Non-Professional Drag racers will have a new place to compete in Northeast Florida. The town of Callahan is getting its first drag racing track.
David Hicken is the owner of a go-kart track complex called Speedway in Callahan in Nassau County. He had been waiting for three years to bring a drag strip to the town. Now, it’s finally coming.
“We’re going to be breaking ground, hopefully in a week or so,” Hicken said. “It should only take about five or six months to get open.”
“It’s going to be a 1/8-mile long, 50-foot-wide two-lane drag strip,” Hicken said. “It’s going to have jersey walls, which are concrete barriers. It’s going to have a concrete burning area and a concrete starting line.”
This project will cost nearly $1 million. Hicken says it’s going to be worth every penny to see people do wheelies, burnouts, and donuts.
“It is the only place you can legally put your foot to the metal, I guess you can say,” Hicken said.
Currently, the next closest drag track is the National Hot Rod Association in Gainesville.
The Callahan drag strip will now be built on the south side of the current speedway. The ⅛-mile, two-lane track will join a smaller motorcycle racing course and one for radio-controlled car racing. The drag strip already got approval from the Nassau County Conditional Use and Variance Board, and joins this week’s nod by the St. Johns River Water Management District.
“They told me I was in too much of the wetlands,” Hicken said. “So we reengineered it and redid and moved it out of the wetlands. … I kept moving it over until we were clear.”
With that final approval, Hicken and his team had their first meeting late Monday with contractors to review the plans and discuss the steps ahead.
A Callahan groundbreaking ceremony should happen in the next few weeks, after county officials and the contractor go over the final plans.
“It could possibly be built somewhere between four and five months,” Hicken said.