The Merritt Stock Car Association is getting back in gear after multiple seasons hampered by fire, flooding, and pandemic restrictions. They are optimistic about a better than ever return after the Merritt Speedway’s May long weekend opener.
High-octane thrills and intense competition were apparent across all four classifications of drivers and vehicles, as drivers hit the ? mile dirt track in Shulus, established as the Merritt Speedway in 1991.
The weekend of racing marked the beginning of a return to normal for drivers and thrillseekers alike, and comes as a relief to organizers after a tough few years.
“There was a good turnout this weekend. I think people have been waiting for something to do. There were a lot of first-timers,” said Susanne Snider, organizer with the Merritt Speedway.
“COVID kind of kicked us, as it did everybody. We’re just hoping to put money back in the kitty because it’s been rough. There’s always maintenance and there’s so much that goes into that isn’t realized.”
While a handful of races were possible during the 2020 and 2021 seasons, most regular season activities and races were canceled due to wildfires, flooding, and pandemic restrictions. The association behind the speedway has been hard at work behind the scenes, planning a full lineup of races and planning upgrades to the race track and adjoining facilities.
“We’re purchasing a transponder system which will be about $15,000,” said Snider, adding that only about half of these funds have been raised to date.
The transponder system will be installed underneath the track, and will allow for a more accurate transmission of drivers racing times to the tower, ensuring operations run smoothly as the stock car engines on race day. However, the Speedway requires more funding to complete the project.
In addition to financial donations, the Merritt Speedway also welcomes volunteers for ticketing, concession, gift shop, and of course, new drivers. All Merritt Speedway events are family oriented, and are alcohol and drug-free.
“We’re just trying to get back on track,” deadpanned Snider.
“If anybody is interested in getting to know things about the track or getting into racing, a great way to get into the sport is volunteering. Come on out, even if you’re not sure. Just try it once. Chills, thrills, and spills.”
The following are the results for the May 21 and 22 main event races:
For full results, and more information, visit www.merrittspeedway.ca, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.