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Drag Strips shutting down across the country

Drag Strips Closing Across U.S. Phoenix, Houston, Arizona Wild Horse, Atlanta, Palm Beach, Memphis

 

April 30, 2022

What’s happening to drag racing? Drag strips are closing everywhere. To wit: Phoenix, Arizona’s last drag strip, Palm Beach, Atlanta, and Memphis. And this is on the heels of closing the iconic Englishtown in New Jersey in 2018, as well as more regional tracks like Sallisaw Outlaw Drag Strip in Oklahoma, and Auto Club Drag way in California. So what’s going on?

 

Many different things, as it turns out. But lumping them all together has to do with value. In most cases, the value of the properties these strips are on has a more lucrative purpose. The tracks don’t make enough money to continue as drag strips

 

A lot of this is a result of urban sprawl. Bonking a housing tract, industrial complex, or football stadium creates more money for the property owners. So as suburban lawns inch closer to drag strips, it becomes more valuable. Or conversely, tracks actually lose money, so it’s better to close them down and padlock the gates

But part of this whole bad trend is the sad truth that the hobby of drag racing is aging out. The generation that created, developed, and participated in drag racing is dying. And the subsequent generations haven’t grown up with that car-culture interest.

As for the drag strips mentioned above and their dates with closure, Phoenix’s Wild Horse drag strip lost out to eminent domain to widen the adjacent highway. For Palm Beach International Raceway, mounting expenses did it in. The track owner specified insurance costs as just one problem.

At Houston Raceway Park, home to the NHRA’s Spring Nationals since 1988, the track owners sold the property in 2019, and this year is its last year of operation. The new owner will be building a logistic operation there

Willie Moore  Streetrodding

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