Dragsters will roar to life at Jamestown Regional Airport in July, probably.

If the Federal Aviation Administration grants final approval, the races are scheduled for July 13 and 14.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

"We're going to keep going with the planning until they say no," said Mike Trautman, president of the Jamestown Drag Racing Association. "Our plans are for a different part of the (airport) grounds, but we're still waiting to hear back from the FAA."

The association was informed in May that its request to use a section of the airport's crosswind runway had not been approved. Katie Hemmer, airport manager, said the FAA denied the event because it had spent about $2.2 million last year on upgrades to the runway where the drag races would be held.

Hemmer said the new plans call for the races to be held on a taxiway rather than a runway.

"This is still pending with the FAA," Hemmer said. "They have asked for additional information."

Trautman said the association is going ahead with planning and publicity so people can plan to attend the event if it receives FAA approval for the revised plan.

"We know people heard we wouldn't be holding the races and we're uncertain how it might affect our numbers," he said, referring to participating cars and spectators. "We've got to try. I know a lot of people that this is the only race they come to."

The Jamestown Drag Racing Association has hosted races at the Jamestown Airport for 17 years. In the past, the races have drawn as many as 330 cars and 1,100 spectators, Trautman said in a 2018 Sun story about the event.

Trautman said the change from the runway to the taxiway moves the races from the northeast part of the airport to the southwest. Participants and spectators will no longer use the main entrance to the airport but will enter through a gate to the east of the terminal entrance along N.D. Highway 10.

"There is a lot more space there," he said.

While the Drag Racing Association has held its races at the Jamestown Airport for 17 years, it is working on a permanent location along the U.S. Highway 281 bypass north and west of Jamestown.

"We're waiting on IRS paperwork," Trautman said. "As soon as we get that, we'll start raising funds for a permanent track."

Trautman estimates it will take between three and five years to raise the funds and construct the new facility.