Friday, June 08, 2007

Disco-era Drag Strip Revving Back Up

Brian DeNeal has a great article on new plans for the old Accelaquarter Raceway north of Harrisburg.
HARRISBURG - Weeds grow through the cracks in the old Accelaquarter Raceway north of Harrisburg, at one time the favorite weekend attraction of the area.

Through the 1960s, the raceway brought in crowds and racers from Kentucky and Indiana, but the spot has been quiet for decades.

Wednesday afternoon, the 1/8 mile strip roared again. Bobby Umsted of Huntington, Tenn., donned his red racing jacket and helmet as another man poured a bucket of water on the track in front of Umsted's car, a sleek, red machine with the motor poking up from the hood. The car roared, and roared louder, until several of those watching covered their ears. The wheels spun on the wet pavement, producing blue smoke -- and the car zoomed down over the cracked pavement.

"This brings back some great memories," former Accelaquarter owner Darrel Mattingly said.

The new owner is the Cars For Kids organization which holds car shows and drag races to raise money for disabled children.

Check out the rest of the story for more.

This will make a nice attraction to the area next year. Motorized sports is a growing in the region with the SI Raceway east of Marion, the I-57 Drag Strip near Benton, the Mount Vernon Raceway and the racing events at the DuQuoin State Fair.

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