Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


A Home Run for Flying H Drag Strip’s Opening Weekend

Taylor Redman photo

At a time when many drag racing fans are focused on tracks closing, this past weekend was a time of celebration in Kansas City. For the first time since Kansas City International Raceway (KCIR) closed in 2011, drag racing was back in my hometown.

Owner Scott Higgs and Manager Blake Housley officially opened Flying H Drag Strip on Thursday, April 11, in Odessa, Missouri. Opening Weekend festivities included Test & Tune on Friday and Saturday, and a No Prep Shootout on Sunday.

Upon arriving Saturday afternoon, I immediately noticed the pits looked full. The gentleman at the gate informed me that they were, in fact, out of room for race trailers. Walking through the pit area, there was a little bit of something for everyone – from Pro Mods to street cars, from dragsters to nostalgia super stockers. 

It was impossible for me to contain my excitement. I grew up going to KCIR, and while I’ve been blessed to visit many drag strips across the country, there was still that void during the past 13 years. Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings star Robin Roberts shared the same sentiment.  

“I am fired up to go racing again in Kansas City,” said Roberts. “Ever since I moved here eight years ago, this has been a dream of mine that we would get a track going in the right manner. I’m excited, and we’re going to be here as much as we can from here on out.”

Roberts wasted little time getting his feet wet at Flying H, winning the Big Tire class at Sunday’s No Prep Shootout and taking home $5,000. Joey Hiykel wheeled his infamous Beater Bomb Mustang to a win in the Small Tire class, also pocketing $5,000.

Taylor Redman photo

Prior to opening weekend, many wondered who would have the honor of making the very first pass down the strip. That distinction went to none other than Pro Mod and Radial vs. the World legend Mark Micke on Thursday afternoon. While he shook the tires and let off early, it was still a momentous occasion for everyone involved.  

“With Scott and Blake putting in all this effort and money, it was a big deal for me,” said Micke. “We’ve got that time slip, and we’re going to frame it. It wasn’t anything to brag about, but it was still the first run, and we could joke that we got the track record right off the bat. It was just a huge honor for me to be able to do it. Not many people can say they got to be the first one down a world-class facility.”

That was just the appetizer to the main course, however. During the first day of testing on Friday, Micke made his first full pass on the new surface, clocking a 3.629 at 220.88 mph. Later that evening, he turned it up again with a 3.583 at 220.20. And just to prove how good the racing surface is, he returned Saturday afternoon, running a 3.651 at 218.95 mph in the heat of the day.  

Robin Roberts Racing photo

“We knew it would be good,” Micke said regarding the track. “Kurt Johnson at Total Venue Concepts told us this was the only perfect race track he’s ever done. Those guys flat home-runned this thing. We ran 3.58 the second full run on it, with our fastest back splits we’ve ever went. That’s a testament to how smooth the surface is. It feels like you’re just riding on air. It’s almost unheard of to be able to come out here and go that fast right off the bat.”

A home run is right. The amount of cars testing on Saturday and the fan turnout on Sunday proved just how hungry this area is for drag racing to return. Is there still work to be done? Sure. The tower isn’t finished yet, there’s still pit areas that need to be paved, and some minor adjustments and improvements can be made. But for their very first weekend being open, I believe the entire team at Flying H Drag Strip knocked it out of the park.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The next big step for the track will be when Street Car Takeover invades Flying H less than two weeks from now, on April 26-28. This past weekend, they announced 10,000 tickets have already been sold for SCT, ensuring the event will be massive. It will be the first major test for the brand-new facility, but if this weekend taught me anything, it’s that they will be up to the task.           

This story was originally published on April 16, 2024. Drag Illustrated


You May Also Like


The star-studded STREET OUTLAWS: No Prep Kings series is set to return for its 6th season in the summer of 2023. Fans can expect to...


Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings star and renowned engine builder Pat Musi joined the recent episode of The Wes Buck Show and provided an update...


Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings star Lizzy Musi announced today that she has been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer via her Youtube channel....


Ryan Fellows, who starred in “Street Outlaws: Fastest in America,” died in a tragic crash while filming for the show in Las Vegas on...

Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.