By Shane Goodman Publisher/Editor
A place swallowed by time
For most central Iowans, the land we call home was most likely occupied by corn or soybeans. Prior to that, it was probably native prairie land. But for many residents of Urbandale who live on the west side of Interstate 80/35, the grass they now mow was once covered with asphalt and squealing tires.
Reporter Jared Curtis takes a look at the history behind the Des Moines Dragway, which was located in what is now the Days Run residential development near 128th Street and Aurora Avenue. The dragway closed in 1967 but provided entertainment for thousands of central Iowans during the ten years it was open. Racing fan Larry Latham is collecting memorabilia from the dragway and shares much of what he has learned with us in this week’s cover story.
Fans of drag racing are a breed among themselves, but you don’t have to be a student of the sport to enjoy this story. Tales about the characters involved with the track are entertaining enough (with names like Kelly “The Professor” Chadwick, and “Jumpin’” Jeri Phillips, you can’t go wrong), but the historical perspective and the change in land use provide interesting angles as well.
Thanks for reading. CV