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Improvements to Dragway 42 Come With Racers in Mind

Friday, 23 March 2018

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — It is a huge investment in time, labor and materials, but Dragway 42 General Manager Gary Harper feels it’s well worth it.

An extensive grinding and resurfacing of the track is currently underway at the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) sanctioned track in West Salem, Ohio. It is taking away all the bumps which had made it tough to race on and the end product should be one of the smoothest surfaces around.

“They didn’t know how we got cars down the track since the surface was so rough,” Harper said. “We’re going to get it down to a score of 30 which is phenomenal as far as surfaces are concerned.”

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Other projects are scheduled around the track, while there have been major improvements to the payouts. Dragway 42 has worked with IHRA partners Summit Racing Equipment, Trick Flow Specialties and American Race Car in those areas. 

They still feature the IHRA Summit SuperSeries, the largest and most prestigious bracket racing national championship in drag racing where eligible track champions in the Top, Mod and Junior divisions have the chance to race at the IHRA Summit World Finals.

Beyond that, the top 16 in the Top (Box) point standings are eligible for a 16-car runoff with American Race Car putting up a dragster as a top prize. The Mod (No Box) class features a new engine going to the winner of its 16-car runoff.

In addition, the Dragway 42 staff have picked up other marketing partners and have created more events with the racers in mind.

“We added a Quick 32 with 16 door cars and 16 dragsters,” Harper said, hoping to draw in local Top Sportsman and Top Dragster competitors. “We also host the Outlaw 660 Pro Mods and dragsters, and they’re really excited about our new profiled race track. We had Pro Mods in the 3.80s and dragsters in the 3.70s. We think we can go quicker yet.”

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Dragway 42 features a full schedule of events. In the month of June alone, the facility hosts the IHRA Summit Sportsman Spectacular, a big three-day Mopar event and the American Dream Summer Shootout. Overall, the track will pay out over a million dollars this year in prize money.

“I heard years ago that racers make the worst promoters because they give the farm away,” Harper said. “But, my thought process is you take care of the racers and everything else falls into place.”

The racers have taken notice with nearly double the amount of registered points racers from last year.  Many more are expected to sign up over the next couple of months as Dragway 42 looks to field a strong team at IHRA Summit Division 3 Team Finals.

“Last year, we had 56 registered points racers total,” Harper said. “This year, we opened it up a month ago and we have 103 now. Technically, they don’t have to sign up until our first points race in June, so we’re anticipating double of what we have now.”

On June 8-10, those racers will also have the chance to participate in the IHRA Summit Sportsman Spectacular. Those who pre-enter and buy an entry for Saturday’s race will get a free entry for Sunday’s race.

Pre-entry is available until May 28. Click here for online registration. 

Last modified on Friday, 23 March 2018

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