During NHRA’s recent Gatornationals in Florida — opportunity knocked for a budding new Canadian driver….

Veteran and wily team owner Larry Dobbs (Welland Ontario) has continued an important reputation for providing new emerging drag racers — with a chance.

When the recent NHRA Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals race proved to be a date conflict for his regular team driver, Tyler Scott (due to a sports commitment) — Larry put another member of his race team behind the wheel of his potent Top Alcohol Funny Car Chevy Camaro, for that event.

25-year old Ryan Stack, who has been a crew member and clutch specialist with Larry’s team, received a major opportunity to drive the Funny Car at Gainesville’s historical 50th Anniversary race.

For Ryan, who lives in Wingham Ontario, and who has also built a strong reputation building motors for Junior Dragsters, it was his first ever opportunity to drive the car in competition.   And in fact he had just completed his licensing — the week prior to the Gatornationals event.

“It was two years ago (right here) that I first joined Larry’s team as a crew member,” Ryan revealed.  “Since then I’ve been involved with the team at ever race — including some tuning.  The opportunity to license in the car first came up last year and I started that process at Cayuga Dragway — last August.  But I didn’t finish that up until the “Baby Gators” (NHRA Regional Race) just last week.”

At the Gatornationals — Ryan did perform very well – his best time was a 5.762 secs which secured him a #14 qualifying slot at his first ever event.  Then in round one he did manage to stay close to the eventual event winner Sean Bellemeur — before Bellemeur won a dual tire-shaking 5.807 secs to 5.908 secs affair.

“To actually have the opportunity to race at the 50th Gatornationals, with all that history, was an unbelievable honour,” Ryan added.  “When your pull around that corner from staging — it really does feel very special.”

Ryan Stack & Larry Dobbs

The very formidable and long history “Kardiac Kids” race team, which features strong sponsorship from Canadian-based companies including Harman HVS, Napier Truck Tents and Jim Scott Enterprises, will see primary driver Tyler Scott back in the car at it’s next event (NHRA’s NGK 4-Wide Nationals at Concord NC) – later this month.  And team owner Larry Dobbs will enter the rest of the 2019 season with some extra confidence — knowing well that he has a nice option/very competent back up driver — right nearby.

“It’s back to crewing and tuning for me right now,” Ryan smiled.  “But maybe I will get a chance to drive at some regional or independent events again later this year (?)”

Post and photos by Bruce Biegler