Remembering and Missing a Great Guy – Dale Boeru – Champion of Canadian Drag Racing
DragRaceCanada was overseas in Australia when we first learned of the very tragic and sad news involving the passing of Dale Boeru. Dale was both a media colleague and a good friend to us and his passing leaves a big void within the Canadian Drag Racing scene. We are pleased to post a tribute and some thoughts below from Dale Hickey – the Editor of Canadian Drag Racing Magazine…
It’s been almost two months since Canadian drag racing lost a champion for the sport on Wednesday, December 10, 2013. Dale Boeru (51) was tragically killed when the tractor-trailer he was driving collided with another on Highway 401, just west of his hometown of Kitchener, Ontario.
The many condolences, remembrances and offers of support from friends and colleagues from the drag racing world and Dale’s numerous other interests were endearing for Dale’s family.
The funeral which was held On December 16, 2013 in Cambridge, Ontario was unpretentious, yet elegant; just as Dale would have liked it. In support for his family, the service was attended by many of his closest friends. It was especially heart-warming to see the National Drag Racing Association staff wearing the NDRA team shirts that he was so proud of. Dale, himself was laid to rest in his team shirt.
The words from friends and family were moving and profound, yet simple and even brought chuckles from time to time.
It was truly a sendoff fit for the man!
On behalf of Dale’s family, Wendy, his wife and best friend, would like to express her heart-felt gratitude to everyone who attended the funeral and the multitude of people who extended wishes and fond memories.
Dale Boeru is well-known in the Canadian drag racing community for his online magazine, Canadian Drag Racer Magazine and the successful racing series, National Drag Racing Association; both were founded and run by him. As well, Dale created and managed Fast Entertainment Inc.
Since the late ‘70s, when he raced his 1970 Camaro at St.Thomas Dragway in Sparta, ON, Boeru had been addicted to the quarter mile dash.
Being an accomplished photographer, it was only natural for Dale to combine his love for racing with his prowess behind the lens. Hence, he took his finger off the button and put it back on the shutter of the camera for over two decades, taking literally thousands of dynamic pictures.
As time went on, Boeru became increasingly aware of the lack of exposure for Canadian drag racers. There were so many successful Canucks in the IHRA and NHRA “big shows” and so many more Sportsman racers who were delighting race fans at the grassroots level at tracks above the “49th”. He strongly believed that every one of them deserved recognition. As well, Dale realized that one more Canadian magazine would help to compete with the plethora of mags that extoll primarily U.S. events and racers. This could be a much needed shot in the arm for drag racing in our country. So began the concept of Canadian Drag Racer Magazine – “Dedicated to Canadian Drag Racing”.
Established in 2009, CDRM has generated interesting, factual and reader friendly articles about Canadian drag race drivers from the Juniors to the veterans in the popular “Featured Driver” section. The magazine has focused on Canadian personalities and tracks, events and human interest through its pages: all written by a dedicated collection of writers and contributors that Dale personally recruited from across the nation.
The photos that accompanied every story were high quality from some of Canada’s most talented photographers, including Dale himself.
CDRM also featured timely “World Drag News” to encompass a comprehensive coverage of what was happening in drag racing across North America and the world.
Combined with fabulous features and articles and first-rate photography, Canadian Drag Racer Magazine developed into a world-class online publication that is read literally around the globe.
An accomplishment such as this doesn’t happen without unending hours, absolute dedication and outstanding leadership. Dale Boeru tirelessly searched the internet, established countless contacts for stories, nurtured relationships with writers and photographers, edited articles and coordinated the pictures and put everything together so readers would truly enjoy every aspect of the magazine. Then he would have to sell advertising and do the typical financial and daily management stuff. He did this every day since inception … all after he finished his regular job! Dale’s dedication and remarkable energy was simply fueled by his love of the sport and was totally encouraged and supported by his amazing wife, Wendy. During my many conversations with Dale, he lovingly expressed how in awe he was of Wendy’s patience and understanding.
You bet! Boeru took a fledgling magazine to rank with the best in the industry! Just four years is all it took. Totally outstanding!
Now, if producing a significant magazine isn’t enough, this tireless guy took on another major project when he saw a need for a program that would provide Canadian and northern U.S. Alcohol Funny Cars a regular opportunity to showcase their 3000 HP floppers and compete for championships along with decent payouts. Therefore, he founded the National Drag Racing Association (NDRA) and put on the first NDRA Alcohol Funny Car Series presented by Oshweken Speedway at Grand Bend Motorplex, Grand Bend, Ontario on the May 18 – 20, 2012 weekend.
The 2012 series, which included another race at Grand Bend and two more at Toronto Motorsports Park – Cayuga Dragway, was a huge success and Canadian fans loved it! There was no question that it would be replicated in 2013.
Before the 2013 season was even booked, the Dave Earhart, who founded the successful Heads Up Racing Association (H.U.R.A.) approached Dale to take on the management and promotion of their growing contingent of Pro Doorslammers. Although HURA was already a going concern, Earhart recognized that the door cars and Alcohol Funny Cars could meld nicely to create a grand show and that Boeru’s promotional talent and expertise would bolster more exposure for the doorslammer drivers.
Year two of the NDRA introduced an exciting roster of Alcohol Funny Cars and Pro Doorslammers that wowed the crowds! Earhart was right.
With each of the drivers in both classes not only focused on the wins but on entertaining the fans, the incredible effort put forth by the NDRA officials, then the support from Brand Bend Motorplex and Cayuga Dragway, along with the backing of a cast of fabulous sponsors and the leadership of Boeru … the master showman, the NDRA Alcohol Funny Car series presented by Oshweken Speedway and the NDRA Pro Doorslammer series became “gotta go” Canadian events that could match any other. 2013 was a huge success!
The successful results of the 2012 and 2013 seasons was enough to encourage Dale to think about expanding the NDRA into western Canada. Already this year, Dale and I had started to approach selected tracks to host the NDRA series as well as begin recruitment of cars. Unfortunately, with Dale’s untimely death, this expansion is yet to be determined.
No matter what … just as with Canadian Drag Racer Magazine, the National Drag Racing Association was coming on fast as a major player in the world of the fastest sport on earth. All because of this man with unending passion and energy!
The resume doesn’t end here. Boeru also founded Fast Entertainment Inc. which features exhibition vehicles with the likes of Doug Cadman’s famous Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car “Chi-Town Hustler” and Gary Kraus’ “Pony Up” Mustang along with Nitro Harleys, Nitro Funny Cars, Jet Cars, Dragsters and Trucks and Top Fuel Dragsters.
Despite his incredible accomplishments, Dale Boeru was one of the most approachable guys anywhere. He didn’t develop just business relationships … he made friends. Dale was a regular guy with a great sense of humour and a zest for life. His passion didn’t end in the race world … it included just about everything and everyone around him.
Dale was an innovator … a dreamer and a “doer”. He was a steadfast negotiator, yet he remained flexible. He was a teacher and still a learner. He could be serious and then be goofy. Above all, Dale Boeru was a great friend, as many of us have come to know him.
The drag racing world … Canadian and global … has indeed, lost a true champion!
Now, we have had plenty of questions as to what the future holds for Canadian Drag Racer Magazine, the NDRA and Fast Entertainment Inc.
It was Dale’s wish to have the magazine and the NDRA series to continue “if anything ever happens to me” as he said in many of his conversations with me and his brother Rob.
With the outpouring of support from the Pro Doorslamer and Alcohol Funny Car drivers, Rob is encouraged to try to put a 2014 season together for the NDRA. As well, his love for his “big brother” and respect for Dale’s dreams drive Rob Boeru to do so.
Rob has been at Dale’s side since inception of the NDRA series and has a strong understanding of the operation. That said, and considering his sibling’s unbelievable passion, un-ending hours and energy, that were highlighted earlier in this article … along with all of the “stuff” that the senior Boeru had filed in his brain … not to mention Dale’s unique friendships and affiliations, this will be a daunting endeavor.
Rob fully understands the urgency to “put it all together” quickly as the 2014 season looms. Tracks are now preparing their schedules and racers are planning theirs.
As far as Canadian Drag Racer Magazine goes, Dale Boeru had a knack for putting out an outstandingly professional publication that had his personal mark on it. Again, it was his unwavering dedication and special flair that built CDRM to its “one of the best” rank! The manipulation of the publishing software, alone, is type of “art” and special vision that is reserved for very few … as many of the successful publishers can attest to.
We at Canadian Drag Racer Magazine want to be sure of ourselves that we can produce the same quality reading and enjoyment for our readers that Dale was so proud of … before we go forward.
Presently, Dale’s son, Allen is working on understanding the software and to determine how to maintain the integrity and success of Canadian Drag Racer Magazine.
Fully realizing the enormity of Allen’s task at hand the magazine’s future is at risk. This is where great friends come in to the rescue.
Dale’s long-time friend and publisher of DragRaceCanada.com called me yesterday. He was away oversees when Dale passed away and has just returned.
Bruce extended his deepest sympathy to Wendy, Dale’s family, and the staff at Canadian Drag Racer Magazine. “I was truly shocked and saddened by the news. Dale was a respected colleague and a media friend to me.”
Biegler acknowledged Dale’s drive and love for Canadian drag racing, along with the quality publication that he worked so hard on to get the word out about this country’s quarter-mile accomplishments and destiny. Bruce offered his experience and resources to keep CDRM’s presence in the world of drag racing information. “DragRaceCanada would like to help carry forward all the intent and dedication that Dale had for the Canadian drag racing scene.”
Should CDRM not go forward, Bruce has suggested that he would like to continue Dale’s efforts on the pages of DragRaceCanada.com. “We will do our part to keep and incorporate the content and what Canadian Drag Racer Magazine had in motion. Together, let’s review some ideas going forward – be it editorial or technical or conceptual. Please do let all other members of the CDRM staff know about that potential.”
At time of this article, I have not spoken with Rob or Allen about this. Bruce’s phone call was so welcomed and important to me, that I wanted to get something written to express my sentiments. That said, I know that I speak on their behalf, to extend a huge THANKS to Bruce Biegler for his incredible offer and his caring for his friend’s dream to live on! Rest assured that we will be considering every possibility for the future of Canadian Drag Racer Magazine.
All of us at CDRM and NDRA hope that all of our loyal followers, team members and associates will bear with us as we feverishly try to fill the “great big boots” of our friend and leader. Please keep an eye on the two websites and DragRaceCanada.com for further development.
On behalf of Dale Boeru’s family at Canadian Drag Racer Magazine and the National Drag Racing Association, we miss him and will do our very best to do what is right so that his passions and dreams live on honourably!
Posted by : Dale Hickey – Editor – Canadian Drag Racing Magazine – Vice-President – National Drag Racing Association