The Gulf Coast Story
(Story & Research By Michael Evans) Biloxi Dragway
Every year drag racing hall of fames are inducting racers. Many people associated with the Biloxi Dragway have been recognized for their racing spirit. Just a few associations, these Hall of Fames are: Don Garlits' International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, International Motorsports Hall of Fame, Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, NHRA Division 4 Hall of Fame, NHRA Southeast Hall of Fame, Mopar Hall Of Fame, Old Drag Racers Reunion Hall of Fame, East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame, and, Alabama Auto Racing Pioneers Hall of Fame.
In 2014 Charles Meek (Biloxi Dragway Promoter), Gerald Adcock (Biloxi Dragway Announcer), Shirley Shahan (Racer), Herb McCandless (Racer), Don Grotheer (Racer), and Mr. Norm (Team Owner), were inducted into the Mopar and ODRR Hall of Fame.
When the final event took place at the Biloxi Dragway the car counts were up to 400 vehicles participating. Records in the area are still being broke today with 7,293 vehicles participating in Cruisin' The Coast in 2014. Gaining popularity each year since, 8,620 registered in 2019 for another record breaking year. If you visit the Mississippi Gulf Coast you'll find there's Gulfport Dragway (Gulf Coast Vintage Drag Racing Championship) featuring gassers & vintage dragsters, various car club meets throughout the year such as Cruisin' The Coast, and Hall of Fame events in neighboring states such as the Old Drag Racer's Reunion in Panama City, FL.
Making Of The Website
In July 2006 I created at tribute website for Biloxi Dragway. I never attended an event at Biloxi, but I'm a big racing fan. The inspiration to create the website to what it is today was from around eleven photos our friend Mike showed me of the Biloxi Dragway.
Bubba Cummins has sent us a many of picture to display. In Feb 2008 we were contacted by a group of racers called the Parkside Gang that consisted of great guys that raced raced at Biloxi. Milton Castanedo was the host of this reunion in Gulfport, MS. You could tell these men knew cars inside out. They showed us a true treasure of images of what Biloxi Dragway was about. Nearly 100 images I took with my camera of flyers and newsletters, scanned nearly 100 pictures, in about two or three hours.
It's taken a few years to get it all posted for the world to see and structure the website around all the known history. I also went to work to track down the results for the website. With the results have been able to figure out the exact dates of many photos. I really had no idea what it would turn into, proud what has been done so far with this project. There's alot more to the story then I could have imagined. Biloxi Dragway had a colorful history and also a much different time for the Mississippi Gulf Coast, which makes for a fun time machine.
Through the years on this project I've interviewed racers and fans about their experiences at the drag strip from Glenn Cupit, Mr. Norm, Don Garlits & family of Paul VanderLey, many many more, and many emails. Thanks to everyone with the help on questions and sharing what went on. I've researched over 100+ Hall of Fame Associations with the Biloxi Dragway, featuring National Records, National Racers, National Events & Local Racers at the National Events, Biloxi Dragway, Biloxi, Mississippi.
Credits & Photos
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