Plans to kick off another season of racing at Central Alberta Raceways have been halted thanks to new stricter public health restrictions.
The Central Alberta Raceways’ was scheduled to open later this month, unfortunately new COVID-19 restrictions means they are unable to go ahead with their reopening plans.
“The gates are locked until further notice,” said Roy Keessar, president of Central Alberta Raceway.
“After speaking with Alberta Health Services (AHS) we cannot go ahead with our reopening plans until it is feasible,” said Steve Kenzle, director at Drag Racing Racing Strip.
Kenzle says last year was very successful despite the pandemic. The team at Central Alberta Raceways followed all AHS guidelines and no one contracted the virus.
To follow the guidelines set out by AHS, all racers stayed in their own pits and areas.
“This year  we have been really impacted this year. More so than last year. We can’t proceed with anything that we had planned this year. We had a full schedule up with many events scheduled. Its all in limbo,” says Keesar.
“We are glad everyone has been very supportive over the pandemic,” Kenzle said.
Kenzle says the raceway has seen support in many ways, including donations through the website and buying advertisement of the track.
“We are not for profit. All proceeds go to the up keep of the drag race,” said Kenzle.
Kenzle says he is looking forward to the tracks reopening soon and having the public enjoying all Central Alberta Raceways has to offer including the Lonkar Dirt Oval, Motocross track, mud bog and eight-mile strip racing.
The raceways also makes a point to give back to their home community. In 2020, Central Alberta Raceway also donated a total of $3,100 to the Rimbey Food Bank.
Central Alberta Raceways got its start in the early 1980s when the Rimbey Kinsmen started a demolition derby. After being recognized as one of the best demolition derbies in Alberta a group of enthusiasts came forward with a plan to make to build a full Motorsports Park that included a quarter-mile drag strip, race oval, demolition derby, motocross track, mud bog and more.
Today Keessar and Kenzle continues to see the same support from the community.
While the opening date for Central Alberta Raceways is in flux right now, Keessar says they will continue to move forward.
“How it will work is that once we get the go ahead to reopen, we will just pick up where the schedule states,” he said.