Pacific Raceways is a legendary motorsports facility located in Kent, WA. The family-owned business opened in 1960 to provide a safe, controlled environment for racing. The track was constructed by Dan Fiorito Sr., who owned a heavy road construction company. His sons, Dan Jr. and Joe were part of the construction crew that built the track.
The unique 2.25 mile, nine turn road course has hosted some of the world’s most notable international drivers, who favored the circuit’s quick elevation change of 110 feet in less than one-half mile.
Racing Greats from Mario Andretti to Al Unser
In 1969, Mario Andretti won his first and only Indianapolis 500 in May. He used a late-season victory at the Dan Gurney 200 at Pacific Raceways to catapult his way to a USAC National Championship. The October event featured two heats, the first won by Al Unser, who finished second in the National Championship chase.
Drag racing has always been an integral part of Pacific Raceways’ heritage. In the inaugural race held over the Fourth of July weekend in 1960, Northwest legend Dick Kalivoda took top honors scorching the quarter-mile in 11.78 seconds in his B/Modified Roadster, setting an NHRA national elapsed time (E.T.) record. The fabled Kent track – a favorite of match racers in the 1970s – was the site of promoter Bill Doner’s infamous “64 Funny Cars,” which featured a who’s who of floppers from around the country.
Home of the NW NHRA Fall Nationals
The track, which hosted the NHRA Fall Nationals for several years, most recently has been part of NHRA’s grueling “western swing” – three races in three consecutive weekends including stops in Denver and Sonoma, CA. In 2011, national retailer O’Reilly Auto Parts was named title sponsor of the NHRA Northwest Nationals, part of NHRA’s Full Throttle professional drag race series.
In addition to its many race events on both the road course and drag strip, Pacific Raceways is a training ground for law enforcement agencies throughout the Northwest, who rent the facility to practice pursuit driving.