With the economy showing little sign of kicking back into gear, folks are looking for bargains wherever they can find them.
Fortunately for gearheads, there are still bargains to be found at their area dragstrips, where promoters are trying to keep prices down and purses up.
Dan Bain, who took over as manager of Kansas International Dragway on the northwest edge of Wichita last fall, said, "We're trying to make this as spectator-friendly as possible."
Friday night race sessions cost a spectator $7, and if you want to find out just how fast your car really is, "It's $15 for a tech card and that gets you as many passes down the track as you can get in," Bain said.
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Mid America Dragway, 6 1/2 miles west of Arkansas City, offers similar Friday night drag racing, with $5 spectator admission and $15 for test-and-tune racing.
"This is our 50th anniversary this year," said track manager Dave Dockens, who said the track will have a special Racers Appreciation event May 14-15 and a major nostalgia event in September.
Both tracks have improved their facilities over the past several months and both will stage events featuring Pro-Mod fields with large payouts later in the season.
At KID, Scott Palmer's Top Fuel dragster, a field of fuel altereds and a jet funny car will be featured during the track's July 15-16 Summer Nationals, Bain said. A weekend pass will set you back a modest $20 for two days of competition, he said.
Money is tight, but grassroots drag racing is still a steal. For schedule information on these tracks, go to: www. kidragway.com or to www.midamericadragway.net.