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Celebrating 60 Years as Alaska's Racing Capital!

Alaska Raceway Park, nestled in Palmer, Alaska, is a premier motorsports complex that hosts races from Mother's Day to Labor Day. Situated near Butte, the Knik River, and the Knik Glacier, this renowned racing venue is located at Mile 10.4 of the Old Glenn Highway, approximately 41.5 miles northeast of Anchorage, Alaska. The backdrop of the 6,398-foot Pioneer Peak adds to the scenic beauty, making it a favorite among race fans worldwide. Perched at an elevation of 63 feet above sea level, the track offers optimal air pressure, ideal for high-performance racing.

Drag Strip

The 1/4-mile drag strip opened in 1964 and run on leased land for 30 years by Lee and Fern Nelson and sons Ron and Larry as Polar Dragway. The track has had several names over the years, including Thunder Valley Raceway, Valley Raceway, Big Valley Raceway, and Polar Raceway. In November 1994, the racing operation was purchased from Lee Nelson and incorporated as Top End, Inc., held by a group of business people who loved motorsports. The group included Jack (Randy) Harris, Louie Kirk, John Childs, Jerry Schreiner, Gregg Gunnarson, and Kristen Kinn, and the name was changed to Alaska Raceway Park. Earl Lackey purchased Jerry Schreiner's shares in 1995. Top End completed extensive changes: environmental cleanup, installation of an entrance via Sullivan Road, installation of new bleachers and sound system, and a re-roof of all buildings.

The drag strip became the only Alaska IHRA member track on March 1, 1995, through the efforts of Gregg Gunnarson. In 2003, Alaska Raceway Park was recognized by IHRA as Track of the Year for showing "positive growth and success on the track." In 2012 IHRA recognized Alaska Raceway Park as the Summit SuperSeries Track of the Year for Division 6. In Fall 1998, Earl and Karen Lackey bought the corporate stock from the other owners and, with their daughter, Michelle Lackey Maynor, remain the current owners. They continue track improvements, including new bleachers on the pit side, remodeling the main building (snack bar and lounge), adding a gift shop, enlarging the work shop, adding improved firefighting and track-cleaning equipment, paving the staging area and pit parking, and installing a separate entry gate for racers.

In April 2000, after 35 winters and thousands of rounds of racing, the track surface was weathered and frost-heaved. A new audio system with a radio transmitter was also installed before the massive cooperative effort to grind up the old track, lay a new bed using laser-controlled machinery, constructing a heated 300-foot concrete launch pad, then laying down 4,100 feet of asphalt. Much of the work was accomplished through volunteers, with assistance from the Operator's Union, VECO, Denali Concrete, and a donation of emulsion from Tesoro Refining and Marketing. On May 21, 2000, a new state-of-the-art computerized timing system was put into use.

In 2002, the Lackeys successfully purchased the 155 acres previously leased from the State of Alaska, as well as an adjoining 27 acres from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. This purchase made the track's status permanent and provided room for parking.

In October of 2019 Alaska Raceway Park made the switch to the NHRA Northwest Division 6, becoming NHRA's northernmost track. Being part of NHRA brings another level of racing to Alaska, as well as allows for Alaskan racers to compete with their divisional and regional counterparts on the West coast.

Oval Track

An adjacent 1/4-mile dirt oval track operated from 1980 to 1986.

In 2016, a new 1/3-mile asphalt oval track was unveiled, supported by sponsors such as Tesoro Refining and Marketing, Pruhs Construction, Soper's Concrete, Valley Block and Concrete, E-Terra, Acutek Geomatics, New Horizons Telecom, and J.D. Steel Co. This oval track was sanctioned by NASCAR in its Whelen All American Series, adding a new dimension to the racing experience at Alaska Raceway Park. We are proud to offer the only paved oval in Alaska.


Over the years there have been many voices floating over the drag strip P.A. system: “Big Daddy” Dave, Jerry Pierce, Steve Byrd, Rodney Villanueva, “Big Schwag” Brett Wagner, “Chatterbox” Christa Mayfield, and Alex Van Nice.

At the oval track the iconic voice of Sean Farris can be heard soaring through the airways. Sean travels 600 miles every race weekend to be a part of the action!

Webcam / Weather