November 25th, 2020

Drag racing season down to the wire

By Medicine Hat News on September 21, 2016.

Pro and king of the hill winner Joel Holmedal guns the accelerator during racing at the Medicine Hat Drag Strip Sunday. --Submitted Photo Bernie Frey

Medicine Hat News

It’s down to the wire and the action was hot this past weekend at the Medicine Hat Drag Strip.

In a makeup weekend due to rainouts, racers tried to earn points before this weekend’s series finales take place. That made for some fast times and lots of nerves at the start line.

Sunday’s series races included a bunch of notable wins, including two by Tanner Gaetz. The Hatter won both junior thunder (over Kiandra Gaetz, no less), then the junior king of the hill over Lethbridge’s Shelvy Slavich by a mere 26 thousandths of a second.

Slavich beat Redcliff’s Gerad Wagenaar for the junior lightning crown. In the other junior series, Ryan Valk of Medicine Hat beat out Victoria Philbert.

Joel Holmedal was also a king of the hill champ, after getting past Strathmore’s David Cisecki to claim the pro class. The Maple Creek driver then won over Redcliff’s Joe Read, the super pro champ, in the king of the hill race.

Other winners Sunday were Ted Buzunis (sportsman) and Dave Toth (pro bike/sled).

On Friday Brooks’ Joe Vikadel took top spot in the drag strip’s street legal series, blasting out a time of 12.216 seconds on the quarter-mile in his 1986 Chevy Monte Carlo SS. The bad news was he dialed in for a 12.22, which meant he’d have lost if the other finalist, Medicine Hat’s Dennis Girardin, didn’t do the same. Alas, Girardin was also faster than his dial-in time, by almost a second, so Vikadel claimed the victory.

In Friday bike racing, series regular Gerald Beatch of Medicine Hat rode to a win in his 2000 Hayabusa over Redcliff’s Darcy Glasgo. Beatch’s 10.555-second time was mere thousandths off his 10.55 dial-in.

The final nights of the racing season are this weekend, with more street legal fun Friday night, the Bob Moore Memorial race Saturday and the track’s points series finale Sunday. Topping all that off is the local king of the track race where series winners will duke it out to be named overall champion.

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