The beginnings of the Vintage Drag Racing Associationdate back to 1991, when five gentlemen whoshared an enjoyment of modified Ford and Mercury Flathead V-8 engines met in a park in North Denver. Fred Floth, Ed Piz, Wes Wicks, Wes Johnson, and Dann Jurgens formed the “Denver Flatheaders”. Two years later the club had 23 members who owned Drag and Circle Track Race Cars, Street Rods, Salt Flat Cars, Restorations, and oneBoat.With the addition of vintage high performance Inline six and eight powered vehicles to the club,the name was changed to the “The Vintage Timing Association”, then to the “Vintage Drag Racing Association” to better reflect the club’s purpose. In 2014, another club, “The Outlaw Gassers”, merged with the VDRA, followed by a group racing nostalgic Overhead Valve powered front engine dragsters. The club now holds a dozen drag races a year in Colorado with three classes that reflect these interests.
While Bandimere Speedway has always been the VDRA’s home track, the club has competed at a number of other Coloradotracks, as well as venues in Wyoming, Kansas, and Nebraska. The highlight of the racing year is the “Flathead-Inline Nationals” at Bandimere Speedway. Begun in 1994, this event is billed as the largest racing event of its kind, drawing cars from all over the country.VDRA members are quick to acknowledge the support they have received from the Bandimere family and the staff at the Speedway. It is well known in the nostalgic racing field that if you want to go drag racing with a nostalgic Ford Flathead or vintage In-line 6 or 8 cylinder car, you go to Colorado.
One of the club founders, Wes Johnson, has said: “When we started it30 years ago, none of us ever thought the club would become what it is. We receive so many comments from fans about how wonderful it is to see cars like the ones that their fathers and grandfathers competed in, or they saw when they went to early drag races. A spectator once said, ‘When the VDRA is racing, it’s like going to a museum, but the cars still move’. We would like to be remembered as a group that saved for others to see what the early days of drag racing in this country looked and sounded like.”
The VDRA has earned the 2021 J.C. Agajanian Award for outstanding contributions to Colorado Motorsports by an organization in recognition of its accomplishments.