The Bonne Terre Drag Strip was the place to be for high octane auto enthusiasts on Friday and Saturday.
The “When Worlds Collide” drag racing event was presented by Schaeffer Specialty Lubricants (Schaeffer Oil) and Midwest Drag Racing. The competition drew many racers and fans to the drag strip for a shot at taking home the $10,000 cash prize.
Schaeffer Oil had put up $20,000 in prize money with $10,000 going to the winner of the Small Tire category and another $10,000 awarded to the winner in the Big Tire category.
Dustin Weber won the $10,000 prize in the Small Tire category driving a teal-colored Ford Mustang known as “The Turd.” Weber wrecked his Mustang after crossing the stripe and breaking traction. The car was totaled but Weber was uninjured thanks to his roll cage and protective race gear.
James Foreman took home the $10,000 prize in the Big Tire category driving his Chevrolet Nova named “Big Booty Judy.”
The racing event began on Friday evening and over the course of two days, drag racers and spectators enjoyed a sunny weekend of watching some of the fastest cars zip down the strip with engines roaring. Some cars blew engines and other wrecked into the track walls but no one was injured and everyone seemed to have a great time.
Larry Hofstetter from Schaeffer Oil said that the event wouldn't have been possible without Rick Cook and Dave Sewell of Midwest Drag Racing. Hofstetter said it was the team effort and heavy lifting by Cook and Sewell that made everything happen.
Hofstetter said that Schaeffer was excited about sponsoring their first drag racing event and helping to bring the experience to the race fans.
“Our number one objective is delivering a promised experience to all of the customers that use Schaeffer Oil and this event was one of those ways we can do that,” said Hofstetter. “It’s not just the value of the product but also the experience of it. It’s all about the relationship.”
Hofstetter said the event turned out better than he could have imagined.
“My first impression is that it far exceeded any expectation I had,” explained Hofstetter. “The experience for the racers who use the oil, and more importantly the experience to the fans that came to watch the racers, strong community, good people - that was the experience I wasn’t expecting and that’s who we are and we want to keep promoting that.”
Organizers of the race said that the turnout was fantastic and estimated more than 1,500 people came out to that drag strip over the two days. The parking area of the raceway was filled with custom drag and street racing autos. Campers and canopy tents were set up all around creating a tailgate party-like atmosphere.
The event overall was a great success for the sponsors and organizers and Hofstetter said that they will be looking at sponsoring future racing events in the area.
“You want to build up relationships where it starts and this was a great first start,” Hofstetter said. “Building on this and making it better would be our first focus.”
He went on to say that he didn’t see any reason to hold the event anywhere else next year.
“These events are fun for the racers but they really don’t mean anything if they don’t allow for families to come and do something as a family that they can afford to do,” said Hofstetter. “That’s something that’s a little different here than maybe some of the bigger tracks.”
The organizers, sponsors, and racers are already looking at another event for next year and there are plenty of upcoming race events coming soon to the Bonne Terre Drag Strip. For a list of upcoming racing events, check out the Bonne Terre Drag Strip’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Bonne-Terre-Drag-Strip-247703798771400/