ADRL Returns to Memphis

Wow... last summer there was no indication that drag racing in Memphis had anything but a bleak future. Memphis Motorsports Park was closed, and the state of the economy made any new motorsports ventures an unlikely prospect.

Now, things are different. Memphis Motorsports Park is now Memphis International Raceway, and the new ownership group is rapidly moving ahead with re-opening the track. They are also wasting no time putting an exciting new racing schedule together. The 'Grand Opening' race for 2011 is already on the calendar, as the ADRL plans to bring it's brand of extreme doorslammer 1/8th mile drag racing to town May 20-21.

The ADRL is no stranger to Memphis, having previously held successful events here during it's seven years as a sanctioning body. In fact, the largest single day crowd ever seen at Memphis Motorsports Park was during the 2009 ADRL event. It's good to see that they are eager to return to Memphis.

For a more "behind the scenes" perspective of the most recent ADRL Developments at MIR, check out the ADRL Drag Racing Live internet radio program from March 3rd, 2011. Drag racing announcer, journalist, and historian Bret Kepner hosts the show, and interviews former Memphis Motorports Park general manager Jason Rittenberry about the coming 2011 season. Rittenberry is now the President and CEO of Palm Beach International Raceway, and is deeply involved in returning Memphis International Raceway to regular operation as PBIR's most recent property acquisition. In fact, if you pay close attention to the interview you will note that Rittenberry reveals some pretty serious plans of the PBIR group attempting to acquire the recently closed Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis MO. Gateway is another former Dover Motorsports property that was closed late last year. The prevailing opinion of drag racing insiders has been that a large outstanding property tax bill would seriously hinder any potential sale of Gateway, but legal negotiations are underway that may give some hope to someday seeing the track become an active racing facility once again. So let's keep our fingers crossed!

Meanwhile, make plans to be at ADRL's Memphis race May 20th - 21st. I've got to tell you, it feels pretty good just to be able to type those words again.