Friday, 14 June 2013 10:38

Start of Swift Current drag racing season delayed due to weather conditions

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Medicine Hat's Doug Zeller in his 1971 Chevrolet Nova (at left) and Cecil Schafer from Sceptre in his 1968 Pontiac Beaumont get off to a spectacular start during a qualification race at last year's Sept. 8 drag racing weekend in Swift Current. Medicine Hat's Doug Zeller in his 1971 Chevrolet Nova (at left) and Cecil Schafer from Sceptre in his 1968 Pontiac Beaumont get off to a spectacular start during a qualification race at last year's Sept. 8 drag racing weekend in Swift Current. Matthew Liebenberg/Prairie Post

Vehicles of all shapes and sizes will soon be flying down the Swift Current airport landing strip when the drag racing season gets under way, but the first racing weekend had to be cancelled due to weather conditions.

 

The Swift Current Drag Racing Association (SCDRA) is hosting three race weekends this summer. SCDRA President Greg Mackay said the club is ready for the season ahead.

“We have meetings monthly and we figure that we've got everything planned and ready to go for another good racing season,” he said.

He is expecting to see racers from across Saskatchewan, Alberta and the northern United States and even some from British Columbia at the events.

The first of three race weekends were scheduled to take place on June 15 and 16, but the SCDRA cancelled the races due to weather conditions. A rainout date is still to be announced.

Vehicles with up to 2,000 horsepower will take to the track during the season and racers will reach speeds of up to 160 miles per hour in as little as eight seconds over 1,300 feet.

But participants do not require a super fast, highly modified vehicle to be able to enjoy the thrill of hurtling down the drag strip.

According to Mackay the street class is one of their most popular racing classes at the event.

“Anybody can come out, as long as they bring a helmet and $40,” he said. “They can come out and race anything they got. Most of the time that's our biggest class.”

Local interest in drag racing continues to grow and people will often get started by coming to the drag strip to try out their vehicle’s ability in the street division.

“Then all of a sudden they're building race cars now and they're moving up into faster divisions and faster cars,” he said.

The SCDRA currently has around 50 members who help out to make the racing season a success.

“It is a good, solid group and we have great volunteers,” he said.

The runway at the Swift Current Airport provides an ideal location for the club to host their three race weekends every year.

“The way our cars run we need a solid, long stretch of asphalt for these cars to race on and that's the only venue that we can use second to closing down a piece of highway,” he said. “The City has been really good with us and Todd Schultz, the manager of the airport, has just been fantastic.”

This will be the club's seventh season of racing at the airport. The other two racing weekends will take place August 10 to 11 and September 7 to 8.

Jet car driver Chuck Haynes from Billings, Montana, was scheduled to make an appearance at the September races, but his jet car was damaged beyond repair by another driver during a crash at the Perth Motorplex in Australia on Feb. 16.

“So he had to pull out on us,” Mackay said. “Right now we're just going to see how this first one goes and then we're going to decide and do something big for the event in September.”

 

 
Read 22897 times Last modified on Saturday, 15 June 2013 09:42
Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer

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