Speed on display: Drag racing action returnsArea drag racers get to scratch the proverbial racing itch just once a year in Jamestown, and the annual two-day event hosted by the Jamestown Drag Racing Association (JDRA) kicks off this morning at Jamestown Regional Airport.
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun
Area drag racers get to scratch the proverbial racing itch just once a year in Jamestown, and the annual two-day event hosted by the Jamestown Drag Racing Association (JDRA) kicks off this morning at Jamestown Regional Airport.
“It’s quick. It’s loud. It’s fast,” JDRA president Leon Westerhausen said. “It’s very entertaining.”
Founded in 2000, the JDRA is putting on its 10th weekend of racing, which will run both today and Sunday. Both days are separate race days, with time trials beginning at 9 a.m. and eliminators beginning at 1 p.m.
“We’ve got six different classes that will run, and then we have what we call the Quick 16,” Westerhausen said. “The Quick 16 is the fastest 16 cars and can run the eighth-mile (track) in five to six seconds. Speeds will get up to around 120 and 130 mph.”
The Quick 16 is selected from the PRO E.T. Class, which will be running times of 8.99 seconds and faster. Then there is the E.T. Class, a class of slightly modified cars that run in the nine- to 10.99-second range.
But arguably the most entertaining class could be the Trophy Class.
“The Trophy Class can be any car that runs on the street,” Westerhausen said. “It could be mom’s minivan, or dad’s diesel pickup.”
As one would expect, especially if mom’s minivan does show up either today or Sunday, the Trophy Class runs times of 11 seconds and slower.
To go along with those four divisions of dragsters will be the Motorcycle/Snowmobile/ATV class and the Jr. Dragsters. According to Westerhausen, the snowmobiles — which are modified with wheels to run on the concrete — can reach speeds up to 120 mph on the eighth-mile track.
The Jr. Dragsters resemble a much smaller version of the NHRA’s Top Fuel Dragsters, running motors similar to a five-horsepower Briggs and Stratton. The Jr. Dragsters are reserved for youngsters from ages eight to 17.
“They scoot along pretty good,” Westerhausen said. “They get about 40 to 60 horsepower.”
The event normally brings in around 150 cars and drivers and around 700 spectators each day, and organizers are hoping to see those types of numbers again this year.
“Come out early. We start time trials at 9 a.m. and everybody gets three passes during time trials,” Westerhausen said. “We have food vendors and an ice cream vendor. We’ve got bleachers, and if people want to bring their lawn chairs or loungers to sit back and enjoy the races, they can do that as well.”
Gate and pit admission is $8 for adults, while children six and under are free.
“It’s a great car show,” Westerhausen said. “Come out and walk along the pits, look at all the cars and meet the drivers. It’s a fun day.”
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org