LODI – Back in the 1970s, Kingdon Drags was the place where Corvettes, Challengers, GTOs, Camaros, Firebirds, Mustangs and other muscle and fast cars of those days were in abundance.
This was also where guys came to settle their score as to who had fastest car in this part of the 209.
Robert Lee Cress was among the early managers of the drag strip. A Stockton police officer and auto-racing enthusiasts, he helped make Kingdon the place for people to race their cars legally.
And they did, from 1954 through 1978. Cars could be seen lined up along the quarter-mile course on a regular basis.
Today, the once popular drag strip operates as the Kingdon Airport. But once a year, organizers arrange for Kingdon to return to its drag-racing roots.
It started as one-day event in 2006 as “A Day at the Races,” growing to a drag racing festival benefitting the Welcome Home Heroes Foundation and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Air Patrol.
This year’s “Return to Kingdon” is Sept. 6 though 8. Thousands of race enthusiasts, ranging from modified to street legal cars, are once again expected to compete at the drags, vying for a chance at cash prizes by placing first.
Divisions include dragster, modified, stock (street legal), junior dragster and import classes.
Featured will be classic cars and hot rods on Saturday, Sept. 7, and Sunday, Sept. 8. The car show begins at 2 p.m. on both days.
Gates open at 7 a.m., with registration going from 7 to 11 a.m. Judging is scheduled at 11 o’clock.
The car show is hosted by the Port City Chapter and the Northern California Ford F-100 Elite.
Friday, Sept. 6, is the “All Out Streets” jackpot racing at 6:30 p.m.
By VINCE REMBULAT
The 209 staff reporter