Edmonton International Raceway, located a few kilometers outside of Wetaskiwin, is celebrating its 50th anniversary next year. EIR spokesperson Loretta Thiering stated the anniversary celebration will be a cooperative effort between EIR, which leases the track, and the Wetaskiwin Stock Car Club, which owns the track. Photo by Stu Salkeld

Fifty years of thrills, spills and action at Edmonton International Raceway

Wetaskiwin Stock Car Club’s track celebrates milestone in 2018

A major motorsports attraction in the Wetaskiwin region is preparing to celebrate a major milestone in 2018: 50 years of thrills, spills, races, checkered flags and first place trophies.

Edmonton International Raceway, located a few kilometers outside of Wetaskiwin, is celebrating its 50th anniversary next year. EIR spokesperson Loretta Thiering stated the anniversary celebration will be a cooperative effort between EIR, which leases the track, and the Wetaskiwin Stock Car Club, which owns the track.

Thiering said she’s not surprised motorsports have been and continue to be so popular in the Wetaskiwin, Leduc and Edmonton region. “It’s a very passionate sport,” said Thiering at the track May 31.

She said EIR has some great names associated with it, including people like Chuck Wood and Don Forth. The anniversary plans for next summer include kids activities, alumni and Model-T racers just to name a few.

Alar Aksberg, president of the WSCC, said plans for next summer’s anniversary are still gestating but there are still a number of details the club can tell the public at this point. Aksberg said the club would love to spread the word that the 50th anniversary will include everyone that’s been involved in the track over the past five decades.

“We want to have all kinds of past racers out for that,” said Aksberg by phone June 7.

He stated the club is currently working on both a commemorative book about the track, plus a video. He said he’s sure lots of people who love the track must have boxes or albums full of photos the club can use, while he suspects lots of people must also have video they shot at the track over the years.

Most importantly, he said the club wants to hear memories that racers, owners, mechanics, sponsors, fans and others have about the track. “So we’re looking for all kinds of old stories,’ said the president.

He said the WSCC would like to get those photos and videos to include them in the anniversary project. Aksberg also noted the club has people working with the City of Wetaskiwin Archive on finding historical photos to complete the project.

Currently, the club is looking at the July 1 weekend, 2018, to hold the celebration but that’s hasn’t been decided yet. The club would like to see a two-day event with a show and shine. The club has a Facebook page that will hold all the information for this event (

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=50%20years%20of%20the%20wetaskiwn%20race%20track)

Aksberg said anyone who races, worked or supported the track is welcome to send information, photos or videos for the anniversary. For the time being, go to EIR’s website and send the information to Thiering.

Aksberg said the club is very excited about the anniversary because it’s estimated only about 10 racetracks in North America have reached 50 years.

 

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