The United States may be the world epicenter of drag racing, but our neighbors to the north in Canada have always taken their drag racing pretty seriously, and so it’s understandable why racers in the eastern Canada province of Ontario are pretty pumped to finally have a new dragstrip to call their own.
Reader Glenn Taylor sent us a tip on on Ontario’s new dragstrip, The King of the North Dragway in the town of Bonfield, which has been a long-term project in the province and recently unveiled the schedule for its inaugural racing season. King of the North is an IHRA member 1/4-mile track built on 200 acres about four hours north of Toronto. Like one of Canada’s other premier tracks, the Grand Bend Motorplex in Grand Bend, Ontario, King of the North is situated in a resort area with plenty of tourism and scenery.
According to North Bay media outlet nugget.ca, final construction is underway on the pita area and grandstands, along with installation of the timing system, which is expected to be finished soon. According to project manager Allan Dell, the response to the opening of the new facility has been “overwhelming.”
“This is a professional setup. Most Northern tracks are temporary and offer volunteer run events like what was done at the (Jack Garland) North Bay Airport, Earlton and Kirkland Lake,” Dell said.
“There’s been so much money invested that I have to make sure there are 3,000 people in the stands.”
Jeff McGirr, the economic development officer for the Mattawa-Bonfield Economic Development Corporation, believes the benefits of the facility in regards to economic development and tourism, with the opportunity to draw in upwards of 60,000 people throughout the racing season are outstanding.
“These tourists could potentially vacation in the area, hopefully explore the great things there is to do and could possibly relocate their business and live here.”
The King of the North is slated to open this spring, with a full calendar of events from May to October awaiting competitors in the Ontario region and even those in the Northern and Northeastern United States. Racers will christen the new facility on May 17 with the first scheduled event on the fresh new racing surface.