By KELLEN TANIGUCHI on June 23, 2021.
Vehicles were ripping down the Medicine Hat Drag Racing Association’s speed strip this weekend, as cars were burning rubber on the track for the first time since September.
Dave Toth, MHDRA president, says the opening weekend of the strip was a success.
“We had a good fan turnout, we stayed within our limits, a good car turnout and everything went pretty smooth, said Toth. “We had a little accident on Saturday, but everything was pretty smooth.”
Toth says you could tell it has been a long time since Hatters have been able to get out and do something, and the MHDRA is hoping that excitement carries over throughout the summer.
Alberta enters Stage 3 of its reopening plan on Canada Day with no restrictions on drag race events, but Toth says some safety precautions will remain in place.
“It’s going to be nice because we’re hopefully not going to have to worry about the spectators and turning people away,” said Toth. “That’s the biggest thing. It’s hard to keep a business going when you can’t have spectators, so it’s just easier. It gives people more options of things to do coming into summer here. I’m pretty sure there’s still going to be people who are not comfortable yet going out in public and being around that, but we will still keep all the precautions in place for a bit here yet to keep people comfortable.”
Some upcoming events include the NHRA National Open running July 16-18 and the Bug Buck Race from July 23-25.
Toth says this year’s races might have fewer vehicles with the border still closed. He says to expect drivers from Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C. He adds if the border was open, we would likely see cars from Washington, Idaho and Montana.
There are usually about nine different classes at the events, says Toth, and anyone interested in attending an event this summer can purchase tickets at the gate.
Toth won Saturday’s Pro Bike class and finished second Sunday to son Riley Toth.
Brooks’ Jason Kendel and Maple Creek’s Danny Holmedal won the Super Pro classes Saturday and Sunday, respectively, while Monty Beagle, of High River, topped the Pro class on both race days.
Brendan Ashby won Saturday’s Sportsman class, then fellow Hatter Randy Stowe won the event Sunday.
Medicine Hat’s Darian Dopp won the Junior Lightning event Saturday before High River’s Morgan Caron took top spot Sunday.
Brandon Peck, of Carseland and Dunmore’s Gray Schaan won the Junior Thunder events on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, and Medicine Hat’s Dale Figley won the Junior Street class Sunday.