Run Whatcha Brung

Story by Bonnie Jones// Photos by Bonnie Jones
May 1 2008

Victory takes 1st place in the Canadian Drag Series. One man’s need for speed bags him a first place finish.


Do you love to ride?

Do you love to go fast?

If you answered yes, then you need to come out to a drag race at your local track in the summer months where the CMDRA (Canadian Motorcycle Drag Racing Association) is holding motorcycle drag racing.

It doesn’t matter what you ride, anyone with a desire to tear up the quarter mile can enter their bike for a minimal cost and enjoy a day or a weekend at the track. For a paltry $25 for a day pass and $30 to enter an event (provided you have an ignition kill tether—available at your local snowmobile shop—a complete set of leathers and a full face helmet), you can take on other weekend warriors for points or bragging rights.

Bruce Romak was one of those guys with a need for speed and a desire to see how his 2004 Victory Vegas would do on the quarter mile.

Bruce grew up in Chilliwack, BC where he started riding a Honda Trail 50 as a youngster, and then at 16, he travelled the BMX Circuit in Western Canada. At an early age he loved to ride, go fast and fix bikes. With the repair manual in hand he was able to fix it and ride it. He moved to Fort St. John in Northern British Columbia in 1993 and in 2004, he purchased a Victory Vegas.

Bruce thought he’d try his skill at the Northern Lights Raceway in Fort St. John. He entered three events in 2005 and won the ‘Bike/Sled Class.’ This is where he got the bug to follow his need for speed. He was in hook, line and sinker!

George Morgan and Donny Workman were key to his success. They helped him all year long.

Donny gave him some practice on the pro-tree the weekend before the 2006 CMDRA season returned to the Northern Lights Raceway.

In 2006, Bruce decided to step it up a notch and enter the ‘Street Class’ of the CMDRA at Northern Lights Raceway and he won his first CMDRA event. He walked away a winner after the first event that he entered. It was in his blood! By adding a 100 cubic inch kit to the engine, improving his exhaust, changing the air intake and adding a Power Commander he was able to increase his horsepower to 102 and the torque topped out at 108 ft lbs. Bruce was able to bring his time to 12.5 seconds at 107 mph. These small improvements gave him the edge that he needed.

In 2007, Bruce attended the CMDRA opener in Ashcroft, BC. There was a new class, ‘Hot Harley’ that was intended for air-cooled V-twins. By the time the race was over, he came second to Rick Baldwin in Hot Harley and second to Ethan Barkley in the ‘Street Class’. Over the year, Bruce completed the whole CMDRA Circuit and competed in the AHDRA (American Harley Drag Race Association) drag races in Pomona and Las Vegas, California. He travelled about 18,000 km during the entire 2007 race season. He finished the CMDRA race season in first place with the most points in the Hot Harley class.

Some of the best friendships that he has made in his life were made at these races. These competitors helped each other because they wanted to win on the track, not in the pits. The racers even encourage the public to come and talk to them in the pits. Bruce is grateful to Laura Barkley of EB Speed and Denise Newlove of Hard Core Racing for taking photos over the race season. His appreciation extends to two race teams, Ethan Barkley of EB Speed and his mechanic Jimmy and Mike Scott of Hard Core Racing, and his crew of Don and Denise Newlove.

In 2008, Victory is celebrating its 10th Anniversary and Bruce has put Victory on the map for drag racing but it will take a while to get a dedicated programme in place for other Victory riders to come out and drag race. The AHDRA is opening up a class to let the Victory race in this year.

In 2008, Bruce will be racing again in both the CMDRA and AHDRA Drag Races and Polaris/Victory Motorcycles is working with him on a limited basis for sponsorship purposes.

Once again, I will be cheering for Bruce. I ride a 2005 Victory Kingpin. The improved performance of my motorcycle is always on my mind. Maybe, someday, I could take mine down the track and come out a winner against a Harley, too. MMM


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