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Fun and Family at Maple Grove Raceway

by Alexxa Powers, Alvernia University

Fun and Family at Maple Grove Raceway

Maple Grove Raceway has been around for 57 years! This iconic quarter-mile racetrack is snuggled in the mountains of Mohnton, PA close to Reading. Maple Grove holds big NHRA National events, Divisional racing events, Jr dragster racing, swap meets, and so much more.

Did you know that drag racers range anywhere from 5 years old to 75 years old? Sometimes even older, as long as you pass a physical to obtain your NHRA drag racing license. The drag racing community is unique. Racers are always there to help fellow racers. You do not even have to be a racer to see this. Spectators can walk around and check out all the pit areas. Get an up-close look at all the different race cars. Watch racers and their crews in action working on the motors/transmissions, getting them ready for their next run. Talk with the race car drivers and crew – who are always welcoming and love to talk about their race cars and so much more!

How do I know all of this? It’s because I grew up around drag racing and even raced a Jr. Dragster for many years! My father has been racing for over 30 years. Ever since I was a baby, our whole family would be out at the racetrack every weekend during the racing season. We have traveled all over the east coast – as far north as New Hampshire, as far west as Missouri and as far south as Texas and Florida! Over the years, my mom, siblings and I have had our fair share of greasy/working hands at the racetrack, from fixing transmissions to swapping out complete motors in-between elimination runs! Talk about a lot of pressure to make sure you are fixing your race car correctly and under a very short time crunch!

Drag racing has taught me a lot. It has taught me the true meaning of “good sportsmanship”. In the staging lanes, racers wish their opponents good luck and to be safe; at the end of the track again you go up to your opponent and tell them good job. You know and respect that there is always going to be a winner and a loser. Drag racing is truly a family sport. You meet so many amazing people along the way – not just racers and their families but also the fans who come to watch you race and talk with as well!

If you think you have a fast streetcar or you have an old race car sitting around that you have not raced for a while, come on out. Maybe you just love walking around in the “open pits”, checking out all the different race cars and watching all the different race classes. Maybe you want to bring the kids out and show them what real drag racing looks like, feels like, smells like and sounds like. Come on out to Maple Grove during any one of their many racing events they hold through the months of April through October every year and I’ll bet you’ll come back for more!