Canadian drag racing lost a champion for the sport on Wednesday, December 10, 2013. Dale Boeru was tragically killed when the tractor-trailer he was driving collided with another on Highway 401, just west of his hometown of Kitchener, Ontario. Dale was 51 years old.
Boeru is well-known in the Canadian drag racing community for his online magazine, Canadian Drag Racer Magazine and the successful racing series, National Drag Racing Association; both were founded and run by him. As well, Dale created and managed Fast Entertainment Inc.
Since the late ‘70s, when he raced his 1970 Camaro at St.Thomas Dragway in Sparta, ON, Boeru had been addicted to the quarter mile dash.
Being an accomplished photographer, it was only natural for Dale to combine his love for racing with his prowess behind the lens. Hence, he took his finger off the button and put it back on the shutter of the camera for over two decades, taking literally thousands of dynamic pictures.
As time went on, Boeru became increasingly aware of the lack of exposure for Canadian drag racers. There were so many successful Canucks in the IHRA and NHRA “big shows” and so many more Sportsman racers who were delighting race fans at the grassroots level at tracks above the “49th”. He strongly believed that every one of them deserved recognition. As well, Dale realized that one more Canadian magazine would help to compete with the plethora of mags that extoll primarily U.S. events and racers. This could be a much needed shot in the arm for drag racing in our country. So began the concept of Canadian Drag Racer Magazine – “Dedicated to Canadian Drag Racing”.
Established in 2009, CDRM has generated interesting, factual and reader friendly articles about Canadian drag race drivers from the Juniors to the veterans in the popular “Featured Driver” section. The magazine has focused on Canadian personalities and tracks, events and human interest through its pages: all written by a dedicated collection of writers and contributors that Dale personally recruited from across the nation.
The photos that accompanied every story were high quality from some of Canada’s most talented photographers, including Dale himself.
CDRM also featured timely “World Drag News” to encompass a comprehensive coverage of what was happening in drag racing across North America and the world.
Combined with fabulous features and articles and first-rate photography, Canadian Drag Racer Magazine developed into a world-class online publication that is read literally around the globe.
An accomplishment such as this doesn’t happen without unending hours, absolute dedication and outstanding leadership. Dale Boeru tirelessly searched the internet, established countless contacts for stories, nurtured relationships with writers and photographers, edited articles and coordinated the pictures and put everything together so readers would truly enjoy every aspect of the magazine. Then he would have to sell advertising and do the typical financial and daily management stuff. He did this every day since inception … all after he finished his regular job! Dale’s dedication and remarkable energy was simply fueled by his love of the sport and was totally encouraged and supported by his amazing wife, Wendy. During my many conversations with Dale, he lovingly expressed how in awe he was of Wendy’s patience and understanding.
You bet! Boeru took a fledgling magazine to rank with the best in the industry! Just four years is all it took. Totally outstanding!
Now, if producing a significant magazine isn’t enough, this tireless guy took on another major project when he saw a need for a program that would provide Canadian and northern U.S. Alcohol Funny Cars a regular opportunity to showcase their 3000 HP
floppers and compete for championships along with decent payouts. Therefore, he founded the National Drag Racing Association (NDRA) and put on the first NDRA Alcohol Funny Car Series presented by Oshweken Speedway at Grand Bend Motorplex, Grand Bend, Ontario on the May 18 – 20, 2012 weekend.
The 2012 series, which included another race at Grand Bend and two more at Toronto Motorsports Park – Cayuga Dragway, was a huge success and Canadian fans loved it! There was no question that it would be replicated in 2013.
Before the 2013 season was even booked, the Dave Earhart, who founded the successful Heads Up Racing Association (H.U.R.A.) approached Dale to take on the management and promotion of their growing contingent of Pro Doorslammers. Although HURA was already a going concern, Earhart recognized that the door cars and Alcohol Funny Cars could meld nicely to create a grand show and that Boeru’s promotional talent and expertise would bolster more exposure for the doorslammer drivers.
Year two of the NDRA introduced an exciting roster of Alcohol Funny Cars and Pro Doorslammers that wowed the crowds! Earhart was right.
With each of the drivers in both classes not only focused on the wins but on entertaining the fans, the incredible effort put forth by the NDRA officials, then the support from Brand Bend Motorplex and Cayuga Dragway, along with the backing of a cast of fabulous sponsors and the leadership of Boeru …the master showman, the NDRA Alcohol Funny Car series presented by Oshweken Speedway and the NDRA Pro Doorslammer series became “gotta go” Canadian events that could match any other. 2013 was a huge success!
The successful results of the 2012 and 2013 seasons was enough to encourage Dale to think about expanding the NDRA into western Canada. Already this year, Dale and I had started to approach selected tracks to host the NDRA series as well as begin recruitment of cars. Unfortunately, with Dale’s untimely death, this expansion is yet to be determined.
No matter what … just as with Canadian Drag Racer Magazine, the National Drag Racing Association was coming on fast as a major player in the world of the fastest sport on earth. All because of this man with unending passion and energy!
The resume doesn’t end here. Boeru also founded Fast Entertainment Inc. which features exhibition vehicles with the likes of Doug Cadman’s famous Nostagia Nitro Funny Car “Chi-Town Hustler” along with Nitro Harleys, Nitro Funny Cars, Jet Cars, Dragsters and Trucks and Top Fuel Dragsters.
Despite his incredible accomplishments, Dale Boeru was one of the most approachable guys anywhere. He didn’t develop just business relationships … he made friends. Dale was a regular guy with a great sense of humour and a zest for life. His passion didn’t end in the race world … it included just about everything and everyone around him.
Dale was an innovator … a dreamer and a “doer”. He was a steadfast negotiator, yet he remained flexible. He was a teacher and still a learner. He could be serious and then be goofy. Above all, Dale Boeru was a great friend, as many of us have come to know him.
The drag racing world … Canadian and global … has indeed, lost a true champion!
On behalf of your family at Canadian Drag Racer Magazine and the National Drag Racing Association as well as your countless friends on and off the track, God’s speed, Dale! May all of your lights be good ones!
Dale Hickey, Editor – Canadian Drag Racing Magazine, Vice-President – National Drag Racing Association
NOTE THAT THE OFFICES OF RPM MAGAZINE WILL BE CLOSED ON MONDAY DECEMBER 16, 2013 FROM NOON UNTIL 5:00 PM AS WE WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE AT THE FUNERAL FOR DALE. Office will reopen Tuesday December 17, 2013 at 9:00 am. Thank you for your understanding.