WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Sumerduck Dragway is embracing the past and building for the future with a new sanctioning agreement with the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA).
Track owners Curtis Stuart and Mark Donovan are keeping ties to the past with previous owners Mike and Joy Anderson helping them get the 2021 season underway. They’ve been busy doing massive amounts of work to update the facility for the racers.
The first item was to make the track safer with more shutoff area. It gives the racers more space before they have to take a turn at the end of the drag strip.
“Mark and I wanted to extend the track back,” Stuart said. “We wanted to leave it an eighth-mile, but have 660 run-off instead of 560, giving us another 100 feet of stopping room.”
While digging, they put a draining system in the track and widened it by two feet. It’s part of phase 1 of track improvements which includes burying overhead lines. There is also a new scoreboard and just this weekend, work was done to hook up a new timing system.
Stuart has been involved in racing since he was 16. A good friend, Cliff Ewell, introduced him to the sport and sometimes let Stuart drive his car before Ewell was tragically killed in an accident. Stuart explained how Ewell influenced him, “It kinda’ stuck in my system. I always enjoyed cars and always enjoyed being around it.”
In 2010, Stuart and Donovan became owners of Colonial Beach Dragway. The long drive from home to the track proved to be burdensome and they sold the track in 2018.
They had ongoing discussions with the Andersons about the Sumerduck track previously owned by Joy’s father, Roger Curtis. With the timing finally right and both sides interested in seeing the track updated, it was time to make the deal.
“We hope to make the track safer and more competitive,” Stuart said. “Hopefully, the changes will open it up to everybody where they feel safe coming up there to run. I believe we’ve accomplished what we wanted to do.”
A large retaining wall was built as part of the construction to lengthen the track. Making it more appealing, new restrooms have also been built.
“We’re remodeling, bringing it up to date and making it more fun for everyone,” Stuart said. “We want it open to the whole community of drag racing.”
The dragway has a long history with the IHRA Summit SuperSeries program, named the IHRA Division 1 track of the year in 2009. IHRA Summit SuperSeries track champions for 2020 were: Brian Mollison (Box), Kris Bunch (No Box) and Mikayla Woodward (Junior).
There is also racing scheduled for Wednesday nights throughout the year with events listed through October.
For more information about Sumerduck Dragway, click here.
To become an IHRA member, click here for the IHRA membership page or call (561) 337-3446.