The Thunder Valley Raceway Park, perhaps best known for its annual running of the popular “Outlaw Armageddon” no-prep event, is on the market.
Built in 1992 and located in Noble, Oklahoma on the outskirts of Oklahoma City, the 193 acre facility has been listed by Keller Williams Realty for an asking price of $2,850,000. The NHRA-sanctioned raceway is an all-concrete 1/4-mile, and has hosted NHRA Lucas Oil Series divisionals, numerous no-prep events, and is a frequent filming site for “Street Outlaws” television programming.
Within close proximity to I-35, the Canadian River, and the BNSF railroad that borders the property to the West, the property is likely to draw attention from alternative-use buyers. The listing notes that “the large size of the facility, acreage, and layout, 8/10-mile of paved solid surface, and multiple side roads allow for many potential uses, such as a corporate or private airport/runway, or industrial and commercial park.” It adds, “here are many buildings and improvements on-site. The ground is very fertile and has an abundance of marketable sand. Portions of the property have good hay production. The land is rich in water, with three wells on-site, which is a great asset.”
Thunder Valley reportedly has a number of owners, with the largest shareholder being the Stephens family that originally constructed it. Chad Stephens, the son of track owner Larry Stephens, and the real estate agent managing the sale, told Dragzine that it was simply time for his family to move on from the property.
“We’ve had it for 30 years and it’s just hard to manage or maintain a track from our home in Texas,” Chad said. “My parents are the majority owners, and my dad is 88 now, so it’s getting harder for him to drive his motorcoach up there and hang out…he’s just kind of retired now. We’ve had people that have come up to us and wanted to purchase the track [in the past] and that’s really the only reason [we’re selling it]. It’s a great track and we’ve had lots of fun and success with it. It’s a very successful track… you could just stay open for test-and-tune on Friday nights and make a good living off that track. We sold our track in Paris, Texas a few years back, and haven’t been as involved in the day-to-day with this one in the last few years, and so it’s time to let someone else take over and see what they can do with it.”
Chad confirmed the raceway is located in a floodplain, which would limit its potential for significant redevelopment for business or residential use.
“The track is located near the Canadian River, and so unfortunately it is in a floodplain,” he explains. “In the 30 years we’ve owned the property, it’s only gotten outside its banks twice, and it didn’t cover up the whole track. A simple levee system where you pull into the track down to the railroad tracks would probably cure that problem, and in fact, we have an engineering company that’s going to look at that from another point of view.”
Stephens says it is his family’s intent to see the property continue as a drag racing facility, but is keen on making potential buyers aware of the other revenue-generating possibilities of the rather large site along the Canadian River.
“A couple of really serious buyers we’ve been talking to want to keep it a racetrack. And that’s what we want to happen, as well. But when you’re selling something like this you want to open up other avenues. If you’re just a single use, if you’re not into the racing business, that’s probably not going to appeal to someone, but if you can have a multiple-use property, then you can do other things on there. It’s 193 acres, so you can do a lot of things on that property without hampering the use of the racetrack,” he says.
“The hay, especially when we’re in drought season like we are, that’s very valuable. It’s been a source of income, and it would provide someone some good income just off the hay on the property. We’ve also been in the construction and the sand and gravel business for a lot of years, and there’s a lot of marketable sand out there for construction and other purposes. So we’re just showing that there’s other uses and it’s not just a single source of income coming off the racetrack. If somebody wanted to put an industrial complex on the North corner, they could, and there’s also plenty of room to the South. A lot of people also want to tie the property into the Canadian River as a recreational place for side-by-sides and boats on gathering beside the river. So that’s the highest and best use of the property [is to make it multiple-use].”
Stephens insists his family is not closing the racetrack — it currently has tenants who he says want to continue running it until it is sold.
“We have people standing in line to lease the track. The people leasing it now want to continue leasing it, but if someone wants to buy it, we’re going to sell it and not lease it.”