Great Bend to host Rocky Mountain Racer Week in Kansas

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The Great Bend Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Town of Great Bend, will host the dragsters in town this weekend during Rocky Mountain Race Week. The public is invited to a special welcome event at Jack Kilby Square from 4 p.m. on Friday, June 17.

This family event will bring the community together with runners as they kick off their annual race week in Great Bend with races starting on Saturday June 18th. The dragracers will have vehicles organized around Jack Kilby Square in downtown Great Bend for the public to view.

House Speaker Megan Barfield hopes the community will get involved this race week.

“We really encourage the community to come out and help make Great Bend a memorable and welcoming stopover for our out-of-town guests,” she said. “They cover hundreds of kilometers during their seven-day racing period. To have them start and stop at Great Bend is a huge win for the SRCA Dragstrip.

The Great Bend Chamber of Commerce and the Ambassador Club will also be in place from 4-8 p.m. serving popcorn and handing out special race week promotional books, while supplies last. Visit the drivers, check out their cars, greet the drivers, then shop downtown while taking advantage of special race season promotions.

The SRCA dragstrip has strong appeal for racers across the country and having the series in Great Bend bodes well for local businesses and hotels, said SRCA volunteer and local car enthusiast Chad Ehrlich. “Most of them (the riders) will arrive on the Friday before the event. We will start racing on Saturday and we won’t leave for the next track until Sunday.

Runners will return to Great Bend on Friday, June 24, with many staying overnight at local hotels. Ehrlich adds: “We have a great opportunity to show how awesome Great Bend is, how awesome our track is and the support our track has from the town of Great Bend, which a lot of people don’t. have not.”

More than 250 riders will make the trip to Great Bend for the first and seventh days of racing at the new SRCA Dragstrip located at 455 W. Barton County Road, Great Bend. The races will take place on Saturday June 18 and again on Friday June 24. Spectator tickets are available at the door for $15. Children 12 and under are free. Doors open at 9 a.m. The races start at 3 p.m. Visit rockymountainraceweek.com for a full schedule including stops in Colorado and Nebraska.

About Rocky Mountain Race Week

In the great tradition of Funny Car Summer, Two-Lane Blacktop and Hot Rod Magazine’s Drag Week, Rocky Mountain Race Week competition spans seven days and four racetracks. Competitors must drive their cars between tracks without the aid of support or pursuit vehicles. Multiple classes suit a wide variety of cars, from 6-second killers to rat rods and everything in between.

Rocky Mountain Race Week (RMRW) is the ultimate test of drag racers, who compete in quarter-mile strips every day for a week in Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas in mid-July .

Learn more and check out the schedule at http://www.rockymountainraceweek.com/. Follow them on Facebook at @rockymountainraceweek.

About the ARCS

The City of Great Bend acquired the Army Air Force Base B-29 after it was declared surplus in 1946. The first run was on May 12, 1953. The Sunflower Rod and Custom Association (SRCA) was formed on January 19, 1954. and joined the NHRA in April 1955.

The Great Bend Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of the SRCA, wrote a letter to Wally Parks requesting that Great Bend be the site of the first national event. The NHRA said yes and this race would set the official acceleration records for standing and starting quarter mile races.

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 year-old AHRA said they would like to hold their first national event at Great Bend on the 8,000 foot long track and did so until 1959. In 1960 the AHRA president has moved the event to Kansas City International. Hippodrome.

The club held races after that and over time they slowly drifted away from the track and dissolved. In 1993 the club reorganized and reverted to the original name Sunflower Rod and Custom Association. They did this to help maintain the trail. He was sued to have it recognized as a Kansas Historic Landmark and in 1994 he was successful. At the same time, the track reverted to its original name of SRCA Dragstrip, for which it is recorded. The establishment is now eligible for national registration.

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