Gainesville Raceway, which is on the outskirts of Gainesville, Florida by the Santa Fe Swamp Conservation Area, is home to the annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals. The Gatornationals has been a calendar favorite since its inception in the 1970s and celebrated 50 years of NHRA drag racing at Gainesville Raceway in 2019.
This annual hot rod event is the season opener for pro stock motorcycle riders and is one of the sport’s most revered events. It brings thousands of people to this Florida city every year, including RV-goers looking for a spring adventure in March.
The Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals also makes use of Gainesville Raceway’s 675-foot concrete launchpad, which is one of the longest on the racing series calendar. This launchpad, coupled with the quality of the venue and pro stock motorcycles, is why organizing a trip to the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals could be an excellent idea.
While you’re in Gainesville, Florida, you may as well make it an RV trip to remember. You can camp at the race track, but also check out local and natural attractions such as walking at the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, or birdwatching at the Butterfly Rainforest. If you’re an art fan, then the Harn Museum of Art with Asian and African works will surely pique your curiosity.
Let spring cleaning wait and, instead, take a road trip with your family and friends. The checkered flags are about to drop, so hit the road without delay.
What tickets you buy for the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals can ultimately determine how much of a good time you have at this event. You can purchase full event packages for four full days of racing action, or a Saturday and Sunday ticket with general or reserved seating. If you only want to attend for one day and spend the rest of your time in Gainesville exploring, then there’s the option to purchase tickets for a single day as well.
RV-goers, whether they are familiar with Florida road networks or not, are likely to find the journey to Gainesville, Florida, a pleasurable one. Not only are the roads well signposted, but they are central to many major Florida cities. Florida 511services can also help guide the way.
Gainesville is served by I-75 and a myriad of Florida state routes. US-441 and US-301 will be the preferred routes to bring you to and from Jacksonville, Ocala, and Orlando. Upon arriving in Gainesville, you will find Gainesville Raceway nestled amid nature and the Monteocha Conservation Area at 11211 North Country Road.
If you are not camping on site at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, then it’s worth knowing what your day parking options are. While you can’t stay in these parking lots overnight, you can reserve day parking for a fee. Single-day reserved parking is available, but you can also purchase three-day preferred parking. You can buy your parking pass at the same time as your entry tickets.
There is no bus route to Gainesville Raceway, but even though bus transportation is not an option, you still have other options up your sleeve. You will be surprised at how convenient it is to take your RV to the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, even if you are not camping overnight. Reserved parking saves the need to hunt for a parking spot to suit. You can also book a taxi or hire a rideshare service provider to pick you up from your accommodation.
If you want an all-inclusive racing experience, then you’ll be pleased to know that onsite camping is available. You can then watch a full day of motorcycle drag racing, followed by an overnight track experience.
Motorhomes up to 40 feet long are welcome to stay the night, but Gainesville Raceway doesn’t accommodate pop-up campers, tent campers, fifth-wheelers, or RV trailers. Any generator you use must have an exhaust extension, and open fires are not allowed.
If you decide to camp on site, you will need to be entirely self-contained as there are no service hookups. However, onsite vendors offer potable water for sale and pumping stations. Reserve your space in advance and purchase your racing tickets separately.
For those who rely on service hookups to camp comfortably or have missed out on a place at Gainesville Raceway, you’re not stranded. There is an RV park just 15 minutes from the race track, which accommodates a full range of big rigs and has service hookups. There are also several other RV parks, RV resorts, and dry camping areas near Gainesville Raceway for convenience. These facilities book up fast, so reserve your spot without delay. Starke KOA also sits within 20 miles of the raceway ready to welcome fans with rigs of all sizes.
Gainesville Raceway is a well-established facility with a 15,000 square-foot pavilion, 1.6-mile road course, and 675-foot launch pad. It’s an expansive venue with a lot of ground to cover. Even though you’ll need to leave your scooters and bikes in your RV, you won’t have much trouble navigating the grass and paved venue on foot. The seating area is comfortable, and the pavilion forms the hospitality area for the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals for patron comfort and convenience.
March is one of the best times to visit Florida. Not only does the area boast colorful blooms of redbud and azalea, but it’s the time of year with the lowest humidity and rainfall. While sundresses, shorts, and t-shirts would be optimistic garment choices, you won’t need to load on the layers during the day. Light pants and long-sleeved shirts, as well as your best supporter’s gear, will ensure you’re comfortable enough. Pack a few warm layers for any colder nighttime temperatures in Gainesville, Florida.
Thousands of people squeeze into the grandstand seating areas of Gainesville Raceway. The fewer possessions you bring with you, the more comfortable you can be. Leave as much in your RV as possible, and carry a few essentials such as earplugs, binoculars, cash for vendor purchases, and a water bottle.
Even though spring doesn’t lend itself to high temperatures, being out in the elements means carrying sun safety products is worthwhile. Lip balm, sunscreen, and even sunglasses paired with a sunhat could help you remain as comfortable as possible. Before you leave home, Florida-bound, put a fully-stocked first aid kit and any prescription medication you need in your motorhome.
Cooking options at Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals are reasonably limited, but isn’t that all part of the fun? It allows you to get creative. You will not be able to build any fires, but you’re more than welcome to use your onboard RV kitchen appliances. As long as you have an exhaust extension, you can use your generator, as well.
If you’ve got a hankering for something special on the menu, then stock up on food and cooking supplies at the grocery store within eight miles of the race track.
When you’re on vacation, it’s okay to spoil your family and treat yourself. Discover that exciting restaurant. Try that new food. Eat that dessert. There are some fantastic eateries dotted throughout Gainesville, but options are aplenty along North Main street and NE 16th Avenue. Fill hungry tummies within a short ten-mile driving distance of Gainesville Raceway.
Vendors at Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals can change from one year to the next. Bring both cash and payment cards and enjoy an abundance of options by the grandstands in the Manufacturer’s Midway. There is even a sit-down grill with hearty tucker made fresh every day.
Motor racing is a dangerous sport, which means that security is in full force during the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals. Be prepared for ticket checking, security screening, and random bag checks. Leave behind anything dangerous or distracting in your RV to streamline your security screening process. If you require outside assistance at any time, then you will find the Gainesville Police Department only too accommodating within a ten-mile drive of Gainesville Raceway.
Out of all possible seasons to visit Florida, spring in March is one of the more comfortable and bearable. It’s not humid, rainfall is often at a minimum, and temperatures sit at around the 62 to 80 degree-Fahrenheit mark. If it does rain, you can listen out for a cancellation on the RainedOut platform.
For any scrapes, cuts, or other minor injuries, a quick trip to the first aid area by Gate C-4 will see you in tip-top shape once more. However, if you have a medical emergency, dial 911. The nearest hospital is under 12 miles away, while a pharmacy to top up your first aid kit is within 16 miles.