A drag race could accompany this year’s Ted Siers Memorial Car Show.
Cruz VonWald, who puts on the annual show, is looking to add a drag racing event as a fun, kid-friendly activity. The drag races would be held at the old speedway property (the John Lambert subdivision), along East Richards Street, before the justice center.
“It gives Douglas something else to do other than what we have to do right now,” VonWald said of the car show and potential drag race.
The Ted Siers car show is a nonprofit event, held every summer. Profits from the drag racing would aid local community residents.
“It helps the community by giving support to those that are battling cancer right now in our little town,” VonWald said. “So we try to help them out with what we can.”
Last year’s car show saw the greatest turnout yet, VonWald said, but adding a drag race could grow the event even more.
VonWald presented the idea to the Converse County commissioners last week, who said they were “tentatively open to it,” but would like to see a more thorough proposal and safety plan before giving it the go-ahead.
The county would not be liable for the event, and VonWald would give the county a deposit in case the event creates a mess.
VonWald explained in an interview with the Budget that the race would not be dangerous. It would only be an eighth mile, and only street legal cars would be allowed to compete.
“We’re going to have ambulances and barricades, and everything around to protect everybody as much as we possibly can,” VonWald said. “We’re going to have people looking through cars to make sure that they’re safe.”
Single day insurance for the event is only about $300 cheaper than annual drag racing insurance, which costs about $1,250, VonWald explained. Because of that, it could be possible Douglas sees multiple drag racing events this summer. Converse County Commissioner Tony Lehner likes the idea of a drag race, but cautioned that too many events could dilute interest for the car show race.
“I think it would be great to tie in with the car show and everything,” Lehner said. “To me it’s a little scary to have two or three beforehand.”
VonWald agreed, but said he feels that there could be enough interested racers to warrant more than one event.
Lehner and the commissioners emphasized that activities like drag races are good for the county.
“It’s a great community minded event,” Converse County Commission Chairman Robert Short said. “I personally applaud you for your thought and helping out folks who need help.”