St. Thomas Dragway has featured top racers during it history including a certain guy name Al Billes...

By:  Bruce Biegler

 After undergoing some very difficult times in recent seasons, one of Canada’s most famous drag racing facilities appears to be on the rebound.
We can now officially confirm that the ownership of St. Thomas Dragway (Sparta ON) has been taken back by John and Sharon Fletcher, who have been two of the most influential people in Canadian drag racing history. 
They are charting a new course, have hired new management, and will be implementing improvements to bring the St. Thomas facility back up to standard.    Expectations are that the track will re-open later in June and that things will gradually ramp up during the rest of  the 2010 season.
The Fletchers have hired reputed Canadian drag racing proponent Larry Satchell as the new Track Manager.   Larry recently provided DragRaceCanada with his thoughts and an outline for the future.
“We have a deal to re-open the track soon,” said Satchell.  “Initially our plans are for it will be a test and tune track with local club dates on Friday night and Saturdays.  We would like things to evolve into some bracket racing events later this season.  We are focused on what we are referring to as a “soft opening”.  We are also not trying to compete with Grand Bend or Cayuga.  Instead our track should be for now considered more of a place for street guys to have a place to go and race safely.”
Satchell reports that the track will be 1/8th mile for the foreseeable future.  An application to NHRA for the return of sanctioning is also in the works.   The track will also undergo a name change — going forward it will be called St. Thomas Motorsports Park.  There will be a new website for the facility — coming soon.
“Basically we are making a clean break from the past,” Larry added.  “The track will remain for sale — however the big thing is that it will soon be for sale in operating condition versus an idle property”.
St. Thomas Dragway was first opened during the 1960’s by the Harvey family before John and Sharon Fletcher acquired it back in 1990.  Since 1999 the track had been operated by David Mathers, however the Fletchers did hold and retain the mortgage during that period.

The legendary Herbie Rogers was a mainstay at St. Thomas

Additional updates and developments will be posted on DragRaceCanada going forward.

(Bruce Biegler Photos)