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Charlie Adams's highboy roadster at the first-ever drag race at Caddo Mills airport, 1951. Photographer unknown, from KKrod
Montague County Fairgrounds ​(Bowie) (1948)
Caddo Mills Drag Strip (1951)
Eagle Mountain Lake National Guard Base (1953)
Fannin Airport (1953)
Faysville Airport (1953)
Kerrville Airport (1953)
Lake Wichita Airport (1953)
Mercedes "Drag Strip" (1953)
Texas City "Drag Strip" (1953)
Wheeler Highway Drag Race Track [Old Pampa Airfield] (1953)
Abilene Municipal Airport (1954)
Borger "Drag Strip" (1954)
Dallas "Drag Strip" (1954)
El Paso "Drag Strip" (1954)
Greater Southwest Dragway (Fort Worth) (1954)
Laguna Madre Airstrip (1954)
Marshall Womack Farm (Slate Shoals) (1954)
Martindale Auxiliary Landing Field (San Antonio) (1954)
Midland Air Terminal (1954)
Randolph Air Force Base (1954)
Tradewind Airport (Amarillo) (1954)
Waldron Air Field (Corpus Christi) (1954)
Wall Drag Strip/Sportsman Park Raceway/San Angelo Dragway (1954)
Webb Air Force Base (Big Spring) (1954)
Forest Hill Drag Strip (Fort Worth) (1955)​
Cherry Racing Arena (Paris) (1955)
Gillespie County Airport (Fredericksburg) (1955)
Hale Center "Drag Strip" (1955)
Hogg Island "Drag Strip" (1955)
Midland Airpark (1955)
Yello Belly Drag Strip (Grand Prairie) (1955)
Clear Springs Air Strip (New Braunfels) (1956)
Dalhart "Drag Strip" (1956)
Double Eagle Drag Strip/San Antonio Drag Raceway (1956)
Ellington Air Force Base (1956)
Gibbs Field Airport (Fort Stockton) (1956)
Grapevine "Drag Strip" (1956)
Lubbock Teenage Park (1956)
Midway Speedway/Drag Strip (Gatesville) (1956)
Nance Circle-N Drag Strip (Weaver) (1956)
North Richland Hills Drag Strip (1956)
Palo Duro Airport (1956)
Pampa "Drag Strip" (1956)
Prairie Hill Dragway (1956)
Road Angels Drag Strip (Gatesville) (1956)
Rogers Airport (Cameron) (1956)
Temple "Drag Strip" (1956)
Val Verde County Airport (1956)
Winnsboro Drag Strip/East Texas Speedway (1956)
Aransas County Airport (Rockport) (1957)
Camp Bowie (1957)
Castroville Municipal Airfield (1957)
Cavalier's Drag Strip (Vernon) (1957)
Corpus Christi "Drag Strip" (1957)
Enchantment Park (El Paso) (1957)
Foster Field (Victoria) (1957)
Freeway Drag Strip (Dickinson) (1957)
Lake Waco Drag Strip (1957)
Laredo "Drag Strip" (1957)
Moore Field Auxiliary Air Strip/Edinburg Raceway (1957)
Red River Drag Strip/Wichita Raceway Park (1957)
Bruce Field (Ballinger) (1958)
Cedar Hill Drag Strip (1958)
Oak Hill Downs Speedway (Austin) (1958)
Sweetwater "Drag Strip" (1958)
Temple Drag Strip/Little River Dragway (Academy) (1958)
Abernathy Municipal Airport (1959)
Circle Drag Strip (Dallas) (1959)
Marfa Air Base (1959)
Scorpion Drag Strip (McKinney) (1959)
Fly-N-Fish Lodge Airport (Uncertain) (1950s)
Hitchcock NAS Blimp Base (1950s)
Poole's Airstrip (Latch) (1950s)
Amarillo Dragway (1960)
Ascarate Park (El Paso) (1960)
Fort Hood Dragway (Killeen) (1960)
Green Valley Raceway (North Richland Hills) (1960)
Harlingen Air Base (1960)
Palacios Municipal Airport (1960)
Rodd Field (Corpus Christi) (1960)
Tye Air Base (Abilene) (1960)
Golden Triangle Drag Strip (Beaumont) (1961)
Interstate 20 Raceway/Tyler Dragways (1961)
Rio Grande Valley Drag Strip (Harlingen) ((1961)
S&N Dragway/Texas Raceway (Kennedale) (1961)
Sidewinder Dragway (Pampa) (1961)
Stracener's Drag Strip (Bettie) (1961)
Sunland Dragway (El Paso) (1961)
Commerce Municipal Airport (1962)
Edinburg Drag Strip (1962)
Harker Heights "Drag Strip" (1962)
Mustang Drag Strip (Waco) (1962)
Pecos County Airport (Fort Stockton) (1962)
Six Flags Dragway (Victoria) (1962)
Whitehouse Drag Strip (1962)
Greenbelt Drag Strip (Quanah) (1963)
Top O' Texas Dragway (Pampa) (1963)
Abilene Dragway (1964)
Breckenridge "Drag Strip" (1964)

Paris Drag Strip (1964)
Texoma Dragstrip (Whitesboro) (1964)
Brazos Valley Dragway (Mineral Wells) (1965)
Childress Drag Strip (1965)
Eastex Dragway (Porter) (1965)
Pan-American Raceway (El Paso) (1965)
Seabreeze Drag Strip (Corpus Christi) (1965)
Andrews County Airport (Andrews) (1966)
Austin Raceway Park (1966)
Hallsville Drag Strip (1966)
Odessa Raceway Park/Penwell Raceway  (1966)
Pyote Dragway (1966)
​Round Rock "Drag Strip" (1966)
Como/Midway Drag Strip (1967)
Lufkin Drag Strip (1967)
Tawakoni Speed Bowl (Lone Oak) (1967)
Big Bend Drag Strip (Alpine) (1968)
Corpus Christi Drag Raceway (1969)
Dallas International Motor Speedway (1969)
El Paso International Dragway/Thunder Alley Dragway (1969)
Collette's Drag Strip (Dayton) (1960s)
Fischer Farm "Drag Strip" (Pilot Point) (1960s)
Irving "Drag Strip" (1960s)
​Hondo Drag Raceway (1970)
Edinburg International Speedway (1972)
Lubbock Dragway (1972)
Texas World Speedway (College Station) (1973)
Alamo Dragway (San Antonio) (1974)
Gray County Dragstrip (Pampa) (1977)
Redline Raceway (Caddo Mills) (2001)
Dolaca Motorplex (Meadow) (2002)

​Angleton Dragway/Raceway (2003)
Cherokee County Motorsports Park (Rusk) (2004)
Desert Thunder Raceway (Midland) (2005)



The races took place at the municipal airport located northwest of the town.A drag race was purportedly held at the airport on November 22, 1959. On May 8, 1960, 1500 spectators watched more than 170 competitors compete at one of the first drag races held at the airport strip. Linn Huitt won a $100 bond with his fuel-powered Chrysler dragster. He turned 177 MPH in 9.16 seconds. Trophies were awarded to class winners at a drag race held on Sunday June 12, 1960.

Palacios Municipal Airport

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Palo Duro Airport (Amarillo)


The Barons Racing Club from Amarillo obtained permission to use the airport to hold drag races. They paid for  the cost of paving the 3,500-foot long runway, which was 30 feet wide with an asphalt surface. They had electronic timers and expected 200 cars for the first race on May 27, 1956. They charged $1 admission for spectators and $1.50 to enter a vehicle. They planned on racing one or two Sundays every month.
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Pampa "Drag Strip"


The Texans Hot Rod Club of Pampa, conducted a six-state drag championship on May 20, 1956. They used an old auxiliary airport that was four miles south of Pampa on Highway 70. On October 26, 1958, a drag meet was held that was sanctioned by the NHRA and sponsored by the TPTA. A crew from Roswell, New Mexico, handled the timing equipment. The Sidewinders car club conducted drag races in Pampa in 1961 on the first and third Sundays. In 1963, this site became the Top O' Texas Dragway (see entry).
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July 21, 1957

Pan-American Raceway (El Paso)

  • Years of Operation: 1965-68?
  • Status:  Exact location unknown

In mid-July 1965, the El Paso Public Service Board approved the lease of 31 acres of land in Northeast El Paso for development as a drag strip by Pan-American Raceway, Inc. It was near McCombs Road in northeast El Paso, two miles south of the New Mexico state line. They leased it for $1,488 per year, with an option to renew after five years. It was listed in a listing of U.S. drag strips in 1968 published in an issue of the Swedish magazine Start & Strip.  
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Paris Drag Strip


Jerry Bob Stephens built, owned, and operated this strip, located six miles east of Paris. Races were held every Sunday. On September 19, 1965, the Dingman Brothers beat a large field of cars before a big crowd of spectators to win top stock eliminator in their '62 Chevrolet. They repeated again on October 10. On November 7, 1965, August "Hands" Hartkopf was featured in a match race against the "Golden Gasser" of Tyler. In 1967, the drag strip began an annual tradition of holding the Texas State Gas Championships for gassers every August. On June 4, 1982, Bill Mattio made a best run of 4.41 seconds in his "Chicago Fire" jet dragster. However his car sat so low to the ground, that the recorded time might not have been accurate. Prior to that, the strip record had been 7.41 seconds. On Friday, July 16, 1982, Tommy Ivo made exhibition runs in his 4-engined dragster. On July 23, 1982, 1,000 spectators saw Doug Brown drive his "Wildfire" jet dragster to a best run of 5.39 seconds. In fact, Mattio's time was so questionable that the strip only recognized Doug Brown's 5.39 as the strip record. On June 15, 1984, Charlie Hand's "Lone Star Lightning" jet dragster set a new track record with a 5.24 ET. On June 7, 1985, the track featured two top alcohol funny cars in a match race, the first time funny cars had run on the track. After that burst of experimenting with bringing in big-name racers to try to boost attendance in the early to mid-1980s, the strip settled down to focusing on the bracket racers, and found that to be its bread and butter. The NHRA-sanctioned track held its last-ever race in November 2015.
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1965
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May 10, 1974
CLICK HERE to see video footage of Paris Drag Strip, 2014, 1:24 minutes, filmed by Corn Washington

Pecos County Airport (Fort Stockton)


The Texans Car Club obtained 1,200 acres of land from the government west of the airport at Fort Stockton. They were trying to raise $5,000 to 8,000 to build an asphalt drag strip on that land. They were given permission by the city to run drag races on a runway at the airport in the meanwhile. They ran three races in the fall at the airport and cleared $850 after expenses. They staged races every third Sunday. Trophies were awarded to class winners. Research uncovered nothing beyond this activity in 1962, so it is doubtful that the drag strip was ever built or that racing continued at the airport.
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1962

Poole's Airstrip (Latch)


Myers Poole, a poultry farmer, operated a drag and landing strip on a 3,000 foot long asphalt strip. It was located seven miles southwest of Gilmer reached by going out Latch Road to Latch. Drag races were held each Sunday. On June 12, 1960, Poole engaged an Army paratrooper to perform a parachute jump during intermission for entertainment. Poole piloted the airplane. Poole engaged ten parachutists to jump between drag races on July 3-4.  Old timers recall racing at this strip, probably beginning in the 1950s. One racer passed on this information that he heard from his father:  "Don't forget Latch southwest of Gilmer. It is actually still there, but it is a driveway now. Back in the day it was a private airstrip. That is what the drive is called today . . . Airstrip Road."
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1995 aerial view of Latch Airstrip

Prairie Hill Dragway

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  • Years of Operation: 1956-57, 1962-present

The Central Texas Timing Association, sponsored by a couple of Waco Exchange Clubs, held their first drag race at Prairie Hill on July 15, 1956. The timing association was comprised of members of four Waco car clubs: Dragons, Saints, Travelers, and Sabers. The strip was located twenty-two miles east of Waco on the south side of U.S. Highway 84. The second race was held on August 26 and the last race of the season on November 25. They had earlier worked toward using an auxiliary landing field located just east of McGregor, Texas, for drag races. That field was closer to Waco, but for some reason, they were unable to establish it at that location. The primary focus of their efforts were to try to curb the illegal street racing happening in Waco. In 1957 the CTTA sought land on which to build a drag strip. Articles in the 1950s did not mention that the racing was held on a mile-long concrete runway at Prairie Hill Air Force Base, but the ads about the race on August 5, 1962, identified that as the location. This raises the question: were there two different racing locations, but in the same general area? The report of the results of the August 5 race in the Waco News Tribune called it "Prairie Hill's new drag strip."  We conclude that the drag races took place in the same location, but after drag races were not held for four years, the racing in 1962 was reportedly new. The same organization that conducted the races at Prairie Hill in 1962 also conducted the races at Harker Heights. In 1963, Billy Swiny and Leo Leachman bought the drag strip. They changed its name to Lone Star Drag Strip. On October 13, 1963, Bobby Langley garnered top eliminator with an 8.2 ET. On October 27, Lone Star staged four fuel dragsters in side-by-side racing--a first in the state of Texas. Lone Star ran under NHRA sanction in 1967, if not before. Bruce Winter was the track manager then.   One person  recalled, "I went to Prairie Hill once in 1970. My dad went down for a visit after my son was born and we ran out there to watch the races. The only thing I remember is a good looking gal driving a purple Hemi Cuda Convertible. Plus quite a field of jr stockers. It was also hotter than hell that day. It seems that the reason we went is that there had been a big ad in the Waco paper and dad and I had always gone to races together when I was growing up. A good memory of a fun day, and if I remember right, a sunburn." It operates today without sanction as Prairie Hill Dragway, running on the east-most runway.
October 28, 1956
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August 5, 1962
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October 27, 1963
CLICK HERE to see video footage of Pro Mods at Prairie Hill on April 12, 2014, 2 minutes, good view of starting line, tower, and end of track

Pyote Dragway


Wayne Long was the owner and developer of this drag strip, who leased the land from the University of Texas, incorprating some of the former B-29 runways at the western part of the old Pyote Air Base, located one-half mile west of Pyote. The opening race was Sunday, March 20, 1966. It featured a match race between local boy, Tommy McNeely, and Tom McCran from Arlington. Long constructed a timing tower and concession stand prior to the opening race. The track was sanctioned by AHRA. Races were held every third Sunday. On August 21, 1966, J. D. Zink made three exhibition runs in Romeo Palamides's "Untouchable" jet dragster, clocking a best speed of 241.6 MPH. One old racer didn't have fond memories of a jet dragster running at Pyote:  "Blew rocks all over the front of my Falcon and I was 200 feet behind it in the staging lanes.  And how about the potholes in the return road that you could lose an 18-wheeler in."  Research didn't find any information about this strip after 1967.
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May 15, 1966
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Randolph Air Force Base


A two-day drag race was held on May 1-2, 1954, in conjunction with the annual Spring Carnival at Randolph AFB.  All profits after expenses were to benefit the community fund. They also had an antique auto show and precision flying by the Thunderbirds fighter jets. The races were held on a 7,000-foot long runway. It was sponsored by the Randolph Progressive Motoring Club.
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May 1-2, 1954

Red River Drag Strip/Wichita Raceway Park

  • Years of Operation: 1957-93, 2003-present

The Red River Drag Strip was located near Wichita Falls, four miles north on the Iowa Park Highway on Farm to Market Road 369. Internet sources date its opening to 1952, but newspaper documentation hasn't been found to confirm that. It was sanctioned by NHRA at least by 1960, if not before. The strip has variously been called Wichita Falls Dragstrip, Wichita Drag Strip, and is now called Wichita Raceway Park. In 1962-63 it was called Pleasant Valley Drag Strip. In 1964, it changed its name to Silver Dollar Dragway, with a change in management. Drag racers Jerry Mitchell and Keith Davis, ranching partners in Kamay, operated the track on a lease arrangement. At that time it was a 3,700-foot asphalt strip adjacent to the Red River Speedrome. They ran outlaw drags starting at 10 PM on Friday and Saturday nights and a regular program on Sunday afternoon. On June 28, 1964, Bill Brittian of Fort Worth took the Super Stock class with a 12.32 ET.  It is today (2015) a 1/8th-mile concrete drag strip under NHRA sanction.  In 1965, the strip changed its name changed yet again when Pete Hall and Frank Moon took over the operation.  They called it Wichata Falls Dragway. That name persisted at least through 1971, sanctioned by NHRA. According to an article in a Wichita Falls newspaper, on November 24, 1957, Bobby Langley won the A dragster class at Red River with a 140.06 MPH run.  On January 26, 1958, 3,000 spectators watched Eddie and Buddy Reasor win top eliminator with a run of 124.13 MPH and 11.69 ET in their 1924 Ford A/Roadster powered by a 1954 Chrysler. There were almost 100 vehicles entered. Don Garlits took Top Eliminator on June 8, 1958, at a 3-day event, setting a new Texas and Red River speed and elapsed time record in the process in his Tampa Speed Special fueler. In 1959 the Red River Timing Association held races on the second Sunday.
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1957
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June 9, 1963
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September 13, 1964
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CLICK HERE to see video footage of Wichita Raceway Park, 2 minutes
1965

Redline Raceway (Caddo Mills)


This IHRA-sanctioned 1/8th-mile track opened in late 2001. The track operated through the 2014 season, with Mike Adcock purchasing it mid-season in March 2014. After that season ended, Adcock spent $750,000 on a major makeover with intentions of re-opening and running under IHRA sanction by summer 2015. However, that didn't happen. In early 2016, Adcock stated that there would be no more public racing events at the completely refurbished strip. It was going to become the exclusive home for the "Pinks: All Out" TV program and other TV drag racing programs being discussed. Understandably, this was a disappointment to the local racing community.
CLICK HERE to see video footage of Redline Raceway, 2012, filmed by Jay Shafer 19:20 minutes
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Rio Grande Valley Drag Strip/Harlingen Dragway


On February 18, 1959, the Harlingen city commission approved the request of Dr. Nelson Haas, a San Benito physician,  to rezone a 72-acre tract of land he owned to permit the building of a drag strip. He planned to lease it to the Rio Grande Valley Timing Association, who would conduct the races. Located east of Treasure Hills near the Arroyo Colorado, the strip was built 3/4 mile north of and behind the Citrus Drive-in Theater on Whalen Park Road. It was between Harlingen and San Benito. Construction was completed in 1961 and the race on April 16, 1961, was possibly the first. Cecil "Butch" Harris of La Feria set the strip record with a run of 107 MPH. On April 30, Harris upped his old record with a 121 MPH clocking in his C/D. Kenneth Fultz of Harlingen took top eliminator at that race in his B/A Chevy-powered roadster. Trophies were awarded to class and eliminator winners. Jerry Jones was the strip manager.  Scant information was found about this strip in the years 1962-64, but it is assumed that racing took place in those years. Seven hundred people attended a race on Sunday, December 19, 1965. It was called Harlingen Dragway then. Bernie Edwards clocked 141 MPH in his Olds-powered dragster at that race. The next race was scheduled for January 2, 1966. It was listed in a listing of U.S. drag strips in 1968 published in an issue of the Swedish magazine Start & Strip.  
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1962 aerial view of Rio Grande Valley Drag Strip
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Road Angels Drag Strip (Gatesville)


Billy Bankhead, one of the founding members of the Road Angels Hot Rod Club, a car club from Coryell, Texas, let the club build a gravel-surfaced drag strip on land where he operated a gravel pit. The club began racing there in about February 1956. It was located 2.5 miles southeast of Gatesville, Texas, on Straws Mill Road. It competed with the Midway Speedway for racers and spectators. In May 1956, the Leon River flooded and washed away part of the track. They repaired it and held a re-opening race on May 20, charging 50 cents admission and putting on a free barbecue. Admission fees covered the expense of trophies and maintaining the strip.  A newspaper advertisement touted the track's safety record of having 308 vehicles having raced there since April 21 without accident or injury.
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April 15, 1956
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Rodd Field (Corpus Christi)

 
Drag races were held on a runway of this World War II Naval auxiliary airfield, possibly as early as 1959. There were four 6,100-foot long paved runways at the field. The races were held bi-weekly on Sundays. One of the races was held on August 21, 1960. At a race in October, top eliminator was won by the Watson-Gillespie Olds-powered dragster before 4,500 spectators. Races were sponsored by the National Racing Affiliates. On December 18, 1960, they held what was described in news reports as the annual Christmas benefit drag race. This implies that racing may have also been happening the previous year, in 1959.  On January 15, 1961, the strip expected there would be 150 entries competing. August Hartkoft of Austin, the national record holder in E/G was expected to be there. Newspapers called him the "biggest man in racing." He was 6 foot 7 and weighed well over 250 pounds. On February 26, 1961, the B dragster of Watson-Albright-Gillespie broke the Drag News world record with a time of 9.87. It got them a paid invitation to go to the U.S. Fuel and Gas Championships in Bakersfield. On March 12, 1961, a new strip top speed mark was set by the twin-engined dragster of Jack's Auto Parts in Fort Worth with a 160 MPH clocking. Gene Perrenot, driving the Mackey-Veselka A/D took top eliminator with a run of 151 MPH. On May 7, 1961, Rodd Field was the site of the Texas Gas Championship drag races. One of the cars entered was Jack Chrisman's Howard's twin-engined dragster. An old racer remembered:  "The shutdown area was covered in small pea gravel and stopping was as exciting as going." Newspapers reported that in early 1963 there were discussions about locating drag racing at a different location than Rodd Field. A site near Sinton was being suggested. In February 1963, C. B. Perrenot, who operated the strip at Rodd Field, asked the Corpus Christi city commission for permission to have a drag strip at the Rob and Bessie Welder Park in Sinton. The commission asked him to provide them with cost estimates on building a strip there, but nothing seem to have come of this. Starting in at least 1965, drag races were held at Rodd Field, which was called Seabreeze Drag Strip (see below). Rodd Field was described as being located on South Staples Street three miles south of Lexington Boulevard. Housing developments and parks have obliterated every trace of the old airfield. 
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October 16, 1960

Round Rock "Drag Strip"

  • Years of Operation: 1966
  • Status:  Exact location unknown

Drag races were reportedly held in Round Rock on Saturday night. A race was held on August 20, 1966. More research is needed.
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S&N Dragway/Texas Raceway (Kennedale)

  • Years of Operation:  1961-present

Texas Raceway's website claims that the track first opened in 1961, but research has been unable to confirm that. In the April 1969 issue of Hot Rod, it was listed as a sanctioned NHRA track. It ran on Friday and Saturday nights through November.  At a race on April 5, 1969, Jim Crandall, age 25 from Irving, was killed while racing on the 1/8th-mile strip. Les Nelson was manager of the drag strip circa 1969-70. By 1976, the track was called Texas Raceway. It was sanctioned by NHRA and was holding races on Friday and Saturday nights. It doesn't appear to be affiliated with any organized sanctioning body today.
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CLICK HERE to see betting and racing action at Texas Raceway, 2008, 3:48 minutes
CLICK HERE to see video footage of Texas Raceway, 1996, 15:19 minutes
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1995 aerial view of the former site of Scorpion Drag Strip. The line of trees in the center identifies the track of the old strip. Note the shutdown part of the track below the line of trees and the return road on the east side of the tree line.
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Six Flags Dragway (Victoria)

  • Years of Operation: 1962-75
  • Status:  4
 
In 1962, A. B. Alkek leased use of a concrete runway at his airport, Aloe Field in Victoria,  to a group of stockholders who wanted to use if for drag racing. Aloe Field was located five miles southwest of Victoria on Highway 89. From the first, the races were NHRA-sanctioned, being held on the first and third Sunday in 1962, then on the third Sunday in 1963. The races were sponsored by the Rod Benders car club. The first race may have been held on July 15, 1962. The next Sunday the track featured a match race between Bobby Langley and the Nix Brothers & Bale fuel dragster from Dallas. Other big name racers who ran at Six Flags in its early years of operation included Eddie Hill and young Don Gay. The track record holder in 1963 was Vance Hunt at 204 MPH. Gilbert Kupfernagel bought out the other shareholders in 1965 and became the strip manager. They held races once monthly from April through November. In 1966, eight races drew a total of 780 cars and 10,454 spectators. In 1966, Billy Plemons was the starter and Godfred Berger was the announcer.  In 1968 G.A. Kupfernagel purchased the property which had been used for drag racing, and named it Six Flags Raceway Park.  In 1971, the track was called Victoria Drag Raceway. The AHRA Southern Regional Drag Races were held at Victoria on May 13-14, 1972.  In 1973 Kupfernagel sold the land and equipment to John Clegg.  The name was changed to Golden Crescent Raceway Park in 1974. In 1975, the name reverted to Six Flags Dragway, operated by Ronnie Benes and John Clegg. That appears to be the last year the track was open, the land being sold for industrial development. Aloe Army Air Field was built in 1943, then it was turned over to civilian use after the war.
 
 
 
 
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July 15, 1962
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CLICK HERE to see 8mm video footage of Six Flags  Dragway, 1:30 minutes, film shot by Royce Miller, no sound/music only
June 20, 1971
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March 24, 1961
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Drag Strip marked on 1962 ​ topo map
1996 aerial view of the former site of Stracener's Drag Strip

Sunland Dragway (El Paso)

  • Years of Operation: 1961-63
  • Status:  4
 
El Paso's Westside Airport was converted into an NHRA-sanctioned drag strip. It was 3,800 feet long and 63 feet wide. It was initially built as a private airport in 1959, called Cristo Rey Airport, located near Sunland Park horse race track. In February 1960 it was taken over by Uranga Development Corp and its name changed to Westside Airport. But its life was very short-lived because it couldn't compete with the nearby El Paso International Airport. That airport was undergoing a massive building program, subsidized with federal monies. So Westside Airport called it quits. The drag strip was associated with Red River Dragways Inc. of Morehead, Minnesota, with George Holland at the helm as president. Al Goodwin was appointed to be the strip manager. Buildings at the airport were to be converted into concession stands and housing for cars. They scheduled races for the first and third Sundays so that there would be no conflict with the Ascarate drag strip. The strip was scheduled to open for racing on September 3, 1961. It was listed as an NHRA track in the June 1961 issue of Car Craft magazine as running on the second and fourth Sundays, with races conducted by the El Paso Timing Association.  Although the track's bread and butter lay in the sportsman classes and Super Stock racing, they did pull in occasional feature races. Eddie Hill set a new track record with a speed of 169 MPH on January 13, 1963, before 1,000 spectators. On February 10, 1963, three top fuel dragsters were on the program: Eddie Hill, George Brazil, and Jimmy Nix. On March 10, 1963, they featured a match race between two A fuel dragsters including Ed Mabry, the Texas State champion. On June 9, 1963, Bob Smith drove "The Untouchable" jet car built by Romeo Palimedes.
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April 14, 1963
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May 11, 1963
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February 25, 1962
March 10, 1963
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CLICK HERE to see 8mm video footage of Sunland Dragway, 4 minutes, no sound/music only
This 1970 drawing shows the old drag strip, then called Sunland Airpark southwest of the horse race track
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1991 aerial view of the site of Sunland Dragway, adjacent to and just south of today's Appaloosa Drive

Sweetwater "Drag Strip"

  • Years of Operation: 1958
  • Status:  Exact location unknown
 
There were reportedly drag races in or near Sweetwater in March 1958. It may have been held at Avenger Field, the old World War II Army Airfield, located three miles west of the city.  More research is needed.
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Tawakoni Speed Bowl (Lone Oak)

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  • Years of Operation: 1967
  • Status:  4

The only information research found about this drag strip is from  newspaper advertisements. The location is betweenf Point and East Tawakoni, Texas, on FM 2737. James Northcutt was the owner.  The first race was held on April 2, 1967. More research is needed.
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April 2, 1967
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April 16, 1967
1995 aerial view of probable site of former Tawakoni Speed Bowl, at an angle just west of FM-2737
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1995 aerial view of the possible site of the old Gravel Bowl Speedway

Temple Drag Strip/Little River Dragway (Academy)

  • Years of Operation: 1958-present

Jesse Schrader raced at Temple Drag Strip in 1959, but newspaper ads for a race on August 24 and September 14, 1958, have been uncovered, Schrader remembered that Jimmy Robinson  rented the drag strip from Jerry Tomastik, who owned the land. The drag strip ran on what was the old highway, just west of the new highway. When Tomastik saw how successful the racing operation was, he ran Robinson off and began running the drag strip program himself. In spring 1961, the strip was given a new coating of black top. The Temple Drag Strip held its first race under that name on January 21, 1962. Ads during that year said it was on the Taylor Highway and had "plenty of shade." At times in those early years, it was called Temple Academy Drag Strip. Jerry Tomastik was the owner-operator in the 1960s and 1970s. ( Read Jesse Schrader's recollections of early racing at Temple Drag Strip in Memories )
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August 24, 1958
CLICK HERE to see video footage of Little River Dragway nostalgia event, 4 minutes

Texas City "Drag Strip"

  • Years of Operation: 1953
  • Status:  Exact location unknown

A Galveston car racing club scheduled its first drag race on June 14, 1953, at a police-sponsored "drag strip" in Texas City. Further research is needed about this event and locale.
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Texas World Speedway (College Station)

  • Years of Operation: 1973, 2015-17

An NHRA-sanctioned 1/8th-mile race was held on July 29, 1973, with a $2,000 purse. Classes included modified production, super stock, and E.T. brackets. Eddie Conrad took the modified production class in his '67 Chevelle and Mike Brumbelow won the super stock title. Five thousand spectators was deemed sufficient to warrant the track holding a second drag race on August 26. In a special match race between two fuel-buring dragsters, the Watsn Brothers and Love Chrysler-powered dragster defeated the Potts and Petty Chevrolet-powered dragster. In the August 26 race, Lee Shepherd defeated Chris Lawrence, each driver setting nationals records in their respective classes. Bill Marvel, the speedway general manager, leased the speedway to John Adam and Edward Blackmon to promote a September 16 drag race. That race only attracted sixty cars and a disappointing crowd of only 600 people. Eddie Conrad took the modified eliminator title, but the poor turnout caused the speedway to schedule no further drag racing in 1973 nor in any future year. But in 2015, drag racing on a local basis was begun again at the speedway.
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 July 29, 1973

Texoma Dragstrip (Whitesboro)

  • Years of Operation: 1964-67
  • Status:  5

This NHRA-sanctioned strip opened on Sunday, November 1, 1964, running only stockers and gassers. It was located 2.5 miles west of Whitesboro and one mile north of Highway 82. It was co-owned by Bob Garvin and Homer Brookshear. The Whitesboro Auto Club helped conduct the every-Sunday races. The strip was one half mile in length and forty feet wide. Spectators weren't permitted closer than fifty feet to the race track. On February 14, 1965, 650 spectators watched the racing. In its first year of operation, the strip averaged between 400 and 700 spectators and 50 to 75 cars competing. Research hasn't uncovered any information about the strip after 1967. Jerry Sewell operated the track in 1967.
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November 1, 1964

Tradewind Airport (Amarillo)

  • Years of Operation: 1954-57
  • Status:  5

The Texas Panhandle Timing Association held a quarter-mile drag race at this airport on October 10, 1954. It was pitched as the Southwestern and Rocky Mountain Championship Drag Races. Several thousand people paid a $1 admission to watch 76 cars and 50 motorcycles compete. A Model B Ford roadster clocked 112 miles per hour, the top speed of the event. The crowd was enthusiastic about the racing and it was hoped that a permanent drag strip could be established in Amarillo. The race was sanctioned by the NHRA and American Motorcycle Association. Timing equipment was supplied by the Chaparral Roadster Club of Dallas. Two racing events were held in 1954 and three in 1955. In 1955, they held a two-day Southwest and Rocky Mountain Championship Drag Race on September 24-25. At that race, Jack Moss set the top speed track record of 138 MPH in his "Ramblin' Ram" dragster. In 1956, the Southwest and Rocky Mountain Championship race was held on August 19, drawing a competitive field of cars traveling to the NHRA national championship races being held in Kansas City. On July 20-21, 1957, the airport hosted the third annual NHRA Southwestern Regional Championships. The final elimination run between Dannie Rightsell of Pampa and Joe Williams of Amarillo couldn't be held because of rain. The fastest time of the meet was turned in by Lee Christian of Lubbock at 125.34 MPH. There were an estimated 2,000 spectators. The airport, specifically located south of Pampa on the west side of Highway 70 on the Clarendon Highway, was formerly the Pampa Auxiliary Army Air Field No. 2 (or Reeves Field). It was 200 feet wide and had three 4,200 foot long asphalt runways. The air field is now farmed, but can still be discerned in aerial photos. Trying to determine the exact location of the airport is confusing because 1957 newspaper articles stated that the regional race was being held at Tradewind Airport (which is 3 miles southeast of Amarillo), while also stating that the race would take place four miles south of Pampa at the old auxiliary field (which was actually 6 miles south of Pampa). Links to see both locations are given below.
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1955
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Tye Air Base (Abilene)

  • Years of Operation: 1960-63
  • Status:  5

Semi-monthly drag races were co-sponsored by the Dyess Air Force Base and the Abilene Jaycees. They were held on a runway at the old Tye Air Base, located on FM 707, west of the Dyess Air Force Base, which was about seven miles southwest of Abilene. It was accessible from Highway 80 west of South 14th Street. The races began being held in early 1960 (at least by March 27), or possibly before. By August, races were being held monthly on the third Sunday under NHRA sanction. The races were sponsored by the Abilene Jaycees. Trophies and savings bonds were awarded to class winners in stock, modified stock, and gas classes. On November 20, 1960, Eddie Hill was the featured racer in his record-holding dragster. At that time, races were being conducted by the Key City Timing Association. The Key City Saints, the car club that formerly raced at Abilene Municipal Airport, raced here. In 1961 and 1962, ads referred to it as the Jaycee Drag Strip, while Hot Rod called it the Abilene Dragstrip. It may have operated before 1960 because it was listed as an "inactive strip" in the 1959 NHRA Drag Strip Guide in Division 4.
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August 20, 1961
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1996 aerial view of Val Verde County Airport

Waldron Air Field (Corpus Christi)

  • Years of Operation: 1954
  • Status:  5

The South Texas Timing Association was started in the spring of 1954.  They held a couple of drag races at Waldron Field near Corpus Christi.  Each race drew about 100 competitors and 1000 spectators. They rented timing equipment from the Automobile Timing Association of America, based in Chicago. They had 23 classes for cars and 7 motorcycle classes. They hoped to purchase their own timing equipment and find a permanent drag strip in the area.  At a 2-day drag race on September 4-5, 1954, they drew 200 entrants from Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. It was a benefit race for the Civil Air Patrol at Waldron Field. They had a beach party on Padre Island with dancing and a floor show to entertain the racers and their families. The race on October 24, 1954, was sponsored by the Texas State Guard Battalion to raise funds for their group. The South Texas Timing Association had planned a two-day drag race to be held on April 23-24, 1955, in conjunction with the annual Navy Relief Festival. They had even made arrangements for Miss America to present trophies to the winners, but shortly before the event the Navy Department in Washington turned down their request without giving a reason.
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June 19, 1976
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CLICK HERE to see video footage of San Angelo Dragway in 2010, 1 minute
1996 aerial view of San Angelo Dragway, the track running in a southwesterly to northeasterly direction

Webb Air Force Base (Big Spring)

  • Years of Operation: 1954, 1956-58, 1968
  • Status:  5

Webb Air Force Base, located in Big Spring, Texas, wanted to sponsor a drag strip on the base and hold races every other Sunday. They planned to hold the first race in mid-April 1954 on the north side of the field. More research is needed to confirm that racing began at that time. On December 30, 1956, the Big Spring Timing Association conducted their first drag race on the northwest corner of the base. The Timing Association conducted the race under NHRA and Automobile Timing Association of America rules, hoping to be affiliated in the future with those organizations. 2,400 spectators watched the races. A drag race was next held on March 31, 1957, with $1 charged for general admission. Trophies were awarded to twenty-six class winners. An estimated 1,500 people watched the racing. The races were held monthly, with assistance from the Big Spring Lions Club. They had a new timing stand for their race on June 30, 1957. Erle Thompson of Hale Center won top eliminator on August 25, 1957. Six hundred spectators watched 94 entries. On September 29, 1957, insurance rate increases caused Webb AFB to have that be the final race where exotic fuels were permitted in racing. The track record prior to that final race where fuel was permitted was held by Lee Christian of Lubbock with a speed of 125.10 MPH. Erle Thompson of Hale Center took Top Eliminator with his B Open Gas car with a speed of 113.62 MPH. Races were held monthly in 1958 with the Aces and Tappet Tickets car clubs helping the Big Spring Timing Association conduct the races. The races had been profitable and the Timing Association was still focusing on building a Teen-Age Park in which they wanted to have a regular drag strip (not an airport strip). The Timing Association found themselves without a drag strip in 1959 due to the fact that the air base  re-activated the runway they had used for drag racing. A Big Spring Drag Strip was listed in a listing of U.S. drag strips in 1968 published in an
issue of the Swedish magazine Start & Strip.
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1968
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Whitehouse Drag Strip, 1971​ topo map

Winnsboro Drag Strip/East Texas Speedway

  • Years of Operation: 1956-59, 1963-66
  • Status:  Exact location unknown

Drag races were held at this drag strip at least as early as May 1956. It was located about two miles southeast of Winnsboro, about a mile off the Perryville road (Highway 852) on what is known as the Old Tram Road. Races were held every Sunday. When the strip reopened on April 7, 1957, newspaper ads called it the East Texas Speedway. The October 11, 1959 race advertised that a Chrysler-powered altered coupe that had been clocked at 143 MPH would run at the strip.  A gap in the documentary record makes it difficult to say if the strip operated from 1960 to 1963. However a September 1963 ad stated that the strip was rebuilt and would be open for racing every Sunday.  They were awarding trophies for class winners and a cash prize for top eliminator. Newspaper ads for the drag strip in 1965-66 used the catchy copy "Don't stay home and fuss with your wife, bring her out to the Winnsboro Drag Strip."
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1957
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1965
1963
1996 aerial view of two possible locations of the Winnsboro Drag Strip, the location on the upper right being the more likely

Yello Belly Drag Strip ​​​​(Grand Prairie)

  • Years of Operation: 1955-present

This race track's website dates its first races to 1955, built by an eccentric millionaire, O. L. Nelms. Located in Grand Prairie (near Iriving), it has served as a drag race venue for the Dallas area for seven decades. It also has an unenviable reputation as the drag strip in Texas with the deadliest record. At least seven  drag race drivers have lost their lives here. The first who died was James Goodson, but his death was due to natural causes. He was able to stop his car near the end of the track before collapsing with a heart attack on September 15, 1957. From its early years, the drag strip promoted amateur and family racing. At one race in 1957, a racer challenged all comers in his 1941 Chevrolet. The jalopy had no body at all--just a seat and gas tank. Mrs. Billie West, a frequent racer, often let her three young children ride with her. It was especially entertaining to spectators when she raced her husband. To add a touch of color to the program, all the track help from announcers to starters to timers, were beautiful young girls wearing shorts or pedal pushers. In December 1958, Edward Walker brought suit against the track for allegedly being negligent in causing him to crash while racing his 1951 Ford pickup on August 7, 1958. He claimed that he hit a chuckhole which he didn't see because of poor lighting on the strip. In the resulting crash he broke his neck and received spinal injuries which resulted in his paralysis. On August 19, 1962, police made fifteen arrests in a raid on the Sunday night race.  Among the charges of those arrested were indecent exposure, illegal possession of alcohol, interfering with a police officer, and gambling. Three months before, a track security officer was jumped by several men, beaten, and his gun taken away.  In addition to driver deaths, there have been deaths to spectators. On June 10, 1979, four people were killed and six injured when a 1967 Camaro driven by D. C. Thomas went out of control and plowed into a group of people watching the races. They had been standing in a prohibited area. One eyewitness to the crash said the announcer had repeatedly warned people to stay off the strip. He said, "They would get off the track, then they would hop back on after each race. One time the guy who runs the starting light ran down there and told them to get off the track."  The track's website offers additional and more recent history:  "During the 1960’s, racial tension at that period in history became a concern. This prompted Nelms to build steel structures along each side of the track with a metal roof and dock-high foundations, which could easily become warehouses if the track were forced to close. That never happened and Yello Belly Drag Strip exists as the oldest continuously operating drag strip in Texas and the only known drag strip with covered spectator areas where one can park a car at covered trackside and watch the races. In 1968 a young entrepreneur, Charlcie Townson, bought the property and began making improvements. She constructed a control tower with a public address system and start-to-finish lights, a lighted ticket booth, restrooms, a concession stand and parking lot lighting. Closing at dark, not much lighting was needed. Admission was increased to only $l.00 per person, but many still congregated on the highway where they could partially view the races for free. Ms. Townson personally operated the track until shortly before her death in 1986, at which time four of her sisters inherited the property and have continued to update with other amenities. The track has been re-paved a number of times and a protective concrete barrier added at each side. New aluminum bleachers have been installed, along with a pro-tree lighting and timing system which is constantly being upgraded and utilizes a computer, timing the races to one-thousandth of a second and providing a printed time sheet to each driver. Racing fuel is available on the premises. Due to safety concerns, law enforcement required the placement of an 18-foot high wall shielding Highway 180 which runs in front of the track. In 2004 complete metal siding replaced the aging brick façade of the building which houses the concession, the racing fuel, and equipment storage."
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1958
CLICK HERE to see video footage of Texas Nostalgia Nationals at Yello Belly on May 15, 2010, 6 minutes
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