When the 2009 season came to a close, so too did the gates at the fabled Memphis Motorsports Park, leaving many to question when or if the facility would ever contest another drag race. That question was answered this off season as a group of buyers behind the resurgence of Florida’s Palm Beach International Raceway were the winning bidders during an auction of property. The new ownership group renamed the track Memphis International Raceway and maintained a focus on bringing major events back to the schedule. The track made it’s big step in that process on Thursday by announcing a return of the American Drag Racing League to open the racing season on May 20-21. With the addition, drag racings’ premiere eighth mile drag racing league now has 10 races on its 2011 ADRL Tour.
We are excited to add Memphis International Raceway to our 2011 schedule,” said Jeff Fortune, ADRL Executive Vice President. “This will be one more great event to what we firmly believe is the best schedule the ADRL has ever had in the series’ history. “We’ve had some very exciting events there and I think it is terrific that we will able to return to an incredible place like Memphis International Raceway. We are thrilled to be the first event at MIR, which will add even more excitement to what will already be an fantastic weekend.”
In addition to the Memphis event, Palm Beach International Raceway is also hosting its first ADRL event on April 15-16. “We look forward to having the ADRL and race fans back in the stands at Memphis International Raceway,” Rittenberry said. “We had successful events at Memphis before and we’re eager to get back there and open our season with the ADRL.”
Memphis International Raceway last hosted an ADRL event in 2009, drawing overflow record crowds, including the largest single-day spectator turnout in the history of the facility.
“Adding this 10th race for 2011 is another excellent step for the continued development of the ADRL,” Fortune said. “We’ve put together a well-rounded tour that we believe all of our sponsors, racers and fans will enjoy. “Memphis has always been a popular destination for the ADRL and its racers, and we look forward to continuing our strong relationship with the Memphis International Raceway team.”