Lapeer International Dragway re-opens with new owner on 50th anniversary

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LAPEER (WJRT) (7/4/2018) - "I thought it'd be crowded, but this is more than what I thought," racer Joe Martin of North Branch said.

Hundreds came out to the Lapeer International Dragway Wednesday, most of them were racers like Martin.

"I mean the track needed some work; but I can't believe they did it, they pulled it off," Martin said. "It looks great on there on the surface."

Martin hasn't been out here in 10-12 years, but said, before that, he probably raced on the track more than a hundred times.

"My son and I, we used to race out here; but, we haven't raced together like this in years. So it's kind of nostalgic for us, too. We used to come out all the time when he was a young kid, but It's a pretty cool event," Martin added.

Racer Bruce Danks from Flint has a similar story. Wednesday, he raced a 1959 Catalina.

"I hope I get to make one pass and that's all," he said. "I got a new converter and a fresh tranny and we're gonna see what she's gonna do."

"I love anything that goes fast. I love the adrenaline; and you know, this is a way to keep people off the streets," said new owner, Bill Jennings.

Jennings bought the track from the Vakula Family earlier this year, using money he won in a lawsuit against the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

"You know, I just wanted to make it the best I could for everybody and everybody's really responded well to it," he said.

The success already has him eyeing more property surrounding the track.

"I'm trying to build up a lot more in the area, you know, possibly a campground over here, BMX, playground. I want to make it more of a family weekend event type thing," Jennings said.

For more informaiton on coming to see a race or participating in one, click on the 'Related Links' section of this story.

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