|At center are 13-year-old Cody Thompson flanked by his mother, Carmen, and father Alan. At far left is Carl Hoyer who presented the trophy to Cody and at far right is school superintendent Bill Hyde.|
January 25, 2001
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
by Patricia Swan Smith
For the Pathfinder
One of 13-year-old Cody Thompson's goals was to take first place in the Junior Drag at the Lost Creek Trailway in Anaconda. And he did that this past year.
"I was just really happy," Cody said.
Cody received a trophy, a jacket, a $500 Savings Bond, a perfect attendance plaque and the traveling trophy. Carl Hoyer, the track manager, presented the traveling trophy to Cody and Superintendent Bill Hyde last October at the grade school.
The trophy will remain at the elementary school for one year. Unless of course Cody reclaims his title next year.
"We're really proud that he accomplished what he set out to do," Hoyer said. "He's a good little racer."
The races are 1/8th of a mile, and Cody's fastest time this year was 11.8 seconds at 57 miles per hour.
Last year Cody took 2nd in the Junior Drag and received a trophy, a $200 saving bond and a perfect attendance plaque.
Cody started racing when he was 11. At that time he ran 39.88 mph with a time of 16.38.
Cody is the son of Alan and Carmen Thompson of Seeley Lake.
The highest speed allowed on the track for Junior Dragsters is 74.5 mph.
The engine for Junior Dragsters cannot be bigger than a 5-horse Briggs & Stratton. They can run either gas or alcohol. Alcohol runs hotter.
Hoyer said that he enjoys seeing the kids competing at the racetrack.
"It gives the girls and boys something they can compete at the same event," he said. "Both can play together and work together on a level playing field and get along.
"When it comes to losing to a girl, it's tough for them to go over and shake hands with her, but they do it. They have to deal with this issue at a young age and I thinks that's great. And they really do have a good time together."
Hoyer also credits Melody Gessele for the good ethics used on the track.
"She works with the kids and when the kids have a problem they have to solve them without going to their parents. It helps them become stronger and responsible for themselves. We try to teach them that 'Your destiny is in your own hands.'"
The track opens the last weekend of April and runs through the last weekend of September. Classes include: Junior Dragsters, High School and Adult. They run 10 or 11 races each season and have three time trials before they race.
The Junior Dragster races started about seven years ago with two kids and they now have four girls and nine boys.
If you would like information, call 949-DRAG (This is a toll free call).