Dale Wilkerson August 2010
If side-by-side racing is what will fill your racing weekend, perhaps you should make the trek to the Greer Dragway.
First, for someone who loves old cars, walking through the pits is like going to a car show. Not only do you see new cars, but cars from the 50’s up. There are also rail dragsters and roadsters and a few drivers with hopped up trucks as well. And don’t forget the junior dragsters! These mini-rail cars put on quite a show and the speeds that these kids hit will amaze you.
You are probably thinking it costs extra to walk through the pit area to see the cars, but there is no extra charge to get in the pits, in fact every ticket is a pit pass.
Go hungry, the food at the concession stand in great and cooked to order. The iced tea really hits the spot on these hot summer days, especially if you are washing down a chili-cheese burger. Roxanne Greer has a guarded recipe for the chili, and having the chance to sample it on a burger or a hot dog is worth the price of admission.
Mike Greer, the Owner of Greer Dragway, can be seen anywhere from the control room at the starting line, to the ticket window. He keeps a close I on the track and tries to speak with all competitors and fans every race day.
I checked out a few cars before running into a driver that I knew, Frank Swain. Frank wasted no time giving me a tour of the facility, which ended with us sitting beside the staging area as cars made practice runs.
Frank looked toward me and shouted, “You might want your ear plugs!” Two cars launched from the line as the next two smoked the back tires, getting some heat built up for better traction. Swain, like many other drivers, will go down to get a firsthand look at the area known as the launch pad, to make sure they line up in the best possible spot for their timed runs.
As Frank returned to his pit stall, I followed track announcer, and rail car driver Hank Guyton into the Control Tower. Watching these folks work, the term busy as bee came to mind, as folks were keeping a close eye on the timing devices, the Christmas Tree, the racing surface and the staging area.
Guyton announces on Thursday night, when fans can bring their street cars in and make a run down the 1/8th of a mile Dragway. “Thursday night is a lot of fun. Some drivers bring their race cars out to fine tune their set-ups while some guys bring their cars or motorcycles in just to see who can claim the bragging rites for the week.
There is not a lot of down time, when the dash for cash began there was an almost constant flow of cars down the tarmac. After a short break, the eliminations began.
Drag Racing is the original form of racing. Legend has it; the first race was shortly after the second car was made. The two cars were lined up, side by side, someone dropped their hat or handkerchief and the thrill of drag racing began.
Thursday nights, the gates open at 6:00pm and for grudge racing. Saturday afternoons the track opens at 12:30pm, with the eliminations begging around 4:30pm. Makes plans to attend soon, or grab a helmet and make a pass with your own hotrod on Thursday night!