The End of an Era…Almost

Rumors have been swirling about the future of Brainerd Optimist Drag Strip, and in all honesty, it doesn’t look too promising. For the past 17 years, Steve Longley has leased the track, and he’s been in control of operations, but this is his final year at the helm. According to the rumors, the Optimist Club is taking over operations, and plans to only run bracket races on Saturdays. No heads up races and no test and tune nights. This is not a good sign. My dad said he remembers when the Optimist Club tried to operate the track in the ’80s and it nearly went under. This time, the track isn’t carrying nearly as much momentum as it had in the ’80s, so a change in management might just cripple it to the point of closing the doors. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

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Kind of an eerie photo from atop the hill at Brainerd Optimist Drag Strip. Sad times.

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My wife's '67 Camaro under the lights. This picture turned out awesome for just a random shot in the pits.

Either way, with the worry of being the last Tuesday Night Street Drags event, it was evident that I needed to partake in the event. Along with this, my wife decided she wanted to drive her Camaro down to her previous workplace, because she had promised some of her friends she’d show it to them before wintertime. As she left one building, and headed to the other, which is just a few miles down the road, the starter acted up again, which leads me to believe I have a faulty brand new solenoid, or a problem in the wiring. Whatever it is…it’s annoying.

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It was the first time I'd seen Jonathan Perkey's Mustang at the track in quite some time.

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Hotrod (Jamie) making a pass on a very fast 'Busa. He ended up running a best of 5.92...fastest E.T. of the entire night of racing.

After all that, she came down to Coker and hung out for a bit, and then we headed to the track. For a Tuesday, they had a strong turnout of cars, but problems with the track, and timing equipment made for a few dead spots along the way. I took some pictures of the track as the sun was almost completely gone, and it made for some cool-looking shots. Then, when it was time for the cars to run, I snapped a few more shots and we headed back to Dayton. I drove the Camaro, while she drove my S-10…thanks to a hung-open cowl vent, my right foot and leg were frozen by the time I got home, so I need to figure out a way to fix that. Enjoy the pictures, and remember that Draggin’ for Toys is coming up November 19th at Brainerd.

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I need to sign up for the Tony Carter program...seemed like everyone got to take a turn driving his Nova last night! In this picture, Shayne Lankford makes a pass.

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This is a first for me....a lifted VW Beetle with mud tires. Wow.

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Clay Brock leaving the line in his mighty Mopar.


2 thoughts on “The End of an Era…Almost

  1. Very sad news. I hope it turns out ok. It is a LONG drive to go elsewhere from near Chattanooga.

    Are you sure this is the first time you have seen a VW Bug lifted with mud tires? Surely you mean a late model Bug. 🙂 I remember the old ones with mud tires and pipes straight up out the back. Woo Hoo! We used to go muddin’/four wheelin’ in them long ago too.

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