By John Bombatch
Track General Manager Will Tharpe has always said he’d like to bring big-name competitions to his concrete quarter-mile drag strip, and it looks like a big time event will call Kil-Kare Dragway home in 2017.
After being held at Mountain Park Dragway in Clay City, Ky. for the past five years, race promoter Randy Helton announced on his Ultimate 64 Shootout site on Facebook that the event will move to Kil-Kare next year.
“Empty pockets promotions would like to let everyone know we have entered into a agreement with Kil-Kare Dragway, Xenia, Ohio to host the 2017 ULTIMATE 64 SHOOTOUT, June 9-11. Business and sponsorship requirements prompted the change of venue and we look forward to working with the Kil-Kare staff. …” Helton said in Wednesday’s social media post.
The Ultimate 64 Shootout, now in its 12th year, has been a three-day drag racing weekend where an elite field of 64 pre-entered drivers compete for the ultimate prize of $50,000 to the event winner. On top of that lofty prize payout, several $10,000-to-win and “Hi-roller” gambler events also usually take place during the race weekend.
The prize money brings out the nation’s top drivers. Six-time NHRA champion Jeg Coughlin Jr., former IHRA World Champion Kenny Underwood, Troy Coughlin, Jr., Rob Kropfeld and Steve Royalty have competed in the Ultimate 64 Shootout in the past.
There was no official word on whether the same racing format would be in place for the 2017 event.
Kil-Kare General Manager Will Tharpe couldn’t be reached for immediate comment, and Empty Pockets promoters Randy Helton and Gary Estes could not be reached as of presstime. Empty Pockets Motorsports Promotions LLC is based out of Middletown, Ohio.
“It’s a fun race when there are a bunch of special events along the way, because every time you go up to the starting line there is something important happening,” Jeg Coughlin said prior to this year’s June event at Mountain Park Dragway. “Plus, Randy and Kelly make sure we all have a good time. There are golf drag races and live music at night. They even offered a pre-race golf tournament (this year). They try to make it fun for everyone.”
This year, the entry fee alone was $1,500 for each of the 64 drivers in the Ultimate 64 Shootout. Last year, Kenny Underwood not only took home the $50,000 check as the Ultimate 64 winner, he also won one of the weekend’s final $10,000-to-win events.
Entries are already being taken for the 2017 $50,000 race. Contact Estes (513) 267-0322 or Helton (513) 464-2253 for entry information.
John Bombatch can be reached at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.