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World of Speed to sponsor Woodburndrag series


by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - The World of Speed motor sports museum in Wilsonville, which features training aids such as this simulator for young racers, is now backing the junior drag series at the Woodburn Drag Strip.The World of Speed motor sports museum being developed in Wilsonville announced it will become the title sponsor of the Woodburn Dragstrip Jr. Drag Racing Series.

The series consists of 12 events held between April and August at the drag strip a mile west of the popular Woodburn Premium Outlets mall. The junior drag series offers youngsters 8 through 17 a chance to drive a half-scale version of a top fuel dragster in a safe, controlled environment. Using a 5-horsepower, single-cylinder engine, a Jr. Dragster can go as fast as 85 mph and cover an eighth-mile in less than eight seconds from a standing start.

“Our goal at World of Speed is to help young people experience the excitement of motorsports and, hopefully, eventually find a fulfilling career in the industry,” said Tony Thacker, World of Speed executive director. “By sponsoring the Woodburn Dragstrip Jr. Drag Racing Series we can directly help young people go racing.”

Thacker said the museum’s focus on education means it will emphasize the STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — curriculum as part of museum displays and materials. All are crucial to today’s automobile and racing industries, which are both on a constant hunt for new and highly skilled employees.

“It is the ultimate STEM program,” said Thacker.

Woodburn track operator Jim Livingston said he hopes junior drag racing will help bring more families out to the track.

“We’re extremely excited to welcome World of Speed as title sponsor of the series.” Livingston said. “Junior drag racing is a great family-oriented sport that is fun and exciting.”

Introduced in 1991, junior drag racing has produced countless racers who have gone on to professional drag racing, including top fuel racers Shawn Langdon, a two-time Super Comp national champion, Morgan Lucas, Spencer Massey and J.R. Todd.

The Woodburn Dragstrip opened in June 1961 as an eighth-mile track operated by the Multnomah Hot Rod Council and the Northwest Timing Association. In 1963, the track was lengthened to a quarter-mile. Livingston, who was operating Madras Dragway at the time, purchased the strip in a sealed bid in 1972. He ran both facilities through the 1975 season, before focusing on Woodburn.

The Woodburn Dragstrip is located at 7730 Highway 219, Woodburn. For more information, call 503-982-4461 or visit woodburndragstrip.com.