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Central Illinois Dragway Continues to Get Better

Thursday, 16 August 2018
Central Illinois Dragway was voted the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Summit SuperSeries Track of the Year in 2015. The Havana, Illinois facility has gotten even better since then.
Over the last few years, the track has been repaved and made 800 feet longer. Indoor plumbing has been installed and 400 more seats have been added.
 
Opened in 1969, the 1/8-mile, IHRA-sanctioned drag strip has operated under the names of Mason County Dragway and Midstate Dragway. Frank Hutto purchased the track in 2011 and made improvements to the facility a top priority, and he brought in Jeff Lasecke as track manager in 2013. Among the projects, they’ve added lighting, improved the staging lanes, installed a track cooling system, and upgraded concessions and facilities including showers.
 
“Our attention has been on a family facility, a fun place for the family to have something to do,” Lasecke said. “We’ve also brought in different kinds of cars and have mixed it up a little bit. It’s a nice place for the family to spend the day.”
 
While the core business is the grassroots, sportsman racer through the IHRA Summit SuperSeries, the track recently hosted a special Funny Car Chaos event. It attracted 19 Funny Cars and several records were shattered over 1/8-mile runs. 
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Photo Courtesy of Mike Gauntt Photos
 
That event, which was supported by the track’s regular competitors running their IHRA Summit SuperSeries race, will be a centerpiece of a 50th anniversary celebration next year.
 
There is also a new class for heads-up racing for door cars with a random start, where it could either be a pro or full tree.
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Photo Courtesy of Mike Gauntt Photos
 
The track is helping youth on and off the track. They have made changes to the Junior Dragster program to give the young drivers more runs down the drag strip and they’ve been proactive in hiring high school kids at the facility to get them more work experience. 
 
The IHRA Summit SuperSeries works perfectly with the track’s vision for taking care of the sportsman racer,  while a Quick 16 race or other races are often added for the spectators.
 
“It gives the guys an organized platform to race for the track championship and the chance to go to Memphis and race in the IHRA World Finals,” Lasecke said the IHRA Summit SuperSeries. “They also have a chance to race in the division final. We like how we send the best of our guys to the division final and it gives them another possibility to compete in the World Finals.”
 
For more information about Central Illinois Dragway, click here for the track’s website or visit the track’s Facebook page.
 
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Photo Courtesy of Mike Gauntt Photos
Last modified on Thursday, 16 August 2018
     
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