Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park
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|Address||20,000 South Maricopa Road Box 5023 Chandler, AZ 85226|
|Former names||Firebird International Raceway (1983–2013)|
|Length||.402 km (.25 mi)|
The facility opened as Firebird International Raceway in 1983 and hosts the NHRA's Arizona Nationals. It held one IMSA GT race, in 1987. Due to its warm climate, it is a popular winter testing spot for NHRA and IndyCar teams. In December 1992, Three-time Formula One World Driving Champion Ayrton Senna famously tested an IndyCar at this facility (then still called Firebird International Raceway) with Team Penske. Senna was intrigued, but eventually decided to stay in Formula One.
The venue currently hosts an array of auto enthusiast events, such as the NHRA Nationals, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, Lucas Oil Regional Off-Road Racing Series, Red Bull Global Rally Cross, Bug-o-Rama, Formula Drift, Friday Night Drags, Drift & Drag Nights.
The 600 acre multi-use facility is currently used by dragsters, monster trucks, off-road races, and drag boats. Some of the biggest brands in motorsports, including Lucas Oil, Coca-Cola, CARQUEST and Ford have sponsored the circuit.
The park includes four race tracks: a 1/4 mile NHRA sanctioned drag strip; 1.6 mile road course; a 10-turn 1.25 mile road course; and a 1.1 mile road course, incorporating 11 tight turns and a 3/8 mile straight-away. It also features a 2.4 mile IHBA- and APBA-sanctioned oval lake.
On February 24, 1985, in one of the most chilling accidents ever seen at the lake, Drag Boat Racer Sunny Moon was nearly killed after jumping out of his drag boat when he jammed his throttle going around 160 MPH, which launched into the air after hitting the shore and exploded into flames after slamming into a row of high tension power lines. Moon was knocked unconscious after hitting the water at 160 MPH, but amazingly, he suffered only minor injuries in the accident. The accident was filmed by cameraman Terry Fox.
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