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Drag Strip List

A Comprehensive Encyclopedia

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NEBRASKA

Norfolk "Drag Strip" (1954)
Scribner Air Base (1954)
Omaha Dragway (Irvington) (1955)
Auburn "Drag Strip" (1956)
Falls City "Drag Strip" (1956)
Lincoln "Drag Strip" (1956)
Grand Island Airport (1957)
Lincoln Air Force Base (1958)
Lincoln Municipal Airport (1959)
Scottsbluff Drag Strip (1959)
Kearney Dragway/Raceway Park (1964)
Sandhill Dragway (Ainsworth) (1967)
Lincoln Drag Strip (1968)
Cornhusker Raceway Park (1969)
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Cornhusker Raceway, near Millard, Nebraska. Photographer unknown, Omaha Sun Collection, Durham Museum

Auburn "Drag Strip"


On September 30, 1956, about fifty cars participated in the Nebraska dirt track drag championships at Auburn. Conducted by the Auburn Timing Association, it was held at a location three miles east and one mile south of Auburn. It took place on a dirt air strip that is today called Farington Field. More research is needed.
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Cornhusker Raceway Park


Located five miles south of Omaha, this track was one mile north of Interstate 80 on Highway 50.  Specifically, it was at 148th and Giles Road, two miles southwest of Millard. Although the track definitely closed in 1973, the year when it first opened is uncertain. In the May 1969 issue of Hot Rod, it was listed as being sanctioned by NHRA. It held a race on July 26-27 in 1969. Don Kroeger managed the track in 1969.  In 1971, the track had seventeen race dates. The track hosted an NHRA divisional meet on September 18-19, 1971. The raceway received 1971 drag strip of the year in NHRA's Division 5. The track hosted an NHRA divisional points meet on May 26-27, 1973. At that race, they also had a feature match race between Sox & Martin and Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins. On Friday, September 14, 1973, everything at the track was auctioned. This included bleachers, tractors, mowers, amplifiers, scale, chain link fencing, coffee urns, gas ranges, air conditioner--the whole works. One old racer remembered,  "This was a great drag strip. It was down in a natural valley that made a resonating sound as the cars pounded the strip. Unfortunate for all, the city grew around it and ended its run. A lot of super area racers ran there: Kidder Automotive, Holcomb/Howdy Williams, Bill Woods, Speedway Motors, Raceland Speedshop, and many more locals. It drew big rails out of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and on and on." Another man learned about the track from his father who used to race there:  "It was just north of the interstate the next valley over from the Millard airport. There is a concrete company and some other stuff there now. From what I was told, the racers demanded better payout, threatened a boycott and the owner closed the track and made it an industrial park."
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June 13, 1971
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CLICK HERE to see video still photos of Cornhusker Raceway, 2:04 minutes
CLICK HERE to see video photograph show of Cornhusker Raceway, 6:57 minutes
1993 aerial view of Cornhusker Raceway

Falls City "Drag Strip"


The drag strip was four miles south of Verdon, near Salem, and about five miles northwest of Falls City.  The Nemaha Valley Timing Association held a regional drag championship there on October 7, 1956 and a midwest regional drag race on November 11, 1956.
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Grand Island Airport


The Grand Island Jaycees Timing Association conducted drag races at the airport. They held their first Midwest regional meet there in 1957. At the 2-day regional meet on June 14-15, 1958, Amarillo's Jack Moss took top eliminator and set the track record with a run of 149.50 MPH in his 2-engined dragster. The old track record was 130 MPH. Races were held in 1959 on April 19, May 17, June 13, July 12, and August 2. The Grand Island Jaycees sponsored the event for the second year. In 1961, the track ran once a month on the third Sunday from April through September, except for a two-day event in June. At the NHRA Midwest Regional 2-day races held in June 1961, Don and Jack Moss  from Omaha took top eliminator honors with 143.31 MPH clocking. The track was being called the Grand Island Jaycee Dragstrip. On August 4, 1963, 3,500 people saw 175 cars compete at the Midwest Regional Drag Races. Warren Meeks of Taylor won top eliminator honors in his B dragster. The Grand Island Army Airfield was built in 1942 on top of a pre-existing municipal airfield. After the war it was deeded to the city of Grand Island. Today it operates as Central Nebraska Regional Airport.
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Kearney Dragway/Raceway Park

  • Years of Operation: 1964-present
 
Carroll Sheldon started holding drag races on a runway at the old Kearney Army Air Field in 1964. On June 12, 1966, Kurt Behlen from Columbus won the top eliminator trophy in his B/FX '66 Chevy II. Kearney Dragway was listed as being under NHRA sanction in the April 1968 issue of Hot Rod. Carroll Sheldon was the track manager then.
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CLICK HERE to see video footage of Kearney Dragway, 1970, 12:19 minutes

Lincoln Air Force Base

 
The Lincoln Timing Association was organized in March 1958. Between then and early October 1958, they conducted six drag racing events on the Air Force Base landing strip and one on the National Guard runway. The races were conducted under a cooperative arrangement between the base, the Nebraska Air National Guard, and the Lincoln Timing Association. Races were sanctioned by NHRA. They charged a moderate admission fee and drew between 50-100 entries at each event. On October 26, 1958, Cliff Miles from Dunlap, Iowa, got top speed of the meet in his S/S 1958 Chevy with 90.90 MPH. On November 2, Miles ran 102.58 MPH. A thousand spectators attended that race. In 1959 the Shaundos car club obtained NHRA sanction for the strip and with the help of the Rodders car club, conducted the races. They used a 3,800 foot long Air National Guard taxiway for the racing. They had purchased new timing equipment, a fuel analyzer, and installed new fencing. It was known as the Shaundos Drag Strip. The base closed in 1966, and the airfield reverted to a civil airport shared with the Nebraska Air National Guard.
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Lincoln "Drag Strip"

  • Years of Operation: 1956
  • Status:  Exact location unknown

The Eccentrics car club sponsored drag races eighteen miles west of Lincoln on O Street. One race was held on October 21, 1955. More research is needed.
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October 21, 1956

Lincoln Drag Strip

  • Years of Operation: 1968
  • Status:  Exact location unknown
 
It is listed in a  list of 325 U.S. drag strips in 1968 published in an issue of the Swedish magazine Start & Strip . More research is needed.
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Lincoln Municipal Airport

 
On July 19, 1959, a Sunday drag race was held at the airport. More research is needed.
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Norfolk "Drag Strip"

  • Years of Operation: 1954
  • Status:  Exact location unknown

A car club in Norfolk conducted a drag race there on August 29, 1954. It was sanctioned by the Missouri Valley Timing Association. It may have been held at the airport, four miles southwest of Norfolk, but more research is needed.
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Omaha Dragway (Irvington)

Drag races were being held at a mile-long concrete surfaced airport runway in or near Omaha in 1955 (or before). Racers remember it as being an old airstrip. One old racer recalled that the airport's name was Flightland before being called Omaha Dragway:  "I used to race at Omaha Dragway (the Flightland air field -- it's still in use as an airfield) in the mid to late 60's when it was closed (to racing)." Research has uncovered little about the racing in 1960-61 other than that the Kingsmen Club from Columbus helped conduct the races and that trophies were awarded to class winners. They generally ran two to three times a month, April through October. A drag race was held on Sunday, August 27, 1961, in Irvington. Although racers associated the racing as being in Irvington, news ads and articles gave the location of the strip as being ten miles northwest of Irvington on Highway 133. The airfield that fits that description is Blair Municipal Airport, which was activated in 1961. That airport is about 5-6 miles north of Irvington, but with little except rural countryside fifty years ago in that area, the association with Irvington is understandable. The beginnings of that airport and its use as a drag strip owe much to Gene Kidder.  He was an NHRA adviser in Division 5 in the 1950s. According to an article in the Bowling Green Daily News (Oct. 9, 2006), he was "instrumental in getting racers off the streets and onto a track at the old Flightland Airstrip in Omaha," At the time he was working at Omaha National Bank. Kidder recalled how he got to be a regional adviser with NHRA. "They named me adviser because I was forming clubs to get young people organized so they weren't outlaws on the streets,” he said. The newspaper article continued about Kidder's role in establishing what became Omaha Dragway:  "But he wasn't just about forming clubs.
Kidder wanted a drag strip in Omaha. So when he found out that a man who wanted to build an airstrip needed a bank loan, he used his banking connections to talk the man into letting people pay to race on the strip, which would help the racers by providing them a place to run while helping the man pay off his loan. The man agreed and eventually sponsored Kidder in racing in return for Kidder managing the man's drag strip, which became the Omaha Dragway and attracted some of drag racing's biggest stars." Some of those racing stars included Tom Hoover and Chris Karamesines. Although there is little documentation linking the drag racing in the mid-1950s to the racing in the 1960s, racer's memories of it being an old airstrip to begin with make it plausible. But there is a lot of speculation here, so if anyone knows different, get in touch. Don Kroeger was the track manager in circa 1965-68. At the final race in 1967 on September 24, Gene Kidder faced Dick Landy in a best-of-five match race. An NHRA regional meet was held on July 27-28, 1968. Jim Davis was the track manager then and the track record prior to that meet was 210 MPH, but with John Wiebe in the field, that record was in jeopardy.
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April 3, 1966
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Sandhill Dragway (Ainsworth)

 
This strip was listed in the 1967 NHRA Dragstrip Guide and in a  list of 325 U.S. drag strips in 1968 published in an issue of the Swedish magazine Start & Strip . Harlan Jones was the track manager in 1968. Races may have been held at Ainsworth Municipal Airport, located seven miles northwest of Ainsworth, but more research is needed.
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Scottsbluff  Drag Strip

 
Drag races were conducted in 1959 by the Nile Valley Timing Association on April 19, May 30-31, and August 9.  Races were held in May, July, and September in 1960. In 1961, NHRA-sanctioned drag races were held on September 3 and  September 23-24. In April 1961, Walter B. Willard and Larry R. Taylor of Scottsbluff had filed articles of incorporation for the Scottsbluff Timing Association to engage in drag racing. It was listed in a  list of 325 U.S. drag strips in 1968 published in an issue of the Swedish magazine Start & Strip .  Scottsbluff Dragway was listed as being under NHRA sanction in the April 1968 issue of Hot Rod.  Ron Weinmeister was the track manager then. More research is needed to determine the range of years drag racing was held in Scottsbluff and the exact location. The racing likely took place on the airport east of the town, but that is simply a reasonable assumption.
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Scribner Air Base

  • Years of Operation: 1954, ca. 1978-1990s?
  • Status:  4

On May 31, 1954, the Missouri Valley Timing Association (MVTA) held its second drag race on a 6,900-foot long runway at Scribner Air Base. It is not known the date of the first race, but races thereafter were held monthly through the season. The races attracted cars from Iowa and Nebraska. The base hosted an NHRA regional championship drag race on July 11, 1954. The air base was built in 1942 as a U. S. Army Air Force training field. The state of Nebraska acquired the surplus airfield from the United States in 1946.  On October 17, 1954, the MVTA held what it called its "seven-state championship" drag race. Lee Snyder posted the top speed of the season in his dragster of 128 miles per hour. In about 1978-79, the MVTA re-opened Scribner for racing. It was sanctioned by IHRA during those years.
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May 31, 1954
CLICK HERE to see video footage of IHRA Mid America Nationals at Scribner in 1994, 40:18 minutes