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Interlake Dragway Extends Longtime Partnership with IHRA

Monday, 08 April 2024

GIMLI, MB, Canada — Good news for drag racers in Midwestern Canada as Interlake Dragway and the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) have extended their longstanding partnership through a new sanctioning agreement.

The only sanctioned 1/4-mile drag strip in Manitoba, which features Darryl and Brandy Wruck as facility managers, recently released its 2024 schedule. The schedule includes IHRA Summit SuperSeries bracket racing, DRAM Gamblers Race, Quick 16 and Nostalgia Drags.

“We have Quick 16 races between $8,000 and $10,000 to win,” Darryl said. “Last year if you didn’t go in the eights, you weren’t in the Quick 16’s and this year if you’re not in the 7.9’s, you won’t get in. Those are really huge for us, along with the Nostalgia races.”

The Nostalgia races are popular since some of the best racers in Western Canada have cut their teeth at Interlake Dragway. The list includes two-time IHRA World Pro Mod champion Kenny Lang, injected Nitro car champions Doug Douchette and Clif Bakx and Canadian Hall of Famer Ken Murray.

Still, the best part of being track operators for the Wrucks are watching their kids race. They include their 25-year-old son who races Darryl’s personal car, a 1968 Pontiac LeMans which makes 3,500 horsepower. Their 19-year-old daughter races a Super Comp dragster, powered by a Chevy big-block engine. She has gone from a car making over 900 horsepower to over 1,800 horsepower.

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With 235 acres, the property located 45 minutes from Winnipeg also includes a Mudbog, a 1-kilometer go-kart track, a 1.3-mile road-racing course for cars and bikes and a 2-kilometer motocross track. Interlake Dragway features a full concession stand, washroom facilities with showers and plenty of parking and camping on site.

It also plays an important part in Canadian history with the Gimli Glider. It was a domestic passenger flight in 1983 from Montreal to Edmonton with the Boeing 767 forced to make an emergency landing on the drag strip after a refueling error. It resulted in no serious injuries to the 69 occupants and only minor damage to the aircraft. The plane was later repaired and used until it was retired in 2008.

More recent on-track history saw Mike Hawco repeat as Box champion in the track’s 2023 IHRA Summit SuperSeries point standings. Other champions who made the 2,000-mile plus trek from Manitoba to compete at the IHRA World Finals in Mississippi were: Cole Butler in No Box, Fred Pratt in Sportsman and Gavin Hawco in Junior Dragster.

There is great dedication amongst the Interlake racers and the staff that keeps the facility going with races from May to September. Click here to check out this great venue at the Interlake Dragway Facebook page and keep up with the latest news at the track.

Last modified on Tuesday, 09 April 2024

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