2011-03-26 / News

Resurfacing work to delay raceway’s opening

By Scott Rawdon

A hydraulic excavator fitted with a punch breaks up concrete at National Trail Raceway. Beacon photo by Scott Rawdon. A hydraulic excavator fitted with a punch breaks up concrete at National Trail Raceway. Beacon photo by Scott Rawdon. HEBRON – One way to look at it is the NHRA’s commitment to the National Trail Raceway and its future, said National Trail Raceway Sales and Marketing Manager Mike Fornataro.

From his office window he could easily see heavy equipment breaking up the drag strip’s staging area, preparing the venerable racecourse for 150 feet of new concrete surface, including new burnout pads.

Fornataro said the National Hot Rod Association didn’t hesitate to invest $60,000 when an annual track scraping and cleaning revealed that some of the drag strip’s surface had too many cracks and pits to be patched. Sections needed to be completely resurfaced with NHRA Eventspec concrete. The track’s last resurfacing was seven years ago.

“It’s a heck of an investment,” he said. “It can’t be finished like a road; it has to be super-flat.” Fornataro expects there will be some pit area paving and construction of a new concession stand. “We’re doing stuff,” he said.

Unfortunately, Fornataro said the resurfacing would push the raceway’s opening back to April 8 or possibly later. National Trail Raceway planned to open April 3, but the battered racetrack made that impossible. He said the April 3 and 10 Test and Tune events would likely be cancelled, although another Test and Tune may be scheduled for April 15 if both dates are cancelled. The April 17 Jegs ET Series #1 race remains on the schedule.

Fornataro said the raceway recently created a new truck-pulling track. “It was really good,” he said. He said the new track helped the raceway really capture the rural market by sponsoring truck pulls, mud runs, and truck drag races during the NADM Buckeye Diesel Nationals in June and September’s NADM Buckeye Country Nationals. He’s looking forward to seeing the raceway packed with racing trucks and pick-ups during this year’s events (almost no one, he said, drives cars to see them).

April’s Spring Nostalgia Nationals, featuring vehicles from 1974 and older, is new this year, and the National Trail Raceway will celebrate the NHRA’s 60th anniversary during the Buckeye Fuel Wars in June, which will feature some of the raceway’s original crew and many historic hot rods, said Fornataro.

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