Revving It Up At Motorsports Park
By 250 Sports
Racers from around BC and Alberta queue at Motorsports Park 250Sports photo
Prince George, BC - The General Manager of Northland Dodge Motorsports Park says this summer has involved a lot of construction at the track and a steep learning curve...
"The facility has improved by leaps and bounds and the people operating it had to learn very quickly," says Landon LeDuke (at right), as cars line up for the season's final major drag racing event, the NHRA's Summit National Open.
"It's been very educational, to say the least."
In June, the 100-foot concrete launching pad was extended to 720-feet of the quarter-mile track. In the world of drag racing, LeDuke says concrete's stickier surface is the key to attracting high-caliber cars. "They're not able to 'hook up', they just spin their tires on asphalt, so the new surface just elevates the level of the competitor that can come to this facility."
LeDuke says the concrete materials - $140-thousand dollars worth - were donated by Rolling Mix Concrete, with the installation managed by IDL Projects and Northern Concrete Cutting. "We're going to continue to invest money into this facility until it's the nicest in Canada - that's what Brent (Marshall), the owner, has pledged. It's what he wants," says the Motorsports Park GM. "We're probably over $1.2-million dollars invested at this point, since purchase last June, and it's going to continue."
But LeDuke says the intent is to maintain the family-oriented 'feel' at the Prince George track. "We're racer enthusiasts, but we're doing this for fun. If we can attract the high level competitor, and put on a good show for everybody, and enjoy doing it - that's the name of the game."
One such competitor is Vancouver's John Evans, shown at left in the foreground with his Crew Chief Rick Zimoch.
Evans is competing in the top dragster class this weekend - his first time back to Prince George in almost 10 years. At one point in his 51-years of racing, during the mid-80s, Evans was sponsored by the rock band, Loverboy. "We did a North American tour for them, we followed the whole circuit from Florida to Louisiana, Los Angeles, Quebec. I did that for 11-months out of the year for almost three years."
Now sponsored by Lucas Oil Products, Evans, Zimoch and at least two other pit crew members travel to races every two or three weekends per month from April until mid-September.
Evans says he remembered the 'family-feel' at the Prince George track, and is loving the improvements, "We came in and went 'Wow', this is like a park now. We like coming to the smaller tracks because it's a lot of fun - they're a lot more relaxed, less hustle bustle." Zimoch echoes his sentiments, "We go to some tracks where there's 600 to 800 cars and you wait forever because it takes so long to go through the rotation."
"So this is great."
Between 75 and 100 cars are expected to race this weekend. Action is just getting underway today, and is scheduled to start at 10am again tomorrow. The cost of admission for spectators is $10, but children 12-and-under are free. Motorsports Park is located at 9285 Raceway Road, off Chief Lake Road. click here for a map
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