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


Back and Better Than Ever

Immokalee Regional Raceway ’ s promising future inspires support for new points fund 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
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