About Saskatchewan Drag Racing Association
In the fall of 1981, a non-profit association of racers and fans was formed to promote the growing sport of Drag Racing in Saskatchewan - The Saskatchewan Drag Racing Association (SDRA). In January 1986, the SDRA took over full operation of the Saskatoon International Raceway, an NHRA sanctioned race track that has been in operation for over 45 years. After a name change to "SASKATCHEWAN INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY", to reflect the broader scope of our membership (200 to 250 members each year), the SDRA set out to achieve it's goal of operating and promoting a first class race facility, for racers and fans alike.
Determination, and a lot of hard work, proved to be very rewarding for the SDRA membership by the fall of 1993. That is when members, racers and fans gathered their funds together and became the 'proud owners of the only drag racing facility in Saskatchewan.
Did you know that SIR is Western Canada's oldest drag strip? It has only had two owners and out lived tracks in every other major city in western Canada?
Built in 1966 by Les Howard, it was first called "Southwinds Dragway" and later changed to "Saskatoon International Raceway". In 1986, the Saskatchewan Drag Racing Association (SDRA) became the track operators and changed the name to "Saskatchewan International Raceway". In 1993, the SDRA made the first down payment to Les Howard towards purchase of the track, and thus started a series of facility improvements including a new computer timing system, racing surface, win boards and guardrail.
In the '70's SIR was a regular stop for the touring race teams during the match racedays. This was time when racecars and their drivers had names that become what legends and memories are made from. It was during this popular time that Jerry "The King" Ruth, "240 Gordie" Bonin, Rob Bruins in the "Green Elephant", Jeb Allen and the "Praying Mantis", Terry Capp and his "Wheeler Dealer", and "Gentlemen" Hank Johnson all made regular stops at SIR.
The '80's saw several changes for SIR when veteran Super Stock racer Vic Halabura took on the task as Track Operator. He started a "High School Program" and also ran several feature events that showcased everything from Pro stock cars to Jet Dragsters.
In '84 the track once again had new operators, Dave and Charlotte Collins, who maybe best known for the running of the "Ultimate Weekends". The events featured both drag racing and truck and tractor pulling. The location of the pull track was beside the drag strip and offered fans both the excitement of watching alcohol dragsters, mini tractors, bracket cars and pullers of every class imaginable.
Since 1986 when the SDRA took over operations of the track, we have run regular Points Series, Street Legal Program and host 2 major Feature Events.
The SDRA, which is made up of approximately 250 members, continues to own and operate SIR. We have played host to some of the sports biggest names while earning a reputation as one of the "best organized" and "most fun places to race"; a testament to everyone from Les Howard to today's staff and racers.