Written by Robert Banks
After serving as a massive storage facility for flood-damaged cars, Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas, is back to looking like its old self again. The track has used some of the revenue that it generated storing cars to upgrade not only its fan amenities, but also the thing the racers are most concerned with, the drag strip itself.
With a physical elevation of only 39 feet above sea level, Royal Purple Raceway has the atmosphere to be fast. Removing three inches of old material and adding new asphalt from half-track through 200 feet past the finish line, racers are going to marvel at the smoothness and quickness of the facility. No bumps, cracks, or down-track issues to navigate around mean that drivers can give their full concentration to beating the competitor in the other lane. When one thinks about classes like Super Gas and Super Comp, where inches are miles at the finish-line stripe, this should make things even more interesting than they already are.
The paving work was started in late January and finished in early February.
The track has added a new “Staging Lane Terrace” motorhome parking area which has sold out for the race. The added spots will allow for a new experience and view for those traveling to the race in an RV. The standard parking area for motorhomes still exists as well.
It should be noted that the track has run a very aggressive early season program to “break in” the fresh top end of the track, so when NHRA teams roll into town they are going to see a well-seasoned race track with plenty of grip. Events like TX2K, Import Face-Off, various testing sessions, and a massive event geared toward drag racing trucks have all taken place, among others.
This is the second event in a row where racers will be competing on a fresh track, and it stands as a testament to the health of drag racing that facilities are willing to make these significant investments in their property to keep the competition tight and the fans on the edge of their seats.
The 2018 NHRA Springnationals will be contested April 20-22 at Royal Purple Raceway. To learn more about the event, visit NHRA.com. For more information about the racetrack, go to RoyalPurpleRaceway.com.