Update: Southeast Arizona Drag Racing

A lot has transpired in southeastern Arizona since my October 2011 column in DRO.

The Nostalgia AA/FC owned by Tucson’s Jim Broome and being driven by Fuel Altered leader Jim Maroney. The car is certainly a Tucson headliner for the track and community.

In the 1950s when this writer was still in high school, there were drag races once per month at what we called ‘the airport’. It was a magnificent dual-runway plant located about three miles from town on Airport Road. There were two crisscrossed runways, 5,000 feet in length and about 200 feet wide. Alongside each had a taxiway, which was certainly adequate for any drag racing. Drag racing started at Willcox during 1954, along with a Sports Car Club of America race. I remember hauling hay bales there for the promoter to use as a course guideline. A local doctor had a 6 cyl. ’53 Corvette that was the fastest car.

Today, the Cochise County Airport is still in use, but only one direction has been repaved and kept current due to costs.

Close by on the same Airport Road is the Inde Racing Facility. It encompasses several acres of the old DuBoise ranch and is a home base for many sports car racing teams. While drag racing is not regularly scheduled, one of the two courses could be used for that purpose. Their tower might be the best in Arizona!

Further south, alongside highway US 191 on the way to Douglas, Ariz., and just north of the town of El Freida, another WWII landing strip held drag races during the late ‘50s too. We remember this airstrip as the place farmers used to dry chilies prior to market.

At Tucson, an unused runway was obtained for monthly drag racing by local law enforcement. This track was mainly operated by Lyle Fisher, who was one of three partners in the famous ‘Speed Sport Special’ A/FR.