Dave Edwards of Port Angeles, left, and Vic Whitehead of Forks burn rubber to the starting line during a West End Thunder race last season. (Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News)

Dave Edwards of Port Angeles, left, and Vic Whitehead of Forks burn rubber to the starting line during a West End Thunder race last season. (Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News)

West End Thunder revs up for season opener in Forks this weekend

FORKS — West End Thunder’s annual season opener will roar at Forks Municipal Airport on Saturday and Sunday.

A Show and Shine of rebuilt vehicles, a VFW food booth and a chili cook-off are planned in addition to the one-eighth-mile drag races.

General admission to the drag races are $10, with children younger than 12 admitted free. Show and Shine drivers pay $15 and race participants $35.

Weather permitting, gates will open for the general public at 8:30 a.m. at the airport on South Forks Avenue. Crews and drivers will be allowed in beginning at 7 a.m.

Races cannot be held in heavy rain, and Forks has been inundated this year, but the weekend forecast is for partly sunny skies.

Trophies and some cash prizes will be awarded to winning drivers.

This weekend will be the first of five race weekends this summer. Other weekends will be held June 24-25, July 8-9, Aug. 12-13 and Sept. 23-24.

At least 35 to 40 teams, some of which have multiple cars, are expected to come from all around Washington for this first event, said Joe Wright, the event’s new announcer. Wright has taken over for John Wayne Sadler, who died of cancer in 2016 at the age of 60.

Even more teams and cars are expected for some of the later races this season.

A new class of cars for “daily drivers” has been added to the other classifications — sportsman, pro, super pro and nostalgia, Wright said, adding that motorcycle races might be held as well.

Proceeds go toward the West End Thunder Club, which has organized the races since 2006.

Wright said the Forks Elks Club will host a Coin Box Dinner after the race at 6 p.m. The dinner at the lodge at 941 Merchants Road in Forks is $8 or free for those who bring full coin boxes. Proceeds will benefit the Elks Therapy Program for Children.

For more information on the races, see www.west endthunder.com.

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