NHRA drag racing returns to Arizona. It's the annual NHRA duel in the desert, the second event on the 2014 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour. Held in Arizona since 1985, the drag race race offers race teams a chance to establish themselves for the critical first part of the NHRA drag racing season. Buy NHRA tickets here.
Held at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, the world-class race track is historically known for record-setting performances, such as Tony Schumacher's historic 330-mph quarter-mile race in 1999.
Schedule subject to change.
Coming to the NHRA race? Here's how to get to the race track: Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park is just 10 miles south of Phoenix in Chandler, Arizona and minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX). From Phoenix and the west, take Interstate 10 east to the Wild Horse Pass exit (Exit 162A). From Tucson or the south, take I-10 west to the Wild Horse Pass exit (Exit 162).
Drag racing fans will see exciting door-to-door competition in three of NHRA’s Pro racing categories: the 8,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragster and Funny Car classes, with engines burning nitromethane, along with the 200-mph "factory hot rod" Pro Stock category. Defending winners of the Arizona drag race from 2014 are Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), and Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock)...Enders' 2013 win was her fifth career Pro Stock win, beating Jason Line in the finals. The NHRA drag race will be televised on ESPN2HD.
The drag race will include stars like 16-time Funny Car world champ John Force, Top Fuel world champ Shawn Langdon, Antron Brown, Matt Hagan, Courtney Force, Pro Stock world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr., and two-time Funny Car champ Cruz Pedregon.
Drag racing fans will see a lot of new improvements in 2014. New concrete was put down on the launch pad, replacing part of the 700-foot existing pad. A new CompuLink timing system and new public-address system were installed, replacing the old Firebird Raceway equipment, and new scoreboards are coming soon.
Paul Clayton, managing partner for Copper Train, the management company hired by land owners Gila River Indian Community, along with Track President Dick Hahne, have been hard at work to improve the fan experience. They've working closely with Sun Valley Marina Corporation, a subcommittee of the tribe, which oversees land usage to ensure a top-quality experience for race fans.
We're doing everything we can to make the customers happy," said Clayton. "We're trying to make this a special event. I want the first-time race fan experience to be incredible."
We brought in veteran drag racer and former NHRA Division 5 dragstrip operator/owner Bill Schneider to be in charge of the dragstrip operation as dragstrip events manager. Schneider's experience in drag racing goes back to 1956. We also hired another NHRA Division 5 racetrack veteran Rod Wolter, who helped build NHRA's Gateway Motorsports Park and helped with remodeling of NHRA's Brainerd International Raceway, to assist us.
We surveyed local racers about which items needed to be addressed, then went into action. The first priority was the racing surface, where the final 560 feet of the 704-foot-long concrete launch pad was completely replaced. The first 160-plus feet recently had recently been replaced. Baker Construction, which has done concrete work for several NHRA national events, including the all-concrete zMax Dragway, poured of eight inches of rebar-reinforced concrete that meets all NHRA specifications. The group also paid special attention to the transition area and the asphalt portion to make it as smooth as possible for racers.
The famous Arizona drag racing and multi-use motorsports park has changed its name for 2014. You can read about it here along with our track records.
The Internet's buzzing about Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. Read about all the stories here.