Beacon Dragway in Paducah, Kentucky, is the newest addition to the NHRA member-track roster.
The track is being reopened by Top Fuel driver Keith Murt, who operates Murtco Inc., the leading mechanical and underground utility contractor in western Kentucky, and Blain Grow, both of whom are lifelong developers in the area.
Major renovation to the property began last fall and will be completed before the spring opening. Test 'n' tune and fun and grudge racing is being scheduled on Thursday nights and the track’s points-racing series on Saturday nights, and a number of special events are planned throughout the season.
New concrete starting-line pads have been installed, the racing surface has been repaved, a new tower has been erected, and new track lighting, TSI computer timing system, and scoreboards are being installed.
The airpark office is being remodeled as a hospitality center, and one of the hangars is being renovated into an eat-in or carryout concession complex. Fans will enjoy viewing from pitside elevated grandstands, and extensive paving of additional pit parking is scheduled for completion as soon as weather permits.
The track is at Grow Airpark, originally the site of McCracken County Drag Strip, which operated from 1969 to 1974. It was operated as Western Kentucky Dragway (1974-76) before being converted to Grow Airpark, which is adjacent to Paducah Int'l Raceway.
“We are excited to work with Keith Murt and the staff at Beacon Dragway in bringing fun and exciting drag racing events back to the Paducah area,” said NHRA Division Director Jay Hullinger. “The track will host the 10th race in the 25th silver-anniversary season of the JEGS NHRA Super Quick Series. We have a number of touring regulars in the series, many who reside in the western Kentucky area.”
The track will host the 2013 Kentucky State NHRA Drag Racing Championships, an event that travels around the state from year to year among NHRA member tracks.
In addition, the track will qualify drivers through its points series for the NHRA Summit Racing Series national and divisional championships as well as host the National Dragster Challenge, NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League Challenge, and Summit Racing NHRA King of the Track special events.