What a drag (strip): Top Gun Raceway opens Saturday | NevadaAppeal.com

What a drag (strip): Top Gun Raceway opens Saturday

LVN file photo

A new face in the same place.

Stan Hooper has taken the reins as president of Top Gun Raceway and is ready for the 2013 season, which hits the pavement at 9:30 a.m. Saturday with a test-and-tune.

The new year will bring new events to the drag strip including Diesel Trucks and street legal cars. In addition, traditional staples return such as $5 Friday, the Lucas Oil Series and King of the Track.

“We are putting on the diesel pickup show,” Hooper said. “We think it might turn out pretty good.”

Pouring smoke and reaching speeds up to 120 mph, the Diesel Trucks are the latest class to converge at Top Gun. Hooper said the trucks provide quality racing for fans and put on a “fantastic show.”

The street legal division, though, allows for anyone to pay a $20 registration fee — provided they have a valid drivers license, registration and insurance — to hit the strip instead of taking to local roadways.

Hooper, who is in his 50th year of professional racing, said the street legals is an opportunity for youngsters to engage in a safer display of racing. The street legal class starts April 14 and totals eight dates throughout the season.

“It’s going to take some of the kids off the street,” Hooper said. “It’s only $20 to come in and race all the time. The street legals will run with every Summit race except when Lucas Oil runs.”

Of course, the NHRA Lucas Oil Series is a top draw for Top Gun and is slated for June 7-9 along with Octane Fest. The Lucas Oil Series brings in some of the fastest cars in the West and reach speeds near 200 mph.

In addition, Hooper said two Jet dragsters will run during the three-day event. Last season, the Lucas Oil Series drew 300 cars to the track and some as far away as Canada.

Many of the Lucas Oil cars hail from Nevada and California, although the race draws numerous drivers from other states.

Another class Hooper and Top Gun are bringing to the track is a non V-8 division. It allows for cars with engines smaller than a V-8 to come to the track and compete.