After enduring a up-and-down inaugural season the WDRL will enter it’s second year of existence in 2016…
Originally formed from the ashes of what used to be the West Coast Pro Mod Association – the door slammer orientated WDRL (Western Drag Racing League) made it’s official debut during this just past season.
While the Pro Mod class category has been and continues to flourish over much of North America there has been arguably an organizational gap within the geographical Pacific Northwest since the demise of the WCPMA back in 2011. But with WDRL series organizer Rome Awde and veteran drag racer Joe Delehay at the controls — they have primary intentions to fill in that void and for Western fans of drag racing there is reason to be optimistic.
“After some earlier discussions it was in February of 2014 that Joe and I decided to get it all started,” revealed Rome. “We put together a little funding and set a 5-race schedule up between Castrol Raceway and Mission Raceway. Then working along side with the JB’s Power Centre Heads Up Challenge Series (their founders Jim Bell and Richard Morrison) asked if we could include their small tire series and bring it all together. That is how the Western Drag Racing League got started.”
“Overall, the 2015 season was a success organizationally,” Rome continued. “Yes — we had some uncooperative weather and we only got two of the five Pro Mod races completed. That was disappointing — but we were still encouraged because we saw full 16 cars fields for all the races.”
For 2016 the feature class car menu will vary according to event location. The WDRL’s primary draw will be it’s Unique Concrete-sponsored Pro Mod category that will be broken up into both Pro Boost and Pro N2O championship points chases. In addition Top Sportsman and Open Comp will be featured on a 1/4 mile basis with Extreme Street and Outlaw 8.5 cars campaigning exclusively in 1/8 mile competition.
The WDRL’s 2016 season is an aggressive one. While some of exact race dates are still to be announced – a total of 11 events are in the planning.
The season will kickoff at Mission Raceway with that’s track’s high reputation Doorwarz IV event, one of two WDRL races for Mission next season. They will also make two appearances at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway – with participation in next summer’s marquee IHRA Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals being the season’s crown jewel event. The WDRL Pro Mods will also travel stateside for the first time with two events in Washington – at Seattle Pacific Raceways and at Spokane County Raceway.
The WDRL’s small tire series has event’s planned at three Alberta tracks — Castrol Raceway (Edmonton) Central Alberta Raceway (Rimbey) and to the Medicine Hat Drag Strip for the first time. Mission’s DoorWarz IV event will also be a points race for the small tire series cars.
Despite the current downturn in the economy, membership and interest in the series appears to be still solid.
“Last year (for Pro Mod) we had 17 paid members but 29 registered cars,” Rome revealed. “For 2016 I foresee us having about 20 paid members and around 30 cars taking points at the various races. We have three American racers at present (Yvonne Lucas, Shane Molinari and Garrett Richards) who are planning on running the program. All the rest are Canadian cars.”
“The small tires series is growing with the biggest growth being in the Outlaw 8.5 class,” Rome continued. “For the Extreme Street class we decided to change the tire size to 10.5W to help grow that class. My ultimate goal is to grow a real Outlaw 10.5 class there.”
Top Sportsman class cars are also playing an intricate role within the WDRL. In addition to having their own eliminator, at times some of the faster TS cars are fully capable of qualifying in Pro Mod. The WDRL is nurturing that fact as a definite strength because there are an estimated 70-80 TS teams based within the Pacific Northwest.
“The Unique Concrete Pro Mods are going to stay with their current rules — which is weight based,” Rome clarified. “We have pattered our rules after the Street Car Super Nationals (Las Vegas) rules package. My goal is to try to encourage and accommodate racers and to have as many cars fit in as possible without racers having to spend money on major changes.”
As with any fledging or even existing sanctioning entity — sponsorship will play a key role going forward and currently the WDRL is in need of a major corporate backer.
“This sport can support itself to a point but then it gets to a level where sponsorship or a marketing partnership is required,” Rome added. “We are there now after just one season. We think the future for Fast Door Car Drag Racing in the Pacific NW and Western Canada as a whole is very bright and currently the WDRL has the Largest Pro Mod and the largest Door Car series in the country.”
Some future plans for the WDRL will include some live internet streaming of select events, involvement with charities and local High School youth education groups.
To keep track of developments and for more information on the WDRL visit their website: HERE
Post and Photos by Bruce Biegler