The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) confirmed today that it has placed the Atlanta Dragway, one of the sanctioning bodys’ three racetrack properties, on the market. The NHRA conducted a conference call on Thursday to notify employees, partner tracks, and professional and exhibition-class team owners.
Built in 1975, the Commerce, Georgia facility has hosted the NHRA Southern Nationals for the last 39 years. The NHRA purchased it in 1993 and invested in a number of facility improvements. But citing a strategic business decision, and taking into account its location versus its other fully-owned facilities, it is now pursuing new ownership to carry it into the future.
“We are a sanctioning body, and we have a responsibility to preserve and protect the sport, and so our intention is to sell the property as a drag racing facility and to keep the Southern Nationals there, as well,” states NHRA VP of Marketing and Communications Jeffrey Young. “We need to invest in the Lucas Oil Raceway, in Gainesville Raceway, and in Pomona (which the NHRA leases) — drainage updates and upgrades to the facilities that we want to do on those three tracks. So we will use some of the proceeds of this sale to re-invest back into those tracks.”
As part of its initiative to ensure a continuation of drag racing operations at the facility, Young says the NHRA and its real estate partner fully intend to vet interested parties; at this time Young says it has not fielded any offers. A 2021 event schedule has already been released, and until a buyer can be found, Young says the Atlanta Dragway will continue to operate business as usual — including the Southern Nationals — until a transition to new ownership can take place.
“We want to keep racing in that area,” Young says matter-of-factly.
The NHRA likewise intends to maintain Atlanta Dragway staff in other positions within the sanctioning body and its properties upon its sale, or help facilitate a transition of that staff to the new ownership.
Atlanta Dragway was the home track for Coca-Cola, which served as the NHRA’s title marketing partner for 19 years before parting in late 2020.