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Special thanks to Tom Posthuma and Brian Sodergren for the information on this.
Source: Jim Sodergren
When Nick Valente came up with the idea of a local dragstrip in Ishpeming, there were several of us that offered our time and whatever talent we had to make this a reality. The site he chose was good because it was flat (an old airstrip) and available. Originally it was to have a 1/2 mile oval along with a 1/4 dragstrip. More work had to be done to get the oval up and running so that part of his dream fell by the wayside early in the construction stages. If he would have positioned the drag strip differently (without the oval) the shutdown could have been longer and faster cars could have raced.
Those of us that had 11 second cars really had to get on the brakes hard to stop before hitting an IRON GATE! As time progressed we had a paved pit area, a paved return road, a set of bleachers for spectators and a 2 story timing tower. We started out with a flag man start and a stop watch finish, to a homemade "Christmas Tree" (out of an erector set) to a full Chrondek timing system. I can't remember if there was a concession stand or not. My 60 year old memory is failing me!
I do remember that it cost very little to race and the money we won barely paid for the gas, let alone if we broke something. Alot of people remember Sody (that's me) and my lil' yellow truck. There were times when I "dumped" the clutch that I didn't know which direction we would go! Thanks to Paul Kaminen we had her tuned & tweaked as far as we could. Lots of great memories shared by lots of great people. I still see Nick often and we still talk about those days. If only we could go back to those times!