The original Orangeburg Drag Strip was built in 1961. The owners at the time were T J Ashe, Ezel Hutto, and Nick Davis. At that time there were no timing equipment, everything was started by a man getting out in front of the cars, dropping his hands and off to the races they went. At that time there also was no guard rail to keep the cars from the spectators. The original track was raced over the quarter mile, with another quarter mile of stopping distance.
In 1972, Zane, Tommy, & Jimmy DeWitt purchased the track from its original owners. The DeWitt brothers installed guard rail, bought timing equipment. The timing equipment was built over in Leesville, SC by gentlemen by the name of Jim Avery. It was a little black box that sat in the tower, you would use a calculator to subtract the difference from each cars dial in, roll a wheel with the difference in increments of hundredths. During this time racing really took off with cars getting very fast running the quarter mile in the high 10 second range. Familiar names that raced back then were of course the DeWitt's, Houston Platt, Zeigler Chevrolet, the Brickles at Orangeburg Auto, Buddy Boozer, Sonny Tindal, the Smith's from North, SC. The DeWitt's also started what we now call "Grudge" Racing. You would pay $1 to get in, another $1 to run your car and off to the races you would go. This sport has grown into a huge success all over the U.S.
In 1982 Don Garrick purchased the track from the DeWitt brothers. Don continued with the Thursday night racing along with Sunday bracket racing. He also at that time started running motorcycle events.
Don then sold the track to Charles and Johnny Dowey. Johnny and Charles continued with a very similar venue that Don had run over the years. The Dowey's tore up the old asphalt and converted the track to all concrete for better traction. Johnny and Charles kept the track for the next 13 years.
In 2001 Jimmy and Zane DeWitt re-purchased the track and continued to race with similar races for the next 5 years.
In 2006 the current owner, Buddy Boozer purchased the track and had all intentions of refurbishing the track that he had just purchased. After a few months had gone by, he decided that he could not work with the current track to fulfill his dream, so as fitting as it should have been, he called Johnny and Charles Dowey to bring in there heavy equipment and completely tore up the old track and all of the buildings with the exception of the tower which the Dowey's had installed back many years ago from a prison that they had demolished in Columbia, S.C. Buddy then brought in Ken Reaganthal from North Carolina to pour the new racing surface. He then hired a construction crew from Greenwood, SC to install the state of the art concrete guard rail, hired REA Construction to pave the returns roads and the 2000 feet of shut down area. Purchased the most modern equipment to prep the track and also equipment to make "oil downs" a one man job. Buddy also installed new timing equipment, added score boards, built a modern cafe, including heat and air bath rooms. He currently runs a wide array of events from Pro Mods to bracket racing, grudge racing, junior dragsters, and bike racing. All of the teams that have participated in the last years leave Orangeburg Drag Strip with all agreeing on one thing "The New Orangebug Dragstrip is one of if not the finest 1/8 mile tracks in the USA.
194 Dragstrip Road
Neeses, SC 29107
EMPLOYEES AND POSITIONS
RICKY SCURRY - STARTER
DON GARRICK - TOWER
ANDY HARPER - TOWER
LEON WALKER - WATER BOX
LEON HOLLAWAY - TECH INSP. AND STAGING
GINA MYERS - RACE CAR GATE
BUDDY BOOZER - OWNER