Drag Illustrated Issue 180, January / February 2023 - Page 116

TRACK OF THE YEAR ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||


Bradenton Motorsports Park , located in Bradenton , Florida , was founded in 1974 and is rich in drag racing history . The premier drag racing facility hosts some of the biggest events in the country , including the Snowbird Outlaw Nationals , the U . S . Street Nationals , FL2K , and the upcoming 2023 Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod .
It ’ s also home to local heads-up races , bracket races , grudge races , car shows , swap meets , private professional test sessions , and more . The legendary quarter-mile dragstrip offers spacious pit areas and abundant spectator parking . Bradenton Motorsports Park is open year-round , hosting 300,000 visitors annually , making it a destination dragstrip for racers and fans alike .
In 2018 , Victor Alvarez purchased Bradenton Motorsports Park and set out to turn it into the best racetrack in the country . Alvarez ’ s plans meant making significant changes to the facility so that it would be enjoyable for racers and fans .
First , Alvarez and his team replaced the aging wooden bleachers on the west side of the track with upgraded aluminum grandstands . Next , the entire quarter-mile track has been completely resurfaced with concrete . Additionally , the asphalt shutdown area also received a fresh layer .
Alvarez ’ s plans also included assembling the best team because he knows that being a leader means having the best people around you . His team consists of many intricate players , including fellow past DI 30 Under 30 honoree Gavin Carter as Operations Support Manager . “ My vision here is to build up our team and have somebody we can go into the future with ,” Alvarez said . “ I think Gavin and I can carry this out to the future . I ’ m happy to have him part of the team .”
Carter works alongside overall Track Manager and Operations Director Wade Rich , known for his renowned track prep that has given racers the tools to set records . “ Wade is so good at what he does that it ’ s not like we ever have issues or any shortcomings because of the surface ,” Alvarez said .
More recently , Alvarez and his team have battled the county commissioners in Manatee County , Florida , defending the track from the proposed construction of 4,500 homes directly next door to Bradenton Motorsports Park and The Freedom Factory .
“ We ’ ve had a great impact on our local economy and local car scene . We plan to fight as much as we can to prevent this from happening ,” said Alvarez . “ We know what can happen and what this can lead to if we get 4,500 homes built next to these two facilities . We ’ re not going to go down without a fight .” – KAYLA ZADEL DI
116 | Drag Illustrated | DragIllustrated . com Issue 180