WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The historic Great Lakes Dragaway has been named the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Division 5 (Thunder) Track of the Year.
The Paris, Wisconsin track with a Union Grove post office address is the oldest purpose-built drag strip in America. Track co-founder Marge Bennett gave it the unique “Dragaway” name as a place her friends could drag away.
First opened in 1955, Great Lakes has hosted the biggest names in the sport of drag racing. Legendary promoter “Broadway Bob” Metzler, the first promoter ever inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, brought in concerts, parades, the circus and even motorcycle daredevil “Evel” Knievel.
Current track owners Randy Henning and Marcel Kuper have continued to build upon that glorious past and have made improvements to the facility highlighted by a quarter-mile drag strip. Henning is an accomplished racer, first going down the track as a 16-year-old in a 1952 Chevrolet. He has since piloted a variety of cars including an Alcohol Funny Car and a jet dragster.
“Since Great Lakes Dragaway returned to the IHRA, the response to the Summit SuperSeries has been incredible,” IHRA Division Director Jon O’Neal said. “Randy Henning and Marcel Kuper have incorporated the growth of the Summit SuperSeries into everything they do at their track.”
The track has a number of special events throughout the season including the Night of Fire, Larry’s Fun Fest, as well as No Prep and Nostalgia events like the Time Machine Nationals. It also boasts a strong IHRA Summit SuperSeries program with the 2018 track champions Chris Burden (Top), Alex Olessenski (Mod) and Kyla Feit, who went on to capture the IHRA Summit SuperSeries Junior Dragster World Championship in October.
Click here to check out the Great Lakes Dragaway website.