A few months ago, the last NHRA Arizona Nationals drag racing event at WHP featured capacity crowds. Thousands of drag racing fans wanted to see and feel the explosive thunder of 11,000 horse-powered nitro-fueled Funny Cars and Top Fuel Dragsters for the last time at this famed quarter-mile drag strip in Chandler Arizona. I’ve lived in the Valley for well over 33 years and at least half a dozen times during those years, the rumors would fly that the track would be closing soon. It never happened and as one of the hundreds of Arizona drag racers that raced there, we always breathed a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, this time the rumors were not rumors, and on Saturday, June 17th myself and several hundred other drag racers took part in the last drag race at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.

This was team race #8 in the 2023 Summit ET Racing Series. As you can imagine, it was also one of the biggest turnouts in recent history. Racers came from all around Arizona and even some from Nevada and California. The racer gates opened to mild for mid-June 104-degree temperatures. Yep, you guessed it, it was still darn hot on the black asphalt, but as soon as the sun went down it started to cool off and by late evening it was simply a wonderful early summer night at the drag strip. During the drivers meeting it was sadly confirmed that this was indeed the end of the race track’s 40-year run. There will be one final Friday Night Drags event on June 30th that will be limited to 200 cars, and will feature a special King of the Track run-off in each of the five Summit ET Series classes. Our Summit Racing Bracket Finals will be held on the first weekend in October at “The Strip” at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Team Wild Horse will be there in force along with all of the other teams in NHRA’s Division 7 Bracket Finals.

Owner, tuner and driver Mike Scott standing on the right, watched as tonight’s driver Orlando Galvez warms up the injected alcohol 383 small block Chevy powered front engine Dragster

Alexis Thompson drives the purple Dragster Shane Thompson drives the red one, both in the Super Pro class

Lenny Fyffe from Tucson raced his 1970 big block powered Camaro

Father Bernie Polvadore on the right and son Seth have raced together for many years. Seth was a National Champion a few years back. 3 Amigos Tequila has sponsored Bernie for several years driving at NHRA and bracket races in his ’93 Pontiac Grand Prix

18 year old Tyler Sally races a 1972 Dodge Dart in the Pro and Sportsman class

Dave Muller has won 3 track championships and 1 National Championship racing his 1974 Camaro in the Sportsman class

Long time Motorcycle class racer “WILD” Bill Carlson was there

The Jr. Dragsters were also part of the last race

Long time Super Pro racer and engine builder Bruce Williams fires up his trusty Corvette

Ken Nowicki waits in the staging lanes with his Pro class Dodge Dart Lite. It sees double duty as a street cruiser and race car

Mike Willians owner of Crystal Creek a landscaping and lawn care business put up extra money at every race in the Sportsman class. Mike races a big 1965 Plymouth in both Pro and Sportsman class

The last driver’s meeting, where Chuck Sunstrum confirmed the bad news about the track officially closing

This is Mike Williams that l mentioned earlier owner of Crystal Creek

Mike Williams and his family racing shirt

Aj Crader races in Pro and Sportsman in his hot rod Mustang