On certain weekends through spring, summer, and fall, a buzz can be felt descending from the hills above the Penticton. Driving up the curves of Carmi Avenue, you can hear it too.
For 50 years, the oval racing track at the Penticton Speedway has been welcoming and entertaining car aficionados with a variety of events from stock cars, to hornets, to the occasional monster truck, to a hit (literally) for the crowds with destruction events: racers (again, literally) smash through recreational vehicles or drag boats and trailers around the track till they are in pieces.
And hit-to-pass is always entertaining, as drivers do, in fact, hit each other’s vehicles to gain the right to pass. Perhaps a wish we all have in heavy traffic?
In operation since 1969, the quarter-mile oval track has seen its share of action, and has grown as a business. Families can enjoy a new petting farm, a full concession with hand-cut fries and homemade burgers, and once a year, take in some bull and steer riding and action at Bull-a-Rama. And if you’re itching to get on the track yourself, go-karts and a racing school are available on non race days.
For the last decade, the Speedway has paid tribute to two young men, Bobbie Wilson and Dayton Dery. These racing enthusiasts are now remembered through the presentation of an award to an aspiring young driver during the annual Young Guns Memorial Weekend, held on the Victoria Day long weekend, a two-day event that recognizes the family spirit at the track. There’s also the Gordy Mannes Memorial event to honour a long-time racer and friend of the track, and the Andy Dunseith Family Scholarship named for the track’s owner from 1982 to 1994.
These awards are just one of the ways the Penticton Speedway, now owned by Johnny Aantjes, thanks the community for its decades of support, as you’ll see Speedway vehicles at numerous events, in the Penticton Peach Festival parade, and as a sponsor of charitable events such as the annual United Way Drive Thru Breakfast.
Visit the Penticton Speedway for upcoming events before the racing season ends on October 27th with the Halloween Day of Destruction.