A Dodge Challenger SRT owned by Andrew Melchert
Rich Hulse of North Platte wants to bring old style competition drag racing to North Platte in early August, and he’s looking for a street to convert to a drag strip for about six hours.Hulse discussed his plans Monday with the Lincoln County Commissioners.
He said he first considered a section of Newberry Ave., but it is a state highway link, which makes it difficult to obtain clearance.
He is now considering Victoria Lane – a little used, relatively new street east of U.S. Highway 83. Victoria Lane runs nearly a mile from Walker Road to State Farm Road, through a once-planned residential development.
But Victoria Lane has a shortcoming – it is not long enough for a quarter-mile strip, which requires a long stretch to throttle down.
Hulse said it would work for an eighth-mile track.
Hulse asked the commissioners if they might know of a better place, and county Roads Superintendent Carla O’Dell said she would do some checking. However, most of the county roads are asphalt, O’Dell said, and asphalt could be heavily damaged by dragsters in the August heat.
Using part of the North Platte Regional Airport for a dragstrip was discussed, but Hulse said Homeland Security precautions pretty much rule it out.
Hulse is a retired locomotive engineer with 42 years at Union Pacific, with organizational experience through Community Connections, he told the board in a written prospectus.
He is also the coordinator of Mid West Mopars, a muscle car club headquartered in North Platte. The club currently has about 40 members, including a few from as far away as Cheyenne and Sidney.
Hulse said such events have a high ratio of return on investments, citing the success of the Sandhills Shootout and the Kearney Cruise. His goal is to develop the event into a Mopar-endorsed event in the future, which he said could attract hundreds of competitors from four states.
The first year, it would be strictly “old school,” with flagmen and head-up style racing – a simple, low-tech event with minimal rules and cost, but lots of fun, he said. He’d like to keep it that way in the future too.
“This is what people today want in this type of event,” he said.
Mopar is a line of high performance auto parts for Chrysler that has become virtually synonymous with muscle cars.
Hulse can be contacted through the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/1735831496705596.
The tentative date of the race would be Aug. 5 with a rain date of Aug. 6.