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

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

PHOTOS: Surrey designer uses toilet paper to make a dress for annual Toronto show

‘The dress is very experimental and avante garde,’ says Guildford-based Alex S. Yu

Surrey reacts to policing plan getting the green light

Former mayor, councillors and residents weigh in on the Public Safety Minister approving the transition

POLL: Do you agree with the province’s decision to approve Surrey’s policing plan?

Cast your vote below and email your letters to the editor at edit@surreynowleader.com

Trudeau vows to stand firm against ‘increasingly assertive’ China

China has accused Canada of meddling in its affairs

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town hit by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

North Van music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

UPDATE: B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders says he was ‘tackled’ and ‘stabbed’ in apartment

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Most Read