June 20-21, 2020, Central Alberta Raceways opened its doors to spectators for the Father’s Day weekend. After getting the go-ahead from AHS and the provincial government to proceed with motor sports in Alberta, the track was finally able to host races.
For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic Central Alberta Raceways was able to host races. Reopening looked different than usual for the raceways with the new COVID-19 protocols in place.
Registration for the competitors and spectators were all done online, with a maximum of 100 spots sold as per AHS regulations on gathering restrictions. One of the Directors for the drag strip Steve Kenzle says that the seats, “filled up very early.”
Kenzle says that they had to turn away quite a few people from purchasing tickets to the weekend races because the maximum quota of spectators had already been met.
“We had a good crowd,” Kenzle says.
Both the Canadian Motorcycle Drag Racing Association (CMDRA) and Bracket racers showed up to compete in drag races on the Saturday and Sunday.
Kenzle says that 37 bikes showed up with the CMDRA, some with close to 2,500 to 3,000 horsepower. The drag track at Central Alberta Raceways is 1/8 of a mile, and the fastest drag racer of the weekend finished in 4.32 seconds at 175 miles per hour. The racer was on a Pro Drag Nitro Harley Davidson says Kenzle.
Although the track does hold races with cash prizes, this last race was for trophies. Kenzle joked that this weekend the racers were, “racing for the glamour more than anything.”
Also held on the Father’s day weekend were races on the oval track at Central Alberta Raceways.
“The oval track went off without a hitch,” says Oval Track Director, Sherry Taylor.
She said that in addition to the races running great, the spectators and volunteers adapted well to the changes put in place because of COVID-19 including more online requirements, social distancing, and continuous sanitation.
“Everybody was really happy to get back out and have some normalcy,” says Taylor.