Remembering . . .


North Carolina
Drag Strips

E. J. Potter, Farmington Dragway, circa 1969. Photographer unknown


  • Dunn-Benson Dragstrip, late 1950s
That drag strip was built after the Easy Street Drag Strip. The gentleman who built the Dunn-Benson strip initially was Dallas Parker. Dallas Parker was a racer out here at the Easy Street Drag Strip. That's how he became interested in a drag strip. He decided he would build his own, which is about seven miles from the Easy Street Drag Strip. He was an unusual gentleman in that he was a pretty unorthodox, uncontrolled individual. He was a pretty well-known Carolina bootlegger. He was really interested in racing. He liked fast cars. He decided he would build his own drag strip. Today that drag strip is still in existence. It is the GALOT Drag Strip. It changed hands several times from the time Dallas owned it. I think he owned it up until he passed away. I think Easy Street and the Dunn-Benson strips worked out something where they ran on alternate days so they didn't directly compete with each other. 
W. C. Williams,
telephone conversation with
Mel Bashore,  October 12, 2017
Front page of entire copy of issue of Dixie Drag News, May 2, 1963. graciously sent to ​DSL by W. C. Williams. The top photo shows Ralph Shaw at the wheel of Gene Hinson's 1963 Plymouth S/S at Easy Street. He had beaten Ronnie Sox in a match race on March 24, 1963, at Easy Street. Courtesy of W. C. Williams


  • Fairchild Field, ca. 1952-53
My aunt and uncle raced there. My stepdad would take me with him to go see them race. I was 10 or 11 years old at the time. This drag strip was at the old Fairchild Airport. It was beside the Armory across the street from the now abandoned Western Electric plant on Highway 70 North (North Church Street). The old airstrip is now the home of many businesses such as Walmart on Graham Hopedale Road.
Glenn Goss
  • Fairchild Field, ca. 1952-53
We have produced a documentary on Fairchild Field. It is on both Amazon Prime Video and Vimeo On-Demand as of June 21 since this is 65 years to the day of the first race at Fairchild.  We will have an on-screen premiere in Burlington’s historic Paramount Theater on August 18. Here are some photos that will hopefully be well received.

Chris Laforet
Photo from the Leslie Temple Collection. Courtesy of Chris Laforet
Courtesy of Chris Laforet
Courtesy of Chris Laforet
Photo from the Herb Kluttz Collection. Courtesy of Chris Laforet
"This is a color BTS photo we shot for historic value when we did our reenactments at Piedmont Drag Strip (since there is no Fairchild any longer).  Featured is Leonard Wolf, the original starter for the Carolina Roadrunners at Fairchild, at the ripe young age of 91."  Courtesy of Chris Laforet


  • Columbus County Drag Strip
Lyles did run there many times. So did Sox and Martin. Joe McLamb, Jr. ran the place. They used to use a flag to start races. It was 1/4-mile. It was shortened when a local highway cut through nearby. They had Chrondeks in the 60's.
Nick Dennis


  • Charlotte Motor Speedway, 1965
You failed to mention the Ford vs. Chrysler challenge that was run in 1965 on the backstretch at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Holman Moody built a Mustang for Fred Lorenzen to drive, but didn't perform very well. He purposely blew the motor so as not to have to run. I think Don Nicholson driving his famous 1965 Cyclone won the event, but was later disqualified because he was 15 pounds under weight. This was the most interesting drag event I ever attended. Chysler had most of their factory teams at the event.
David Crawford
  • Shuffletown Dragway, 1980s
Shuffletown Dragway was one of the most awesome amazing tracks to ever see a race at. You could feel something special about that place. My dad, Joe Rufo, raced a 1976 Kawasaki KZ 1000 there until the late '80s. He was in a car wreck and hired a guy name Mike Dye to ride the bike for him. There were some great motorcycle races there. I spent most of my childhood growing up there one weekend at a time, watching people like top Pro Mod racer Michael Martin, Scotty Cannon (The Cannon Ball), Jeff Pittman, Ronnie Sox--unbelievable history made there! The track opened in 1958 as a dirt track. Local farmers used their tractors to build a safe place to race because people would race on the street from the service station to the bridge every weekend. The cops were called. Sometime in the '60s the track was paved! It had a crazy long return road. The track was built beside a creek. It ran from one bridge to the other bridge. It curved at the end and also was built beside a hill so the return road was about a fifth of a mile long. Many people don't know, but there was a go kart track there up in the woods. There's an old oil tank or gas tank of some kind with the painting of the go kart sign.  Great times. Good memories. I would give anything to go back in time. Thanks for all the memories!
Tony Rufo


  • Smoky Mountain Dragway, 1970s
Another old racer remembered racing his '70 Fairlane: "We were there for a two day show once and camped out there. I won my bracket and got some polish, a quart of oil, a can of STP and $7.00, if I remember right. I red-lighted to a slower car in eliminations." That old racer was myself. Smoky Mountain Dragstrip in Sliva, NC. I also witnessed the spin at the end by Hubert Platt. I enjoyed that old track and had many good days there! Thanks for doing this site!
Robert Turner


  • Concord Drag Strip, ca. 1950s
I lived in Concord, North Carolina, from 1978 - 2000. I taught Driver Education part time in the Cabarrus County School System. I asked one of my students why her street was so wide and she told me that her street at one time was a drag strip. Her street was once the Concord Drag Strip. I had been there as a teenager, but had completely forgotten about it.
Glenn Goss


  • Sportsman Park Drag Strip, 1967
These are some posters that I photographed that were in Gene Cromer's scrapbook.
Frank Taylor
Posters from Gene Cromer's scrapbook. Courtesy of Frank Taylor


  • A & H Drag Strip, 1960
Memory of A&H Drag Strip in North Carolina: I came over mountains from East Tennessee. First trip I believe was in 1960 shortly after it opened. Didn't know exactly where the strip was located. Fortunately and to our great excitement, as we were traveling down the highway in North Carolina, a GMC Carryall or Chev. Suburban pulled out in front of us from a motel. On the open trailer behind it was a dragster, partially covered by a tarp. It was Don Garlits. As I recall, he made single exhibition runs only. There was only one other 'rail' there that day. an unblown Chev-powered 'B' dragster. An airplane hanger and the old airport terminal building were still standing at that time. I made many trips there to race/spectate. There were never any barriers. You could park at the edge of strip if you wished. I remember a big event where they tried to control the crowds by slowly driving an old Buick convertible up and down the edge of the strip with a local lawman we called "Deputy Dawg" standing in it. and waving people to move back. Had no effect other than the crowd responding with the stiff arm Nazi salute. Have many other stories of traveling and racing there including a near riot by the Tennessee racers, who felt the North Carolina locals were being unfairly favored in tech and classifications. Threatened to turn over the timing shack.
Henry Doriot
Pit pass and classification card, A & H Drag Strip. Courtesy of Henry Doriot


  • Walker Heights Drag Strip, 1963
I was at a race there, I believe, in 1963. There was a young guy there racing a 1963 Chevy Impala named "Rebel Rouser." It had big Impala flags painted on the side and a big 427 cu. in. engine. He raced a 1963 Ford fastback driven by Jake King. There was also a Mopar named "El Cayote." I would love to have pictures or any information about that race. I was a personal friend of the Riemer family. I knew Evely and Mark ever since he was a baby. Since the track was named Walker Heights, I wonder, did Mr. Jerry Walker have anything to do with the track? If he did, I also knew him and his wife, Libby. And I remember another guy, Ralph Ledford, who raced at the drag strip in the early '60's. He owned a Plymouth Valiant with a slant-6 engine. He drove the car to work every day and raced it on Sunday. He had special engine parts because that car would consistently run 90 MPH in the quarter mile. He outran many cars. He worked at an upholstery shop on E. Second Avenue behind the Sundrop plant. Some people said that he put a special head on it that was designed like a hemi-head. They also said that he rigged up two 4-barrel carbs. Maybe he did, but I know this only from hearsay.
John Earl Collins
Newspaper ad from the Gastonia Gazette for the November 17, 1963, match race between Richard Broome and Jake King that John Earl Collins recalled going to see at Walker Heights Drag Strip. King beat Broome in two straight races. Courtesy of Mel Bashore
  • Walker Heights Drag Strip
There was a drag strip on the Dallas Cherryville Highway in the '50's and '60's in North Carolina. The remains of the drag strip lasted until the early '70's. I'm 65 and I remember it like yesterday. I drag raced my '56 Chevy there. It was my first car. It had a '60 El Dorado Cadillac engine with two fours mated to a Chevy transmission. It was painted Candy Apple Red from the House of Chrome. Paint cost a hundred and fifty dollars. You could get cheap paint jobs for 35 or 40 dollars. So you see how much I put into that car.  I loved that car, I give it as a present to my sister. She kept tearing transmissions out of it. She loved it as much as I. That's the only enjoyment I got out of my dad. He was an alcoholic and, for that reason, he stayed sober while building the car. He made a lot of stuff for it since he was a tool and dye man.
Jessie Wood


  • Hickory Drag Strip, 1958-59
At one time there was a drag strip in Hickory, North Carolina. It was close to the Hickory airport. I saw my first drag race there in 1958. I was 13 years old. I am 71 now. But we went past the Hickory airport and the track was probably 2-3 miles on the left. I had two cousins, now gone on to be with the Lord, who raced there. The flagman [starter] raced there also. When the flagman's class raced, someone else flagged [for him]. In '59, my older cousin Bob had a '59 Pontiac that he raced. When he was in the lane opposite him [the head flagman], the alternate flagman would raise the flag when he [the head flagman] left the line. So the flagman would always win at  Hickory. When he raced my cousin at Hudson Dragstrip, the favor would be returned, and Bob would win at Hudson. Great memory of my youth. That hooked me on dragin'. [I remember at that first race a] final was between Tom Farrell and Jose Wilson's red '58 Chevy and a blue '58 Chevy. I don't remember who won, but think it was Tom Farrell in the blue one  . . . . it seems like a guy named Bob Dale ran it when my cousins was racing. Only other tidbit of info I can add is the track was downhill. Made for some exciting stopping.
Steve Julian

Holly Ridge

  • Holly Ridge Drag Strip
It ran north-to-south. There were no barriers or grandstands. Stands were there. It was an army airlfield outside Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, near Sneads Ferry. I used to hitchhike there. I lived on the base in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. They had gassers A-B-C. Troy Petty ran a Willys, tuned by Richard. They were cousins. There was also an Anglia that ran a small block Chevy. I have video of the track in '65. I have no idea about sanctioning. It ran 1/4-mile, some type of lights for starting. I remember lots of heads-up stuff. Marines ran all sorts of stuff down the track. The pits were the wild west with lots of rednecks screaming and arguing.
Nick Dennis


  • Hudson Drag Strip
I went to a lot of races at Hudson Dragway. I was named after a racer whose name was ''Wayne Fleming.'' My mom heard his name over the loud speaker and liked it.
Wayne Fleming


  • Piedmont Drag Strip, 1960s
I was involved with drag racing as a teenager. I used to hang around my local service station and I was very fortunate to be taken under the wing of a man who worked at this service station who ran a car. His name is Gene "Poodle" Curtis. I was a member of his pit crew. He primarily ran at Piedmont Drag Strip which is in Julian, but we also ran at many other tracks in North Carolina. One of our rivals was Ronnie Sox. Gene has a 1958 Chevrolet that whipped olf Ronnie Sox quite frequently. Ronnie went on to national stardom and Gene, who was also attending Elon College  night school and after graduating became the sales manager at Alamance Motors and never raced again. Alamance Motors is now Dick Shirley Chevrolet.Gene is still living and is probably in his mid 80's. Piedmont Drag Strip had many nationally famous drivers race there. One that sticks out in my mind was a guy EJ Potter, known as the Michigan Mad Man, who rode a bike with a Chevy engine mounted sideways on a HD frame. That was a wild ride and something I will never forget.
Glenn Goss


  • Kinston Drag Strip, 1977
I witnessed Wreckless Rex make his jump of 23 cars at Kinston Dragstrip in 1977. While it was considered a record, I felt it was not valid as he had no control of the bike down the landing ramp. I moved to Texas in 1979 and met Evel Knievel at the Dallas Fairgrounds. We discussed the jump and he told me he appealed the record for the reason that he was not in control of the bike and was upset he lost the appeal. It was neat meeting him and I got several good pictures and autographs of him and his son Robbie, who was about 15 at the time. I have a picture I took of Whitehurst in the air over the 23 cars somewhere in my collection.
Greg Morris
"This is the photo I took of Knievel at the Cotton Bowl/ fairgrounds at Dallas, Texas in 1979. Robbie Knievel is standing beside him. He was 15 years old, I think, if I remember right. On the back of the Polaroid shot is where he autographed it. I don't know why I didn't get Robbie to sign it too. He started his own career not long after that."  Greg Morris


  • Rockingham Dragway, 1996
I found a coin that has Rockingham Dragway, 19--Rockingham, North Carolina--96 on the back. It has MBNA-America Master Card, NHRA limited edition collector series. It looks like it's silver.  Does anyone know anything about it?
George Boes
Obverse and reverse side of the Rockingham Dragway coin. Courtesy of George Boes
  • Rockingham Dragway, 1993
I got my start in drag racing at this track in 1993, the Friday Night Street Fights and the 5.0 Shootout that Steve Earwood promoted provided us hooligans from Fort Bragg and the other folks in the Eastern NC area a place to race without having to worry about getting busted racing out on the backside of Bragg. Steve deserves a medal for that, if nothing else. Steve  gave me my nickname and after I moved to Pennsylvania I came down for an NMCA race and blew up during qualifying. Steve tossed me the keys to his MK VIII and let me run it in the bracket race so I didn't waste the trip down there. Definitely one of the classiest guys in the business.
Ray Reno
This is one of the cars that Reno raced at Rockingham, although this picture was taken later at Maple Grove. Courtesy of Ray Reno

Newton Grove

  • Easy Street Drag Strip, 1958-59
I did race at Easy Street in '58 or '59. I was in the Air Force then, stationed at Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro. We had a car club at the base called the Golden Rods. I do have pics of a few cars that raced there. I believe it was run by Joe Wit Tart and his brother. I ran a '56 Ford. My club even ran the safety inspection for the track. One of the first dragsters I ever saw there was A-frame with a 430 c.i. Lincoln engine.
Yale Rosen
  • Easy Street Drag Strip, 1958-59
I did race at Easy Street in '58 or '59. I was in the Air Force then, stationed at Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro. We had a car club at the base called the Golden Rods. I do have pics of a few cars that raced there. I believe it was run by Joe Wit Tart and his brother. I ran a '56 Ford. My club even ran the safety inspection for the track. One of the first dragsters I ever saw there was A-frame with a 430 c.i. Lincoln engine.
Yale Rosen
  • Easy Street Drag Strip, 1958-59
I did race at Easy Street in '58 or '59. I was in the Air Force then, stationed at Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro. We had a car club at the base called the Golden Rods. I do have pics of a few cars that raced there. I believe it was run by Joe Wit Tart and his brother. I ran a '56 Ford. My club even ran the safety inspection for the track. One of the first dragsters I ever saw there was A-frame with a 430 c.i. Lincoln engine.
Yale Rosen
Dallas Parker (left), racing his 430 c.i. Lincoln-engined dragster, Easy Street Drag Strip, 1959. Parker ran 140 MPH on this run. Photo taken by Yale Rosen
Yale Rosen"s D/S 1956 Ford (right), racing a D/G 1951 Ford with a Corvette engine, Easy Street Drag Strip, 1959. Rosen took the win in this round. Courtesy of Yale Rosen
Yale Roisen said, "This photo shows a Ford and and a Dodge pickup.  The pickup was a regular winner at Easy Street. He said it was 'stock'  But we all had our reservations about that because he never lost a round." ​ Easy Street Drag Strip, 1959. Courtesy of Yale Rosen
Jerry Day standing beside race car at Easy Street Drag Strip, 1959. Photo taken by Yale Rosen with his Brownie camera
1956 Ford Fairlane B/S at Easy Street Drag Strip, 1959. Photo taken by Yale Rosen
1956 Ford vs. 1957 Chevy at Easy Street Drag Strip, 1959. Photo taken by Yale Rosen
  • Easy Street Drag Strip, 1957-ca. 1965
I grew up on a farm here in North Carolina. A tobacco farm, cotton, corn, beans, potatoes, and things like that. Charles Tart was a young man, at that time, in his mid- to late-twenties, I guess. He'd just come home from the Korean War. He inherited the farm adjacent to our farm. He was interested in what he was going to do with his life. He decided he was going to build a drag strip. He built Easy Street Drag Strip. Charles Tart is the original builder and owner of the drag strip. It was started, I think, about 1957 or something like that. It opened, I think, in '58 for the first run. His uncle had a heavy equipment business. He come over and they started clearing the woods out and by golly, they put in a drag strip. Initially they raced kind of south to north. Initially, they ran on dirt, but they recognized pretty quickly, that was not what they wanted. Maybe less than two or three months, they had it paved.  At the north end, there was a root there. Their stopping distance was quite limited. So they reversed it and then ran north to south with an over-run on another farm that they got permission to use. Some of the guys that ran out here were Don Nicholson. Don ran out here. Ronnie Sox ran out here. Don Garlits came for a special occasion. I don't know when that was, maybe '60 or so before I went in the Air Force. Don wasn't driving at that time because he was recovering from injuries, I think, from a gear box explosion that he had. So Art Malone drove the dragster for him when he was out here. Charles owned it and he operated it until it closed.  I believe Charles stopped running the drag strip around the '64 or '65 time frame. Then the farm changed hands. It went through about three other people before my nephew and I bought the farm a couple years ago. I had bought part of the drag strip through another piece of property back in the early '90s. I wound up getting the rest of the old drag strip sometime later. I now own the old drag strip. There's not much left of it. The pavement between the years that Charles quit operating it and when I wound up as the owner of it, trees grew up along the side of the drag strip and really distorted it. The roots uprooted some of the pavement. But there's a couple spots of it that are still pretty good. There was a group of guys up here in North Carolina that started a car club. They decided to name it Easy Street Cruisers. They named it after the old drag strip. We're planning on having a little get-together on November 4th [2017]. I'm going to have a banner made to commemorate the old drag strip so if we take photos, we'll know exactly what it is. Let me tell you how the Easy Street name came about. There's a little community probably less than two miles from the drag strip. In that little community there was two country stores and another old country store that had been converted into kind of a semi-honky-tonk where some of the local boys hung out at and drank moonshine. That area was called Easy Street. I don't know how that name came about, being Easy Street, but that little community was about maybe a mile from where Charles grew up. He just keyed in on the name Easy Street. That's how it became known as Easy Street Drag Strip. I was a young teenager here at the farm when this drag strip was being put in.
W. C. Williams,
telephone conversation with
Mel Bashore,  October 12, 2017


  • Brewer's Dragway
George Brewer is a great guy. He always treats me good. I've raced there with bikes and will continue to do so. Brewers is great!
Berete Gulledge


  • Shelby Drag Strip, 1971-73
I used to go to Shelby drag strip with my father. He had a 1961 Ford Falcon with a 396 Chevy engine and 12-bolt rear. The track was located on Highway 180.
Michael Whitworth
  • Shelby Drag Strip, 1968-71
I ran at Shelby in 1969, 1970, and 1971. Car was a blue Henry J.
Glenn Nester
  • Shelby Drag Strip, 1972-74
I raced at Shelby Dragway from 1972 thru 1974 with guys like Johnny White, Jack Weston, Ray Stidam, Monk, Robert Hamrick, Frank Tiege, Gene Bridges, Noah Anderson, Mauney, Fulton . . .  a great time in my life.
Tommy Martin


  • Anson Drag Strip, 1960s
I did not race at Wadesboro, but went there a lot with my dad and friends. I have a ratty photo of my dad racing with our '66 Fairlane GT against a '64 Plymouth. I attended a Big Gasser shoot-out there in the mid- to late-'60s, bunches of well known Willys and Anglias, Liston Kendall with a red Henry J. I would love to find some pictures from there.
Wayne Simpson
  • Anson Drag Strip, 1970-72
There was a drag strip in Wadesboro, North Carolina. As I recall the name of the track was the Anson Drag Strip. When driving east on Highway 74 into Wadesboro, it was located on the right, just before Road #1423 where Anson High School is located. I have raced there back in the 1970-72 era.  I've always loved drag racing so the first time I raced there, I won second place and was hooked.  Michael Martin was another person who raced there a lot back then. Michael and I worked with/for Blake Wiggins and his brothers at Wiggins Construction & Welding, located on McIntyre Street in Monroe, North Carolina, back in early 1970's. Michael and Blake both went on to be major drag racers and in my last conversation with Blake, in 2015, he was no longer racing at all. This is what I remember about the strip. The tower was on the west end of the strip, located on the south side. I'm not sure if there were any bleachers or not, but there was a snack stand located on the south side about 100-200 feet east of the tower and start line.  In the 1970s there was a Christmas tree with a single lane winning light bulb over each of the lanes.
Steve Hildreth
  • Anson Drag Strip
I remember the Wadesboro drag strip races were on Sunday afternoon. Leavy Miles from Pageland had the English Ford. Jean Howard from Wadesboro had the '57 Chevy. Those were the good old days for sure.
Lloyd Hancock