Drag Illustrated Issue 178, September / October 2022 | Page 50


Drag Racing in Delaware

The First State ’ s lone dragstrip offers a variety of events By Van Abernethy

The tiny state of Delaware isn ’ t known for having a robust number of dragstrips . In fact , America ’ s First State has just one in operation : U . S . 13 Dragway , an IHRA-sanctioned quarter-mile facility that ’ s nestled in the town of Delmar . Only one other dragstrip is on record in Delaware : Georgetown Speedway Drag Strip , which opened in 1956 and closed eight years later .

U . S . 13 Drag Strip was founded in 1963 and has been in operation ever since , with the Cathell family credited with the track ’ s longevity as several members of this family have managed the facility . The late Bill Cathell is remembered for opening this facility , while his son , Charlie , managed it for decades , eventually being inducted into the NHRA Northeast Division Hall of Fame . Most recently , Charlie ’ s son , Mark , has taken over operations of this historic facility as it nears its 60th anniversary .
A robust roster of events was slated on the 2022 race calendar , beginning with the Footbrake Nationals in early April , featuring a combo eliminator across Top E . T . and Modified classes . Also
on hand were Jr . Dragster classes , OBHF Pro Bike , and Tire King Sportsman classes .
The four-day King of the Shore event was also on tap for early April , beginning on Thursday with test and tune and a gamblers race . Friday kicked off the big-money dial-in eliminators , with Top E . T . paying $ 10,000 on day one , with another 10-grander on Saturday , finishing up on Sunday
with a $ 5K finale . The Footbrake Challenge was also contested with $ 1,000 payouts on Friday and Saturday , along with Jr . Dragster also battling it out for $ 1,000 to win .
The bracket points series began the following week on April 16-17 , with eliminators in all five bracket classes . U . S . 13 Dragway closed out April with the 410 Grudge Dreams Kick-Off , as this
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