by nathan oster
The second season of drag racing at the South Big Horn County Airport wrapped up Saturday with approximately 300 spectators watching car and truck drivers battle it out for bragging rights that will extend into next year.
Fifty-seven cars raced on the one-eighth mile straightaway.
“Not quite as big a turnout as the one we had over ’49ers, when there were 78, but still pretty good,” said Mike Howe of Cloud Peak Drags, which organized the event.
The total car count for this season’s four events topped 200, but that number is slightly inflated because some were entered in all four events. A more accurate estimate of the number of different cars would be around 100, said Howe.
Drivers brought them from across the region — places in Wyoming like Casper, Douglas, Rawlins, Buffalo, Cody and Powell, as well as from Sidney, Bridger and Billings up in Montana.
The driver who came the farthest distance to race hailed from Rifle, Colo., and he just happened to have the fastest time clocked at the airport this summer. Described by Howe as a racecar in a Falcon’s body, it hit 107 mph over the eighth-mile course.
“Everyone fully enjoyed themselves,” said Howe. “There’s a drag strip in Billings, but there’s no other place in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota or Iowa that will allow people to run their cars on an airport runway.”
Cloud Peak drags is planning another four racing events in 2019, and while some have suggested adding lights or other tweaks, Howe said, “I think we’re going to keep going the way we have been. People seem to like it, just the way it is.”