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Dragway 42 Teams with IHRA to Offer Great Experience for Racers

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Dragway 42 is a historic track with the feel of a modern racing facility.

The West Salem, Ohio track, which originally opened in 1957, underwent a ground-up renovation in 2017. Often the host of International Hot Rod Association major events, the track recently signed a multi-year agreement with the sanctioning body.

It’s a part of the process of track operators Ron and Marianne Matchum and their son, Kyle, doing their best to insure it’s a great experience every time they host an event.

In recent months, they’ve added fencing to make more areas secure. They’ve also bought a new tractor with downward pressure on the 3-point hitch to make the tire drag work better.

In addition, they’ve brought in local food trucks for different options and are currently looking at lighting from the recently-closed Mansfield Motor Speedway. They also like the IHRA Summit SuperSeries program and how it caters to the local racers.

Dragway 42 track

“We work very hard to have a facility friendly to racers and we want it to be the best it can be for them.” Kyle Matchum said. “Without the help of IHRA and Summit Racing Equipment, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Summit is a good company for the racing community and the track owners.”

Dragway 42 representatives at the 2020 IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals included: Dave Edwards (Top), Kevin Burns (Mod), Alyssa Galanek (Sportsman) and Jaden Maze (Jr. Dragster). In addition, Dragway 42 is super excited about hosting one of the IHRA Summit Team Finals on Sept. 15-19. 

“We have a bracket program at our track that follows the series,” Marianne Matchum said. “We always try to have as many (races) as possible on the schedule. We will be hosting the Summit Division 3 (North Stars) Finals at Dragway 42 this year, so that’s big and exciting.”

Dragway 42 track grass

Dragway 42 has performed well at the event in the past, winning two of the last three teams finals. They came in second in the 2020 event as Dragway 42 driver Billy Leasure won the Top class and Bob Koran finished runner-up in Mod. Niki Thomas also won the Friday night Gambler’s race for the Top class and Joey Brandgard won the Bike class in a Race of Champions. 

Dragway 42 winner

John Boy Photography

Beyond the strong bracket program, they host several other fun events. The Rock n’ Race event at the end of July is like a blast from the past. It includes a car show, swap meet, 10 bands playing classic music and flag races, harkening back to drag racing’s early days.

The Matchums are always looking for new ideas and part of that has come from the great relationships they’ve built with other track operators. The work that has gone into Dragway 42 has resulted in one of the flattest tracks in the country, often referred to as a pool table surface.

Dragway 42 No Box

John Boy Photography

It has led to it being a premier destination for motorcycle drag racing, hosting AMA and ManCup events recently. While many participants were home-grown Ohio racers, others came from across the country including a group from Louisiana and Texas.

They’ve heard of Dragway 42 and the reputation it has for taking care of those who support it.

“The racers are good people and I do this for the people who enjoy our race tracks and doing business with us,” Kyle said.

For more information about the facility and a schedule of events, click here for the track’s website.

Last modified on Wednesday, 14 July 2021
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