The Rich History of Great Lakes Dragaway: America’s Iconic Drag Strip
Great Lakes Dragaway, located in Union Grove, Wisconsin, is not just your average drag race track. It is a living testament to the passion and thrill of motorsport entertainment. Established in 1955, Great Lakes Dragaway holds the prestigious title of being the oldest continuously operating dragstrip in the world. With a rich history and a wide range of events, this iconic venue has captivated racing enthusiasts and families alike for generations.
The Birth of Great Lakes Dragaway
In 1955, Great Lakes Dragaway was born out of a shared love for speed and competition. This quarter-mile dragstrip, nestled in the Town of Paris in Kenosha County, quickly became a hub for motorsport enthusiasts. The track’s founders, driven by their desire to create a space where car lovers could gather and showcase their skills, set the stage for what would become a legendary destination for drag racing.
A Trailblazer in Drag Racing
From its inception, Great Lakes Dragaway set itself apart as a trailblazer in the world of drag racing. It became the second oldest continuously operating dragstrip in the United States, right after Redding Raceway in California, which opened in 1953. This distinction speaks volumes about the track’s enduring legacy and its commitment to providing an unparalleled racing experience.
Thrilling Events for All
At Great Lakes Dragaway, there is never a dull moment. The track hosts a wide range of events throughout the year, catering to racers and spectators of all ages. From weekly racing events and car shows to special exhibitions and high-octane jet shows, there is something for everyone at this iconic venue. The track’s diverse calendar ensures that each visit promises a unique and thrilling experience.
Private Track Rentals for Ultimate Racing Adventures
For those seeking an exclusive racing experience, Great Lakes Dragaway offers private track rentals. Whether it’s for a corporate outing, client entertainment, or simply a gathering of friends, the track provides the perfect setting for an adrenaline-filled day. Imagine the excitement of tearing down the quarter-mile strip with your own vehicle, feeling the power and speed as you chase your personal best.
Grassroots Racing at its Finest
One of the defining aspects of Great Lakes Dragaway is its commitment to grassroots racing. Unlike many modern racing venues, this iconic dragstrip embraces the spirit of friendly competition and bracket racing. In the early days of the track, races were started by a flagman, adding an extra layer of nostalgia and authenticity to the experience. Even today, as technology has advanced, Great Lakes Dragaway maintains its roots in grassroots racing, creating an atmosphere that is both welcoming and exhilarating.
A Hub of Motorsport Entertainment
Great Lakes Dragaway has rightfully earned its reputation as a hub of motorsport entertainment. The track’s calendar is filled with exciting events that draw in racing enthusiasts from far and wide. Visitors can witness classic car exhibitions, marvel at the skill of professional racers, and even participate in the action themselves during the track’s fun racing events. With each visit, the track offers a glimpse into the world of motorsport that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Snowmobile Drags for Winter Excitement
Great Lakes Dragaway isn’t just a destination for racing during the warmer months. In the winter, the track transforms into a snowy playground for snowmobile enthusiasts. Snowmobile drags take center stage, providing an adrenaline rush and a thrilling spectacle for both participants and spectators. This unique offering showcases the versatility of Great Lakes Dragaway as a year-round destination for motorsport excitement.
The Legends of Great Lakes Dragaway
Throughout its storied history, Great Lakes Dragaway has been home to some truly legendary racers. One such legend is “Super” Ken Mackow, a daredevil and world record motorcycle jumper who got his start at this very track in 1970. Mackow’s daring feats and record-breaking jumps solidify his place in motorsport history, and his legacy is forever intertwined with Great Lakes Dragaway.
Recognized for Historical Significance
Great Lakes Dragaway’s historical significance is widely recognized in the motorsport community. In a poll conducted by BangShift, a popular drag racing blog, Great Lakes Dragaway was voted the most historically significant dragstrip in the United States. This accolade further cements the track’s place in the hearts of racing enthusiasts and highlights its enduring legacy.
Embracing Change: From NHRA to IHRA
In a bold move, Great Lakes Dragaway opted to become a member of the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) rather than the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). This decision, made in conjunction with several other dragstrips, marked a shift in the track’s affiliation and showcased its commitment to providing a unique experience for racers and spectators alike.
Plan Your Visit to Great Lakes Dragaway
If you have the need for speed and a passion for motorsport, a visit to Great Lakes Dragaway is a must. With its rich history, exciting events, and welcoming atmosphere, this iconic dragstrip offers an experience unlike any other. Whether you want to watch the action from the stands or feel the rush of racing down the quarter-mile strip yourself, Great Lakes Dragaway is the ultimate destination for motorsport entertainment.
Great Lakes Dragaway has rightfully earned its place as an iconic dragstrip and a beloved destination for racing enthusiasts. With its rich history, commitment to grassroots racing, and thrilling events, it continues to captivate audiences of all ages. Whether you’re a seasoned racer or a spectator looking for an adrenaline-filled experience, Great Lakes Dragaway welcomes you to join in the excitement and embrace the thrill of motorsport entertainment.
So, plan your visit to Great Lakes Dragaway today and immerse yourself in the world of drag racing. Feel the thunderous roar of engines, witness the adrenaline-fueled competition, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Great Lakes Dragaway awaits, ready to provide an unforgettable motorsport experience like no other.