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Bryan Presents Drag Racing Association With $337K to Complete St. Croix Track

CHRISTIANSTED — Governor Albert Bryan presented the Caribbean Drag Racing Association (CDRA) a check for $337,750 today which will go towards the completion of a refurbished drag racing track.

Sports, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Calvert White and St. Croix Administrator Sammuel Sanes joined Governor Bryan, who presented the check to CDRA President Arthur Hector and CDRA Treasurer Ramon Cuencas. The funding represents 50 percent of the total funding available to complete the reconstruction of the drag racing track, which is just east of the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport.

“We are truly excited about the return of drag racing in the near future,” said Governor Bryan. “Similar to horse racing, drag racing is an important part of our culture and how we interact socially. I commend Mr. Hector and the CDRA organization for their persistence in ensuring this sport continues to thrive here in the territory. We look forward to seeing the project completed.”

According to Hector and Cuencas, the funding will allow CDRA to install safety walls and fencing and to pave the return lane of the track. In 2020, the CDRA also received $500,000 in government funding to begin the work of building a better, safer track. That funding, in addition to private sector support, covered the cost of paving the main drag racing strip, and the construction of ADA-compliant bleachers and a judge’s tower with a VIP section.

“This the first time in the history of drag racing in the VI that we have gotten this far,” Hector said. “I want to thank the Governor and his staff for their support, especially Commissioner White and Administrator Sanes for the hard work they put into this, and the 34th Legislature for passing the bill that enabled us to get the funding.”

Hector also said he anticipates the re-emergence of drag racing will provide an economic boon to the island, with enthusiasts of the sport throughout the Caribbean and Florida traveling to St. Croix for drag racing events. The organization is also exploring the development of a junior program for youngsters interested in drag racing.

“The appropriation of these funds shows the commitment of the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation and the Bryan-Roach Administration to have quality sports and recreation outlets for our community,” said Commissioner White. “One of the Governor’s priorities is to enhance the USVI’s Sports Tourism product. Once the drag strip is completed, it will provide another competitive advantage to promote and distinguish the territory’s Sports Tourism product.”

The CDRA expects to complete the drag racing track by February 2022.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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