Contributed by Alaska Raceway Park
Alaska Raceway Park is excited to announce the debut of our brand new 1/3-mile asphalt oval track, recently sanctioned by NASCAR in its Whelen All-American Series. Sponsored in part by Tesoro, this new track boosts Alaska Raceway Park into a bona fide motorsports complex, diversifying beyond our customary IHRA drag racing and other automotive events.
Spectators are welcome to the new oval track before the June 4 Tesoro Oval Debut race day at any of our Test and Tune events, taking place May 20, 21, 27, and 28.
NASCAR’s Whelen Series is a network of nearly 60 racetracks across North America, culminating in a national championship as well as U.S. state and Canadian province championships, rookies of the year, and track championships. Some of NASCAR’s winningest drivers began their careers in this series. Racers can start as young as 14. Alaska Raceway Park is one of three tracks to join NASCAR this year.
Kevin Nevalainen, the Director of Weekly Racing Operations at NASCAR, flew up from Daytona, Florida, to discuss with owners, Earl and Karen Lackey and Michelle Maynor, their vision and plans. A day-long discussion and contract signing resulted in a successful ARP sanction announcement at Daytona Speed Weeks. None other than NASCAR’s famous Sprint Cup Series driver, Matt Kenseth, 2012 Daytona 500 winner, recorded a shout-out video, welcoming Alaska Raceway Park as a NASCAR Home Track.
This new track greatly expands racing opportunities for youth and adults in Alaska. Facilities manager, Pete Mattison, has oval construction adhering to a tight schedule, coordinating winter work on bleachers, timing tower, and snack and beverage concessions buildings. Final paving, fencing, scoreboards, and finishing touches are scheduled as soon as break-up is complete.
Oval race classes include Late Model (stock-appearing mid or full sized coupes and sedans), MiniStock (production model cars or mini-trucks with inline four-cylinder engines), Street Stock (American-made hardtop production autos), Legends (5/8-scale replicas of American automobiles from the 1930s and ‘40s with Yamaha motorcycle engines), and Baby Grands (2/3-scale replicas of Nextel Cup Stock Cars with Yamaha motorcycle engines).
General admission tickets are $20 adults, $15 seniors and active duty military, $10 youth 11-15, and free for kids 10 and under. Test and Tune tickets are $10, $8, $5, and free, respectively. Pit admission is $30 with NASCAR/INEX membership and $40 without.
No one under 14 is admitted in the pits. Oval track gates open at 2:00 pm, with qualifying at 4:00 pm and racing at 6:00 pm. The schedule and other information can be found on our website at raceak.com.
Oval track sponsors include Tesoro, Diversified Tire, The Odom Corporation, Weld Air, Pruhs Construction, Soper’s Concrete, Valley Block and Concrete, E-Terra LLC, Acutek Geomatics, New Horizons Telecom, J.D. Steel Co., Edmonds Import Auto, Vulcan Towing, and Element Automotive.