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Published May 13 2011

Glyndon dragway revs up after a few lean years

RURAL GLYNDON, Minn. – After languishing in neutral for a few years, the fastest quarter-mile in the Fargo-Moorhead area is under new ownership and ready to put the pedal to the metal again.

That’d be Top End Dragways, formerly Interstate Dragways. The 52-year-old Glyndon racing strip is now owned by Charlie McCann, a Fargo auto body and engine specialist. McCann, who races motorcycles, first raced on the track himself four years ago.

When he made plans to open his own motorcycle shop last year, he found the raceway was for sale and closed on a deal to buy it early this year.

“I thought, ‘What the heck? What better place to have a bike shop than right next to the drag strip?’ ” he said.

He’s now working to open the shop there. Meanwhile, the dragway will host its first event of the season – a bracket racing weekend – starting on Saturday.

The move comes after the drag strip had fallen into a bit of a lull in recent years. “It kind of was dwindling,” McCann said. “It wasn’t operating near its potential.”

Last year, the strip hosted just five events. This year, there are already 15 on the schedule, ranging from prize-money bracket races to street-legal events to classic hot-rod exhibitions.

McCann is working on a number of improvements to the track. He put in a new speaker system, is cleaning up the track to improve traction, and wants to build more seating for next season.

He’s hoping to lure back area racers who had taken to going elsewhere as the dragway fell from prominence.

“They haven’t been willing to come to the track lately,” he said. “There’s guys that would drive to Brainerd to go race because they love racing.”

Those include Jeff Korol, a longtime racer who is helping McCann promote the raceway. Korol has been racing on the Glyndon strip since 1970, when he was in high school. He met Mc­Cann through a mutual friend last fall when he heard McCann was buying the track.

Back then, Korol drove a 1967 Camaro – still his favorite car, he says. Now, he’s in a souped-up 1990 Chevrolet Beretta that gets down the strip in a hair more than 10.1 seconds.

He said he’s excited to see the track put to regular use again.

“It’s a very, very nice facility,” he said. “And it’s got a good tradition.” Back when Korol started racing at the strip, it was owned by DuWayne Engness, founder of Fargo’s Taco Shop, who raced there himself.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Marino Eccher at (701) 241-5502