Drag boat races zooming into downtown

On July 13-16, start your engines or pick a good spot on the banks of the Oklahoma River because one of the largest drag boat races in the United States is headed here for the third year in a row.

Ozarka Bricktown Nationals is the largest motor event in downtown OKC and brought out about 60,000 fans last year. A centennial project this year, the drag boat race will attract about 200 teams from the United States and Canada.

There will be about 50 concession stands and a kids' area with inflatables and toys toward the south bank of the river.

Last year, the fastest drag boat speed was hit at 257 mph, said Glenn Brown, president and chief executive officer of Bricktown Water Sports Inc. This year, he hopes to top the speed at 260 mph.

"This is my creation," Brown said. "I started working at drag boat races five years ago. One day, I was driving over the Oklahoma River and I said to myself, 'This is the perfect track.'"

Brown said the track is perfect because there is hardly any wind to bother the boats while racing, the spectators all have great views, and he can run a set of two boats down the river every 90 seconds without danger. This event is also free for spectators.  "Lisa Spinelli

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