The year 2016 was a shining one for the new GALOT Motorsports Park in Benson. In its first season since reopening after a major renovation transformed the track from the former Dunn-Benson Dragstrip into the mega-track it is today, the track was host to numerous events during the year to secure top honors among the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA).
At an awards banquet held Dec. 10 in Indianapolis, Ind., it was announced that GALOT was named the PDRA Track of the Year as well as the National Tractor Pullers Assocation (NTPA) Grand National Pull of the Year. The GALOT Motorsports Racing Team, led by drivers Kevin Rivenbark and John Strickland, also claimed the PDRA Pro Boost Championship, winning all nine national events. Rivenbark was named world champion.
One of the highlights of the season came in September when the track hosted its first ever PDRA Dragstock XIII event, which to this date has drawn the largest crowd to a PDRA event. GALOT took advantage of this opportunity to give back to charity as they teamed up with Ron and Amy Shirley of Lizard Lick Towing for a charity auction. The auction, which benefited the Make-A-Wish Foundation, brought in a total of $21,000.
Another highlight of the year, and quite likely the headline of the 2016 schedule, was in June when the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series 2 came into town for a three-day weekend event.
Other events held at the track included the Monster Truck Throwdown held in September and October as well as “The World’s Largest Demolition Derby” held in July.
On the heels of so much success in the 2016 season, 2017 is primed for a repeat.
The 2017 season will feature two PDRA events. The first one will be March 31-April 1 and the second will be Sept. 7-9.
The NTPA Truck and Tractor Pull will also make a stop in Benson June 2-3 for the Mule City 300, which is the first Grand National Pull of 2017.
Motorcycle drag racing will also come to GALOT Motorsports Park July 15-16 as Hines and Vance Manufacturers Cup series pays a visit to the track. Also in the works for next season is a return of the Monster Truck Throwdown as well as various Mad Mule Pro Mod Shootouts.
A new reality TV series “Burning Rubber” is also set to be filmed on location.
New events are constantly added to the 2017 lineup. Fans are encouraged to check the GALOT Motorsports Park website at www.galotmotorsportspark.com and the GALOT Motorsports Park Facebook page frequently for updates.