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Wilkesboro Dragway, IHRA Partner for Multi-Year Sanctioning Agreement

Monday, 30 October 2023

WILKESBORO, N.C. — Wilkesboro Dragway made the announcement it was returning to the IHRA family late in 2022 and that turned out to be a great partnership for both parties.

Thanks to the great programs like the IHRA Summit SuperSeries, the most prestigious championship in bracket racing, and especially the hard work of track operator Paul Salvatore, the drag strip in the North Carolina mountains enjoyed a tremendous season in 2023. 

Wilkesboro Dragway and the sanctioning body worked well together for the benefit of the racers. Salvatore expressed in a letter to IHRA Owner Larry Jeffers how the racers enjoyed the IHRA Division 9 (Raiders) Summit Team Finals and the IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals presented by Strange Engineering.


“We couldn’t be happier with how this first season went,” Salvatore said. “The racers that participated were very excited about the bracket finals and also the world finals. We know it will only get better and we will do everything we can to help that. Please let me know if you’d like to host any event at Wilkesboro throughout the season in 2024. We appreciate all that you guys do.”

The same goes for the IHRA’s appreciation of the huge effort Salvatore gives to provide a great place to race. He’s definitely hands-on, doing everything from cutting trees and clearing brush to working hard on track prep. Wilkesboro Dragway enjoys a rich history, first opened by the Ellis family in 1955, which makes it the oldest operating drag strip in the Tar Heel State.

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For this season, Jeff Miller (Sportsman) and Todd Payne (Motorcycle) won individual championships at the IHRA Division 9 Summit Team Finals, where Wilkesboro Dragway was honored for both Best Team Spirit and Best Decorated Grandstand. 

Payne also competed in No Box eliminations at the IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals where he made to the quarterfinals. Tim Adams (Box), Roger Miller (Sportsman) and Gunner Abernethy (Junior Dragster) also represented Wilkesboro Dragway at IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals.

Wilkesboro Dragway hosted other major races over the season including the Southeast Gassers Championship Series on May 19-20, the same weekend when the NASCAR All-Star Race was going on at nearby North Wilkesboro Speedway. Both events registered as big successes and added significantly to the Wilkes County profile as one of the country’s best racing destinations.

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Over the past month alone, Wilkesboro Dragway hosted the OctoberFast event and this past weekend’s Race Against Cancer. With plenty of exciting news and future plans, click here to keep up to date on the track’s Facebook page.

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