Drag races at the Campbell Hill dragstrip in 2019. The hope is to have races again this year to coincide with the Graffiti Days weekend in June, but volunteers are needed to make it happen. (Photo credit: Wendy Brulotte)

Drag races at the Campbell Hill dragstrip in 2019. The hope is to have races again this year to coincide with the Graffiti Days weekend in June, but volunteers are needed to make it happen. (Photo credit: Wendy Brulotte)

Volunteers needed to make local drag races a reality in June

Thunder in the Valley Raceway hoping to have drag races at Campbell Hill over Graffiti Days weekend

Drag races could be coming back to the dragstrip at the Campbell Hill airstrip south of Cache Creek, but volunteers are needed in order to make it happen.

So says Dwight Toews of Thunder in the Valley Raceway, who is trying to organize drag races to take place on the weekend of June 10 in conjunction with the Graffiti Days event in Cache Creek. Toews brought drag racing back to the area in 2018, after it had been absent since 2015 following the closure of the Eagle Motorplex near Ashcroft, and then again in 2019. There were plans to have more races in 2020, but they were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The return of drag racing in 2018 attracted participants from all over the province, as well as hundreds of spectators from the immediate area and beyond. Toews is eager to bring the races back, but a meeting in mid-March for potential volunteers had a very low turnout.

“We had the meeting at the end of a workday, when people were tired,” says Toews. So he’s trying again, with another meeting planned for 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 2 in the meeting room at the Cache Creek community hall. Everyone who would like to volunteer, or learn more, is welcome to attend.

“We’re looking for any race enthusiasts, or anyone who wants to be a part of something,” says Toews. “We’ve been locked down in our homes for the last two years, so it would be a nice chance for people to get out and socialize and be a part of something.

“You don’t have to be a car person, by no means. We’re looking for responsible people for security, working the gates and doing parking, working in the ticket and timing booths.”

He adds that volunteers are also needed to do some work before the event to get the area tidied up.

“I’ve been up there over the last couple of days, and it’s in fairly decent shape. I’m hoping to do a little work asphalt-wise before the races, but other than that the track is still good enough to race on. I tried it out a month ago to see how it was at high speeds and it was fine. We just need to cut some of the weeds by the no-posts, sweep the track, cut the grass in the parking area, and put up some fencing.”

The plan is to run the races in conjunction with the Graffiti Days weekend, with a test and tune on Friday, June 10 as people arrive with their cars and register. There would be a full day of racing on Saturday, June 11, but Toews says they would shut down during the car parade of classic and vintage vehicles through Ashcroft and Cache Creek before the Show ’n Shine on Saturday afternoon. Racing would conclude at around 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 12.

Toews says that in 2018 and 2019 participants came from as far away as Edmonton and Alaska. “I don’t know if we’ll see that as much anymore, because of fuel being so expensive, but I’m hoping to entice people from the immediate area to either come out and watch or to race.”

He says that anyone who has a vehicle that they used to drag race in, or who was working on a car, or who just wants to see what it’s all about, is welcome.

“You don’t need a super fast car; it’s the enjoyment of seeing two cars go down a 1/8-mile track and doing it safely. Drag that car out, wipe the dust off, check the tires, and just have fun with it. That’s what it’s all about.”

In order to make the races happen, however, volunteers need to step up.

“It didn’t look promising after the last meeting, but I’m getting people contacting me and expressing interest,” says Toews. “The Pharaohs Car Club in Kamloops is sending someone to the meeting on April 2, because they want to be involved in order to help motor events like this happen.

“The more people who come and get involved, the bigger and better the event will be. The 2018 event was spectacular, and everyone who was there thoroughly enjoyed themselves at the drag races and Graffiti Days. With everything that will be going on at Graffiti Days this year, we’re hoping for a really huge event.”

For more information about being part of the drag races, come to the meeting on April 2 or contact Toews at (250) 457-3224 before April 4.



editorial@accjournal.ca

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