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IHRA News Brings Excitement to US41 Dragstrip

Saturday, 07 January 2023

HOUSE SPRINGS, Missouri — There’s a ton of excitement surrounding the news that US41 Dragstrip and the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) have reached a new sanctioning agreement for the 2023 season.

The Morocco, Indiana track staff and their racers love being a part of the IHRA’s programs like the Summit SuperSeries and Summit Team Finals. They look to continue that on a large scale after a successful 2022 season which saw Lance Craft (Box), Dan West (No Box), Dave McVicker (Sportsman) and Haylee Becker (Junior Dragster) earn berths to the IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals.

Michael Churley (Box) and Aaron Richards (Sportsman) also earned berths through the IHRA Summit Team Finals.

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Located about 45 miles south of Chicago, US41 Dragstrip is a fantastic facility for bracket racing. The track itself is 1/4-mile long although it’s run as an 1/8-mile for the bracket races. US41 features one of the largest shutdown areas in the country at 3,500 feet. There are large staging lanes, 800 feet long and eight deep, which can hold a lot of cars.

They also installed a new Accutime system two years ago.

“That was a huge upgrade for us,” track operator Steve Keys explained. “We had the original TSI system which was installed back in the ’90s. Two years ago, we did the full package with Accutime, the new tree, wiring and all of it.”

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There are full restrooms with showers. The concession stands offer barbeque specialties. They’ve been known to switch it up with t-bone steaks and pork sandwiches, along with the normal concession stand fare.

It was a premier facility when it opened and US41 hosted the 1994 IHRA Snap-On Summer Nationals. The race featured winners Doug Foxworth in Top Fuel and Robert Patrick in Funny Car. Tim McAmis beat IHRA Hall of Famer Scotty Cannon in the Pro Mod final, while Hall of Famer Dave Elrod was the Top Dragster winner.

The track had been in a decline and was an outlaw track before the Hupke family took over as owners. They’ve made the aforementioned improvements and several others. It has taken some time to get built back up.

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They’ve brought in exciting events beyond bracket racing like No Prep and Street Car races. But, it’s the personal touch at US41 Dragstrip which separates it from many tracks.

“I’ve been to a lot of tracks and sometimes you go and feel like you’re just a number,” Keys said. “At our track, we try to make sure that everybody feels comfortable and appreciated. I’m not a tower guy. I’m on the track, walking through the pits, shaking hands in the staging lanes. I feel the track operator should be seen and the racers should feel welcome.”

For more about US41 Dragstrip, click here to check out the track’s website.

Last modified on Saturday, 07 January 2023

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