SHOW WILL GO ON: John Kelly in his 1971 Datsun 240z at a Summerland Drags meet in Casino.
SHOW WILL GO ON: John Kelly in his 1971 Datsun 240z at a Summerland Drags meet in Casino. Marc Stapelberg

Roger’s race has run for Summerland Drags

AFTER four years promoting and running the Summerland Drags, Roger Wood is taking his foot off the throttle to slow down and spend time with family.

"When the family got together on Boxing Day we decided after four years it was just stealing too much time from our higher priority, being our family," he said.

"I have 15 grandchildren and half a dozen great-grandchildren, and with the radio station (88.9 FM) it just is so time consuming and it just got beyond us."

When his grandson David Wood committed suicide in 2013, the drags were put on hold while the family grieved.

"My grandson David, who took his own life after suffering PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) from Afghanistan, the last time most of us saw him was at the drags," he said.

"It's just so hard, especially for his father and his younger brother, because they were heavily involved but lost interest because of what happened."

The former Richmond Valley councillor and OAM recipient said the Wood family enjoyed their association with Summerland Drags.

"Whilst we all enjoyed every event, the time taken to prepare for each event, the installation and removal of the necessary infrastructure, ongoing equipment maintenance and the very necessary red tape was all just too time-consuming," he said.

"Had we been able to develop a permanent drag-strip, whereby we just arrived, turned on the power, raced for five hours and then went home, we would have continued.

"We are most grateful for the support over the past four years, particularly the volunteers from the Coraki Village Voice, the Casino SES, the Casino Men's Shed and the Casino Lions."

With council approval until November, drag racing in the region is not dead, as a group of enthusiasts are aiming to form the Northern Rivers Drag Racing Association.

Mr Wood said once the new organisation was established he would "mentor" people at meets to ensure things run smoothly.