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Thunder Valley Dragways Finishes Huge Track Renovation Prior to Big Events

Tuesday, 04 June 2024

MARION, SD — Thunder Valley Dragways began a major track renovation of the full asphalt race surface on Monday, May 13 and got it done in time to host a pair of big Memorial Day weekend events.

After the work started on Monday, the asphalt was ground out and a new mat was installed by Friday afternoon. On Sunday, the work began preparing the new asphalt for the Memorial Day weekend. Nine gallons of Dawn dish soap along with several thousand gallons of water were scrubbed into the track by two very dedicated local racers.

The help of Mother Nature over the next two days provided several inches of rain that helped rinse the soap and oils from the asphalt. By Wednesday, the track was dry enough to begin applying several layers of rubber and VHT. By Friday evening, the track was painted and sensor blocks were reinstalled, transforming this solid piece of asphalt into a drag strip that was ready to host Memorial Day Weekend events.

 Work 1

New to Thunder Valley Dragways for the holiday weekend was the FAST KIDS Power Wheels race for kids ages 3-8. This event was run using the Christmas tree from the starting line to the 60-feet sensors. They did their best to mimic what mom and dad do. Every participant received a t-shirt, while a new power wheel was given away and special awards were given to the winner and runner up in each category. 

Fast Kids 1

The Legends Race was created for any racer 65 years and older. The focus was to invite the racers back that are always telling stories of the glory days at Thunder Valley Dragways. Older men and women with a lot of older cars participated. Several hadn’t been on the dragstrip for decades. 


The final special event was to honor the track’s military racers. All active, non-active and retired military racers were invited to parade their race cars onto the track while the National Anthem was played. A special thanks to everyone that donates & volunteers to make these special events take place. 

It was all part of Thunder Valley Dragways’ attempt to include all ages and types of race cars into their holiday events. From kids in Power Wheels, Jr. Dragsters, Street Cars to a full Top Fuel Dragster, the 2024 Memorial Day Weekend had something for everyone to enjoy. The weekend had over 700 race entries and 1,532 passes on the new race surface.

Work 3

Thunder Valley Dragways has a full season packed with special events. This month includes a Bike Bash, IHRA Ironman Events and Jr. Dragster Jackpot weekend. In July, Thunder Valley will host Bike Night followed by a Memorial Race for past bikers, and another Power Wheels Event. In August, they will host a Ladies Only Shoot Out event and September will be the annual Make-A-Wish fundraising race weekend. Click here to access the Thunder Valley Dragways website.

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