Originally created 02/05/06

Serious drag strip in Augusta would mean serious money



Reading the article "Owner strips down plans for racetrack" in the Feb. 1 paper, it brought back memories and made me stop and think of the Jackson, S.C., drag strip, which is now called the Carolina Dragway.

Yes, the Jackson drag strip started out to be something big until, in the early 1970s, "Big Daddy" Don Garlits tried to race his twin rear-engine dragster there and blew up both engines at the end of the track. He put up such a fuss that Jackson was doomed to small-time forever.

If you want to see what $5.5 million can do building a dragstrip, don't ask Jeff Miles and his sister Angel. Ask someone who owns a real drag strip, such as the one in Gainesville, Fla., that plays host to the NHRA Gator Nationals; or Worcester, Mass., host of the New England Summer Nationals; or, even closer, ask pro stock driver Gary Brown and partners J.D. Stevens and Rudy Bowen, owners of Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga., host of the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals.

Augusta needs this and more. Think big, not small. Tear down that money-wasting, high-ticket-priced Augusta airport and build a drag strip and a NASCAR oval out there, and really bring some money into Augusta.

Daniel A. Caraway, Augusta