BY COLE SWIER
The deafening sounds of engines revving mixed in with the distinctive smell of burnt rubber is expected to fill the air soon as Central Alberta Raceways is gearing up for another successful season of racing. The first oval race will take place May 27th and there are an expected 43 or so events to be held this summer, the first of which was a test and tune which already occurred.
Quentin Walker is a driver at the raceway and explained that the test and tune events throughout the summer are mostly there to ensure everything is in working order and allow the drivers to get back into the groove of things behind the wheel.
“It offers us the ability to get back into the seats here after a long winter and even for some of us after an incident, it lets us get back on our feet.”
Walker especially benefited from the test and tune as he ended up being caught up in a fire last year in Edmonton during one of the events. He ended up spending a few weeks in hospital receiving skin grafts but is now fully healed and ready to take on any new challenges that might face him this year.
Another individual who is ready to tackle another season of racing is Mike Wright who more often then not finds himself as a volunteer flagman. Wright also serves as a series sponsor with Competition Cabinets and is one of the primary promoters of the Rimbey Spring Car series. Wright explained that one of the major draws of the raceway is that it’s not all about having a good time, but also what it offers the surrounding communities financially.
“It’s great for the community, it brings a lot of business and a lot of guys from out of town come here and spend money while supporting the local businesses. We’re a good bunch of people and we have a lot of fun while doing it and we try to put on a good show for the fans,” said Wright.
Despite the possible financial benefit from surrounding communities there is always a lot to juggle when setting up and orchestrating the actual events as well. Wright added that finding a way satisfy the fans as well as encourage the drivers to return is all about finding the right balance between entertainment and safety.
“At the end of the day it’s a balance between having a good show on the race track so the fans will come and enjoy it and the more fans that come, the more guys want to come race. So it’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
From the end of May until the beginning of October, Central Alberta Raceways has a wide assortment of automotive events to keep the family busy. Whether the kids are interested in watching mud races, seeing the Canadian Motorcycle Drag Racing Association in person, or even wanting to just watch the oval races, Central Alberta Raceways jam packed line up of events is sure to suit any kind of need your family may desire, organizers say.