Tom Baldwin looks at the new wiring at the Agassiz Speedway

Tom Baldwin looks at the new wiring at the Agassiz Speedway

Speedway recovering from theft

Outpouring of support shown by volunteers after metal theft

Help poured into the Agassiz Speedway all week, in an effort to get the long-standing racetrack back in top shape for the weekend’s races.

The Speedway was hit by metal thieves sometime between the Aug. 17 races and the following Friday.

One of the directors was walking around the grounds last Friday and noticed a few wires hanging here and there. Upon further investigation, more and more damage was found. In total, director Barb tenBos estimates they suffered about $10,000 in damages — mostly stolen wiring, faucets and broken door locks.

The gain for the thieves was probably just a few hundred dollars, she said. It was a devastating discovery for the non-profit organization; they just stay afloat enough to manage the track. But that anger and frustration the initially felt has been soothed by the outpouring of support from the community.

Volunteers have rallied around the Speedway, and for the past few days they have been working to get the track ready for Saturday night’s event, the Hornet Special.

On Wednesday, electricians from Moonlight Electrical and Norich Electrical were busy rewiring, while others stayed busy cleaning up the track and weed eating. tenBos and a few others kept the barbecue going to feed the volunteers, all eager to not let the theft set them back.

“These boys have been working now for two days,” she said. “The response has been nothing short of amazing.”

This is not the first time the Speedway has been hit by wire thieves. The first time was about six years ago, when metal prices were high and theft was on the rise, said director Tom Baldwin.

That time, they buried a lot of the wire. This time, they’ve gone a step further and raised the wiring as high as possible, and hopefully out of reach from opportunistic thieves.

It’s impossible to watch the Speedway all the time, Baldwin said. Because of the noise created by the races, the track was deliberately built far away from town, at the end of Cemetery Road. The closest residents are inmates at the prisons, and there is little through traffic.

“It’s way out here,” Baldwin said. “You’d never know someone was in here.”

The Agassiz Speedway has a long history in the local race scene. It opened in 1971, when Langley still had their speedway. In 1977, the original track was paved, and in 2001, the track was expanded to be a full 1/4 mile.

“Bunk Mckay came in and ripped everything out,” tenBos said. With a crew of eight local men, they worked every Saturday from September to May to get the track ready for the Spring opening in 2001.

“We literally paved the addition three days before opening day,” she said. “We were under so much pressure to get it done.”

They’re racing to the finish line again, as cars will start to arrive Saturday afternoon for the Brad Adams Memorial Hornet Special, sponsored by Modern Tire and Towing.

“We’re more upset this time, but the stress has been minimized because of all this support,” tenBos said.

The Hornet Special is a great night for locals to catch some action, Baldwin added. It’s a novice night, and plenty of the racers are local. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. and there will be a meet and greet where everyone is welcome onto the grass where kids can have their pictures taken with the cars and drivers.

Admission for an adult is $12, $10 for seniors and youth (13-18), $5 for a child (7-12, free for children six and under, and $30 for a family of four. The track takes cash only.

For more information, visit www.agassizspeedway.com.

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call the Agassiz RCMP at 604-796-2211 or CrimeStoppers.

news@ahobserver.com

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

web
Mission students hold rally, say everyone welcome at school

Ecole Christine Morrison Elementary School hosted an Anti-Racism Day on June 15

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

n
Quarry Questions: Supreme Court ruling spells concern for Mission bylaws

Judge ruled that provincial permits overrule municipal bylaws relating to mining activity

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read