Organizers of drag race in high gear
by Jack Latta
PRESTONSBURG — The upcoming Arm Drop Drag Race got a financial boost this week when Paintsville Tourism made contributed $42,000 to help fund the event.
The Hillbilly Arm Drop Drag Race is a joint city venture between Prestonsburg and Paintsville, and will be holding its second annual race on May 5.
Commissioners Wade Smith and William Stricklin, with Paintsville Tourism, were both on hand Tuesday night to present the check to Prestonsburg Motorsports.
“It’s the second biggest event behind Apple Day,” said Commissioner Smith. “In our minds, it’s a worthwhile event.”
The race this year will be a two-day event, beginning on May 4. There will be some pit activities and test runs Friday, but all the racing will take place on Saturday, May 5.
Organizers say this year’s event will be more organized, and that they hope to avoid some of the parking issues they had last year.
“We should have plenty of parking this time, plus overflow parking at the south end and a shuttle bus running back and forth,” said Mike Ormerod.
Another change from last year’s event will be the location of the bleachers, which have been moved to the grassy area on the far side of the runway.
The admission fee will remain $5. For an extra $5 visitors will be allowed to visit the pit area, after signing a waiver. No one under the age of 12 will be allowed in the pits unless they are with a specific entrant.
“This isn’t about how much money we can put in a bucket,” said event organizer Darrell Patton. “We want a family-oriented event that’s affordable.”
Patton said the event is largely being accomplished through the efforts of volunteers.
“All the people involved volunteer their time and money and this would not happen this year without their help,” said Patton. “This is all done with volunteers, city workers, police and fire, the Job Corps, and none of it would have happened without the mayors getting behind this and supporting it.”
Prestonsburg Mayor Jerry Fannin, who was in attendance, says that the event has been a great joint venture with the city of Paintsville.
“Mayor Bob Porter and the Paintsville city government have been real helpful,” said Fannin.
The two cities are also currently working on a new boat ramp behind the airport as part of the Big Sandy Water Trail, Fannin said.
Wesley Christian School and the Prestonsburg Football Boosters will be operating concessions at the event.
Organizers say that should the race be cancelled due to weather, the following weekend is set for a rain date.
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