The South Georgia Motorsports Park will become the longest drag racing facility in the world over the coming weeks through a partnership between track owner and President Ozzy Moya and Blake Hutchison, founder of the WannaGoFast 1/2-mile racing series.
In recent weeks, Hutchison and Moya began negotiations on the deal and finalized it this week, setting in motion a number of moving parts to make the construction happen during January and early February. The investment, according to SGMP’s Nelson Hoyos, will number in the hundreds of thousands, with Hutchison himself a financial partner in the project.
“We’ll have the longest, purpose-built facility in the country for 1/2-mile racing, giving those competitors more than ample room to stop. The added benefit to that will be that we’ll also have the capability to run any number of drag racing vehicles here, including those running up to and beyond 300 mph,” said Hoyos.
From the starting line to the drag strip’s terminus presently measures 4,100-feet; if you include the 500-feet of staging lanes, which could theoretically be used by 1/2-mile racers, that stretches it to 4,600-feet. By utilizing the some 2,000-feet of unused property beyond the end of the dragstrip, Moya and Hutchison will add an additional 1,500-feet of shutdown.
The caveat to that, however, is that a straight line drawn out 1,500-feet runs directly into U.S. Highway 41 that parallels the property. The answer to that: a natural curve, of sorts.
“It’s going to have a slight curve to it,” Hoyos explains. “Since that’s only a shutdown, and by the time they get down there they are absolutely under 100 mph and probably more in the 50-60 mph range, it won’t a concern. And there will be a return road that will link up to our current return road. As it stands right now, if they ran 1/2-mile, they would only have a 1/4-mile of stopping distance; now they will have half a mile to stop.”
Hoyos adds. “There won’t be a left turn, but there will be a gradual curve beginning where the drag strip ends currently. You’ll not feel, as a driver, that you’re heading to the left.”
In addition to the extension of the asphalt shutdown, SGMP will construct retaining walls the full length of the track. It also intends to upgrade to a catch-net system — at present only a short sand-trap exists, with the area beyond open for 700 additional feet straight-away before intersecting the highway.
“We had discussed this previously with another group that does roll racing, and we all talked about it and thought it would be really neat to do something like this. Blake approached us and stepped up to the plate and is footing a great portion of the bill,” Hoyos explains.
As the deal only came together this week, renderings and design drawings are not yet available.
SGMP will become the defacto southern home to the WannaGoFast series, with dates presently scheduled for February 29-March 1 and October 24-25 — Hoyos indicates this could well expand to four or five events per year in the future.
Said Hutchison in a statement via social media: “After nine years, 36 events and countless prayers to the good Lord above our lifelong DREAM has become a reality. We’re proud to announce America’s first-ever 1/2-mile racing facility! Thanks to an incredible partnership with South Georgia Motorsports Park we have been able to give our racers a permanent place to live out their GOFAST dreams! The track is being extended to 5,600-feet and has all the infrastructure in place to ensure the best possible conditions a racer could ask for!”
Construction will begin next Monday, with plans to have the work complete by Lights Out 11 in early February.