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US 13 Dragway Finds IHRA the Perfect Partner for its Racing Programs

Tuesday, 06 July 2021

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — US Dragway is still going strong after nearly 60 years.

Constructed in 1963, the quarter-mile track in Delmar, Delaware is one of the country’s longest-running drag strips. With legendary track owner Charlie Cathell’s vision for bracket racing decades ago, it’s no surprise that US 13 has embraced the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) and the Summit SuperSeries.

Cathell, one of the pioneers of bracket racing, started a bracket program in the 1970s. Add in the vision of track champions qualifying for the IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals, it is similar to a program run before at Delaware International Speedway, a half-mile dirt track which is part of the US 13 racing complex and features Super Late Models and Big-Block Modifieds.

US13Logo

“Back in the early 70s, there were tracks called the “Super 6” that had big divisional events. The rest of us didn’t have a whole lot to offer to racers,” Cathell said. “Meeting after meeting, we didn’t seem to gain any ground. My dad said, ‘If things don’t change we will close the drag strip and run the dirt track.’ We had a program at the speedway where it was dirt where you gained points all year and could then race at the dirt finals in New York.

“We figured if there was something along those lines, we could participate in a weekly basis and if you could go to one big event, we would be interested. By the time, I got home from a meeting I had 4-5 phone calls. We put a program in 1976 where you could join and it was very successful.”

US 13 Dragway

The drag strip, which recently renewed its sanctioning agreement with the IHRA, still has a successful racing program. US 13 drivers Alex Bradford (Top), Michael Jefferson (Mod), Nicholas Bowie (Junior) and John Elias (Sportsman) qualified for the IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals in 2020.

Located near the Delaware-Maryland border, the track is famous for what Cathell describes as its “Eastern Shore Hospitality.” While they are friendly and welcoming, the racing is intense as US 13 Dragway is the defending IHRA Division 1 (Patriots) Summit Team Finals champion.

Showing the strength of their team, Daryl Beauchamp drove his blue Chevrolet S-10 pickup to a win over fellow US 13 racer Russ Archer in the Mod (No Box) final. In addition, other US 13 racers recognized included Keven Yates for the best engineered full-bodied car, MacKenzie Williams for the best appearing junior dragster and Cole Foskey for the best engineered junior dragster.

Daryl Beauchamp

Showing their closeness, US 13 earned the best team spirit award.

“You have to realize we’re an older family-owned track in a rural community,” he said. “It’s second and third generation, a track where the racers have been with us years and years.”

Besides the outstanding bracket racing programs, US 13 hosts top grudge racing and motorcycle events. Other fan-favorite events include the Fast Ford Show and the Footbrake Nationals.

“We have a strong group of motorcycle racers with us,” Cathell said. “Any given Sunday, there are 30-plus motorcycles. IHRA stepped up and offered them a program to compete to the bracket finals. It’s a lot of second and third generation. We’re just very fortunate to have great racers.”

For more information about this historic track and its number of fun-filled events, click here to visit the US13 Dragway website. 

     
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