Thompson Raceway Park Signs with IHRA for Three Years; Historic Track East of Cleveland Joins IHRA Family of Member Tracks (NORWALK, OHIO--December 14, 2007) If you grew up in the Cleveland area you are all too familiar with the radio ...
Thompson Raceway Park Signs with IHRA for Three Years; Historic Track East of Cleveland Joins IHRA Family of Member Tracks
(NORWALK, OHIO--December 14, 2007) If you grew up in the Cleveland area you are all too familiar with the radio commercials. The song "Fire on High" from the Electric Light Orchestra probably saw more airtime on Cleveland's progressive FM radio stations in Thompson Drag Raceway radio spots than in regular rotation on the stations' play lists. With a young Aaron Polburn handling track promotion, Thompson Drag Raceway was the place to be as the Carter Administration wore down and "The Gipper" was poised to take the helm of the nation.
Thompson was one of the first drag strips in the country, built in 1958. It has been through three different ownership groups in its history but one thing has remained a constant...from the days of muscle cars in the late 50's through the '60's, through the heyday of drag racing on a national level in the 1970's until today cars have been going down the track at Thompson.
In 2004 the track was renamed Thompson Raceway Park, but a new name did not detract from the tradition of excellence at the facility. The track has undergone extensive renovations over the last 18 years and is in the best shape in its history. Thompson has always had a strong commitment to its local racers and, for this reason, has decided to come back to the sanctioning body under which it thrived throughout much of its history...the International Hot Rod Association. Track owner Ken Edgar Jr. signed a three-year agreement Thursday, Dec. 13 to rejoin IHRA's family of member tracks, leaving behind the NHRA after four years under its sanction.
"Ohio is IHRA Country and this was a decision we left up to our racers," Track operator Jim Curtis said. "We sent a letter out to them to ask them to vote on the future of Thompson Raceway Park and it was unanimous, they all wanted to come back to IHRA and we're thrilled with their decision. IHRA just seems like home for us. The benefits of IHRA sanction are endless and I can't wait for 2008 to start."
Curtis, who has been involved at Thompson for over 18 seasons, left the decision up to his racers. But that does not mean he did not make his opinion known.
"I really pushed hard to get this deal done," he said. "It was my passion to get Thompson Raceway Park back with IHRA. So by popular demand we got the deal put together with Aaron."
Polburn is excited the track where he spent much of his career as a promoter is back in the IHRA fold.
"I have a soft spot for Thompson because I have so many great memories there," he said. "It's a great track with hard-core loyal racers in a tremendous market. The future is very bright at Thompson and we look forward to working with Jim Curtis to give his racers what they expect from IHRA...a strong commitment to local drag racing, outstanding special programs and support from a sanctioning body that truly cares about each and every one of its member tracks. 2008 is going to be a great year at Thompson with it's 50th Anniversary celebration, the Summit SuperSeries and a full schedule of racing action all summer."