Armdrop Drag Racing season opener May 20th 2017

The air above Picton was broken with the sounds of the annual spring ritual know as Armdrop Drag Racing, Saturday at Picton’s historic airport.

Engines roared and tires burned as the faithful came to renew rivalries, meet friends, and and take it to the strip! Over 500 races were enjoyed by a record crowd. The hard work of all the volunteers paid off as the racing continued uninterrupted except for a couple of minor instances during day.

George Watson vs. Dave Watson

Custom car fabricator and Belleville native George Watson has been drag racing all his life. Georges father, Dave Watson, has been drag racing legally (and illegally) for years and George was always in-tow. Father and son rivalries are as old as mankind itself. Great epics stories have been written as far back as Homer’s , “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey”. Dave and George Watson, Belleville Ont., would play out their battle on the drag strip. Dave in his 1939 Ford coupe squared up against George in his 1934 Ford coupe.

“I didn’t even see Miss Mandy drop her arms, next thing I noticed was George starting to go,” chuckled Dave Watson. “So I just hit!”

Despite having custom built both cars and being the younger of the two, George was easily put in his place by Dad.

The drag racing world of Armdrop is often filled with surprises. Peter Kasala, Cormier Auto Repair, Trenton Ont. has surprised many competitors with his twin engine 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP. The car has on occasion run as fast 11.1 seconds in the quarter-mile. Up until now, only staff from Cormier Auto has driven the car. Peter wanted to work out all the bugs. This time out Peter had Lori Dulmage, Picton Ont. pilot the twin-engine beast for a couple of runs.

Lori Dulmage launches the Cormier Auto Repair twin-engine Grand Prix.

“ I wanted to be sure it was right before I let Lori drive the car,” said Peter Kasala. “She is a great girl and a mother of four, I couldn’t live myself if she got hurt.”

With a little pre-run instructions Lori was able to manage a best time of 12.5 seconds.

2 Thumbs Up, Lori Dulmage and Peter Kasala.

“It was so exciting to launch down the strip,” said Lori Dulmage. “I am so grateful to Peter and the people at Armdrop for the chance.”

Lori had already drag raced at Armdrop with her own car a couple of years ago, and had expressed a desire to try her hand with the twin-engine car. Lori suspects that drag racing is in her DNA, Lori’s Uncle Don Dulmage, Ameliasburg Ont. is no stranger to drag racing or Armdrop, he retired from drag racing only a couple of years earlier, he has been drag racing and working on cars since the early 1960’s.

Miss Mandy Mae Douglas with art by Dannö Drouin.

Though know at Armdrop Drag Racing for her beauty at the starting line and around the pits, Miss Mandy Mae Douglas (Miss Mandy Mae Pin-up) took up the cause of raising money for a little girl from Selby Ont. named Sophie with a silent auction. Two and half years ago Sophie was diagnosed with High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. Selby, her Mom, and five siblings packed up and moved to London Ont. after they realized that Kingston General Hospital would not be able to provide the proper care. $520 was raised. Contributors for the silent auction were: Danno Drouin, Reggie Smith, Mike St Pierre, Bill Smith, Chris Toombes, Matthew and Christine of Tattoo Lounge, Sherry Grimmon, LeeAnne Bradley, David Coombs, Chris Carslake, Hailey Fisher, and Malcolm Crawford. Miss Mandy plans to continue fundraising for the foreseeable future.

photos and story by bill samuel