Pahrump Correspondence – May 2018

Pahrump Has the Need for Speed

                                                        A crowd enjoys a night time race at the Pahrump Valley Speedway.

Not all towns can say they have a speedway. The Pahrump Valley Speedway is a hidden gem, especially if you enjoy watching action packed motorsports.  I say “hidden” because people can live here for years, and, unless they follow motorsports or race themselves, they may never find out that the track even  exists.

It is a small track and is hidden away, but it is a gem for the amount of action and entertainment value it creates. It’s in the center of town near the Sheriff’s station. A little hard to find, but with modern GPS as it is, no problem. The track is located on Panorama Road,  north of Basin Avenue.

It truly is good family entertainment run by people that want to put out a good show for the crowd. The owner operator of the track is a local businessman named Chad Broadhead.

The speedway is a quarter-mile dirt track and has races  every two weeks. The price is right, too. It’s $10 per adult, and kids are $6. They even have senior and family discounts.

The following classes race at the speedway: Modified, Mini Stock, Super Stock, Coupes, Dwarfs, Hobby Stocks, Mini Modified, and Sports Mods.

                                                                            Modified racers line up in the pit before a race.

The track, like most speedways, has its history. It is one of two in Nye County (the other is Tonopah). The track is known for getting people started in racing.

About 15 years ago, two well known current  NASCAR drivers, Kurt and Kyle Busch learned on this track.  The two brothers are from Las Vegas, but made the one hour trip to hone their skills on Saturday nights. Most of the old timers remember the Busch brothers in Pahrump.

Jason Pike, a local racer, who grew up on the speedway in  Pahrump , once took on the Busch brothers. “Both Buschs raced out in Pahrump,” he said. “It is like a little known secret. Kyle was 14 when he started racing out here, and I even beat him. I remember he didn’t even own the car that he raced out here. He borrowed it.”

Pike said it wasn’t the best car but Kyle made the best of it.

I think the best thing about this track is it lets the fans buy a pit pass for $25 and watch the races from the pits. From there, the  race fans can even talk to the drivers. The racers are some of the friendliest people you will meet. The drivers are always willing to talk to the fans about the sport they love.

The racing runs from February until November, with usually two or three special race days each year honoring past drivers or certain classes. One such race is the Stormin’ Mormon race, which is held every March to honor Ray Wulfenstein, a former racer at the track.

                                                                 Racers enjoy a Pahrump sunset before the start of a race.

The track also supports a growing youth racing program that is unique. Unique in the sense the kids learn at an early age — as young as 5 years old. The program uses a class called the Mini Dwarfs. These cars are powered by a 6.5 horsepower  lawnmower engine and have a top speed of 35 mph. The cars have all the safety features of a normal racecar and the kids suit up just like their adult counterparts.

“The kids race from 5-13 years of age,” said Dusty Park, the Mini Dwarf Race Coordinator. “The program teaches them all the safety they need to know and all about racing. It prepares them for the bigger track and teaches them all about driving on a dirt track.”

The cars are on the pricey side, with some going for as high as $10,000 brand new and as low as $1,500 used, but if racing is in the parents’ blood they find a way to get their kids out there.

If you are from out of town and want to enjoy a good race weekend, one of the best times to come is during the Fall Festival, when there are two nights of back-to-back racing. But you have to book that stay early for the lodging goes fast during that time of year.

— Vernon Hee

NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network ©