In honor of Great Bend, Kan.’s contribution to hot rodding and drag racing history, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has proclaimed April 27-May 5 Kansas Speedweek, a weeklong series of events at SRCA Dragstrip and in Great Bend. The week will officially kick off at the dragstrip on Saturday, April 27.
SRCA Dragstrip has a rich and storied history within the hot rodding culture. Following its founding in 1951, NHRA began sanctioning and supervising organized drag races across the nation. After conducting successful regional championship events, NHRA began scouting for a location to hold the first national championship event, to be held in 1955. After considering many sites, an old World War II runway at the Great Bend Municipal Airport was selected.
NHRA ran the event in conjunction with the Sunflower Rod & Custom Association, the local area car club. Racers and spectators from coast to coast made the trek to Great Bend to be part of the four-day event. Though cut short on the fourth day by a rainstorm and concluded in Phoenix, the event was an overwhelming success and would stamp SRCA Dragstrip as the birthplace of the NHRA U.S. Nationals, NHRA’s largest, most prestigious event.
This year, the Sunflower Rod & Custom Association, SRCA Dragstrip, and NHRA are celebrating Great Bend’s hot rodding tradition through Kansas Speedweek. Below is a calendar of events; for a detailed schedule and information for the week’s various events, log on to www.NHRAdiv5.com or www.srcadragstrip.com.