Photo: Alek Lewis

Long Island has a drag strip. At least for the next few weekends.

An airstrip at the Enterprise Park in Calverton is now set up and ready for an eight day, eighth-mile drag racing series, called “Race Track, Not Street,” starting this Saturday and running through the next four weekends.

The first weekend will feature daytime-only races on Saturday and Sunday. The events will begin with an opening ceremony at 10:45 a.m., followed by races from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday’s opening ceremony will also feature the national anthem sung by Long Island native Sal Valentinetti, who came in 5th place during the 11th season of America’s Got Talent.

This Saturday’s event is already sold out, but all other events currently have tickets available, according to organizer Pete Scalzo.

Photo: Alek Lewis

After the opening weekend, the rest of the series will feature night races on Saturdays, from 4 p.m. to 10:45 p.m., and day races on Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Spectators can begin arriving at 8 a.m. for the daytime events and 1 p.m. for nighttime events.

The events currently run through the weekend of Sept. 11, with rain dates scheduled as daytime races for Sept. 18 and 19.

Vendors will be on site at the event to sell food and drinks to spectators. Nostalgic race cars will also be on display during the event, Scalzo said. 

Tickets must be purchased online on the event’s website and cannot be purchased at the door. Tickets for racers are $50, which includes admission. Tickets for adult spectators cost $25, while kids age 10 and under can enter for free. General parking for spectators is free and bleachers are set up next to the track for seating.

Spectators wishing to park in the pit area next to the track and tailgate during the event will need to pay $15 per vehicle. 

This weekend’s forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms. Scalzo said attendees will be notified if any events are canceled the morning of and rescheduled for one of the rain dates on Sept. 18 or 19.

Rules and regulations for both racers and spectators are posted on the event’s website. The event is sanctioned by the National Hot Rod Association.

In June, the town board voted June 4-0, with Councilwoman Catherine Kent abstaining, to authorize both “Race Track, Not Street” and a separate drag racing event called the “Scrambul Runway Challenge.”

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: [email protected]