When Dunn-Benson Dragstrip became GALOT Motorsports Park, the new owner had a wish list of improvements he wanted to make.
He has since checked most of them off: a new track paved with the help of lasers to ensure even, fast racing; a fiber-optic timing system; LED scoreboards; a new control room; and suites for race fans.
Appearing earlier this month before Johnston County commissioners, the dragstrip crossed another wish off its list: a new entrance to the drag-racing venue south of Benson.
The dragstrip’s address is 55 Drag Strip Road, but owner Earl Wells thought it would be easier to move fans in and out of the venue with an entrance on N.C. 242.
To make that happen, Wells needed Johnston County to rezone 14.7 acres of his 78.7-acre tract for business use. At their August meeting, county commissioners said yes.
Already, much of the land around the dragstrip is in business use. It’s home to a natural-gas company, a towing-and-recovering business and a hardware store. With that being the case, the Johnston County Planning Board saw no reason to deny the rezoning request.
Neither did county commissioners, who praised Wells for taking over the dragstrip, then quickly approved the rezoning.
“Thank you for what you’ve done out there,” said Commissioners’ Chairman Tony Braswell said. “It’s an excellent facility for our county.”
Commissioners also said it was OK for Wells to place signage at the new entrance.
Also this month, commissioners:
▪ Rezoned roughly 24 acres on Richardson Road in O’Neals Township for business use. Abraham Sari, who sells tools and other items online, needs a warehouse for his operation.
▪ Issued a special-use permit for about eight acres on Wilder Road, also in O’Neals Township. Wake Electric Membership Corp. will build a 300-foot tower there for utility meter and dispatch communications. An eight-foot fence will surround the tower.
Abbie Bennett: 910-849-2827; @AbbieRBennett