XENIA — Racing fans who may be missing the drag racers of long ago can breathe a little easier, or at least they can breathe in some fumes and burning tire rubber, as the 10th annual Gathering of the Geezers old-time drag racing reunion will convene once again at Kil-Kare Dragway.
According to the online schedule, Kil-Kare’s spectator gates are set to open at 8 a.m. with time trial runs starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18. The first head-to-head battles among drag racers in cars from 1987 or older will start at 2:30 p.m.
“We won’t start any engines until 10 o’clock, because we wanna respect our neighbors,” event organizer Ed Crowder said on Thursday. “…by around 1 o’clock we will introduce our Hall of Fame class for this year, racing will probably start at around 2:30, then by about 3 or so we’ll recognize the Top-50 show cars at the track.
“We’ll race all afternoon, then by about 5 o’clock we will have a burnout contest. Soon after that, we’ll be providing race car rides.”
For obvious safety reasons, drivers must drive their drag racers for 14-second or slower passes during the race car rides portion of the day’s fun.
Trophies and 50 Lowes Goodie Baskets, filled with various coupons and swag from area businesses, will go to the top 50 show car winners. Crowder has a panel of judges who will determine the recipients. A swap meet, and the Buckeye Stock and Super Stock Drag Racing Series will also take place.
A Top Eliminator racing category, featuring Nostalgia, Modified, Street and Street Rod racing divisions will be contested with the winner earning two tickets to the NHRA U.S. Nationals, which will run Aug. 29-Sept. 3, at Lucas Oil Raceway in Clermont, Ind. just west of Indianapolis.
Crowder says a “Grandpa Eliminator” class, with cars dated 1987 or older, will award $350 to the winner, $150 to the runner-up and $25 bucks for the semifinalists.
“It’ll be a great time,” he said. “Last year, we had over 2,000 paid spectators with more than 500 participants. We do pretty good. I just hope the weather holds off for us.”
Competitors must compete under NHRA rules. Helmets and safety belts must pass inspection prior to racing. No electronics are allowed.
The rain date for the event will be Sunday, Aug. 19, with the same schedule of events. Visit kilkare.com for more details.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.