WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- There are people who talk about change. Who dream and discuss. They weigh options. Maybe make a plan. And then there’s a man named Jerry Scaccia. Jerry already has a hammer in his hand.
During the start of the 2020 season, while drag racing, along with most of the rest of the world was taking a pause from action, the crew at Empire Dragway watched that glorious hammer swing.
Track owners Jerry and Clara along with Patrick Budd, Tom Terry and Dave Fanard have undertaken a project that has been in the works for years and poured concrete walls through the quarter-mile on the historic New York dragstrip.
“I’m a man of action, not of words,” said Scaccia. “We’re just trying to make the place better for the racers and my only hope is that they appreciate it.”
“This is one of those upgrades that changes a track for its lifetime,” said IHRA Division Director Jon O’Neal. “Moving from steel guardrail to poured concrete is an unbelievably expensive proposition, but that’s never stopped the crew at Empire before. It’s been amazing to watch the tenacity of the IHRA family of tracks during these tough times.”
Throughout the pre-season the track has seen ongoing work, while retaining social distancing guidelines, besides the walls including return road repaving, doubling the length of the staging lanes, and upgrading the VIP accommodations for the tracks biggest fan, Jeffrey Schillinger. It’s been a revolving door for upgrades for the IHRA Summit Super Series supporting facility.
“I think it’s always great for the drag racing community when a track steps up to the plate and improves on customer safety,” said IHRA Vice President Skooter Peaco. “It shows a long-term commitment to the facility and the community. Racers should support those who are willing to reinvest in their business.”
For more information about Empire Dragway visit EmpireDragway.com.