Drag racers are stirring, and in the distance, you can hear the raucous of the engines of pro stock and pro mod cars and motorcycles rousing to life. It can only mean one thing: the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals is back in town at Atlanta Dragway, Commerce, Georgia.
This annual event on the NHRA calendar brings thousands of spectators in their droves. Held over three days in spring in May, it’s the perfect event to start rolling into summer, and brings some of the nation’s best drag racers to the area.
Those who get to attend the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals in Commerce, Georgia, are in for a treat. From guided track walking tours and pre-race ceremonies to Nitro School, autograph sessions, pro-stock motorcycles, and some of the best drag cars around, this event has it all.
What’s more, all the drag racing action you could ever want is in one place: the standout facility of Atlanta Dragway. Known as Georgia’s House of Speed, Atlanta Dragway has been a long-established venue on the NHRA calendar and has undergone upgrades to make it a comfortable and enjoyable place to visit.
Even though Atlanta Dragway is on the outskirts of Commerce, Georgia, it’s still close to many fun things to do in the area once three days of drag racing action come to an end. It’s within a short driving distance of Hurricane Shoals Park, or you could go fishing at Reservoir 51 if the fancy takes you.
If you feel like taking an RV trip while supporting your favorite drag racers, then what are you waiting for? Prepare your RV and get going before the drivers make it to the launch pad.
There’s no time like the present to secure your tickets to the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals. These tickets are often in hot demand, so the longer you wait, the less likely you are to get your preferred seating. Children under 12 have been free in general admission areas with a paying adult in the past, and you can buy your tickets over the phone or online. Single and multi-day tickets are available.
Atlanta Dragway is positioned on the outskirts of Commerce, Georgia, a Jackson County city around 70 miles northeast of Atlanta. It’s accessible from I-85 and US-441 and is well-located within a short driving distance of several towns, cities, and tourist attractions to pique your interest along the way.
Making your way to Commerce, Georgia, with the help of Georgia 511 services, will ease your travel experience. The two-lane roads are well sign-posted and easy to navigate, while the calming countryside allows you to arrive in Commerce feeling refreshed and ready for an adventure. Pull into 500 East Ridgeway Road prepared to see your favorite drag racers in action.
Both general and preferred parking spaces for all vehicles are available for a fee. The parking lots are to the fore of the drag strip and are well-organized. You’re unlikely to have any problems parking at Atlanta Dragway for the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals during the day. If you are camping overnight, parking attendants can help guide the way.
Commerce, Georgia, is a small city that generally sees no need for public transportation. Therefore, the best way for you to get around would be in your motorhome, pilot vehicle, or campervan. Sometimes, accommodation providers in Commerce may be able to help with transportation, too. However, given the expansive grass parking lot at Atlanta Dragway, you likely won’t see any need for arranging alternative transportation.
During special events at Atlanta Raceway, such as the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals, RV camping options become available. You can reserve your spot in advance, but be aware that you must be self-contained. You may use your generator and make yourself comfortable, but sewer, water, and electricity service hookups are not available.
If you’ve missed out on securing an onsite camping spot, or you would prefer to access water, sewer, and electricity hookups, then why not look around Georgia and see what RV campgrounds nearby you can find? While Commerce has some fantastic options, it’s worth broadening your sights to Gainsville, Winder, and Lake Lanier in Georgia, too.
In these towns and cities, some of the best state parks, ranches, and RV parks are accessible with a large RV or motorhome. You can then enjoy a comfortable vacation in Georgia, while still being close enough to attend the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals.
Atlanta Raceway officials ask that you leave any skateboards, skates, scooters, bikes, and golf carts in your RV, for these are not for use on the grounds. That leaves your feet as the most convenient way of getting around the expansive facility. Once you exit the parking and camping areas, you can wander into the grandstands which encompass the launch pad and drag strip. Vendors are nearby for convenience.
As spring slowly turns to summer, the weather in Commerce, Georgia, continues to improve. While it’s a good idea to pack your best drag racing supporter’s gear, there’s also no harm in bringing some lighter summer attire. However, rainfall is frequent throughout spring, including May, so a rain jacket and long-sleeved shirts are worth popping into your travel bag, too.
Whether you’re camping at Atlanta Dragway or parking for the day, it’s a good idea to adopt a “less is more” approach when making your way to the grandstands. You will be able to bring a small cooler with food and non-alcoholic beverages, but no glass or alcohol. Leave any weapons, folding or stadium seats, and large or sharp objects in your RV until after the racing is over.
Earplugs can be a lifesaver for sensitive ears, and binoculars can help you see your favorite driver a little better. Cash and credit cards are worth popping in your bag for vendor purchasers, and you can also withdraw cash from the ATM by the Pitstop Concession Stand.
The Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals is a fun family event for all, but being outside for three days in the elements can take its toll. Even though it’s not yet summer, consider the convenience that having toiletries, a first aid kit, sunscreen, a sun hat, and even bug spray could have. If you rely on prescription medication, then carry a little extra than you need.
While you won’t be able to create a campfire or use a fire pit or charcoal grill while camping at Atlanta Dragway, you’re still going to be able to cook to your heart’s content on your RV vacation. Use your RV kitchen appliances or even power them using your generator.
If you haven’t yet hit the shops in search of your favorite ingredients, then you may be surprised at how close they are. There is a grocery store within two miles of Atlanta Dragway for convenience.
Even though Commerce, Georgia, only has a few thousand residents, it’s more than capable of catering to the masses. No matter where you travel in this quaint city, you are within a short walking or driving distance of both privately owned and chain store eateries. Get your fill of burgers, tacos, buffalo wings, sweet treats, and more.
If it’s not enough that you can dine in many fine eateries along the main streets of Commerce, then you’ll be over the moon to know there are standout vendors at the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals. From hot dogs and soda to candy floss and ice cream, you are spoiled for choice. Remember to bring cash or withdraw it from the ATM to ensure you have the correct payment type. You can also purchase driver supporter’s gear on site.
Thousands of spectators visit Atlanta Dragway for all the excitement that the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals has to offer. To keep everyone safe, security officials ask that you only bring a small cooler and leave anything distracting or dangerous in your RV. Bag and ticket checks will take place at the entrance to the grandstands. You may approach the onsite security officials for assistance, but there is also a police station equipped to handle matters within six miles of the drag racing facility.
Hints of summer are in the air, which means Commerce, Georgia, starts to heat up once the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals arrive. While the area experiences typically around one week of rainfall throughout May, temperatures are generally comfortable between 55 to 80 degrees-Fahrenheit. Pack your wet weather gear and keep an eye on your weather app, but expect reasonably mild conditions in Georgia.
There is a first aid tent at Atlanta Dragway to help with any minor medical problems, and you may approach a site official to help lead the way. For anything more serious, however, consider dialing 911. There is also a medical center within five miles of Atlanta Dragway, and a pharmacy for first aid supplies within three miles.