The Holeshot Drag Racing Association has made a name for themselves in the Connecticut area by hosting 100′ drag races at places like the Waterford Speedbowl. The events have allowed area racers to hammer the throttle and have some fun without having to make the long drive to Lebanon Valley Dragway, Englishtown, New England Dragway, or Island Dragway in New Jersey. While the distance of the race is super short, the events have been well attended and the folks that we have spoken to that participated in them said that they had a blast. The group is looking to make the next step and to accomplish something that no one has been able to in the New England region since the 1960s and that is to open a new, dedicated, permanent drag racing facility. There have been airport drags and other temporary style events at airfields, etc but no actual racetracks constructed. The HDRA aims to fix that by building an eighth-mile track in Windham, Connecticut.
Here is an excerpt from the message posted on the HDRA.net website. This is a section of the full announcement made by the group regarding their efforts:
With this in mind, HDRA is moving forward with plans to build and operate its own facility in Windham, CT. While we plan to have many types of activities such as firemen and church carnivals, antique shows, antique truck, tractor, and car shows, etc., our main attraction will be the eighth mile drag racing. Much of the funding to operate these other activities will come from the revenues of the racing operation.
The drag racing operation will actually have a little twist from what is considered the norm. Along with the eighth mile track, there are plans to build a “Holeshot” drag strip as well. The smaller track will serve many purposes. First, because of its size it will be simpler and quicker to build. We could have it operational within weeks of town approval. This would allow us to get the racing operation up and running at a much earlier date while the big track is under construction. Second, once the big track is operational, the Holeshot drag track could be used by competitors to check their 60 foot times while they are waiting to be called to staging. Competitors will have more opportunities to get runs in during race day compared to other race tracks.
The “Holeshot” drag track would feature two lanes of side by side racing, a proper burnout box, a concrete launch pad, and a sprayed surface prepared identically to the big track. While the big track would be our main focus, we would still promote events on the small track. This would include trophy and money races, as well as events for kids.
While competitve events on the Holeshot track would be sanctioned by HDRA, we are currently looking at different sanctioning bodies for the eighth mile track. Although we are keeping our options open, it appears that going with an IHRA sanction would be our best choice. They have been under new ownership, and we like the direction they are taking. As we see it, IHRA is for the Sportsman racer, the mainstay of any weekly operation. They are also very eager to help us get up and running. We believe their involvement could be key to our ultimate success.
Like all race tracks, this one has to go through the local government for approvals and that is where virtually all of the projects die. We’re not rooting against this track or the people behind it, but we are being realistic when we say that it won’t be the smoothest road to go from this concept to moving Earth and starting construction. It does seem that the HDRA group is realistic about this process, although we do find their estimate that some portion of the place could be opened next summer pretty optimistic. Between meetings, meetings about meetings, red tape, and local opposition (there is always local opposition), it will probably take longer than that. Again, we’re hoping they succeed because it would be great to have a new facility in the region to give more people the opportunity to get on a strip and off the street.
Once a rendering or plans are released, we’ll share them with you. We’ll also keep you posted on the progress of the project.
(here’s a look at the current HDRA setup at the Waterford Speedbowl circle track in Connecticut)