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7 dragsters get Hall of Fame enshrined

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Ralph Wong and Dan Owens were among the people responsible for getting Tucson Dragway built on the southeast side in the late 1990s. 

Now they are Hall of Famers. 

Wong, Owens and five others were inducted into the Arizona Drag Racing Hall of Fame on Saturday night. It’s seventh such class. 

Wong was president of the Pima County Fair Commission when he pushed the county supervisors to allow for the construction of what was originally named Southwestern International Raceway (SIR) upon its completion in 1997. 

Owens along with Southern Arizona racing legend Red Greth, helped start the Hall of Fame to which he is now enshrined. 

The 7th class of the Arizona Drag Racing Hall of Fame was inducted on September 19 at Tucson Dragway

The five other inductees include: 

  • Al Arriaga - Al started racing in the 1960s and powered such dragsters known as The Mob, The Spanish Galleon, Challenger 1 and The Arizona Flash
  • Gary Bulley - Gary’s career behind the wheel dates back to 1956 when he started racing in an old 1934 Ford coupe. He was a member of the famed Lords Car Club in Tucson. Bulley won Top Gas Eliminator 11 races in a row at Mel Larson’s Drag Strip in Phoenix
  • Dave and Carol Kaercher – Dave set an NHRA world ET (elapsed time) record of 13.70 at Tucson Dragway in 1975. Two years later he lowered that record to 12.69. Carol became the chief starter and head tech at the old Tucson Dragway. As a driver one night she was best out of a 14-car field of men and women (King of the Hill)
  • Tom Keonen - Tom sadly passed away earlier this month. He owned SIR for eight years. Keonen loved racing so much he attended events at 50 different tracks across 30 states and three countries. 

Tucson Dragway is one of the nation’s most active drag racing facilities.  

Jim Hughes took control of the Dragstrip in 2016. Since then the track has offered a full and dynamic schedule of events, including Street Outlaws No Prep Kings, NHRA Divisional, Roadkill Zip-Tie Drags, The Original Super Chevy Show, Wednesday Night Drags and more. 

The Dragway is holding a socially distanced drive-thru trick or treat event on Halloween night (October 31). 

Families will follow a “Parade Route” down to the dragstrip straight away where pre packed bags of candy will line the track wall. 

The event is $10 per car and will run from 4:30-Midnight. 

Copyright 2020 News 4 Tucson. All rights reserved. 

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David Kelly

David Kelly is the weekend sports anchor at KVOA in Tucson. He is a 28-year veteran of the sports broadcast business.

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