Rimbey racetrack looks to complete drag strip

Central Alberta Raceways (CARs) in Rimbey is the first non-profit multi-event motorsports park in Canada.

Excavators can be seen prepping the drag strip for paving last fall.

Excavators can be seen prepping the drag strip for paving last fall.

Central Alberta Raceways (CARs) in Rimbey is the first non-profit multi-event motorsports park in Canada. The Kinsmen Club’s vision for the racetrack is to have it become a major tourist attraction that generates revenue to be redistributed to other projects in Ponoka County. Once completed, the park will include a quarter mile drag strip, three-eighths mile dirt oval, demolition derby, mud bog and motocross track.

The Rimbey Kinsmen have worked alongside the Rimbey Lions, hundreds of volunteers and numerous private and public donors to construct the park and hold events at the track over the past 10 years. CARs has officially become of member of the National Hot Rodding Association (NHRA) — only the second in Alberta and fourth in Western Canada — and there is interest from National Hot Rod Diesel Association and numerous junior dragsters (ages average 10 to 16), to host regular events. Even the Edmonton City Police have been out to past events to teach youths road safety and promote Central Alberta Raceways as a safe, responsible alternative to street racing. Once completed it is anticipated more than 80,000 spectators and participants will attend the track each year, potentially funneling millions of dollars back into the community and businesses.

The Central Alberta Raceways project is being built as funds become available and when volunteers have time to contribute. As each phase of the project is completed it adds new revenue sources to further expedite planned development and contributions to other projects.

The community and numerous supporters have contributed considerable time, equipment, material and expertise to complete what has been done to date. Although the Town of Rimbey wasn’t able to contribute toward the facility’s construction, we greatly appreciate their support by leasing the land and hosting annual downtown shootouts to raise funds that allowed the Kinsmen volunteer committee to initiate site design and construction to date that includes the dirt oval, a recently redesigned motocross track, 200-foot-long mud bog pits and 700 feet of concrete on the quarter-mile drag strip. Ponoka County council has been supportive over the past 10 years, providing the county road for the 2012 shootouts and donating construction materials.

As fund raising and volunteerism continues through 2013, there are several projects the Kinsmen are looking to complete this year including: completion of quarter-mile drag strip, return road, access road, building additional bleachers, finishing parking lot and fencing for the spectator and pit areas.

Racetrack events have brought shoppers, hotel guests, fuel and meals from spectators and contestants to Rimbey and neighbouring communities. As the Kinsmen continue to work toward their goal of a multi-discipline non-profit motorsport park additional revenues will continue to grow while providing a safe place for kids and adults to compete, race, and enjoy a weekend of family fun.

The 2013 schedule brings an exciting line of events. Visit www.caraceways.ca for updated schedule details

– Starting the season with mud bogs (ATV, truck and sled)

– A full season of dirt oval racing including hobby and mini stock, IMCA, Sportsman, NPP, and mini sprint

– 200 foot drag racing (Inaugural race on the drag strip)

– ATV races on the motocross track

– Original Big Foot car crush

– Demolition Derby

As a volunteer committee, CAR openly accepts new members, viewpoints and discussions regarding the motorsport park and how it can best serve the community, supporters and fellow car enthusiasts.

Central Alberta Raceways recently held open nominations and election for the executive board that oversees construction and operation.

Congratulations to the new committee:

• Travis Jaffray, president

• Phil Swanson, vice-president of finance

• Melvin Durand, vice-president of marketing

• Rod Schaff, director of drag operations

• Jeff Makofka, deputy director of drag operations

• Dennis Pendergast, director of oval operations

• Cory Kincaid, deputy director of oval operations

• Tanner Giesbrecht, director of motocross operations

• Todd McBride, deputy director of motocross operations

For volunteer, sponsorship and any concerns: email race@caraceways.ca.Call 1-855-RIMBEYRACE (1-855-746-2397)

Visit online at: www.caraceways.ca or www.facebook.com/caracewayfans.

— SUBMITTED