Talon News - Good Local News


Wings & Wheels 2017


September 22, 2017

J.R. Sykes

Car #23, Tim Payne, of Bloomfield, in his 1967 Camaro, had the best and fastest run of the day at 118 MPH, 6.456 ET ... that's fast!

Smiles and squeals of delight were everywhere on Saturday at the Aztec airport. The Wings and Wheels drag racing and car show event over the weekend sent cars and trucks racing down the one-eighth mile track to the delight of young and old alike. Troy Bible and crew put together a wonderful event for both the professional and amateur racers. Drivers brought in vehicles for this event from as far away as Cortez, Albuquerque and even Cuba. Clint Haskin of Haskin Racing took home the trophy for the Best Wheelie and Tim Payne in his '67 Camaro took the best time with 6.456 ET (elapsed time). If you had street or racing tires on your vehicle and wanted to drive fast, this weekend was for you.

Racing is a popular pastime in our community, and this straight track is a major boon for Aztec. These events offer a place for everyone; from the street racer that needs to see what their car can do if given the opportunity to open it up; to the professional racer that needs a place to test and tune their vehicle to reach peak performance. As it stands currently, racers that need to be able to test and tune before a race must either take their vehicles to Albuquerque or Grand Junction. Neither is an easy or quick trip to make. "Many times I have come home with the sun coming up," said Haskin.

There are also numerous safety benefits for the members of our local communities with the addition of this track. They do not stop with just the racers. As many of us are aware, pretty much any night of the week you can see street racing taking place in our communities. These drivers need a place that they can experience the rush of power as the engine accelerates, their bodies are pressed into the seat and they rocket down the pavement. Bible hopes to have up to 32 sponsored events a year, while still leaving the option for private racing groups to rent the track for their own use. The track currently requires racing or street tires to run it, however they are hoping to add to what they can offer in the future.

Car #45, C. Watson, Farmington; 2017 Dodge Challenger SXT, ran a 8.237 ET in Round 8

This is the second event sponsored by the Wings and Wheels crew at the Aztec airport, and the weekend event is the launch of what is expected to be a successful season of racing for the group. The drag strip is situated on a de-commisioned runway that had been sitting fallow since the FAA officially took it out of service earlier this year. Bible and the city were able to reach an agreement to use the runway as a strip for the local enthusiasts to test and race their vehicles. Bible and his group had the strip resurfaced to make it usable for racing. They have also installed safety barriers and a light tree for accurate starts and timing of the racers. They trucked in over 400 loads of dirt to build the parking lot for the spectators. Bible is hoping to draw a crowds of 5000 or more spectators for his weekend events. The numbers of spectators, plus the racers, their families and crews would be an amazing fiscal gain for not only our community, but those surrounding us. These events can run Spring through Fall, bringing more tourist dollars to our community and those around us.

The racing day on Saturday was followed on Sunday by a car show. Among the offerings were many of the cars and trucks that had run the track the day before, allowing the public to get a look at what was under their hoods. The vintage trucks and cars made a showing for the public as well, but perhaps the most fun for some was the variety of planes and gliders that were present. Wings and Wheels put on a wonderful weekend event and I for one can hardly wait to see what they do next.

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