The Centerville Dragway will host one of the most popular motorsports events the state of Arkansas has to offer, as the 23rd Annual Arkansas Street Legal State Championship Drag Races gets under way on October 16th. The two day event gets underway Friday October 16th with TNT and First round qualifying. Then on Saturday the facility will open at 9 A.M. Tech Inspection will be from 10 A.M. until 12 P.M., and the remainder of qualifying will begin immediately afterwards.
Drivers from Arkansas as well as surrounding states are expected to compete in the event. The State Championship races will feature competition in both Big Tire as well as the ever quick Small Tire classes. Fifteen other classes will be competing during the event, including Mean Street, 5.50, 6.00, and 7.00 Index classes as well.
Mabelvale, Arkansas Harry Crane and Mike Coldlron also of Mabelvale, along with Brain Kelly of Rowell, Arkansas are predicted to be on hand to challenge for the state title in the Big Tire class.
Mel Collier of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Doc Baker of Searcy, Arkansas, as well as Shane Parker of Clarksville, Arkansas are expected to lead a large contingent of racers in the Small Tire class with hopes of bringing home a state championship in 2020.
In the Mean Street division Ryan Aycock of Sheridan, Arkansas is expected to defend his win on September 12th, during the championship event. Kris Keltner of North Little Rock, Arkansas, T. J House of Jacksonville, Arkansas, and Darin Lewis are also expected to be in action.
The Index classes should feature some of the best Index racers the state has to offer including Danny Radar of Russellville, Arkansas, Bill Dowdy of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Harry McKinzie of Star City, Arkansas, Cody Rogers of Scranton, Arkansas, and Donald White of Stuttgart, Arkansas.
The Arkansas Street Legal State Championship always produces some of the fastest and wildest drag racing action the sport has to offer for street legal type race cars. Top speeds along the 1/8th mile track will reach as much as 150 miles per hour, with cars covering the distance in just over four seconds.
Not only does the racing action on the track provide entertainment for race fans, but touring the pit area also provides an additional avenue of interest. The between round maintenance on some of the faster cars is also very interesting to watch. It provides race fans with an idea of the many technological advancements of these cars of today have to offer, as well as the hard work involved in tuning these cars for race time conditions.
Centerville Dragway owner and promotor Wayne Styles told Arkansas Motorsports Magazine, “This is the oldest and the longest running heads up race in the world. We have lots of classes to cover over the state championship weekend. We try to honor all the classes that we cover throughout the race season on Saturday nights. It’s a marathon but it’s a blast. And there is no doubt that it’s our biggest race of the year.”
There is certainly a reason that the Arkansas Street Legal State Championship is the longest running event of its kind in the world. There is a lot of prestige that this race brings by crowning the State Champions of our sport. It’s also the payoff for the many hours of hard work and the financial commitment that the car owners make race in and race out, to bring racing entertainment to the great fans that follow the sport.
Hats off to the Styles family and the entire crew at the Centerville Dragway for putting on such a great event. Bye observation, it’s not any easy task to achieve over two short days. But with their experience and perseverance it is certain that they will provide you with a racing experience that you will remember for a lifetime.