Ready, set, go!Published 10:47pm Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Bright lights are once again coming to the Atmore Dragway.
After being closed for more than three years, the racetrack is undergoing a $1 million renovation that will take about another 30 to 60 days, said Gary Moore, leaser of the track and owner of Mobile Dragway.
Moore, who has run the Mobile track for 18 years was approached by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians about leasing the track eight or nine months ago.
“You can’t run really, really fast cars at the track in Mobile because it’s too short,” he said. “This track is 1,000 feet longer.”
The track measures 2,800 feet long and at 60 feet wide, is 23 feet wider than the Mobile track.
The track’s length makes it ideal for bracket racing, where cars get a stuttered start so that the skill of the driver is on display. The organized bracket racing will take place on Saturday nights in various divisions including no/box and superpro or electronics class.
The track will also have a division for younger drivers called junior dragsters, which start at age 8.
“They are bad to the bone,” Moore said of the juniors. “Half of them are girls.”
The $1 million renovation includes 40 to 50 new light poles with two 1,500-watt bulbs around the 1/8-mile track and parking lot.
“It is brighter than the 4th of July in the middle of the day,” Moore said.
A new drainage system was added as was new concrete and asphalt for the racing surface. The surface will match International Hot Rod Association specifications.
Crews have added a new equipment building and cleaned the existing stands.
Moore said he’s excited about the track’s new life.
“It’s going to be unbelievable,” he said. “With my following and the history of this track and its location, the marketing on this thing is going to be easy.”
He said he expects to draw racers and race fans from as far as 150 miles away to the track once it opens. This includes parts of Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle.