After more than 28 years of operation, the Nl’akapxm (Eagle) Motorplex near Ashcroft is shutting its gates and closing its doors.
The announcement was made last week by track manager Sue McKay, who said that Ashcroft Indian Band chief and council voted to cease operation of the drag strip. Among the reasons cited for the decision were a declining car count at events and numerous technical and mechanical issues that have necessitated expensive repairs. The issue of finding qualified personnel who are able to repair the wiring was also a factor.
The decision to close the facility was made before the start of the drag-racing season to enable racers to change their schedules and try to save their racing program for the year. It has, however, left the Graffiti Days committee in Cache Creek scrambling to revise the schedule for this year’s event just six weeks before its start on June 10.
“The Langley Loafers were a huge draw,” says Graffiti Days committee chair Bill Elliott, referring to the old-time drag-racing at the motorplex that played a key part in the weekend. “We’ve adjusted the schedule a bit, so the family dance is on Friday night. The Poker Run has been moved from Friday night to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, and it will be followed by the show and shine, barbecue, beer garden, dance, and smoke show in Cache Creek.”
He says there have been a lot of people asking if there will still be a classic car parade through Ashcroft. The parade, which draws a sizeable crowd each year, started from the motorplex on the Saturday afternoon and came through Ashcroft on its way to Cache Creek.
“We still plan to have the cars come through Ashcroft, but there won’t be a parade. It will be more sporadic this year.”
Elliott notes that the committee has always had it in the back of their head that the motorplex might close one day and they would have to make other plans for the Graffiti Days weekend, but admits they didn’t think it would happen so suddenly.
McKay says that the Band is saddened by the decision, and hopes racers will be able to salvage their season somewhere else. “We wish everyone success in the future, and want to thank all those who supported the track over the past 29 years.”