Local drag tracks under way with busy 2017 slate of action

Published: 4/21/2017 10:00 AM
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BY JOE KAMINSKI JR.

FOR THE NEWS-ITEM

The local drag racing scene has already kicked off for 2017, with Numidia Dragway and Beaver Springs Dragway throwing open their respective gates recently. Maple Grove Raceway will begin its 55th season this weekend.

Numidia

Numidia Dragway owner Bob Dimino and family have operated the Columbia County quarter-mile facility for more than 10 years and have continually made improvements to the track, upgrading the concession stands, improving fan amenities and the overall facility each year.

Racers travel not only from the surrounding area, but from New Jersey, New York, Maryland and other states for the “guaranteed payout” offered in the weekly purses.

The track is sanctioned by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and features many guidelines set by the sanctioning body. A new Trustart timing system, which is used in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events nationwide, has been added for this season. New safety equipment for the racers has also been added for the 2017 campaign.

The staff welcomes all types of competitors, from beginners to professionals. The Friday night Street Legal drags cater to the “newbies” of the sport, while the NHRA Summit Series points events (Saturdays and Sundays) and special money events are geared toward the more serious participant.

Many special events can be found on the track schedule, including the Bob Mackey Memorial Street Series, NHRA Jr. Dragster Division One Championships, the return of the all Harley Davidson motorcycle racing weekend, the popular jet dragsters and fireworks show on July 8 and diesel trucks and mud bog events.

The track is happy to continue to grow with the local community and invites local car clubs to the track. Numidia Dragway also will host the annual Locust Township Police Department car show and shine.

For more information visit the track Facebook page or www.numidiadragway.com.

Beaver Springs

Beaver Springs Dragway, which opened for the 46th season of drag racing action last weekend, features its popular Vegas Fuel Friday Night Street Legal drags and IHRA Summit Series points racing.

Track owner, operator and founder “Beaver Bob” McCardle and his wife, Donna, have once again laid out a very aggressive schedule for the coming season. Not only does the weekly IHRA Summit Series racers feature some of the latest drag racing technology, but “Beav” turns the clock back a few times each season to “the way it used to be.”

Events such as the Fifth Annual FE Ford Racers Reunion (April 28-29), the 14th Annual York Nostalgia Nationals (July 8-9), Flashback Friday (Aug. 11) and the Jalopy Showdown (Sept. 30) are highlighted by many original machines or reproductions of the stars of the 1960s and ‘70s.

Other special events include the appearance by the KC Jones jet dragsters on the Friday nights of Memorial and Labor Day weekends, the MANDRA (Mid Atlantic Nostalgia Drag Racing Association) Series, 422 Nostalgia Super Stock Series, Mid-Atlantic Street Outlaws and the Great Lakes Funny Car Circuit.

The most anticipated event of the year will be the “Street Outlaw Thunder” show on June 30, and an epic battle featuring local star Andy Jensen against the television Street Outlaw icon Larry Larsen. Last year’s show was a wall-to-wall capacity crowd that cheered as Jensen defended the home turf against the TV star.

Scheduling dates and more information can be found at www.beaversprings.com or on the track’s Facebook page.

Maple Grove

Set in the rolling hills of Berks County, Maple Grove Raceway hosts its 55th season of drag racing action this year.

Many special events fill the schedule, highlighted by the 33rd Annual Dodge Nationals Sept. 21-24, the second of six races in the 2017 Countdown to the Championship. Tickets and more information are available by contacting the track office at (610) 856-9200 or maplegroveraceway.com

Most of the automotive manufacturers will have themed special events, including the 17th Annual Ford Motorsport Nationals, May 4-7; the Menard’s Super Chevy Show, July 14-16; the 30th Annual June Bug (VW) Classic, June 4; and the Mega MOPAR Series on June 24.

The Fifth Annual Keystone Diesel Truck Nationals on July 22, the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School on Aug. 15 and the KSR Monster Truck and Thrill Show on Sept. 3 are some of the special interest events slated for the track.

The “Outlaws Rumble at the Grove” featuring Pro Modifieds, Top Dragsters, Top Sportsman, King of the Street and Mid-Atlantic Street Outlaws are scheduled for June 17, and the extremely popular “Glory Days” nostalgia-themed show on Aug. 20 will include nostalgia drag racing action, a swap meet, car show and oldies music.

The Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series returns over the four day weekend of May 25-28, and the running of the 46th Annual P. C. Richards and Son Dutch Classic is set for Oct. 5-8.

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