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Crossville Dragway Upgrades With Racers in Mind

Friday, 09 March 2018

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Crossville Dragway remains the same distance, but a massive amount of change has come since new owners Rick Weatherbee and Michael Newcome took over the 1/8-mile East Tennessee facility back in February.

They started with safety features by widening the track and extending the shut-down area. They also scraped the tire surface back to concrete to put a new base down for a flat, level racing surface.

They have built new concession stands, bathrooms, a new control tower and covered grandstands. A new timing system, public address system and lighting fixtures on the track and in the pits have been installed.

Why did they do so much so soon at the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) sanctioned facility? As drag racers themselves, they know how important it is to feel comfortable at the track.

“We know how we want to be treated and we want to accommodate the racers and not just look at it from the business-side of things,” Newcome said. “The sport is about being happy and being enjoyed. If it was a job, nobody would want to do it.”

They’re not finished with the upgrades, currently in the process of moving up the scoreboards to make them more visible and working with the state of Tennessee for a bridge from the upper pit area to the head of staging.

crossville updates

They have also acquired the necessary equipment with a rotator, drag box and sprayer to maintain the facility originally opened under IHRA sanction in 1978.

While the new owners’ backgrounds are in drag radial racing, it was important to have a strong bracket racing program. The IHRA Summit SuperSeries fit the bill as the largest and most prestigious bracket racing national championship in drag racing. The $200,000 program gives Summit SuperSeries track champions at Crossville the chance to race at the IHRA Summit World Finals each October at Memphis.

In addition, Newcome and Weatherbee appreciate the family-like relationships among IHRA track owners. They have teamed with a pair of other IHRA-sanctioned tracks, Knoxville Dragway and Brainerd Motorsports Park, to create a six-race, small-tire points program. 

“We’ve raced these places all of our lives and we’re good friends with the owners,” Newcome said. “When it came to a business situation, it was a pleasant deal. We wanted to come together as the three tracks and put together something good for everyone.”

That is the goal for Crossville Dragway, a track that’s good for everybody.

For more information including upcoming events and schedules go to crossvilledragway.com or visit the track’s Facebook.

Last modified on Friday, 09 March 2018

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