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2020 ECTA Firecracker Mile Gallery: The Opening Roar At Arkansas


2020 ECTA Firecracker Mile Gallery: The Opening Roar At Arkansas

As I made the left turn off of Arkansas 181 and onto Memorial Drive, I immediately had a strange sense of familiarity that took me a minute to figure out. The building designs were very familiar. The road layouts seemed like places I’d been before, even though I’ve only blasted through Arkansas as high speed on the Interstates before this weekend. The sense of deja vu just kept eating at me, right up until I saw a monument of a Vietnam-era B-52 in the center of a well-maintained grass park surrounded by state flags. I pulled over and started letting my Google-fu do some work. In two minutes I had my answer: Arkansas International Airport, the site of the 2020 ECTA Firecracker Mile, is the former Blytheville/Eaker Air Force Base, a former home to B-52 bombers, KC-135 refueling tankers and B-57 Canberra recon bomber, among other aircraft in it’s heyday. Today, it’s the final home for the fleet of former Delta Air Lines’ MD-88 aircraft, as well as temporary housing for other airfames that are parked due to the pandemic. The sight of a bunch of T-tail jet liners parked in neat rows makes for an almost haunting scene when you pull onto the tarmac and head towards the cluster of trailers, pop-ups and teams preparing for their chance at Runway 18/36.

Fresh off of Rocky Mountain Race Week, I rolled in and immediately got to snapping pictures of the action Friday afternoon. Sunny skies were giving way to an afternoon thunderstorm, but if that bothered any of the racers on-hand, I sure didn’t see any issue. Every few minutes, another engine at full song would run through the gears as the driver ran through the traps to see if the cooling temperatures could equate into another MPH or two in the mile. This is the first look at those racers…we will be bringing you more coverage in the coming days from the Firecracker Mile’s three-day run, but for now, I’m home…exhausted, cooked, and ready for bed. Check out a preview of what’s to come by clicking on a photo below!


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9 thoughts on “2020 ECTA Firecracker Mile Gallery: The Opening Roar At Arkansas

  1. john

    Who teched that yellow/red # 53 whatever? Spliced bars, “booger” welds and no padding on the “hope it doesn’t” roll cage? Not the ETCA I remember.

    1. DanStokes

      That ain’t good! While a splice in a bar is actually OK, they have to have a “sleeve” over the splice at least 3 diameters on each end of the splice with rosette welds in addition to the circumference welds top and bottom (I just got a reading on this from SCTA given that I’m reworking my cage). The weld quality is another issue as they appear to be stick welded with is not allowed – MIG or TIG only (or gas welded if you can pull it off). Those welds might be flux core MIG but if so they are poorly done.

    2. Garrett Blanchard

      So before you go and attempt to murder the tech team or the ecta all together. First off I didn’t see any of your rides in attendance and keep in mind this is a standing mile a little different from “land speed racing” ie most land speed cars require a push vehicle and 3 miles to get to top speed. The ecta did a fantastic job putting the event on on such short notice given all the hurdles they had to deal with including the current pandemic as well has sweltering heat and humidity. The car your referring to yes might of been a little sketchy based on visual appearance and maybe not necessarily something you would drive but he felt safe and had a great time for his first time trying it. As well as the pictures posted here is only a very small portion of the cars in attendance basically only the flashy street cars. Plenty of other very well built high horsepower machines there.

    3. Andy

      It’s a 1/4 mile dirt track car. Ran under 135mph. What are the cage requirements for <135mph?

      What did you bring to your first ECTA meeting John? Challenger 2?

    4. Andy

      It’s a 1/4 mile dirt track car. It ran < 135mph. What are the cage requirements for <135mph?

  2. Piston Pete

    I’m no welder, but I was the hydro man at a high pressure heat exchanger shop, so I know a weld when I see it. They might as well have used chewing gum.

    1. Ron

      Certainly not the ECTA I remember. Only a couple of actual Land Speed race cars. Sure miss Wilmington

  3. Ronnieroadster

    Certainly not the ECTA most of us remember. Lots of late model cars and just a couple of actual Land Speed race cars. Boy do we miss Maxton and Wilmington

  4. Ron

    Certainly not the ECTA I remember. Only a couple of actual Land Speed race cars. Sure miss Wilmington

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