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Photos: Alaska Raceway Park celebrates 50 years

  • Author:
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published August 17, 2014

BUTTE -- Karen Lackey thinks Alaska Raceway Park may have attracted one of its biggest crowds in 20 years this Fourth of July, but on the following day she was too busy to figure out exactly how many showed.

"I do know they ate all the ice cream and drank all the water, and we're replenishing today," she said.

Karen, who co-owns the drag strip with her husband, Earl Lackey, and daughter, Michelle Maynor, hasn't had time to look at the books. At age 72, she also directs racers to their parking spots, sells tickets, oversees the gift shop, paints, empties trash and, well, you name it. Perhaps the only thing she doesn't do there is work on cars and burn rubber.

"I do not turn wrenches for a very good reason. I would turn them the wrong direction," she said.

Those who do know the Lackeys operate Alaska's premier drag racing destination and carry on a tradition that began in the 1960s. This year, Alaska Raceway Park celebrates its 50th anniversary.

READ MORE: At 50, Alaska Raceway Park still has tires burning and hearts pumping

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