Greg Dolling

Ready to rumble: Valley drag racers gear up for Thunder in the Valley

Thunder in the Valley roars into Alberni this weekend.

The sound of engines roaring in the distance, and the sight of lights glowing from garage doors into the wee hours begin weeks before Thunder in the Valley in Port Alberni. Racers have been busy finetuning their cars in anticipation of the annual drag racing event, which takes place this Saturday, Aug. 9 and Sunday, Aug. 10 at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport.

A car show hosted by the Valley Street Rods on Friday night at Harbour Quay kicks off festivities.

“It’s going to be huge,” says Bill Surry, the man in charge of a large contingent of volunteers who manage to pull off this event every year. There are 270 cars registered in several different classes, and waiting lists were filling up weeks ago.

The two-day event—celebrating 14 years in 2014—usually draws 2,000 spectators over the weekend, Surry said. Enviable numbers in the drag racing world.

“The amount of spectators we get here is huge compared to anywhere else except international events,” he noted.

Thunder in the Valley

Surry anticipates there will be 50 cars from the area, with the rest coming from out of town. There are a number of specialty cars slated to attend, including Brent Murray and his Damn Yankee funny car and Phil Ruskowski with his nitro burning top fuel dragster.

Greg Dolling of Port Alberni will be there with his 1993 Beretta, one of more than two dozen Canada West Doorslammers expected to attend.

Dolling switched to the Doorslammers last year after racing a homebuilt Mustang in the pro class for a number of years. “It was a city car we made into a drag car,” he said.

“I’m hoping for high sevens, to break the eight-second barrier,” he said. “It’s pretty much ready to roll.”

For more info, check out the AVDRA website at

Just Posted

Birdhouses built on the Somasss Estuary

Five new birdhouses have been installed as a habitat restoration project by Alberni volunteers

Former Port Alberni hockey player heads to Harvard

Maryna MacDonald will be playing for the Harvard Crimson next fall

Finalists named for Alberni Valley Community Excellence Awards

Chamber of Commerce has named almost 40 finalists

Young Nuu-chah-nulth boy remembered by his big, beautiful smile

A six-year-old boy died in a Port Alberni home on March 13

Fun had by all at the Rock and Gem Show

Alberni Valley Rock and Gem Club hosts largest event so far

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Most people in B.C. too ‘lazy,’ ‘apathetic’ to prepare for disasters: poll

Less than half of those surveyed aren’t insured for earthquakes and wildfires

Chris Hemsworth goes surfing in Tofino

The Australian actor donned a full body wetsuit to catch some waves on Vancouver Island this weekend

B.C. hospitals receive boost for dental surgery

Disabled people needing general anesthetic wait too long, Adrian Dix says

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild on the ropes and Smoke Eaters reeling

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

A frustrated Trump lashes out at special counsel Mueller

In a series of weekend tweets naming Mueller for the first time, Trump criticized the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election

B.C. teachers’ union to ask for higher salaries to help with shortages

B.C. starting teacher salaries are $10,000 to $15,000 lower than Ontario or Alberta says B.C. Teachers’ Federation president.

Few political staffers on Parliament Hill report sexual misconduct: survey

Sixty-five of the 266 survey respondents said they had personally experienced at least one incident of sexual harassment.

Experimental pot lab sprouting cannabis-infused drinks, new edibles

Nestled inside Canopy Growth Corp.’s sprawling marijuana facility outside Ottawa is a special laboratory

Most Read