Hypoxia is fast, furious fun

EVANSTON — An unseasonably cool June Saturday did not deter an exceptional “day at the races” at Hypoxia Dragway on Saturday, June 8. In fact, air conditions were the best that America’s highest track, at 6,600 feet in elevation, had ever experienced, and records were broken.

Seventeen-year-old Evanston High School senior Payton Woodward broke her own track record on the eighth-mile track, guiding her 632 methanol-injected,  big-block Chevy dragster to an elapsed time of 4.711 seconds, while clocking 145.16 mph, to set the new Hypoxia standard. Woodward’s opponent in the record-breaking race was Chuck Rees, commanding his one-of-a-kind “slick mobile,” a hybrid, half-snowmobile/half-stock motorcycle. Rees scorched the track to an elapsed time of 5.007 seconds.

Brian Woodward, Payton’s father and Hypoxia promoter praised Tom Zbornik for his track prep and noted the combination of the optimum air conditions coupled with the well-groomed track resulted in “bringing out the beast in many of the racers today.”

A wide array of horsepower in varying forms is a staple of the racing excitement at Hypoxia Dragway every time out. A pair of vintage flathead roadsters from the 1930s competed for the first time and Woodward acknowledged “rat rods, bullet bikes, trucks, juniors and more” making runs at the Evanston track, a drag-racing facility located five miles north of the Etown on Highway 89, on the grounds of the original Evanston airport.

“We had 160 passes at two cars per pass for a total of 320 runs,” Woodward told the Herald

Woodward added, in an online narrative, “I know Texas Dave, Turtle, Gordon and more set new PRs (personal records). Everyone had a blast today. We had some awesome new cars and people as well. Dan Pratt, in his first outing at our track, took the bracket easily, when Jeff Rees stumbled.”

Woodward shared with the Herald that Rees ran faster than his dial-in but still lost to Pratt of Salt Lake City and his 1972 Vega with a 350 Chevy engine. 

Racing excitement continues on July 20, Aug. 24 and Sept. 28.


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