Inaugural Southwest Showdown Kicks Off Big Money Bracket Racing on the West Coast for 2017!!

Results February 16-19, 2017

Tucson, AZ- West Coast Bracket Races brought Big Money Bracket Racing to the desert with the Inaugural Southwest Showdown at Tucson Dragway this past weekend. With over $125,000 in Prize Money and Racer Appreciation Awards/Prizes posted, this was the largest single paying event in sportsman racing to be hosted in Arizona.

“On behalf of West Coast Bracket Races, Jim Hughes, Matt DeYoung, and the entire staff at Tucson Dragway, we want to thank all of the racers that came out to race with us and support the event. Even with all of the keyboard “meteorologists” we had to endure, we managed to have a great turnout and got the event completed in its entirety as advertised, with the exception of a day early. Want to personally thank Jim and Matt for their hard work and commitment to the track surface, facility, and hospitality to all of our racers. What they have done with this place over the first year is nothing short of remarkable, and we have every intention of returning here in 2018 to grow Big Money Bracket Racing on the West Coast.”-Forsyth

18 states and 3 countries were represented with Racers from California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Texas, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, Utah, Illinois, Indiana, and Pennsylvania with Canada and Team Mexico also making their way to the Showdown.

The event kicked off Thursday with the track hosted Test-n-Tune and Run for The Money Shootout that concluded the day with Ed Shaughnessy, Bovey, MN, defeating Scott Burton, Golden, CO, in the $1,000 to Win Final. Burton took $500 for runner up, Rayce Kidd, Twin Falls, ID, and Seth Polvadore, Sun City, AZ, were the semi-finalists. Racer Appreciation party hosted by Blue Bayou Motorsports and TP Raceshop brought the night to a close with dinner and drinks.

Friday morning, Tucson Dragway brought the All Access Challenge for Money and a “Wally”. Winners included:

Super Street: Kody Robinson - Cottonwood, AZ

Super Gas: Chuck Hawk - Tucson, AZ

Super Comp: Grant Drurie -Vegreville, Alberta

Stock/Super Stock Combo: Scott Burton – Golden, CO

Top Comp: Peeps Pennington - Three Rivers, TX

All racers participating in the AAC race were given an entry with those that just were bracket racing Friday in the Warm Up Race. Jeff Broussard, Novato, CA, defeated James Warden, Santa Fe Springs, CA, in the Super Pro Final for $2,500 to Win and Ryan Smith, Chandler, AZ, took the $1,500 to Win in Pro when Norman Warling, Golden, CO, broke at halftrack.

With the threatening weather scheduled for later in the weekend, promotor Chris Forsyth made the decision Friday afternoon to move the Bonus Races presented by Silver State Commercial Refrigeration from Saturday night to Friday night. With $22,500 up for grabs to win Super Pro, and $10,000 in Pro, racers in the shoot-outs took to the 1/8th mile of Tucson Dragway.

Marc LaLonde, Cottonwood, AZ, took home the biggest check WCBR has promoted to date with a Victory over a red-lighting Tom Bayer, Alta Loma, CA. Bayer advanced to the final when he defeated Kyle Seipel, Pleasanton, CA, in the semi- final by .001.
In Pro, Tibor Kadar of Peoria, AZ, took down Paul Sanders from Black Canyon City, AZ, who earned his way to the final round with a victory over Brad Burton in the semi-final.

Moser Engineering Saturday and Hughes Performance Sunday were combined Saturday of the Showdown. Purses were stacked as advertised and Round Prizes were doubled to insure the advertised event was completed. This meant twice the opportunity for half the runs. Pro was racing for $7,500 to win and Super Pro raced for $15,000 to win.

Kyle Seipel found the winners circle for the double up race in Super Pro after coming up just short the night before in the Bonus Race. In the final, Seipel paired up with Morgan Thompson, Las Vegas, NV, who left dead even with a .008 reaction time next to Seipel but slowed to a .02 above to Seipel’s .01 above in a great Final Round Race.

At the end of the afternoon, Tibor Kadar ran the table and picked up the win again in Pro, securing him as the weekend points champion presented by Lucas Oil. Kadar took advantage of a .005 window on the starting line, and parlayed it into a double breakout victory over Scott Burton earning him the combined purse big checks and custom trophies from TT Designs. Kadar had the bye in the semis after watching Burton take down son Brad in the lone semi pair.

Up next will be the 3rd Annual Figspeed West Coast Classic at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, Ca, May 25th-28th. For more details go to westcoastbracketraces.com and sign up for our mailing list or check out our Facebook page: West Coast Bracket Races.

Photos by: Jim Kelso Racing Photography

Posted on March 1, 2017 .

Tucson Dragway joins NHRA Member Track Network

Jim Hughes, left, owner-operator of Tucson Dragway, was joined by NHRA Division 7 Director Mike Rice, center, and Vice President-Racing Administration Josh Peterson as he signed the NHRA Member Track agreement.

Jim Hughes, left, owner-operator of Tucson Dragway, was joined by NHRA Division 7 Director Mike Rice, center, and Vice President-Racing Administration Josh Peterson as he signed the NHRA Member Track agreement.

Tucson Dragway, in Tucson, Ariz., has joined the NHRA Member Track Network as part of Division 7, the Pacific Division.

Located just south of Interstate 10 on the Pima County Fair Grounds, Tucson Dragway is one of the nation’s most active drag racing facilities. Formerly an IHRA track, Tucson Dragway offered a full and dynamic schedule with nearly 100 events in 2015 and is looking forward to even more success in 2016 with NHRA.

Jim Hughes, of Phoenix, is the owner-operator of Tucson Dragway. Hughes has over 40 years of experience in the performance and racing industry and even spent time behind the wheel. He started racing in the 1970s and earned multiple victories across the country, including four division titles. Most notably, he raced to the NHRA Super Comp world championship title in 2002.

Hughes’ connection to Sportsman racers is one of the main reasons he has decided to bring Tucson Dragway to the NHRA Member Track Network.

“I’ve seen a lot of recent changes for the better with NHRA to build a stronger Sportsman racing foundation,” said Hughes. “The NHRA’s commitment to programs like the Summit ET series and Jr. Street series all play a big part in the future of our drag racing industry. I believe the NHRA’s new direction will help build better communication with spectator and competitors across the country.”

Tucson Dragway has already begun preparing for an exciting and eventful 2016 season. Recent improvements to the track include widening the staging lanes with a shoulder for easier maneuverability, grounding down the transition on the track surface and crack-sealing the shutdown area with help from Paul Polito of Tucson Asphalt.

Highlighting the 2016 season at Tucson Dragway will be the NHRA Pacific National Open Series, February 19-21. The track also offers a full complement of weekly drag racing, serving the community with Friday Night Drags, weekend Test & Tunes, Midnight Drags, the Summit Super Series, and Jr. Drag Racing.

“We are excited to have Tucson Dragway back in the NHRA Member Track family,” said Mike Rice, NHRA Division 7 Director. “Jim Hughes and his team are already making improvements to the property and will be a great asset to the Pacific Division and its competitors.  I’m excited to get back to this facility for our Pacific National Open Series event in February.”

As an NHRA-sanctioned track, the facility will be eligible to offer racers a variety of NHRA racing opportunities, including the NHRA Summit Racing Series, the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League, NHRA Jr. Street and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA.  Additionally, the track has the opportunity to host NHRA’s specialty events including the National DRAGSTER Challenge, NHRA Summit King of the Track, and NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League Challenge, where racers compete for the coveted Wally trophy.

NHRA’s Division 7, the Pacific Division, features tracks from Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. Division 7 facilities host NHRA-sanctioned competitions throughout the year along with countless other events for the heartiest of drag racing competitors and fans. For more information including schedules, point standings and more, go to the Division 7 website: www.nhradiv7.com.

Posted on December 22, 2015 .

Hawley's Drag School In Tucson

Hawley and Hughes.  Two iconic names in the sport of drag racing will begin working together this November when Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School begins classes at the new Tucson Dragway.

“We’re really excited to be offering classes in Tucson,” said school owner Frank Hawley.  “I already knew that Tucson had a great drag strip but as soon as I heard that Jim Hughes was taking charge of the racetrack I grabbed my phone, called him and asked if we could be a part of his new venture.  Jim has both an amazing history in our sport and an impeccable reputation.  He is a world championship-winning driver, successful businessman and a true friend to the sportsman racer.  Jim and his team will do a fabulous job working with everyone from the fans to the racers and of course our mutual marketing partners,” added Hawley.

“We have had remarkable interest since announcing that we will be taking over the operation here in Tucson,” stated Hughes. “I was flat blown away when Frank called and expressed his interest in immediately partnering with The New Tucson Dragway and couldn’t be more excited about collaborating with a fellow world champ, working with him and learning from him and his staff.”  Hughes went on to state.

In Tucson the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School will be offering both the Dragster Adventure programs and the Competition Licensing programs.

The Competition Licensing courses have started the careers of thousands of today’s racers.  In these courses the drivers are trained and certified to drive race cars as quick at 7.50 ET.  Participants choose to drive either the S/C dragsters or the S/G door cars.  These courses also include Hawley’s popular seminar on “Personal Performance Development” which combines elements of psychology and physiology in an informative and entertaining way to help each student reach their maximum potential.

The Dragster Adventure programs are for individuals, groups or companies that are seeking a fun, high energy experience.  This course puts drivers at the controls of a real dragster and gives them an opportunity to race in a heads-up “side-by-side” 130 mph competition with other students!  The Adventure cars are equipped with automatic transmissions making them user friendly for a wide range of drivers.

“We can’t wait to get started in Tucson this November.  The weather will be awesome, the track will be great and the Tucson team will be ready.  We’d love you to join us!” said Hawley.

Class dates for Tucson are this November with the Competition Licensing Course on November 19-20, 2015 and November 21, 2015 for the Dragster Adventure.  For more information on the school or to schedule a class visit frankhawley.com or call 866-480-7223.

Posted on November 2, 2015 .

The Current Status Of Tucson Dragway

The Current Status and plans for Tucson Dragway are to run two independently contracted events that have insurance and contractual commitments for the month of October. The Import Face Off will take place on Sunday, October 18th. The inaugural Hot Rod Drag Week West will be conducted on October 28th. & 29th.

Due to the reorganization process of Tucson Dragway we have been forced to cancel all other events scheduled for the 2015 racing- season. This decision was based on the very best interest and long- term future for the facility. We are happy to announce that we will host our grand opening event which will take place on January 1st, 2016. The details of this special event will be announced in the very near future.

Sanctioning Body:

We have received numerous inquiries regarding which sanctioning body Tucson Dragway will be affiliated with in 2016. We appreciate everything IHRA has and continues to do for our sport, the facility and the Tucson community.

We are in the process of evaluating each sanctioning body (IHRA and NHRA) and make a decision as to which sanctioning body offer the best benefits and services to our customers, marketing partners, facility and the community.  The New Tucson Dragway will be making a final decision before the end of the year.  

At this time we are taking into consideration the comments, concerns, and opinions of racers, marketing partners and the community who call Tucson Dragway their home track. Although a final decision has not been made, we are currently considering the opportunities and benefits that each sanctioning body has to offer our sportsman racing community.

Racers have asked if they should begin the process of obtaining an NHRA license and car certification for the upcoming season. Currently, IHRA does except NHRA memberships and certification requirements.
The location of our tack will also play a large role in the decision making process.

Please continue to check the website and our social media for further updates. Thank you again for all your kind words and support during this transition period.

-Jim Hughes

Posted on November 2, 2015 .

Fun Ford Series & Mega Mopar Action Moved

The Fun Ford Series and Mega Mopar Action events scheduled for October 10-11, 2015 at Tucson Dragway will now be held at Maryland International Raceway.  Tucson Dragway, formerly known as Southwestern International Raceway, is undergoing management changes and facility improvements and is not able to accommodate the events as scheduled, but plans to reopen in mid-October for regular business.  Therefore, the Fun Ford Series will be incorporated into the Maryland International Raceway Ford Fever Classic on October 9-11, 2015 and the Mega Mopar Action event will become part of the Mopar Eastern Classic on October 17, 2015.

For more information please visit the Fun Ford Series website.

Posted on November 2, 2015 .

A Note To Arizona Racers

Dear Arizona Racers:

There could not be a better time to be excited about dragracing especially if you live in Tucson!
During the next few months you will continue to hear about changes taking place at Tucson Dragway, formally southwest international raceway. Some changes will be subtle and some not...

Our promise is simply this "every change will be made with you, the sportsman racer in mind." Our goal is to make Tucson Dragway a safe, fun,"place to race!" With a family atmosphere.

As you probably know by now, sportsman racer, businessman and entrepreneur Jim Hughes is in the process of taking over the track. Jim has spent the past thirty years on the road racing, promoting and building brand recognition. He has met countless racers, fans, track owners and event promoters. After 38 years of building a performance orientated manufacturing business, his experience and quality reputation are now being brought directly to the gates of Tucson Dragway! needless to say, this will undoubtedly impact your racing future.

In an effort to provide you with some insight, here are a few areas of immediate attention and concern:

  • Providing on a consistent basis, the safest and fastest race surface possible
  • Improving both racer and spectator amenities
  • Good working relationships with surrounding tracks to work together and minimize overlapping races that only tears the racing community apart.
  • An internal staff infrastructure between management and employees that will increase communications and reduce track conflicts.
  • Event planning that encourages growth and notoriety of the sport we all know and love... Dragracing!

Please stay tuned for additional updates and know that our team is working on this transition as quickly as possible. We apologize for the brief downtime and any inconvenience this may have caused. We know there has been many promises made in the past. Don't give up hope! If you know Jim, his attitude is "failure is not an option!"

Stay tuned for the changes happening at the all new Tucson Dragway at Blue Bayou Motorsports Park

Sincerely,
The Tucson Dragway Team

Posted on November 2, 2015 .