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Kentucky Dragway, IHRA Building on Shared History for 2024 and Beyond

Monday, 13 November 2023

CLAY CITY, Ky. — Kentucky Dragway and the International Hot Rod Association will build on their long history together in 2024 and beyond.

Aaron Sipple and his wife, Carrie, operate the track located just off the Mountain Parkway at the foothills of Appalachia. There’s a sense of pride, but also responsibility. Aaron’s parents, the late John “Doc” Sipple and his loving wife Doris Sipple which is still with us, were the previous operators of the facility from 1991 to 2001.

The Sipple family have a reputation of being racers themselves and track owners. Doc Sipple was a chiropractor by trade and helped numerous racers overcome pain over the years. However, he gave them plenty of headaches as a competitor. Doc Sipple was the 1997 Top Dragster national champion. At Mid-Michigan Motorplex, he became the first driver to win a National event with a blower motor and also recorded a pair of top-10 finishes in the Top Fuel point standings. 

It was a time when Doc operated the track then known as Mountain Parkway Motorplex. He was awarded the IHRA Track Operator of the Year in 1997. Five years later, Doc was the recipient of the IHRA Sportsman of the Year, the organization’s most prestigious award.

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He passed his love of the sport and the example of treating others right to his sons. Aaron is a noted race car and engine builder, often offering his services to struggling teams. When he isn’t busy running the track or building cars, he drives a jet car, which has gone over 291 mph. In addition, Aaron tuned his brother in the Top Dragster finals of the 2002 IHRA Sunoco Nationals at Norwalk, Ohio to win again in the same car his dad won in 1997. But this time, the car sported a blown BAE Hemi engine Aaron built all coupled together in front of a lenco drive.

Since 2019, Aaron and Carrie have taken over the historic race track which is known for its good payouts and fair treatment of racers. As Aaron explained, it wouldn’t have been around that long otherwise as the track was first opened in 1963.

The track and it's racers have thrived in the IHRA Summit SuperSeries, the most prestigious championship in bracket racing. They participate in the IHRA Division 3 (North Stars) Summit Team Finals where Kentucky driver Ricky Roe won the Top (Box) class in 2023. Tyler Cromer from Kentucky Dragway was the Junior Dragster winner.

Dustin Chestnut

Roe also won the “Race of Champions” Gamblers at the IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals, and his brother Timmy finished fourth on the 2023 IHRA Mod (No Box) National Top 10 list. Cromer was eighth among the best Junior Dragster racers in the country.

Drivers who qualified for the World Finals through the Kentucky Dragway’s IHRA Summit SuperSeries points were: Gary Yazell (Top), Timmy Roe (Mod), Clayton Wasson (Sportsman) and Kayden Kratzer (Junior Dragster). 

Kentucky Dragway hosts it's share of special events highlighted by the KEN-MOR Bluegrass Nationals, which will celebrate its 54th season in 2024 and the 44th annual King of the Bluegrass race. 

The year’s final big event was Hallothanksmas Weekend, which features Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations all in one. It’s a favorite of both the racers and their families.

Click here to check out Kentucky Dragway’s Facebook page to keep up with the latest happenings at this track steeped in IHRA history.

Last modified on Tuesday, 14 November 2023

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