Jeff Green | Aug 27, 2009
Back to HomeFeature Article - August 27, 2009 The mud flies in Verona at the annual mud dragsBy Julie Druker
Donnie Bertrim organizer of the Verona Mud Drags with his unlimited dragster mud rail “The Dominator”
Fans of fast-moving vehicles and flying mud gathered at the farm of Hermie Veley in Verona on Saturday for the 15th annual Verona Mud Drags. Donnie Bertrim of Verona has been putting on the races at Hermie’s farm for the North Augusta Mud Racing Association, a not-for-profit organization. The event caters to everyday drivers and also to dedicated hobbyists but Donnie insists that it “is mainly to give people a chance to come out and have some fun.”
There were ATVs of course and also the more exotic rails or “dragsters”, as they are more commonly known, an elongated race car with huge tires and powerful 3000 horse power motors that run on methanol. Some of them are built with engines that cost upwards of $50,000.
Rob Schrieder from Stirling Ontario entered his rail in the unlimited cuts and unlimited scoops classes at Saturday’s event.
He currently holds the Canadian record for the 200 ft drag and claimed “I can cover 200 feet from a dead stop in 2.343 seconds.” Because the engines run on methanol drivers wear a entire fire suit when they race.
Rob explained how he approaches his races. “I just sit there at the starting line and bring the RPMs up to about 2000 and I watch the other guy stage and at the first hint of a yellow light you stab her and go and just hang on.”
Rob admitted that there were a number of other rail drivers in attendance, such as Steve Reneau from Hornepayne, ON and Kelly Odell from Syracuse, NY, both experienced drivers who would be sure to give him a run for his money.
Organizer Donnie Bertrim also owns and races his own unlimited dragster mud rail, which he has named “The Dominator” and he was doing some last minute tuning up before his events. He described in detail the engine in the Dominator. “It’s a Carol Carter 665 cubic inch alcohol injected nitrous motor out of Virginia.” The body of his rail is made form a 1932 Ford Vicki shell. His fastest time in the 200 ft drag this year is 2.55 seconds. Donnie said that these events for him are really just a hobby, but one that “uses very expensive toys.”
Donnie explained that all of the funds raised from the event go back into the prize money for the racers. Winners received plaques and 1st place winners in their class received $500 cash prizes.
The fans were definitely not let down.