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According to the posts in this racing forum, there are several local people who have begun an effort to make the old Benton airstrip into the new Benton dragstrip.

Local Racers hopeful for a dragstrip on old Benton airport (City) property
Meeting at the Benton Airstrip
Drag Strip In Benton Arkansas
RALLY @ BENTON AIRPORT...more info I know we have some MySaline members who are interested in racing. What do you guys think? Brad? Donna? Anyone else?

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Bud-
Welcome to Mysaline.com - this is a great website and message board.

Everyone that I have talked have the same questions as you. In casual conversation, the opportunity was to allow local kids to use what's left of the airstrip at the old airport to "Street Race" and run their High Rev Tuner cars. The cars would be limited to street legal hot rods and would not require rezoning or any type of formal agreement. And now, based on what someone else has said (may not be reliable), the proposal is for a drag strip with rezoning required and a lease agreement.

I have not seen a proposal or offer from anyone. The City of Benton paid $535,000 for its 28 acres which recently appraised higher than the purchase price. Holland Chapel Baptist Church was a great partner with the City of Benton during the purchase - the church was eager to work with Benton because they knew we would be a good neighbor. I wonder what they think now?

The old airport property is a valuable asset to the citizens of Benton.

-Brad
Wooo! Smoked 'em!
I agree Cliff. I am all for a full blown dragstrip. I would love to see it get big. I'm not sure the church would agree. Lots of hurdles to jump. Hope it takes off.
Click the pic for Fox's story 1/21/08
fox 16 drag strip story benton article january
Hello all from ARRides.com! We're keeping an eye on the current events as they're happening. I drove down to Benton yesterday to be there for the Fox 16 news report and to show my support. The airstrip looks very promising for a track, if you are interested in knowing, even the back section that the church doesn't own is still ample ground to do a 1000' track (not quite a 1/4 mile, but more than an 1/8th mile). If the track could be a 1000' instead of an 1/8th mile, there will likely be more interest since a lot of people want the longest strip possible to race on, and this would put it in a tie for the longest drag strip in Arkansas. Granted, a quarter mile will get even more visitors from farther away, but I live over an hour away and know of some people who will still come from two hours out to hang out and/or race.

Brad, I appreciate you giving the proposal some thought, I see that your standpoint is trying to stay pretty neutral, and that is to be expected.

For reference, I know a lot of the younger people that race will probably start off acting inappropriately, but we can try and straighten them out :) (I'm only 21 and I used to be one of the crazy ones, but fellow racers straightened me out). Anyways, I'll be there Saturday early to show my support. I won't get to stay all day because of work, but I'll be there anyways.

Thanks to the Benton city council for giving this a chance, I think it would do great things for your city!

- Steven
Steven-
Thank you for your reply. The proposal deserves respectful consideration of the City of Benton. I hope my fellow aldermen will judge the proposal on its merits and the overall impact on all of our constituents.

-Brad
Zak Creasey wanted me to post this message I made on ARRides about Local Tracks and the Distance of them.

I think Benton will be successful with an 1/8mile. It has much more potential than another other small track right now to become bigger since the things required are already in place. The only thing left is negotiations between parties.

I did some research on Google Earth to find the Difference in Length between Centerville 1000, Memphis 1/4, and Benton with full length airport, and the length I was told that the Church owns if they don't agree with the deal.

Memphis 1/4 is 0.71 Miles Long and Obviously has an Unreal amount of Shutdown Room. I don't know about NHRA specs but I assume they have at least the Min Required Room.
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c308/curtisaccord/memphis.jpg


Centerville 1000ft is 0.47 Miles long and has plenty of shutdown room. 0.28 Mile of Shutdown Room
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c308/curtisaccord/centervillear.jpg


Now Comparing Benton's Airport Length i took one full measure, if the church would allow us to use the land. And another with the section I've been told is the Church's end of property line. Correct me If I'm wrong.

Benton Full Length is 0.74 Miles Long, Longer than the Complete Memphis 1/4 Mile Strip which presents an amazing opportunity.
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c308/curtisaccord/BentonAll.jpg

Benton Length (-) Church Property is 0.53 Miles Long, Which Leaves plenty of room for a 1000ft Track. It would have 0.34 Mile of Shutdown room. Thats 0.06 Mile More than Centerville.
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c308/curtisaccord/BentonMinusChur...


I say try VERY hard to get a 1000ft track firsthand. Since there's plenty of room compared to Centerville's 1000ft. There will be much more interest, and will be more attractive to people only close to a 1/8mile already (I'm thinking of people HOURS away)

If that's not an option, I will still come to the 1/8mile, but there will still be Centerville 1000 to take some business away from the more dedicated racers.

Tonight I'm going to make another Google Image shot that will show the proximity of each Paved Drag Strip in the State, I believe Benton is in a prime location for whichever length you chose. There is something greatly needed in the vicinity of Little Rock.

Ryan C
Ryan, I was thinking a drag strip needed much more of an area to safely operate. Based on your data in this post my reply stating there would not be sufficient space is incorrect. I will keep my day job. I know nothing about the guidelines of this sport.
Carry on,
Thank you Shelli for the link to the article. I was wondering if you might have a link to the Courier article that ran yesterday? Thanks.
i think the results of a racetrack would be great not only for the people but the business rev.and taxes i will support this any way poss.
I have concerns for those of you looking for a place to have a drag strip. This topic was addressed once already for property accross the freeway from the current proposed site. As neighbors we are concerned about not just the noise but the fumes from fuels, oils and etc. I sure would not like for my property value to drop just for your entertainment. If I wanted to live by the 'strip' I would just move to county line and pay a fraction of what we pay for our homes here in this neighborhood. Also this makes me ask the question - how could our mayor support a drag strip when he is so concerned about our fair city going 'green' that he supports the restriction on truckers leaving their trucks running durring manditory rest times.

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