September 28, 2013, marked 75-80 Dragway’s last official race. “The Final Call” event at the location in Monrovia, Maryland, hosted Outlaw Pro Street, Outlaw Drag Radial, Big Tire Outlaw, and more before the gates were closed for what was expected to be the last time… but that’s not quite the way things panned out. Almost a decade later, Terris Hicks has rented and revived the track to restore racing to the region.
Originally built in the 1960s, the track had gone through an earlier shut down in 2005, but support from local fans and racers prompted its owners to reconsider and reopen in 2009. Although it was closed to the public once again only four years later, 75-80 Dragway did continue to see light use as a testing ground for MotorWeek, television’s longest running automotive series.
Hicks had raced at the track plenty of times in the late 1980s and ‘90s with his 1984 Ford Mustang and his Hemi-powered Lincoln Mark VIII, among many other cars.
“75-80 Dragway originally started the Outlaw 10.5 movement back in the ‘80s,” noted Hicks, who has fond memories of racing with many of the era’s big names. He also frequented the NMRA and other dragstrips in the area before eventually transitioning into his current role as a race promoter.
Hicks’s Hurricane Racing Tours no-prep series has gained tremendous popularity in recent years, and his experience with it inspired him to want to manage a track.
“We went after another track first, but we wound up getting the lease at 75-80 with the option to purchase it later,” Hicks explained of the deal that went down. “We want to do index racing, radial events, and bring back the original Outlaw 10.5 class.”
With his lease official as of July 1, 2021, Hicks wasted no time getting to work at 75-80 Dragway.
“The track itself is in excellent condition, it just needed some cosmetic work around the property since it was pretty overgrown,” he shared of the facility that boasts the ability to run both eighth-mile and quarter-mile categories. In addition to the requisite yardwork and landscaping that was needed after being untouched for months on end, Hicks demolished the original bleachers and will be replacing them with new aluminum ones. “We also have a new timing system from RaceAmerica and new LED lighting to put in place.”
Although Hicks does have the option to purchase 75-80 Dragway “at some point in the future,” he has made it clear that he is ready to go with the transaction as quickly as the current owners would like. “At that point, we would make the investment to put in newer bathrooms and other big upgrades. We won’t get too carried away right now, but if we buy, we will definitely take it to the next level,” confirmed the manager.
Hicks’s efforts, combined with the large following behind his Hurricane Racing Tours events and the state of Maryland’s initiative to crack down on street racing, should spell success for the new 75-80 Dragway. He plans to have it open as soon as mid-July for test and tune sessions to put some rubber down on the racing surface, followed shortly by index, heads-up, and no-prep events.