What does the Texas Motorplex and the Dodge Challenger SRT® Demon have in common? They were both purposely built for ¼-mile drag racing. Unlike the other tracks we have visited thus far, the Texas Motorplex actually signed an agreement with the NHRA to host an event at the complex before they even broke ground on the facility. That agreement was signed in November of 1985 by Billy Meyer, and in January of 1986, construction began on the very first post tension, all-concrete, ¼-mile facility specifically created for drag racing.
It is a common occurrence for race drivers to clinch national records at this facility. Season championship dreams are commonly reached, but the very first Top Fuel record is held by Darrell Gwynn with a 5.280 run on September 25, 1985. 1987 proved to be a pivotal year for the facility when Texas Motorplex became the first non-NHRA-owned track to host two national events. Later that year, they opened the Divisional 4 Hall of Fame and built a permanent hospitality structure to host fans in a VIP atmosphere. The Divisional 4 Hall of Fame was the first and only of its kind, paving the way for other tracks to follow suit. Fans enjoyed the VIP atmosphere so much that it later became commonplace among other tracks that host NHRA national events.
Over the next 17 years, NHRA drivers Eddie Hill, Cory McClenathan, Gary Scelzi, John Force, Warren Johnson, Larry Kopp, Tony Schumacher and Tommy Johnson set records while racing at the facility. In 2004, Greg Anderson clinched his second consecutive NHRA Pro Stock title. Anderson clinched the title sooner than any other driver in NHRA history.
Back when the track first opened, Don “The Snake” Prudhomme recalled his first glimpse of Texas Motorplex, “It was like a field of dreams”. Today, the sentiment among race fans remains the same. This weekend, race fans will descend upon Texas Motorplex to catch all of the championship action during the NHRA Fall Nationals. Will Leah Pritchett’s double duty all season finally pay off with a Factory Stock Championship in her Drag Pak? We will all be watching in anticipation to see her snag the championship.