Opened in 1958, Thompson Drag Raceway is one of the first dragstrips in the nation, and the first dragstrip in Ohio. TDR was there to help launch the careers of drivers such as Don Garlits and T.V. Tommy Ivo, both of whom would become drag racing legends. The track flourished throughout the muscle car are of the 60’s and early 70’s. The gas shortage of the 70’s and subsequent lack of performance cars was a trying time for the track. The track continued to operate through these tough times, and in doing so, became run down and neglected.
In 1991, the dragstrip was purchased by drag racing enthusiasts Bill and Bonnie Clemson. Bill and Bonnie’s pride for the dragstrip was obvious, and over the next 14 years, $1.7 million dollars worth of improvements were made to the track and facilities. These improvements included: new restrooms, concession stands, a pedestrian bridge, timing tower, a paved access road and a paved pit parking area.
By far the largest improvement undertaken was the leveling of the shut-down portion of the track. The project was started in October 2001 and was completed in the spring of 2002. Included was the complete repaving of the back quarter of the strip. In 2004 TDR became a fully sanctioned NHRA 1/4 mile dragstrip.
In the spring of 2005 TDR was sold to new owners. Thompson Raceway Park, est. 2005 will continue the tradition of world class drag racing with a friendly, family atmosphere. Stay tuned!