DragRaceCanada was troubled when we received official notification earlier this month confirming the final demise of what had been staple series for Ontario drag racing…..
It became public knowledge during the past off season that the PMRA (Pro Mod Racing Association) would be no more after a decade run, but now the PMRA’s sister series’ the Quick 32 Sportsman and PBSS have been forced to cease operations – effective immediately.
The area’s Pro Mod and Top Sportsman/Top Dragster class racers have been afforded some event opportunities within the newly formed and promising replacement Napa-sponsored Ultimate Showdown Series. That group have three events scheduled for 2015 (one completed – 2 events to come) – however there is no denying that for all of those racers (and for their fan base) the frequency of season outings has been cut in half — at least.
The consequences for the former participants within the PBSS (Pro Bike Sled Series) are far more serious – they and their machines are now in a void with really no alternate organized place to race.
Opinions will vary as to why and how this has all happened – but it’s safe to say it’s mostly financial and political.
We at DragRaceCanada are optimistic that the new NAPA Auto Pro Ultimate Showdown Drag Racing Series (USDS) will be successful and their event products will be sound. But we also strongly feel that the un-waiving dedication, professional organization and vision of PMRA/Q32/PBSS founder and director Bruce Melenbacher and his staff, should have received much more recognition and credit then what ultimately transpired.
Bottom line — for Ontario’s drag racing scene – Bruce Melenbacher’s non-involvement in our sport — is a serious skill set setback.
Here is the “last” official Memorandum received from the Quick 32/PBSS Series (dated July 8th):
Since our first race in 2005, the PMRA has produced ten champions. In six years of racing, there have been five different Quick 32 Sportsman Series champions, and in its four years of existence, there have been four PBSS champions.
In the past eleven years of operation, the three series have awarded over $1,250,000.00 to our drag racing competitors.
Since our first gathering in December of 2004, when we were asked to organize and promote a group of Pro Modified Teams, and seven years ago when the same request was made by a group of Top Dragster and Top Sportsman Teams, the series has always strived to make each season a pleasurable experience for all concerned including our loyal fans. The same attitude applies with the Pro Bike & Sled Series, which began in 2011 and has been presented by Wiseco Performance Products since that time.
The Series was committed to provide a professional atmosphere of competition for its teams. The Series provided solid media and logistic support.
Racer safety was paramount. The Series provided trained personnel and equipment at all events and medical equipment and trained professionals were mandatory at all events for any racing emergency.
Regrettably, the time has come that we cannot continue. Along with a passionate group of officials that are my dearest friends, a dedicated group of teams, race venues and loyal sponsors that endorsed us have tried to make it work moving forward.
The Series cannot continue in its current state. We have all seen individuals with good intentions, but limited experience initiate new ideas with limited success. It takes experience, knowledge of our sport, knowledge of the people behind the sport, and sincerity to succeed. We are concerned greatly about the future of our sport.
The final two events of the 2015 Season at Empire Dragway and the Grand Bend Motorplex have been cancelled. Moving forward we will work to settle our obligations to the Teams and Sponsors.
We want you to know how much we have valued your loyal patronage. Over the years we have always worked closely and honestly with success. I have always been proud of our affiliation we have shared.
Bruce F. Mehlenbacher
Director of Operations
Posted by: Bruce Biegler