Mud racing is ‘Dirty Drag Racing’

Houston Mud Drags organizer Craig Stoltenberg has big plans for next year.

Houston Mud Drags organizer Craig Stoltenberg has big plans for next year.

Stoltenberg said the races will see improvements in organization, accessibility, scale and excitement next year. He wants to organize two races here, enforce car specifications restrictions that allow fair competition and invite more exhibit vehicles to speed down the drag strip.

“I think they went extremely well compared to all the other events in the area,” he said. “We’re always trying to do better and we’re trying to put on a show and bring faster, more competitive vehicles to make it attractive, more exciting to the spectators.”

Stoltenberg said the highlight of this year’s mud drags was Chris Gagnon’s F-class mud racer with a blown alcohol engine.

“Everyone knows [it], right, it was the fastest, loudest, vehicle there,” he said.

This year, the organizers tried to entice these fast vehicles to come by putting up prize money for the quickest time.

“We’ve talked to people now and they would rather we paid them travel expenses, and they’ll come put on a show, because they can’t risk not getting fast pass,” he said.

They are now working on changing the funding to attract these racers, such as the drivers of Canada’s third fastest drag car, Ghost Rider.

“They committed to come if we pay their travel expenses, so we’re going to try to do that instead.”

Stoltenberg believes that classification is essential to ensure accessibility. Currently, the races allow vehicles in street, improved street and competition classes based on the modifications made to it.

“We’re trying to structure the classes so there’s classes for everyone,” he said. “So, there’s totally bone-stock, entry-level classes where you can bring any four-wheel-drive vehicle and race it. And we’re trying to keep the competitive racers out of those classes.”

“The newcomers don’t feel intimidated, they don’t have to spend the money to be competitive and there’s a place for them.”

Finally, Stoltenberg wants to create a new race that requires manoeuvring around an obstacle course.

“An off-road challenge, basically, that involves driving through obstacles, over obstacles, and through the mud as a timed event for the intermission and half-time, just to try and keep people’s interest,” he said.

Stoltenberg believes that mud racing attracts people because sport has a lower barrier to entry.

“It’s like drag racing, but you don’t have to spend all your time making it pretty. Drag cars are always pretty and kept clean. They call this dirty drag racing,” Stoltenberg said. “I don’t even bother to wash mine anymore. I just took it home, it’s covered in mud, I wash the motor off, you know.”

Mud drag racing also has less intense competition.

“In drag racing, you’re competing against your own time, so you have 30 vehicles competing for three prizes,” he said. “Mud racing, you don’t. You have 11 classes of vehicles and each one of those 11 classes [has] first, second and third.”

“Drag racing — the guys who have really good reaction times win consistently. And so it can be disheartening for newcomers.”

Stoltenberg has advice for people interested to race next year: “Four wheel drive truck with good tires, that’s all you need.”

 

Just Posted

Jill Mackenzie carefully replaces books on the shelves at the Houston Public Library. (Angelique Houlihan photo)
District approves annual library grant

Craft kits featured for summer reading club

The tradition of Houston Christian School grads giving Bibles to incoming kindergarten students will take place this year, but outdoors and in a modified fashion. (File photo)
Houston Christian School grad day is June 24

Grads themselves have set tone for the day, says teacher

Scott Richmond will be starting as the new vice principal for HSS and TSE. (Submitted/Houston Today)
Houston gets a new vice principal

Scott Richmond takes over from Dwayne Anderson who moved to Smithers

A Pacific Salmon Foundation grant of $3,000 is going towards the tree plantations. (Cindy Verbeek photo/Houston Today)
550 trees planted in Houston through A Rocha

Houston Christian School students and volunteers help with the tree planting

Currently the Houston station has 16 paramedics, two ambulances and one community paramedic vehicle. (File photo)
Retirement of longtime paramedics worries Houston community

“No loss of service,” assures BC Emergency Health Services

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Most Read