Do you like funny cars? Or maybe you have a thing for dragsters? Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona hosts the Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals in late February that will knock your socks off! So, just don’t wear any. Seriously, this event is phenomenal, and between the fast cars, loud motors, excellent food, and ice-cold beer, you will want to make this an annual RV vacation.
With four tracks and a plethora of other fun things to do on 600 acres in the heart of Arizona, this party is nonstop for the whole weekend. Opened in 1983, the park not only has drag racing, monster trucks, and motorcycle racing, but they also have a lake that is approved by the American Power Boat Association (APBA) and International Hot Boat Association (IHBA) for drag boat racing. The NHRA Arizona Nationals is the main event in February.
You’ll have the opportunity to meet the drivers, get autographs, and visit Nitro Alley and the pit while you are here, so don’t miss out on that. And bring the kids because the Manufacturers Midway is like a carnival with games and activities for everyone, young and old. And don’t forget the RV camping. While there are a very limited number of sites on the grounds, there is also an RV resort across the road that works with the park for events like the Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals.
Although ticket prices are subject to change from year to year, the typical cost for a one-day pass to the Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals has ranged from $30 to $60 while a ticket for the full event is usually $120 to $230. This does not include any type of VIP passes or camping. In recent years, camping has been $560 to $910.
You can get to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park by taking I-10 to Wild Horse Pass Road. The track is just 17 miles southeast of Phoenix, which is the capital of Arizona where you can visit the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument or Montezuma Well National Monument. You’ll also be less than 100 miles northwest of Tucson where you can find several museums, a zoo, and a botanical garden.
Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park has quite a few parking lots on the property. Some are free, while others range from $10 to $50. If you have a VIP or another package, you will have your own special parking areas. ADA parking is nearby and free of charge. However, if you are camping on site, you will not have to worry about parking at all, which is a help when driving a big rig.
Phoenix, Tempe, and other surrounding cities have city buses that can get you pretty close to the track. However, you will still have to walk a bit or call a taxi or rideshare service once you get to the end of the bus line. Other choices include car rental, private limousine, or possible shuttle services.
During the NHRA Arizona Nationals, the track provides RV spaces on a first-come, first-served basis. However, there is a limited number of sites, so get to the park early if you want a spot. The campground is more of a parking lot and does not have any kind of utilities or picnic tables.
In addition, the VIP RV sites include an RV site, two general admission tickets, and a golf cart parking pass at the Motor Coach Resort. There are 32 sites to choose from that you can reserve online or by phone. Each spot has a picnic table and fire pit, and there is a central shower and restroom area with a laundromat.
If you miss your chance to get a campsite at the track, don’t worry. There are a lot of places to camp nearby. In addition, the Mesa / Apache Junction KOA is about a half-hour to the northeast. It has over 100 sites that can accommodate rigs up to 70 feet long with utilities, a pool, hot tub, Wi-Fi, and a dog park. You won’t have to go far away to find a good place to camp near the NHRA Arizona Nationals.
The good stuff is all pretty much packed into a nice compact area, so you may not have to walk too far to get from the gate to your seat or from your seat to the restrooms. Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park does have tram service for ADA guests and those with VIP passes. Wear some comfortable shoes and enjoy the scenery of Arizona.
Even though most of the country is freezing, this part of Arizona is relatively warm by comparison; you may not need a parka and snowshoes, but warm clothing is still in order. It does get chilly at night, so it is best to pack t-shirts, pants, shorts, and even a hoodie or jacket. Shoes should not be open-toed for safety on the track. At the campsite, you may want warm pajamas to keep away the chill.
Depending on where you decide to park the RV, the gear you need can vary. If you stay at the track, you may want to have a camp stove or small gas BBQ grill for outdoor cooking. The track campground does not offer hookups or BBQ pits, so be prepared to dry camp. When you head for your seats, you can bring a small backpack and a soft-sided cooler as meets the track's guidelines. Only sealed water is allowed and no glass. Be sure to have your tickets or wristband with you at all times.
Besides ear protection, you will also want to have some bug spray for both the campsite as well as the track. Once the sun goes down, the skeeters come out in droves. Sunblock is a must any time of the year in Chandler. It is best to have a hat and sunglasses as well to protect your eyes. Keep plenty of water on hand, and make sure you don’t forget any medication you may need.
You are going to need a camp stove, gas grill, or generator if you want to cook at your campsite at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. There are no utilities, grills, or picnic tables (some sites), so bring camp chairs as well. Water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning is also important. Luckily, if you forgot something, the town is only a few minutes away.
Although the track has plenty of food to offer, you may want to take a trip into town for a nice meal with the family or enjoy munchies at a sports bar. You can find all of these things within a few minutes of the track. Not only are there a number of fast-food drive-throughs, but there is even a vegan café near the track.
If you would rather eat at the track, there are quite a few options. In past years the park has had a number of food vendors who provide delicious choices from burgers to BBQ ribs and tacos to teriyaki. The park also has plenty of vendors who serve ice cold drinks from soft drinks to iced coffee. And you can pick up some SWAG or souvenirs for your friends back home at one of the merchandise vendors on the midway.
Security checkpoints are at each gate, so if you have a cooler, backpack, or bag, expect a short delay for them to do a search. Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals does not allow items such as weapons, drugs, alcohol, drones, or fireworks. If you need a member of security, you can usually find one nearby, located by the gates or around the midway.
You don’t have to worry about snow or rain much in Chandler, AZ because it doesn't happen often. There may be a stray rain shower once in a blue moon, but they are rare. The average high for this time of year is 60, while the average low is in the 40s. Of course, it is best to check the forecast before packing for the trip.
In the event of an illness or injury, you can find medical personnel near the infield as well as at Gate 2, where the main office is located. If you need help immediately and it is an emergency, call 911. And there are several hospitals nearby in Chandler open 24 hours a day.