FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — It was a nerve-wracking weekend at Northern Lights Raceway as the drag strip saw its first major incident in several years’ time.Acting Race Director James Rutherford says that the incident happened on Sunday during the first elimination round in the Pro bracket. Rutherford said that the driver, who declined to be named, was on the starting block and floored the accelerator when the Christmas tree lights turned green. “That car has always been a bit of a wheel-spinner,” Rutherford said. He explained that the force of the wheelie snapped the car’s wheelie bars, which caused the car to rapidly pitch upward. According to Rutherford, when the driver let off on the gas pedal, the car’s front end quickly came out of the wheelie and impacted back onto the track.The car’s front axle snapped with the force of the impact, causing the driver to lose all steering. One of the wheels ended up folding under the car’s front end, causing it to veer into the concrete barricades next to the track. Rutherford explained that the force of the crash moved two of the barricades, severing the electrical cables of the racetrack’s timing equipment.- Advertisement -Rutherford said that though video of the impact shows the severity of the accident, the driver was unharmed. “Those cars have got phenomenal safety built into them. It was just one of those fairly unfortunate incidents where the wheelie bars failed and caused the car to shift its weight onto one tire. He’s done lots of wheel stands with that car for the past twenty years. He’s been racing that car for a long time and its always done pretty big wheelies.” The rest of the day’s races were subsequently cancelled due to the damage to the track’s wiring, though technicians were able to get the wiring repaired late Sunday evening, meaning that things at the drag strip are effectively now back to normal.As for what could have caused the crash, Rutherford stated that in speaking with the driver, it appears as though he was not lined up properly in the “groove,” which is the stickiest part of the track. “As it left the line, it moved to the left, driving one tire out of the groove, and that caused the car to shift its weight,” he said. Rutherford explained that this was the first crash at the drag strip in roughly three years’ time, when a racer from Chetwynd lost control while braking after a run down the track.Despite the accident, Rutherford explained that one full day of racing was able to take place this past weekend. Madison Morton was the winner of the Perfect Light Award for the day. Morton was also the winner of the Jr. Dragster class races, behind runner-up Noah MacDonald. Dave King was the winner of the Pure Street class, with Jason Gertz as the runner-up. Willy Suisdahl took home top spot in the Bike/Sled class, ahead of Bruce Romack. In the No Box class, it was Kelsey Dufresne getting the quickest time down the 1/4 mile, finishing in front of Andy Tofteland. Dufresne also won the Box class, followed by runner-up Dustin Vipond. Rutherford added that the Raceway also hosted a pair of first-round loser Jackpot races. Mikayla Fedderly took the top spot in the All-Age group, while Sophia Closeky was the Junior Jackpot winner.Advertisement Northern Lights Raceway will be hosting arguably its biggest races of the year the weekend of August 19th and 20th, when the Division Six IHRA Team Finals will take place. Rutherford said that this past Sunday’s cancelled races have been rescheduled to take place on the 2nd weekend in September.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsThe local Red Cross has been in chaos since September, when it was discovered that then-CEO Angie Turner had hired a convicted embezzler as her top fundraising officer. The ensuing personnel fallout resulted in the resignation or dismissal of multiple executives, and numerous lawsuits against the chapter and Turner. Questions about Turner’s leadership dredged up her conviction and imprisonment from the 1980s for her involvement in an international heroin ring, which was unknown to all but two board members. Turner resigned in early February, and French becomes the fifth person to hold the interim CEO position. Red Cross officials and community leaders say he is an excellent choice for the six to eight months it will take to find a permanent CEO. “He’s the kind of person that an important organization like the Red Cross needs to come back from the experiences they’ve had to deal with the past several months,” said Darryl Dunn, general manager of the Rose Bowl and a former Red Cross board member. Don McIntyre, the former Pasadena city manager who led a blue ribbon committee that assessed the chapter’s management problems, said French was “probably the most logical appointment, from my perspective.” French is taking the helm of a chapter where donations have dropped about 30 percent in the current fiscal year. It faces operating deficits in the next year, too. French is not in a “caretaker” position, said board Chairman Michael Zoeller, and will have his “hands full with putting the Red Cross back on track.” But he has the Red Cross experience and the respect of the community to make that happen, Zoeller said. French said there is a perception in the community – partially deserved, he said – that the Red Cross has used bad judgment with employment issues and Hurricane Katrina fundraising. Trust is the most important aspect of any relationship, French said, and the community must trust the Red Cross enough to support it. He said he’ll earn it back by calling for greater relevance to the community, efficiency, accountability and transparency. [email protected] (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4461160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PASADENA – Jack French, the former longtime head of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, said he hopes to restore the community’s trust and confidence in the American Red Cross when he becomes its interim CEO today. French, 68, is coming out of retirement to assist the troubled San Gabriel Pomona Valley Chapter of the Red Cross. French is also returning to an organization he led from 1976 to 1981 before serving for 19 years as CEO of the Tournament. French said there are many challenges facing the Red Cross, but that taking the job was the “right thing to do.” He said he has skills to “reinvent” the organization and to “try to restore the confidence of the community, and the trust and support and morale of the staff and volunteers.”