Track Profile: Alaska Raceway Park

·3 min read

Just over 40 miles from Anchorage, Alaska lies one of the newest and most unique short track complexes in the United States.

The decision to build a short track at Alaska Raceway Park back in 2016 proved to be a popular one amongst local fans and drivers, all of whom were eager to experience what racing would be like at the northernmost NASCAR-sanctioned track in the United States.

Along with providing thrilling on-track action across several different divisions, Alaska Raceway Park features one of the most scenic views across any motorsports venue in the world, as the 6,398-foot Pioneer Peak sits right next to the track along with the surrounding forest.

FLORACING: Catch every race at Alaska Raceway Park

Unlike the adjacent mountain, only a handful of chapters have been written in the story of Alaska Raceway Park‘s short track, but general manager Michelle Lackey Maynor and the rest of the facility‘s staff remain committed towards creating a vibrant racing culture in Alaska and provide their local drivers more national exposure.

The Last Frontier‘s premier short track is set to start its seventh season this Saturday evening with a busy schedule headlined by the GCI Late Model class, with John Klayum entering 2022 as the most recent track champion.

Below is everything you need to know about Alaska Raceway Park.

Alaska Raceway Park

Track Profile

Photo by Joey KleckaA near-capacity crowd fills the grandstands and lines the fencing along the frontstretch Saturday night at Alaska Raceway Park in Palmer.
Photo by Joey KleckaA near-capacity crowd fills the grandstands and lines the fencing along the frontstretch Saturday night at Alaska Raceway Park in Palmer.

Track

Alaska Raceway Park

Location

Palmer, Alaska

Opened

2016

Length

0.333 miles

Surface

Asphalt

Before any oval racing took place at Alaska Raceway Park drag racing was the main draw at the facility with the quarter-mile drag strip formally opening in 1964.

The first major attempt to bring oval racing to Alaska Raceway Park occurred back in 1980, when a small dirt oval was built right next to the drag strip. This venture did not last long for ARP, and the dirt track was ultimately closed in 1986.

In 1995, Alaska Raceway Park became the only drag strip in the state sanctioned by the International Hot Rod Association. Three years later, Earl and Karen Lackey took over ownership of Alaska Raceway Park before handing over day-to-day operations of the track to their daughter Michelle in 2021.

Since taking over the facility, the Lackeys have strived to make Alaska Raceway Park a top destination for the state‘s growing auto racing fanbase. The construction of the paved oval only served to bolster that goal for the Lackeys, as Ken Schrader and Jordan Anderson have been among the notable drivers to make laps around the short track.

Now that the oval and drag strip have the support of NASCAR and the National Hot Rod Association respectively, a bright future is ahead for Alaska Raceway Park as the staff makes final preparations for a new and exciting season of short track competition.

Below is the list of track champions at Alaska Raceway Park.

Alaska Raceway Park track champions:

Year

Track Champion

2016

Justin Creech

2017

Justin Creech

2018

Tim Workman

2019

Dana Pruhs

2020

Stu Laidlaw

2021

John Klavum