OYSTER BED BRIDGE, P.E.I. - Drag racing days have screeched to a halt on Prince Edward Island.
The purchasers of Raceway Park in Oyster Bed Bridge plan to continue to run the property as a campground, but they are putting the brakes to racing.
Chris Daley, who owns Royalty Maples Motel and Cottages in Charlottetown, along with business partner Ben Murphy closed the deal June 1 to buy the property from Kevin Power and Bruce Matheson.
Daley told The Guardian the campground has been renamed Route 6 Ranch and will open on July 5 in time for the Cavendish Beach Music Festival.
He said drag racing, which has not been held this year at the track, is being shut down permanently at the site.
Upgrades are expected to the campground, which is licensed for 105 camp sites.
Daley noted applications can be made to add extra sites for special events, like the popular annual festival that features top-name country music performers.
The property was listed at $488,000.
Raceway Park was built in 1971. Power partnered with others to buy the operation in 1980 and built a stock car track in 1985, which was sold six or seven years ago and continues to operate today as Oyster Bed Speedway.
Power has many fond memories of Raceway Park, which saw as many as 230 cars compete in a drag racing event while attracting as many as 5,000 spectators.
Also, he is proud to note a couple hundred thousand dollars was raised for charities over the years.
“I enjoyed it,’’ he said.
“It was a lot of years. It was like anything: you have good years and bad years. Most of it was dependent on the weather.’’
Power said drag racing season at Raceway Park typically ran from late May to the middle of October with anywhere from eight to 12 two-day events plus roughly 15 Tuesday evening race events.
He credits his long run at Raceway Park with great support from drag racers from across Atlantic Canada as well as some from Ontario and the U.S.
“The quality of staff was second to none,’’ he added.
Power, who is 67, said he was ready to leave the racing business in his tracks.
“They tell me I’m old,’’ he quipped.
Power said he will continue to help his three sons who own three Pro Oil Change outlets.