George Rays Wildcat Dragstrip
On September 22nd, 2002 We made the 4 1/2 hour trip to Paragould, Arkansas to Visit and Race at George Rays. George Rays is one of only 2 remaining True Outlaw Dragstrips in the country. It was built in 1961 and still operates every Sunday to this day. For the $7 fee at the gate its well worth it seeing as racing is free and heck even the concessions are cheap.
Here is the entrance to the strip and yes if you look to the left that is George Rays house. This strip is basically in his backyard and surrounded by fields.
Here are a few pics of the entrance to the track, the track itself and the sign you see every time before you run that says "RUN AT YOUR OWN RISK". Also note the announcer booth and grandstands, they look weak but are very sturdy. Not to mention you have to go up there to get your paper if you won your class. This is not an NHRA approved track and there isn't a safety crew to come get you at the other end. Luckily we didn't see anyone get hurt but with how slick that track can be and how fast some of the cars go I was worried.
These are pictures of the guys we came down with. They have relatives in the area and some personally know George Ray. These shots were taken before the place was even open to the general public. Note there is no one offical looking there at the starting line. We were staging everyone up and flagging ourselves. This track may look shoddy but after a few passes you learn to drive it and after the big boys lay down enough VHT Track Bite to use on 12 tracks it hooks like mad even on street tires. My car made its best street tire pass 1/8 mile with a 8.41.
And there is George Ray himself in his "Oldsmobile". He was kind enough to take our friends mother for a exciting pass down the 1/8th mile in that lil buggy. and for being so small that stock 455 really screams down the track. George is a great guy, jokes around with everyone and you cant help but smile when he walks up. But don't let him fool you for being in his 80's he will lay down the law if anyone gets out of line.
Here are some shots from the pits and the track. These boys don't mess around with some cars making low 5sec 1/8 mile passes, multiple cars hanging the front wheels off the line, and a few scary time when cars got out of control.
All said and done its a place you cant describe and neither pictures nor video does this place justice.