SYRACUSE — SYRACUSE — For the first time in three years, the Wawasee Kiwanis Club was able to plan ahead for its Snowmobile Drag Races and Radar Runs. The charity event raises funds to help many people.
On Syracuse Lake Saturday near Lakeside Park, three racing lanes were plowed on the lake ice. Snowmobilers from around the Syracuse area brought their stock and modified “sleds” as they call them, to see who had the fastest machine.
According to Tami Vandal of the Wawasee Kiwanis, the event began more than 30 years ago.
“We had a dry spell when there wasn’t a lot of winter, so we started it back up several years ago and then we’ll have it for a couple years and then we won’t have it for a couple years (because of ice conditions),” she said of the event.
“So this is the first time in the last three years we’ve been able to have it.”
Vandal said 53 riders registered to ride in tens of classes set up bracket style to drag race down the ice.
Chris Elder of Syracuse, who said he’s been coming to the event as long as he can remember, was planning on racing his stock snowmobile but wasn’t concerned about his time.
“We just like to play,” he said. “Excitement, all the people, all the fun.”
Ashley Faulkner, also of Syracuse, was racing at the event for the first time. Although one of the few women racing, she said she likes to hang with the men on the track.
“It’d be nice to out-show, them,” she said. “I love riding, going out with the guys and doing everything they do.”
Another racer, John Michael, of Shipshewana said he grew up in Syracuse and has been racing his snowmobiles at the event since 1980.