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Kuhnle Motorsports Park Turned into One of Country’s Finest Facilities

Thursday, 14 July 2022

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — It’s the classic understatement to call Kuhnle Motorsports Park a renovation of the old Thompson Raceway Park.

It’s more like a massive rebuild with the Kuhnle Brothers turning the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA)-sanctioned track nicknamed “Ohio’s Thunder Capital” into a true showcase for the sport of drag racing.

Longtime track manager Jim Curtis gives a long list of improvements that have been made since the track was sold to the Kuhnle brothers in December. One’s attention is immediately grabbed by a new spectator entrance. In addition, the pit and spectator sides have been switched. It has increased the pit size by two-thirds.

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They’ve purchased more property around the quarter-mile track, giving them an impressive 243 acres.

“We’re utilizing all, but 40 acres right now,” Curtis said. “There are new walls in the shutdown and we’ve repaved that whole shutdown.”

Other improvements include: a 40-feet wide new return road, over 100 LED lights and paved roads through the pit areas. The number of staging lanes have been increased from eight to 17.

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That’s not all to make it one of the most racer-friendly venues in the nation.

Brand new electronic scoreboards, some of the largest ones produced, have been installed. They are the same ones that Norwalk uses. There are new fencing, a new pit entrance gate and four 300-feet long entrance ways, all paved.

“There’s so much. We’ve put new buildings up, a new E.T. shack and new entrance building,” Curtis said. “In October, we’re tearing the 1,320-feet race track itself up and put an eighth-mile concrete and the rest asphalt.”

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Plans are also to install a new Accutime system at the same time, while the starting line will be moved 60 feet. Instead of backing into the water box, racers will be able to pull into it.

It’s also spectator-friendly with 10,000 seats of enclosed aluminum grandstands so one can’t drop anything underneath.

“I’ve been here for 32 years. We’ve tried to build it for safety for the spectators and the racers,” Curtis said. “Before cars would actually criss-cross, side-to-side, driving behind the water box to pick up an e.t. slip. You would have cars going up and down the return road. Now, you pull in the staging lanes, make your run and come up the return road and go into your pits. Nobody is heading into anyone anymore.”

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While all the improvements obviously give Kuhnle Motorsports Park the capacity to host large events, they’re still focused heavily on the bracket racers.

The track has a great history in IHRA Summit SuperSeries competition. Cody Bayus, the 2014 Top (Box) World Champion, and Vic Ellinger, the 2016 Mod (No Box) World Champion, each represented the Ohio track at the IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals.

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They’ve also done extremely well in the IHRA Division 3 (North Stars) Summit Team Finals. Track representatives for the 2021 IHRA World Finals were: Bob Cireddu (Top), Ray Babb (Mod) and Gavin Cueni (Junior). It was the second straight year that Cireddu earned the honor, while Babb is a local legend with five track championships over the last seven years.

Click here to check out the new Kuhnle Motorsports Park website.

Last modified on Thursday, 14 July 2022

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