DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — Thunder Raceway in Show Low, Ariz., returns to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series this year.
The .250-mile clay oval is located in the east central Arizona’s Mogollon Rim, known as a forested resort area. The track was forced to leave the series in 2002 due to savage forest fires. One fire of historic proportions burned for weeks and consumed almost 500,000 acres impacting Show Low and the surrounding region.
The track returns to the series in 2009, and continues to be operated by Bob and Janet Livingston.
“We enjoy the way NASCAR treats its track operators and drivers, and we’re glad to be back in the series,” Bob Livingston said. “We’ve got some really great competitors and drivers from four states are telling us they’ll be racing with us this year.”
“We are very pleased to welcome Thunder Raceway back to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR managing director of racing operations. “While extraordinary circumstances put a temporary halt to racing there, we’re looking forward to their return to the NASCAR family. Thunder Raceway is a first-class facility with great racing, and they bring the exciting, fast-paced action that the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is all about.”
The track was built in 1995, and the Livingstons operated it for the past 13 years.
“The track is high-banked and our teams put on a great show,” Bob Livingston said. “We’re also the only track I know of where moms love bringing the kids to the track as much as the dads. We’re proud of our concessions, souvenirs, playground and restroom facilities. We are very family-friendly.”
Thunder Raceway’s Budweiser Modified division is the headline division, and Richie Davis was the 2008 champion. The track also hosts Sportsman, Mini-Stocks and Bombers on a weekly basis. The track website is www.thunderraceway.com.
Competitors at the track are now part of NASCAR’s North American network of hometown speedways across the United States and Canada. At each track, the featured division participants will be eligible to compete for track and state championships and, ultimately, the series’ national title.
State or provincial champions in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series are determined by drivers’ highest 18 finishes at NASCAR-sanctioned tracks within a state.
Since its inception, NASCAR’s local racing series has served as a springboard in the careers of many top-tier NASCAR drivers. Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Kurt and Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Bobby Labonte, Jamie McMurray, Elliott Sadler and Brian Vickers all began their careers in the NASCAR short-track program.