Onondaga Dragway (1961 to 1978) was an Ingham County dragstrip. It was out in the country and was a good destination for some of our nation’s top drag racers. The likes of “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney, Connie Kalitta, and many , many more raced to the delight of the spectators.
But like many things here in Michigan it succumbed to hard times, so the site closed down, leaving racers, and fans heartbroken. In 1985 Dan Ranshaw led the way in proposing the reopening of the strip. Mr. Ranshaw had a grand vision for the dragstrip, he wanted an NHRA national event. Ranshway was going to rename the track to “Capital Area Dragway.” So he took his plans to Onondaga Twp. who the held hearing on the matter. He had pretty much the same decision as did Detroit Dragway a few years later. The people said that didn’t want this, citing noise. So Mr. Ranshaw lost his bid to re-open the track. After that try the track has mostly sat vacant for many years.
Back around 2008, group of local drag racers leased the track and started using it for test ‘n tune sessions. Well it didn’t take long for news of this to slowly leaked out to others racers. Soon the interest grew and this group of racers decided the would host a car show at the track, analog hoping to gather support to renovate the Onondaga Dragway . they wanted this to be a private facility, and open to club members only. On September 27th, 2009 the club held it’s first ever car show. They had over 200 car entries, and a long with this a few of the former racers came to the event.
Now years later the new owner of Onondaga Dragway is Ray Comer. Ray applied for a special permit to build the new strip in early 2010, and received clearance from the Onondaga Township board of trustee’s approved the plan on July 22nd. Mr. Comer started the costly task of bringing ths track into a top spot for racers.
The track repair is now in limbo because of group of whining locals, mostly citing noise, traffic. It appears this is still a long way from being stopped. It appears many people complain about their city, town county, of not getting enough revenue to use, but they when someone steps up to create, or in this case re-create something good, people always seem to say not here. So Mr. Comer we wish you good luck in your endeavor.