The Data Logger
News & Views on Drag Racing in the Northeast
NE No-Time, Modena, Calverton
July 9, 2021
by Neil Van Zile
New England No Time
Just a couple of quick thoughts on the recent New England No-Time race. Northeast Drag News was not able to attend this time, but we heard enough from a few of those who did attend to make the following comments…
1. It’s time for the New England No Time races to be stand-alone events. Having other eliminators run that day may have made sense in the past, but the NENT races have grown into well-attended events that can stand on their own.
2. Mikel Miranda has proven that not only is he a good race promoter, by all accounts he is a damn fine race announcer too.
Scrambul Runway Challenge at EPCAL in Calverton, NY
Enterprise Park at Calverton (EPCAL) is an old airstrip originally built by Grumman in Riverhead, Long Island, NY. The facility features two runways, one 7,000 feet long and the other 10,000 feet. A group made up of Scrambul Racing Events and Motorsports Management Group has successfully applied to use of the facility later this year in a drag racing and speed trial event called The Scrambul Runway Challenge at EPCAL. There will be 1/4 mile and 1/8 mile drag racing on the 10,000-foot runway, and a half-mile speed run track on the 7,000-foot runway.
But if you don’t have tickets, don’t plan on going. They have already sold out for the racing entries AND the spectator tickets.
Two additional updates to this story:
- The NHRA announced that this is now a Member Track. We are not completely sure how that will work for the NHRA or the track, but it certainly will help put the facility on the map. You can read the official NHRA press release here.
- The first event for Calverton was planned to be in June. They have now postponed that event to September 25-26, 2021.
The local Riverhead New Review has a good article about the event online.
Independence Showdown at Maple Grove
A pair of young guns from New England did pretty well at the Independence Showdown at Maple Grove Raceway this past weekend. Both Brandon Karaguezian and Kyle Murray made it to the semi-finals, earning some of the payout money in the process. Nice jobs, guys.
The Mr. Boston dragster is for sale
The old Mr. Boston top fuel dragster is for sale. Originally owned by Dick Lahie, this car has a great history. The Mahan family has owned the car since it was last raced and had it on display in their store for many years. If you are interested or have questions contact Chris at (781) 913-3058.
NE Drag News had a chance to speak with one of the people involved with the proposed new 1/8 mile drag strip in Modena, NY this week. Neil Zimbaldi is an active racer in the Northeast Old Drag Racers and Musclecar Association (NODRAMA). He lives in Modena and is actively involved in helping to make that track a reality. He gave us some of the details about the proposed drag strip and we want to share that here.
The proposed track is located on a 65-acre lot that is zoned for business and currently is the site of an auto paint shop. The land abuts the New York Thruway on one side and its neighbors include the town’s waste transfer station, an auto junk yard, and a small, but relatively active airport. The plan is for a 1400-foot track to run street-legal cars in the 1/8 mile with 740 feet of shutdown.
At this time the owner is awaiting a hearing on a variance that would allow him to relocate the proposed track 115 feet to avoid disturbing wetlands and animal habitats. Even without that variance, the track could be built, but it would have to be 115 feet shorter, leaving only 665 feet for shutdown.
In an effort to avoid the tag of being an “outlaw track,” the American Hot Rod Association (AHRA) has come forward to offer the track support and a sanction.
The reality is that, even with the support of local residents, this project will take at least a year to come to life. Anyone who lives in a small town knows how slow the process of getting approvals from zoning and planning boards is. Of course, there is resistance, but given the location and current local zoning rules, there is a strong possibility that they will be successful in getting approval and the Modena Drag Strip could begin hosting events by 2023.
Modena, NY is located about ten miles west of Poughkeepsie and is 29 miles from the Connecticut border. While that is not officially in New England, and a little bit out of our jurisdiction, we are sure that when it opens it will attract a strong contingent of New England-based racers from Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Our fingers are crossed.