By Adam Eisenbarth
A Rimbey drag racer tore up the track in Edmonton recently.
The Rocky Mountain Nationals is a major race and in the estimated time run, Wayne Plester came away victorious.
Plester, 49, competed with his 1962 Impala, defeating Courtney Mageau, a 19-year-old racer, to take the title in his class.
This event, which ran June 25 to 27, attracts racers from throughout Canada and the United States.
“It probably is as big a race as we’ll get in Canada, certainly Western Canada,” says Plester. His division was not one of the biggest in the competition but it was still an impressive victory.
“I just race in the ET bracket. We’re down the ladder a bit but it’s still a big race and there’s a lot of cars that come out for it.”
The estimated time races allow for a stager in the start times for the two cars. Drivers post what they believe their time will be and the times are put into a computer system so that both cars would arrive at the finish line at the same time if their estimations are correct.
“Whichever car goes faster without going faster than what they say they will run is the winner. It prevents a fast car from just dialing in a slow number and always ensuring he’ll win.”
With a race about every other weekend in Edmonton, Plester keeps busy with his hobby.
“I try to make it to most of them (in Edmonton.) There are racetracks in Calgary and Medicine Hat. I used to, when I was younger, go to more races but now I mostly race in Edmonton.”
Ever since he first heard the engines roar and watched the cars fly down the track, Plester has had an interest in the sport.
“Way back when I was in high school there was about four of my friends and I and we were quite into drag racing, we went and watched a lot. We had high school drags back then and we took our old cars and kind of got the bug then.”
After stepping away for a period of time, Plester attended a race in Edmonton in 1993 and decided it was time to get back to what he loved.
“We went and watched and got the bug again and I had a little more spending money so I bought this car and turned into a racecar.”
This was the big event of the year but Plester is not done for the summer, with more races still ahead in Edmonton.