While Bristol Dragway is only a couple of hours away, and it’s the one place to see NHRA professional drag racing in Tennessee (the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals on June 15-17), I’m looking forward to seeing some local 1/8 mile drag racing. If you haven’t been in awhile or it’s your first time out to see a drag race, this is the place to start.
411 Dragway in Seymour had a change in ownership last year, and although their schedule for 2012 is not posted, there’s a Rat Rod Rumble that took place last year at the end of April that may get me out even earlier than their usual 5.70, 6.00 and 7.00 heads up classes, Mean Street, and Limited Street races.
In June of 2010, Maynardville’s Knoxville Dragway was renamed Knoxville Dragstrip, and Tommy and T.J. Harrill became the new track operators. Improvements to the track have included more lighting and barriers to the end of the track. With the improvements, the track is now sanctioned by the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA). They haven’t announced their 2012 schedule yet either, but in the past the track has featured Heads Up Big Tire, Small Tire, 4.70, 6.0, and 7.0 heads up, Quick 8, and Pro Mod racing.
Speaking of Pro Mods, they are a favorite of mine because of the different engine combinations and induction systems being used. Nitrous, superchargers, injectors—pretty much anything goes. It’s reminiscent of the old days of funny cars, where injected and supercharged cars ran together, and there were local hot shoes who weren’t about to let the touring pros take all the glory.