Slick track impacts August drag races

Nathan Oster

Cloud Peak Drags organizers were pleased with the car count and turnout for their August races, but not so much with the resurfaced crosswind runway that doubles as their drag strip at the South Big Horn County Airport.

Saturday's event attracted approximately 60 cars and trucks. Cloud Peak Drags estimated the turnout at around 400, with 330 of them paying the admission fee and kids 12 and under, who got in free, accounting for the rest.

The racing organization has had better seasons.  Inclement weather impacted the first two dates on this year's schedule.  While the May races went on, the June get-together had to be cancelled, wiping away what's normally the biggest event of the season.

This time, the weather was perfect, but the track was not.  Big Horn County resurfaced the runway earlier this summer. The sealer that was used contained a substance that "made it slicker than heck," said Kip McIntosh of Cloud Peak Drags.

"We figured as the day wore on and cars went down it, it would get better, but the opposite was true.  Toward afternoon, with the sun beating directly on it, the surface got worse.  We were really disappointed it didn't work out better."

"What they did might have been good for airplanes, but it wasn't good for drag racing."

McIntosh said he may approach the airport board and/or manager to request a sweeper be run over it.

Despite the slick track, McIntosh said, "We still had a lot of fun racing.  We just had to adapt.  We couldn't give it full throttle off the bat, just had to ease into it.  Once you got going, you could put the petal to the medal."

The fourth and final drag racing event of the season is scheduled for Sept. 16.

"We'll still have that race, but a lot of drivers told us if we don't get something figured out, they won't be coming back," said McIntosh.


Scholarship awarded

Cloud Peak Drags is awarding $1,500 in scholarship money for the 2023-24 school year.

The recipient of the first installment of that funding will be Ashley Asay of Byron.  A recent high school graduate, Ashley will attend Northwest College, where she intends to study welding.

McIntosh said all graduating seniors in the Big Horn Basin who plan to attend a Wyoming college or trade school and pursue a career in the automotive field are eligible to apply for the scholarship.