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Rev your engines
Drag racing season is here
new re drag races  web
It is that time of year again for drag racing at the Great Bend Expo Complex and drivers and fans are gearing up for the fun.

Friday Gates open 6 p.m.
Test and Tune 7:30 to 11 p.m.
Back of the staging lanes close at 11 p.m.
Tech cards are not sold after 9 p.m.
Admission is $5 per person and children 12 and under are free with paid adult.

Gamblers Race
$25 Entry with 75 percent payout. Gambler Races are listed on the schedule.

Saturday Gates open at noon
Time trials at 2 p.m.
Admission is $8 per person and children 12 and under are free with paid adult.

14 – Horsepower on the Plains – Car Show – Dyno – Flashlight Drags
27 – Test and Tune
28 – NHRA Summit Points Race 3

2–5 – NHRA Lucas Oil Division 5 Race 1
4-5 -Great Bend June Jaunt
24 - Test and Tune
25 - NHRA Summit Points Race 4

14 – Rocky Mountain Race Week
16 – Sammy Matthews Play Day Drags and Charity fund raiser

5 – Test and Tune
6 – NHRA Summit Points Race 5 – Rocky Mountain Superchargers Event
13 – Great Bend Party in the Park
26 - Test and Tune & Gamblers Race
27 - NHRA Summit Points Race 6
NHRA National Dragster Challenge
NHRA Summit JR Dragster Challenge

2 – Test and Tune
3 – NHRA Summit Points Race 7
10 – Pontiac Uprising
30 – Test and Tune and Gamblers Race
Oct. 1 – NHRA Summit Points Race 8
NHRA King of the Track

14 – Test and Tune & Gamblers Race
15 – NHRA Summit
28 – Test and Tune
29 – NHRA Summit Points Race 10

5 – SRCA Awards Banquet
Schedule is subject to change so check back prior to event.

Spring brings many activities to the local community and one of these activities involves fast cars, a drag strip and plenty of loud engines. That’s right, drag racing is back in Great Bend with many events coming to the Great Bend Expo Complex.
“This will be a great year at the drag strip,” Vise-President of Sunflower Rod and Custom Association Arlen Werth said. “Besides our regular bracket races, we will have the Lucas Oil Division 5 Race along with a street race.”
The street race will take drivers back to the old days, where drivers will challenge each other to a race. This will not be a timed event but rather the race will be started with a flashlight and the fastest car wins.
“This race is to keep people off the streets from racing and it also takes racing back to its roots,” Werth said. “I think everyone that had a hot rod drag raced on the streets at one time or another and this race is designed to take these drivers back to those days.”
People that are interested in this race can race any street car that they think is fast.

History of SRCA
According to SRCA, the City of Great Bend acquired the B-29 Army Air Force Base from the military after it was declared surplus in 1946.
The first race was held May 12, 1953. SRCA was formed Jan. 19, 1954 and joined the National Hot Rod Association in April 1955.
“There was 16 guys from the community that started SRCA and to help supervise the races here in Great Bend,” Werth said. “This started in 1953 and lasted until 1972.”
The Great Bend Chamber of Commerce on behalf of SRCA wrote a letter to Wally Parks requesting that Great Bend be the site for the first national event. NHRA said yes and this race would establish the official acceleration records for stand and start quarter mile racing.
The first nationals started with 219 cars and 15,000 spectators.
Art Chrisman ran 146.16 MPH and Lloyd Scott set a new speed record for American drag racing at 151 MPH.
In 1956, the one year old AHRA said they would like to have their first National event at Great Bend on the 8000 foot long track and did so until 1959.
Don Garlits won his first national title in 1958 driving Swamp Rat and Chris Karamesines won over Eddie Hill in 1959. In 1960 the President of AHRA moved the event to Kansas City International Raceway.
The club ran races after that and as time went on they slowly fell away from running the track and disbanded.
In 1993 the club reorganized and went back to the original name of Sunflower Rod and Custom Association.
“Me and a few other guys got together and started up the club again to keep racing in this area,” Werth said. “There was rumors around town that the strip would be closed or even moved, so we had to do something to keep it alive.”
They did this to help in maintaining the track. It was pursued to have it recognized as a Kansas Historical Site and in 1994 was successful.
At the same time the track went back to its original name of SRCA Dragstrip, for which it is registered.
The facility is now eligible to be registered nationally.
In 2000 the track was resurfaced with a grant from KDOT. In 2003 a new Compu-Link timing system was installed with new timing scoreboards.
That same year a new concession stand with showers was also built and in 2010 a new tower with a meeting room was constructed and 1320 go live timing was installed.
For more information about the races visit