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Cole Reynolds’ Rocky Mountain Race Week Chronicles: Days 3 & 4

The third day of Rocky Mountain Race Week dawned with a promise of adrenaline-pumping action as racers gathered at Kearney Raceway Park. The stage was set for a day of fast passes with the track conditions nothing short of perfect. 

Kearney Raceway Park is one of my favorite tracks in the country for many reasons. The ambiance is like none other, with the track being in the middle of cornfields. The track staff ALWAYS makes you feel like you are part of the family, and the food is delicious!

One unique characteristic of this day was the strategic approach adopted by many racers. With Denver, Colorado, beckoning on the horizon, a “one and done” mindset prevailed. This tactical decision allowed competitors to conserve their energy and resources, ensuring they’d be in prime form for the long-haul drive ahead. It is a risk, though. Racers must try their hardest to get their car down the dragstrip without any mistakes. 

With a tenacity that seems unbreakable, Jason Hurley continues to dominate Race Week. He currently sits with an average of 7.283, looking to stay in the low 7s for the rest of the week.

Jason isn’t the only racer that is having a blast and making it known that they’re there… Felicia Smith is currently the fastest lady of the event with a 9.06! 

After racing wrapped up, many competitors decided to make the trek to Denver, but this didn’t go as smoothly as most hoped. A torrential downpour covered parts of Nebraska and Colorado, which meant slick roads. Sadly, several competitors ended up in the ditch due to their radials having no grip and hydroplaned off the road. Luckily nobody was hurt, and the cars only had minor scratches. This shows just how serious this event really is.

Day four brought us to Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado, just outside of Denver. This track is one of the most famous drag strips in the country and for good reason! It sits in a valley right below Red Rocks, which makes for amazing views. Sadly though, this will be one of the last times Bandimere will be run due to the track getting sold. Luckily, the Bandimere family has plans to build another, even better facility within the next few years.

Being at this high of elevation brings some struggles to the racers. The thin air causes racers to alter their tune to get as much power out of their engines as possible.

One of the standout features of Race Week is the inclusion of a dedicated motorcycle class. This addition brought a whole new dimension of excitement to Rocky Mountain Race Week. Two-wheel enthusiasts, their bikes finely tuned and roaring with power, took to the track with the same fervor and determination as their four-wheel counterparts. Personally, I could never spend a week on a bike, towing a trailer with all of my clothes, while having to endure the harsh conditions that racers face on this trip, It truly shows their determination.

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This week has been a long one already, and we are only halfway through! I am excited to see what adventures prevail throughout the rest of the trip!

This story was originally published on October 5, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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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.