The Western Canadian drag racing family has lost another one of its senior racing veterans…..With the demographics of drag racing ever aging, it appears all too often we are slowly losing our racing family for a variety of reasons.

Randy White, a gentle giant, seasoned racer and most recently, Top Eliminator series competitor, recently lost his life after a lengthy battle with illness. He was 59 years of age.

Randy started racing at the young age of 12 years of age in Quebec when his father raced Competition Eliminator in a front motored, fuel injected B dragster. Randy’s exposure to drag racing came early and it did not take long to catch the racing bug. As a crew member for his dad, Randy’s roll was to connect the starter up to the car in the burnout box, spin the motor over and help his dad “light” the engine for competition. A lot to ask of a young lad just learning the ropes of life and quarter mile competition.

At a very grown up age of 23 and now living in Alberta, Randy bought the former Junior Fuel classed front motor car once driven by Edmonton, AB’s own Gordie Bonin, NHRA Funny Car and Top Fuel legend.  He learned to hone his on-track skills in the car and started winning races. Competing locally at Calgary International Speedway he began amassing a list of successes. In 1988, he won the Molson Canadian Super Comp series.  In 1989, Randy set his sights on competing at the NHRA Division 6 races, a series of 5-6 regional races located in Northwestern US and Canada. Randy was runner up at the Calgary Divisional race and won the very next scheduled Divisional race in Woodburn, Oregon. The success of those two races would catapult him to capture the division.  Winning NHRA Division 6 and becoming Super Comp champ in your very first year is no small accomplishment. Competing against some of the best racers from Calgary, AB, Seattle, WA, Woodburn, OR, Mission, BC and everything in between to Boise, Idaho, he earned the chance to represent Division 6 at the 1990 Jegs’ All Star Race in Columbus, Ohio. Now, earning the right to compete at the NHRA All Star race is very prestigious accomplishment amongst your peers, a drag racing career maker and a huge undertaking financially. It would allow Randy to compete against all 7 NHRA divisions in North America and against the best racers in the sport of NHRA Sportsman drag racing.

Later in 1990 in a cruel twist of fate, Randy experienced what could be described as a horrific accident in a spectacular top end crash at Race City Speedway in Calgary, AB. The crash completely destroyed his new Super Comp dragster. Now this author having viewed the accident was taken aback at the utter destruction as the car barrel rolled several times past the finish line and towards the guardrail however in true drag racing form, the chassis with SFI specifications in place to keep the driver protected, saved Randy’s life that day. Although pretty banged up, Randy’s love for the sport would see him purchase another new chassis that same year. He went on to win back to back Alberta Super Comp Championships in the ‘90’s.

Randy & Robbie White

Randy was a long-haul trucker for most of his career. At his side riding in the truck would always be one of his German Shepherds which he loved dearly. Randy’s dogs brought out the caring, gentler side of his personality and he had many friends who would attest to him being a kindhearted racer and friend.

For Randy, racing was a family sport his entire career. With the support of his brother Robbie, recent competition saw them both compete in Top Eliminator at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton. Affectionately known as the “Dirty White Boys” which appears on both of their dragsters, competitors knew they were up against fierce competition when you were paired with them on the sportsman qualifying sheet on race day. Weekends saw the two families as one tight unit, pitted side by side and as double threats to win on any given weekend. The RVing experience, after race activities and doing it with his beloved dogs, brought a smile to Randy’s face. Having encountered the families in the pits with our own German Shepherd, Delta the experience of the racetrack frequently brought a smile to Randy’s face. Something about family, pets and racing that brings out the best in the sport of drag racing.

Randy had a tough battle the past two years spending the majority of his time in ICU.  Determined not to give up, was familiar to how he treated his drag racing.  He kept trying to rehabilitate but it was like “fender racing”, he was a little too far behind before the finish line and could not catch his opponent.  His family will miss him, and the new crop of “Dirty White Boys” will continue the family legacy racing in the Top Eliminator series in Edmonton.
If you are ever in attendance at Castrol Raceway or any other NHRA Division 6 Divisional race, know whether you are spectating or competing, Randy will be there in spirit overseeing the days’ racing activities. Godspeed Randy!

Author’s forward; Mike Ferstl is a seasoned drag racing competitor in the Top Eliminator Edmonton series and NHRA super classes, Journalist and now Drag Racing Events Promotion.

In writing this article for the White families, it brought great happiness to me personally as I followed a parallel path to Randy White. Starting as a young boy at the age of 10 in the sport of drag racing, crewing for my Uncle and “squirting” racing fuel into the Kinsler Fuel Injection system of his Comp Eliminator B Altered 23 T, to get it started, Randy’s drag racing career resonated with me. To catch the dreaded drag racing “bug” is an affliction to which the non-racing public will have difficulty understanding. The sport of drag racing is a fast paced, in your face, colorfully vibrant and loud and obnoxious sport. Many drag racers today have also experienced the same racing affliction and it will keep you hooked for years. Hope you enjoyed Randy’s storied career!

Posted by Mike Ferstl
Photos Courtesy of White Family & DragRaceCanada Archives