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Pine Valley, Evadale Provide Special Experiences for East Texas Racers

Monday, 19 April 2021

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Pine Valley Raceway is a purpose-built drag strip. Evadale Raceway is a converted air strip. Both East Texas tracks are special to International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) racers in their own way.

Gary Peltier, the promoter for both facilities, provides a perspective on each venue, which recently renewed IHRA sanctioning agreements.

Evadale Raceway, the former Ben Bruce Memorial Airpark Raceway, truly has a retro feel, although there have been significant upgrades.

evadale logo

“When it first opened, it was hand-flagging on the airstrip, really old school,” Peltier said. “It still has that grassroots feel to it. As the years have evolved, the bleachers, timing system and all have been added to what it is today, a full-blown drag strip.”

Pine Valley, located in Lufkin, is billed as East Texas’ premier 1/4-mile drag strip. It was a track designed with the racers in mind. Over the past couple of decades, they’ve had a strong contingent of racers who have enjoyed tremendous success in the IHRA Summit Team Finals.

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“Pine Valley is a designed race track with over a half-mile shutdown,” Peltier said. “There’s a three-story tower with suites in it. The father and son who owned it had a passion for drag racing, but they were going have to shut it down. I had Evadale and didn’t need another track, but, I hated to see it close and had to keep it alive.”

Peltier, who first got into drag racing as a junior in high school, promoted his own events before getting into track ownership. Evadale was one of the venues he hosted events at and that’s when he fell in love with the place.

One of its unique features came as the result of getting bleachers from a local coliseum. The cars now come out from the staging lanes to the track through the center of the bleachers. It puts the fans in the middle of the action with great views of the waterbox and starting line.

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The Texas tracks host different types of racing including bracket racing through the IHRA Summit SuperSeries. Pine Valley champions for 2020 were: Greg Roberts (Top), Cole Herbold (Mod), Cole Foster (Jr. Dragster) and Al Scanlen (Sportsman). Evadale plans to re-join the program in 2021.


Click here to visit the Pine Valley Raceway Facebook page and here for the Evadale Raceway page.

To become an IHRA member, click here for the IHRA membership page or call (561) 337-3446.

Last modified on Tuesday, 20 April 2021
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