Junior Dragster, and Brandon Knobel won the Sled/Bike Class.
Gregg Hall won the Street Championship with his Corvair for $1000.
Mike Chenier raced and won against Jamie Tupper for the SuperPro $5000 win.
Jody Dalcourt of Elliot Lake was the winner of the SemiPro for his first $2000 win.
Then racing began in earnest. Car after car was brought to warm up their tires, and blast down the track. There were some delays here and there to remove debris, clean up leaking oil – but the racers lined up and were ready to take advantage of the beautiful day.
During this year’s races, a special t-shirt was offered for sale. Peter Moore of TransCanada Chrysler took the mike and explained that these t-shirts were to assist Lori Johnson, an integral part of our community, and the driving force behind the Northern Nationals. “If it wasn’t for her bringing the sponsors, and the Municipality to the table, and holding everybody’s hands – we wouldn’t be here today. So on the fifth anniversary of this event, i’d like to thank everybody for their contribution. 100% of the of the funds raised this weekend go to Lori!” Shirts could be seen everywhere through the crowd.
Ashley Ogilvie won the $1000 prize for Junior Dragsters – this would be her last time racing in this class.
Kim Grant of Kirkland Lake won $2000 in the SemiPro event.
Dave Southam in Sleds/Bikes.
The winner of the $10,000 SuperPro Pay Day was Bill Yorkchuck.