Delmar Dragway ready for 52nd consecutive season

If Mother Nature allows spring to arrive, the U.S. 13 Dragway will give the green light to its 52nd consecutive season April 5th, Easter Sunday. Gates open at 10 a.m. with time runs at 11 a.m. and eliminations around 2:30 p.m. A special appearance will be made by the Easter Bunny providing an egg hunt for the kids at approximately 1 p.m.

For the first time in its 51 year history, the U.S. 13 Dragway will compete under the sanction of the IHRA (International Hot Rod Association). “We decided to join IHRA because we perceive it as being easier to work with new customers – racers – coming in,” said Cathell. “My parents built the track in 1963 and since its inception there have been growing pains. But we do not own another business. Our only income comes from the drag strip, speedway and go-kart facility. This is not a hobby for us. The family, staff racers and fans are excited for this new partnership with the IHRA.”

A number of new events have been added to the 2015 schedule. One of the new formats is the “Take a Chance Race” which allows the Super ET, Pro ET and Pro Bike categories a chance to increase their winnings. Racers can purchase a “Take a Chance Card” in the tower before the beginning of 1st round of eliminations. This card represents a commitment between the track and racers who purchase a chance to win or not to win more money. If he or she gets to the finals the track will bump their winnings to the next payout. If both racers are holders, then winner & runner up will be bumped to next payout level.

The first “Take a Chance” day will be part of Jerry Ketterman’s Super Bad 8 and Spring Nationals on May 3rd. Other dates include May 5th, July 10th and August 14th. Other “Bad 8” dates include: July 3rd (Summer Nationals) and September 20th (Fall Nationals). The Pro Cars will also get their chance at the Bad 8 format with “Pro Quick 8” on July 17th.

The motorcycle racers will have something new to look forward to – the “Crazy “8” Bike Showdown”. There will be five “Crazy 8” events (April 19th, May 24th which is also the inaugural “Bike Brawl”; June 12th, August 7th and Sept. 27th) with their own point system. Wheelie bars or racing slicks are not allowed. It is an 8.88 index race series, Pro Bike riders may enter both classes with one bike, or one rider on one bike in each class. Riders will be able to throw out 1 race. Best 7 riders from their 4 race totals will be automatically qualified for the “Shoot-Out” held on Sunday October 25. On Saturday October 24 a final Crazy 8 Showdown will be held. The winner of this race will receive the 8th slot for Sunday. In case of a rain-out on Saturday, the next place point finisher will obtain the 8th position.

The third new format is Index Racing. All index classes will run Heads up – 1/8 mile, .400 (Pro Tree) 1/4 mile .500 (Pro Tree). There will be four index classes: 4.90 Dragster Only (1/8 mile); 5.80 Door Car Only (1/8 mile); 10.00 Door Car Only (1/4 mile) and 11.50 Door Car Only 1/4mile). Events are currently scheduled for Sept. 9th, Sept. 27th and as part of the two day season finale Halloween Shootout on October 24th and 25th

Another highly anticipated format will be held on Wednesday Tune & Test dates. The “On The Green Top X Grudge Series” will feature heads up 1/8 mile racing with a green bulb only start and no times, no scoreboard and no time slips. Through qualifying a “Top 10” will be established. “Call outs” will allow a racer to challenge someone higher on the ladder but can only move up the ladder one position at a time. April 15th will be an OGTXG qualifier. Call outs begin on Wednesday night May 6th and continue on June 10th, July 22nd, and August 19th. The OGTXG Showdown will be on September 9th.

Other new dates on the schedule include: Mopar Muscle Day on May 17th; Import Invasion Day on May 31st. Super vs. Pro Showdown on June 19th and July 31st; and “Bringing Back the Oldies” Nostaigia Drags on Sept. 13th. The “King of the Track” will be on Sept. 27th and the Foot Brake Nationals on Oct. 11th.

The summer’s most popular event, the William J. & Juanita Cathell Memorial 52st Anniversary Chevy Show, Shine & Drags will be held on Sunday, August 23rd s . The 9th Annual Ford Show will follow on August 30th and will be the final point show of the season. The 422 All Stars also return for that event.

The Jr. Dragsters will have a monthly series of “Jr. Shoot Out” events that will feature a run-off between the Jr. 1 and Jr. 2 winners. These events will be on April 12th, June 26th and July 24th. The Jr. Dragster Challenge will be held on Sept. 27th.

For Sunday events, gates open at 10 a.m. with time runs at 11 a.m. and eliminations at approximately 2 p.m. For Friday events, gates open at 3:30 p.m. with time runs at 4:30 p.m. and eliminations at approximately 8 p.m. To view the complete schedule log on to delawareracing.com. All dates are subject to change. For questions contact the Dragway office weekdays at 302-875-1911.

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