Drag Illustrated Issue 175, March / April 2022 - Page 71

DIALED IN

Back and Better Than Ever

Immokalee Regional Raceway ’ s promising future inspires support for new points fund By Van Abernethy
PHOTOGRAPHS BY VAN ABERNETHY

Immokalee Regional Raceway has always been blessed with strong support from racers and local businesses that love the track ’ s unique location on Florida ’ s Gulf Coast region and wants to see it thrive . The most recent evidence of this fact was a swell of support to fund a robust points fund for the 2022 race season . The rally of support came just after the track was reopened after surviving its latest hurdle : a complete renovation and moving of the facility .

In early 2020 , the neighboring airport , which owns the land on which the track is leased , made it clear that the raceway would have to relocate a short distance downtrack so the airport could complete an expansion project . Track owner Ralph Hester wanted the decades-old dragstrip that he founded to remain , so he agreed to the airport ’ s ultimatum : relocate or shut down .
After the painstaking renovation , the track reopened in spectacular condition , including a brand-new concrete racing surface , new scoreboards
and a new timing system , with new components in every direction . That ’ s when the rally of support once again showed up in full force .
“ After we got the track reopened there were so many people who came to me and asked what they could do to help , so I told them the track was in need of a good points fund ,” says Hester .
A swell of support soon followed and $ 60,000 was promptly raised from local businesses and racers to support the points fund .
“ We ’ re going to split it up by giving $ 10,000
March / April 2022
DragIllustrated . com | Drag Illustrated | 71