If you follow my blog, then you may remember a post about the instability of Brainerd Optimist Drag Strip toward the end of last year’s racing season. A change in operations certainly shook up the local racing scene, as rumors floated around during the exchange. Either way, it was the end of a great era of racing, with Steve Longley at the helm. Now, the track is being operated by members of the Optimist Club, with local racer Steven Farrow on board as a general director.
All this is great news for the drag racing community, but the track has yet to open its doors for the 2012 season, despite having perfect weather. The reason for the delays are legitimate, as the Optimist Club has committed to making the track a safer place to race. New guard rails replace the battered rails that lined the track for decades, while fresh pavement will cover the return road and a portion of the pits. All new electronics are being installed, and the staging lanes are being slightly restructures to make it easier to navigate the historic track.
I’m still not sure about the scope of the events held at the new and improved Brainerd Optimist Drag Strip, but there will likely be a regular bracket series and some sort of monthly heads up race, similar to the previous racing programs. From the rumors that have been swirling the local bench racing sessions, the track will also be upping its game, in terms of technical inspection. Gone are the days of six-second eighth mile cars with no roll cage, which is kinda sad, but understandable for the obvious reasons.