Spectators cheer on first drag race at Labrie airport

The first drag race Ponoka has seen in a few years went off with only minor hitches.

More than 1

More than 1

The first drag race Ponoka has seen in a few years went off with only minor hitches.

More than 130 cars competed at the first 1/8th mile drag races last week at the Labrie Industrial Airport.

Craig Pateman, president of the Ponoka 1/8th Mile Drag Racing Association, feels the experience was worth the effort. More than 1,600 spectators watched the races over the course of the weekend and hundreds of runs were held. “It was a great success. It exceeded our expectations.”

“Preparation and track conditions far exceeded our expectations,” he added.

There were a few glitches but he feels hard work of the association and volunteers made the event successful.

Next year he intends to have more porta-potties and garbage cans, to accommodate the spectators and campers. Despite not enough garbage cans planners cleaned up the airport to as good, if not better than they found it, he said. “The airport was pretty much ready to go.”

“It gives families an opportunity that they might not normally see,” said Pateman.

He feels spectators have a safe opportunity to see racers in action. Drivers enjoy the experience as well. “There’s a lot of camaraderie amongst all the racers.”

A highlight of the show was airport manager John Jeffries who raced in his blue Dodge Caravan against modified cars. The crowd appeared to enjoy watching him race his minivan against some of the hot rods.

“He was very slow but it was consistent,” said Pateman.

Another highlight was Corey Kincaid’s full-blown alcohol funny car. Kincaid drove a few passes for the crowd and they drank it in.

Racers came from all over Alberta to compete and win a marble slab trophy and bragging rights. Results were unavailable.