Lawton home to ATV drag races

For the past 10 years, Mike Harder of Endicott, N.Y., has played a behind-the-scenes role in putting on ATV drag races in Lawton.

He, along with his wife Pat, run ATV Special Events, an organization that brings drag racing to a piece of land along Route 706 in Lawton several times per year.
One such event will take place this coming weekend on Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 11 a.m. each day.
Harder said that there are many different classes of all-terrain vehicle that enter the competition each time to see who can best the competition with the fastest run on a 300-foot drag strip.
“We have many different classes and racers of all ages that come out,” Harder said. “Anywhere from stock condition to modified. Some guys will put $20,000 into a machine. Others don’t.”
Harder said that there is a youth division and an adult division of racing and that each division’s classes are broken up by the power and class of the ATV.
He said that throughout the past 10 years, there has been a steady flow of people that come to the weekend-long events.
“A lot of families come to the races,” Harder said. “Moms and dads, and sons and daughters alike.”
According to Harder, most families make it a weekend getaway by camping in tents and motor homes at the race grounds.
“It started off with tents and pop-up campers,” Harder said. “Now people bring big motor homes here and make a weekend out of it.”
He said that there has been racing in Lawton for quite some time, however it has evolved from snowmobile racing, to ATV drag racing.
The land, owned by Lenny Allen, has been in use for many years to host racing action.
Harder said that the main draw to an event like this, is the family interaction.
“It really is a family event,” Harder said. “Kids and adults can both come and race, campout and have a great time.”
He noted that these events get anywhere from 100 to 150 competitors looking to get in on the action.
A draw to the racing is the fact that these ATVs can reach 90 to 100 mph in that short span, which is sure to get people’s adrenaline pumping.
In the kids division, winning participants are awarded trophies, while adults that take part are competing for cash prizes.
Admission for spectators is $15 for both days, or $10 per day while it is $20 to enter an ATV into the race in a single class, with a $15 fee for each additional class.
There is also the option of becoming a member of ATV Special Events for $40 for the year.
For more information on ATV Special Events, visit atvspecialevents.freewebspace.com.