Drag racing may be coming to Bonnyville

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Drag racers, start your engines.

The Bonnyville Gear Grabbers car club has a local drag racing event in the works, slated for the summer of 2019. After receiving an outpouring of support from the community, the group is in the process of forming an organizing committee.

Recent developments have brought the possibility of a drag racing event closer to reality for Gear Grabbers, and hurdles that previously held the club back are no longer an issue.

Group member Shon Gamache spear-headed the planning process. He noted there’s been a need in the community for an event such as this.

“From the beginning, there’s been a demand, whether it be from members, people in the community or even businesses, that the club, being a car club, get some sort of organized racing event going in Bonnyville.”

The group reached out to racing enthusiasts through social media to garner feedback on who would be interested in volunteering and racing, if they managed to put together an event in the area.

“The community feedback we got was tremendous,” Gamache recalled.

The response confirmed there’s enough support to begin organizing. They hope to have it reach the same level of popularity that their annual show and shine has.

MD Reeve Greg Sawchuk was among the supporters commenting online, and believes a local drag racing event is needed in the area.

“It’s done in many other places in Alberta. It’s usually two or three times a summer, and it attracts quite a crowd.”

While a lot of residents have cars they can enter, Gamache noted that the closest track is three and a half hours away and people are lucky to get more than a couple of runs in-between long wait times.

“We just want to bring this closer to home, and do it in an organized and legal fashion.”

Gear Grabbers president Cayle Scherger said a lot of illegal races take place in the area. Offering a local event could curbs those incidents and prevent accidents from happening.

“It really does show the light on why it’s important to allow people to have an event at a venue to be able to go and satisfy their urges (to race), because without it you could be in a dangerous situation,” he expressed.

Scherger noted that the club wants to host an event for local car enthusiasts, but also to provide an opportunity to do things safely.

He said, “Being that we have this in our community, you’re going to choose this over a three-hour drive with much more costs involved.”

Gamache wants to start the event off slow at first and see where the planning takes them.

Anyone interested in racing or volunteering can contact Gamache by phone at 780-573-8951 or by email at shone@durcharmemotors.com, or Nathan Warkentin at 780-201-9348 or at sscamaro99@hotmail.com.

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