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Beacon Dragway Feels Like Home to Racers

Monday, 05 March 2018

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Beacon Dragway has undergone extensive remodeling the past few years. But, general manager Tim Cunningham believes it’s the home feel that makes the 1/8-mile International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) member track in Paduach, Kentucky most stand out.

“It’s like being at home,” Cunningham said. “We do our best to make sure every racer, every spectator who comes in the gate are friends. We don’t discriminate against anyone in any class. Our Junior Dragster kids, we want them to feel comfortable and make sure they learn what they need to become good competitors.

“The guys who have been at it 40-50 years, we want to make sure they feel appreciated. And with our employees, we want to make sure they get what they need to put on a good show. We try to make it a family atmosphere.”

Track owner Keith Murt's last move was for Beacon Dragway to become an IHRA-sanctioned facility and participate in the Summit SuperSeries, the largest and most prestigious bracket-racing program in drag racing. It fits well within Beacon Dragway’s weekly racing schedule where Box, No-Box, Street, Trophy and Motorcycle are among the divisions contested.

“It’s a wonderful program,” Cunningham said. “IHRA is more keyed to the work all week, and then go race on the weekend type guy. Not everybody can be a John Force. We’re well pleased with our program for the bracket series.”

The track has multiple special events including Street Outlaws in May, big bracket races and a Midnight Madness in conjunction with the sheriff’s department to get racing off the streets.

beacon dragway

Originally opened as a race track in 1968 as the McCracken County Drag Strip, it was converted to an airport nine years later. Murt bought the facility in 2012 and did an extensive remodeling effort to convert it back to a drag strip.

He’s constantly improving the facility and they’re currently in the process tearing up some asphalt and putting more concrete down. A new catchfence has been installed at the track which is 2,950 feet long with a sand trap at the end.

More upgrades planned include paving more parking area, repaving the return road, and more concrete barriers installed.

Over the next few weeks, Cunningham is going to do more track-prep training with renown track specialist Tyler Crossnoe.

“He’s going to help me with some pointers for this track, for the conditions we live in,” Cunningham said. “Every track is different. One track may hold water where another track won’t. We want to keep this track where we can put fast cars on it, put on a good show for the spectators, but where everyone can be safe.”

Last modified on Monday, 05 March 2018
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