Story By: NHRA – SAN DIMAS, CA – The final NHRA Arizona Nationals will take place during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season as Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park finishes its run on the NHRA circuit.
After providing nearly 40 years of drag racing excitement and memorable performances to NHRA fans, a new overpass/roadway for the Interstate 10 extension will use the space currently occupied by the track.
“Arizona has been an incredible supporter of the NHRA and Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park for the past four decades and we are very grateful for this tremendous fan support,” said Elizabeth Antone, Wild Horse Pass Development Authority General Manager-Interim. “We know this final race will be a celebration that NHRA fans are famous for.”
“We want to thank Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park and the Gila River community for their dedicated commitment to drag racing,” NHRA President Glen Cromwell said. “The NHRA Arizona Nationals have provided NHRA fans countless memories for many years, and our race teams, partners, and NHRA officials look forward to celebrating the track in 2023 as we close out this chapter in NHRA history.”
As NHRA looks toward the future, it will focus on venues not currently on the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series circuit to fill the spot of the Phoenix event starting in the 2024 season.
“Our focus remains on making the NHRA an incredible experience to our fans, race teams and partners, and we are working on several new destinations,” Cromwell said. “With interest from multiple NHRA member tracks within each region across the country, we are excited about the possibilities for a future NHRA national event.”
NHRA’s longstanding “Duel in the Desert” became a Southwest fixture starting in 1985 and the NHRA Arizona Nationals have been a favorite for race teams and fans throughout the years. Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park has also been home to several historic and record performances during its extensive history, including Tony Schumacher’s historic 330-mph run in 1999 and his record-setting pass in 2018.
Schumacher has five career victories at the facility, while Funny Car legend John Force’s eight wins in Phoenix leads all drivers. Matt Hagan set the track record in Funny Car at this year’s event in February, going 3.823-seconds at 333.41, while Brittany Force went 3.643 at 337.92 to set the Top Fuel track records in 2020. Mike Salinas (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) all won in front of a huge crowd at the 2022 race.