WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. —There’s no need to pull a rabbit out of the hat at Magic City International Dragway with its veteran ownership group running the show.
Instead, the trio of Jimmy Grote, Cory Evenson and Pat Keating have the dedication and experience to keep the Minot, N.D., track a first-class operation. That includes renewing the track’s sanctioning agreement with the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA).
Like a well-oiled machine, the trio bring their own set of skills to the table and work together to complement each other. In the end, it’s about creating a great environment for the racers.
“Several years ago, there were 7-8 of us, now it’s down to three people,” Grote said. “But, we know what our lane is and have our specific lane. Cory runs the race operations. Pat runs the tech and financing. I do the ground operation and facilities. My forte is to be out amongst everybody and interact with our staff and other owners.”
Magic City is unique as it’s located inside the city limits next to the Nodak Speedway. Located on the North Dakota State Fairgrounds, they normally work to evacuate the property except for the guardrails, basement and tower when not racing. Of course, little has been normal since COVID-19 pandemic.
Back from the 2020 shutdown, everything in place to start racing with a test-and-tune scheduled for May 15. One of the track’s premier events is Motor Magic, billed as the largest motorsports festival in the Upper Midwest. Held on Labor Day weekend, it features drag racing, car show, dirt track racing, classic car auction and go-karts.
Of course, there is a strong bracket program through the IHRA Summit SuperSeries . It’s important to take good care of the competitors as many often travel 300-500 miles to race at Magic City. For Evenson, he likes being with a well-established organization, that is also focused on the grassroots, Sportsman racers.
“I like the IHRA history as well as the technical aspects of the cars,” he said. “Pat, Jim and I have all done the tech (inspections) for the track. I like fast cars and I loved the IHRA Pro Mod cars. I was showing Jim and Pat some old albums back on the Dakota Flat Track from 1998. Along with IHRA celebrating its 50th anniversary, we’re on our 24th year. I would like to see the IHRA grow and us to be a part of that growth.”
Keating pointed out with the track inside the city limits, there are so many things for the competitors and fans to enjoy outside of racing. There are nearby restaurants and even the Dakota Square Mall is only five miles from the drag strip.
While on property, all three owners make it an extremely fun atmosphere for their visitors.
“What I like best is seeing our racers, pit crews, families and spectators enjoying themselves,” Keating said. “There’s the competition, but there’s the socializing. It’s a fun weekend that isn’t just hard-core competition. It’s family-oriented.”
For more information about Magic City International Dragway, click here.
To become an IHRA member, click here for the IHRA membership page or call (561) 337-3446.