Partnership to be Continued in Oregon

The Widget Rally Team’s codriver John Dillon (Thousand Oaks, CA) partnered with Nick Allen of Nick Allen Racing (San Francisco, CA) to tackle the Olympus Rally on 30 April 2011. Olympus was round 3 of the Rally America national championship series sanctioned by RallyCar.

Unfortunately for the team, a mechanical problem sidelined their 2001 Ford Focus after the first stage. In an unfamiliar car and working together for the very first time, they nonetheless finished the stage sixth in class (Group 2) despite the engine’s impending demise.

Allen, a relative newcomer to the sport with only five rallies under his belt, decided to enlist the aid of the veteran co-driver, anticipating that Dillon’s experience will allow Allen to focus exclusively on driving.

“We were unable to repair a blown engine in time for Olympus,” explained the driver, “so I bought another Ford Focus last Wednesday. Our crew chief Nathan ‘Nate’ Walton didn’t arrive until Friday night, so he had no opportunity to thoroughly go over the car before starting the rally early Saturday morning. We had a good run on the first stage, but at the end of it our engine was badly overheating because of a hose clamp problem.”

Dillon praised the crew chief, observing “Nathan’s a real trooper. Despite the biting cold on Friday night, he and his helper Hugh ‘Bub’ Levinger checked things over by flashlight until well after midnight. There was no way they could have detected the defective hose clamps in those conditions.”

Though the teams are disappointed they didn’t get more seat time together, each expressed an interest in partnering again in two weeks time at the Oregon Trail Rally.

“Nick and I will be working on the car for the next ten days to be ready for Oregon Trail,” said Walton. “We’ve prioritized a checklist of items to address, and I’m sure there will be a few late nights along the way, but we’re confident we can get the job done and get back out on the stages soon.”

“I felt comfortable with Nick’s car control skills,” reported the codriver, “and he said he liked my preparation and stage note delivery, so we’re going to give it another shot. I think we’ll enjoy a more successful rally the next time out.”

He closed by commenting on the incredible sense of community in the rally world. “It has been several years since I’ve had the opportunity to race in the Pacific Northwest. It was great to catch up with all my old friends and to see how much they’ve progressed in the sport. I look forward to a speedy return.”

Nick Allen Racing, LLC is an independently operated rally team sponsored by Nathan Walton. The Widget Rally Team is sponsored by the Scott Roofing Company, providing roofing services for homes and businesses all across Arizona. Bay Street European maintains the Ford Focus in San Rafael, CA. Widget insists on brakes by Porterfield Enterprises ( and utilizes the web services of Shults Dot Com ( for its internet needs.

Photo (c) 2011 by Jim Culp and used with permission.



Powered by Facebook Comments