Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, PA has a fantastic seating arrangement built around the quarter-mile straight track, so everyone can see the dragsters fly down the strip at over 300 miles per hour. From Top Fuel Dragsters to street bike racing, jet-powered cars to Funny Cars, and grudge races to alcohol-fueled racing, there really is something for everyone at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals.
The track has been open since 1937 when it was known as Brecknock Speedway, where they had an oval dirt track for sprint cars and motorcycles. The NHRA has been held here at the Maple Grove Raceway since 1964. The races have grown in popularity so much that they have had to expand several times and added on two camping areas for RVers.
Many people come for the roar of the motors and cheers of the crowds with so much excitement that it seems to land right in your lap. Racing here has gone from a small dirt track with a thousand or so fans to a multi-track megaplex with over 20,000 fans. You just cannot beat the camaraderie and energy that affects everyone at the track. From Thursday to Sunday, you may feel like you are at a huge celebration, and you’ll be so ready to come back again next year.
From general admission walk-in seating to premium trackside seating where you can be just 1000 feet from the track. They even offer catered gourmet meals and free refreshments without even leaving your seat. The ticket prices for the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals have ranged from $50 to $1,200 in the past. Tickets are also pit passes.
You can find Maple Grove Raceway in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania, just 10 miles from Reading to the north, 56 miles from Philadelphia to the southeast, and less than 30 miles from Lancaster to the southwest.
Tolls are to be expected throughout Pennsylvania's highways. The track is easy to get to right in between I-76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike), I-176, US-222, and PA-568. Take your time and enjoy the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains as you head to the race, and don’t forget your camera.
Parking an RV at any type of event can be daunting sometimes. However, racetracks are typically prepared for this, and you’ll find multiple places to park your rig at the raceway. The track also offers premium parking for a small fee, which guarantees you a premium parking spot in the pit area, but this is only for cars. If you camp at the track, you won’t have to worry about parking your camper.
Mohnton, PA is a great place for inexpensive and reliable public transportation. Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority (BARTA) can take you anywhere in the Berks County area, but it stops just short of the track, so you will either have to walk the last bit or call a taxi or rideshare service.
Maple Grove Raceway provides two different areas for RV camping. Neither of them has hookups, but they do have plenty of fun and great views of the track. Each paid camping ticket usually includes a reserved spot from Thursday to Sunday evening and two general admission tickets and armbands. Parkside RV Court is also available, which is across from Gate Four. These spots can accommodate rigs up to 50 feet in length.
If your rig is too big for the track campgrounds, there are several within walking distance to Maple Grove. Just across the street, you can find one that has plenty of spots with some amenities like restrooms, water, and pull-throughs. Several other places nearby offer full hookups, playgrounds for the kids, and shower houses. If you like roughing it, there are others where you can enjoy primitive settings.
For those with mobility challenges, Maple Grove Raceway provides a shuttle service for free. They also rent scooters if needed. Strollers and wheelchairs are welcome. Bring some comfortable shoes as feet are a primary mode of transportation.
Jeans and t-shirts with a favorite driver’s name are what you will mostly see around the track. It will be warm but not hot, so depending on your preference, you may want to wear shorts while others may be wearing jackets. Those who live in warm climates tend to feel cold in eastern states like Pennsylvania, so bring a variety of clothing to add to your comfort.
You can bring a cooler big enough for a non-alcoholic six-pack. All alcohol must be purchased inside the gates. You are also welcome to bring a small backpack that meets track regulations to carry miscellaneous items like a camera, phone, cosmetics, etc. No glass bottles, fireworks, drones, or anything else that is on the no-no list, which you can find online.
While fans often attend Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals for the sound of the engines, you may still want to pack some earplugs. Ear protection for kids is often easier to manage with over-the-ear styles. It will probably be sunny and warm while you are at the track so bring some sunscreen and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes. Wear a hat with your favorite driver or merchandiser to protect your face. Didn’t bring one? You’ll find plenty of vendors with hats of all kinds.
If you are camping at Maple Grove Raceway, you will need to bring a camp stove or BBQ grill if you want to cook outside. The park does not provide utility hookups, a grill, or tables. If you are staying somewhere else, make sure you check with the campground for more details. Luckily, there are plenty of stores in Reading to pick up those forgotten items.
If you like pub food, you’re in luck because Reading has several of them just a short drive away where you can get seafood, steaks, and burgers. You’ll also find some downhome family restaurants, Asian cuisine, pizza places, and Mexican food. Or you can just hit the drive-thru at one of the fast-food places in town if you’re in a hurry to get back to the track.
This track is packed with vendors who have some delicious food and drinks. Nitro Grill, Johnny’s Pizza, Bricken’s Famous French Fries, J.P.s Concessions, which sells ice cream and funnel cake, and two different hot pretzel vendors have offered fans a treat at the track in recent years. You can also find many different merchandise vendors showing off their wares, as well.
Professional security is provided at the raceway to make sure everyone stays safe while having fun. Bags and coolers are searched, and nobody is allowed to have a weapon, drugs, or fireworks, so leave them at home. Fighting will not be tolerated, and the park reserves the right to remove anyone taking from the safety and enjoyment of others.
Travelers often love the weather in Pennsylvania in September. It’s not too hot and not too cold, just like Baby Bear said. Daytime temps range from 73 to 86 degrees while the lows range from 53 to 56 degrees. Resting about two hours for the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, September rains are frequent in Eastern Pennsylvania.
If you need to make a trip to a medical facility while you are at Maple Grove Raceway, there are several within a 20-minute drive. The closest is just 10 miles away on 5th Avenue off of US-222. Check in with the first aid crew on site for emergencies, or you can contact the track office or another member of the staff.