Another Successful Year for Local Drag Racers
BELLEVILLE - Jan 10, 2017 - byBrock Ormond
Another successful season on the drag racing track is in the books for local drivers following a successful "Banquet of Champions."
The banquet was held on the weekend of Nov. 5 and 6 at the Travelodge Hotel in Belleville and wrapped up its 27th year at various locations. Champions were crowned in many different categories, including, Sportsman, Nostalgia and Street racing.
The banquet has been organized by Belleville native Sherry Parkhurst-Barker for the past few years. Parkhurst-Barker says the majority of participants at the banquet are a part of their "points program" . Parkhurst-Barker adds that the banquet - and sport - is a family affair of sorts.
"Facebook is such great tool, because it allows you to stay in touch with all of these racers, you become friends and you sort of follow how they're doing in their race programs," Parkhurst-Barker said.
"We were really fortunate this year, at Shannonville in particular, we had racers come from Quebec and we also had some racers come from North Bay (Ont.) and we're hoping we can convince the folks from New Brunswick to come down and visit our track for a race sometime," she added.
Parkhurst-Barker says there are many unique and different things about the sport of drag racing. Example are; cheering for your competitors, lending them parts if they are missing them, travelling with each other to races and tournament and many others. She says this is aided by a steady group of experienced and educated drivers.
"We're very fortunate in this area. There seems to be really good solid foundation of drag racers. Racers have lots to share, it's a huge family community at the race track."
Parkhurst-Barker's son Brandon Barker is a drag racer himself. He started racing at the age of six, the same age as his younger brother Daniel and cousin Nathan, who have followed in his footsteps and became drag racers themselves. Barker explains when they normally start their season normally.
"Up here, we start at Shannonville in June and then we run our last weekend in October, around Thanksgiving weekend."
When asked about whether or not she sees the sport growing in the future, Parkhurst-Barker says she sees lots of potential in the future, especially around the Quinte area.
"With anything, you want to have your sport grow and get more people to come out. We would love to have more racers, love to have more spectators and certainly invite anybody, because once you catch the bug, the bug is there."
Barker echo's his mom's statements about the growth of the sport and continue its family atmosphere.
"I hope that Shannonville gets to grow a lot more and a lot more people get into it, " Barker said. "It's tough to get into, because it's kind of hard to understand at first. But it's a lot of fun, the people are awesome. There is no better sport in the world for competitors being your friends and everybody being there to help out."
"There is a lot of stuff that needs to be done to make it bigger, but we're working on it. There could be a big craze with drag racing, where lots of people get into it," he added.
The Parkhurst-Barker family are already looking forward to next year, as they look to exceed expectations from this year's edition.