At long last — it appears that Canada’s drag racing scene is rumbling back to life….

We’ve tried to remain optimistic throughout all this crap — and for sure that faith has been tested — but Canadian drag racing now appears poised.

Smoke begins to clear for Canada’s drag racing!

Over the last few months we have fielded a lot of individual questions (mostly about when/how) — that have always been hard to answer back and generally full of conditions – which has been frustrating.  But now there is no doubt that the strong upturn in vaccination rates combined with people taking appropriate responsibility, has and is now making a difference.

We have remained in touch with some race track management themselves and we have monitored their track social media as best we could.  And while the norm is that they have remained cautious about what they can or will say on the record “publicly” – most if not all now have very renewed faith.  

The situation across Canada remains inconsistent and varies due to the authorities — local and provincial — making the calls, but there is now more than ever a common denominator.

We are encouraged by a few things – just this week — in Ontario with the Provincial code shifting back to Phase 1 (on June 14th) – and including a specific provision allowing for Motorsports events (without spectators) — which has injected things into the plans for all Ontario drag strips.   Just last weekend at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway — drag racing competition actually returned with their first local event of the year, and it appears that even BC’s Mission Raceway will likely be able to operate by month end June — again without spectators.  

We are also particularly tickled by the growing strength for the notion of reopening the Canada/USA border (revealed just yesterday) — with some expectation that could actually happen as early as  in July?  While that remains dependent on vaccination rate levels being at certain % for both first and second dosage for Canadians — the current rate of success for that happening in Canada does make it appear realistic.

With a little luck and with continued diligence, we may be on track to hit Phase 2 or even Phase 3 – which will allow for both limited and then full spectator participation for our race track operators which are in such desperate need.   In our opinion there now remains a very real opportunity for some major events this summer – like a version for the Mopar Canadian Nationals or the Canadian Nitro Nationals – 2nd half this summer?  And how cool would it be see both US-based racers be able to come to Canada again as well as Canadian drag racers returning to the NHRA and PDRA national event circuits in the USA once again?

Canadian drag racers actually hit the track (at Castrol Raceway) last weekend!

Now without getting political — I do need to direct credit where credit is due.  

None of this would be possible without — YOU — (the general public/race fan) – those who took on the responsibility to do their part for the bigger cause within these extraordinary times – by getting vaccinated.   This reopening window for Canadian drag racing would not be possible without you having tipped that scale by doing that.

Thank you — from everyone within the sport of drag racing!

For those of you who did not choose to participate (?) Hummm — perhaps a self imposed quarantine away from the drag strip for the rest of 2021 as a penalty may be in order?  Or at the very least you owe the person sitting next to you in the stands later this summer — a cold beer.   LOL!

Post by Bruce Biegler

Photos by Bruce Biegler & Don Meleshko