EventsList Your ShowWeekly Cruise NightsFREE Classified AdsPlace a Free AdCar ClubsCar ShowsAuto RacingCruise NightsReader's RidesManufacturer NewsExoticsHot RodsLowridersMuscle CarsSports CarsTunersOn the RoadPerformance/MachineRestoration/BodyProject One 87Submit Your RideLinksAbout UsContact UsAdvertise

Speedworld’s Lease Canceled! Track’s Fate Subject to Appeals Process



Wittmann, Arizona (January 10,2013) — The rumors about Speedworld’s forced closing have been flying around the racing community for some time now.  Dan Matthews and the awesome crew at Speedworld have been working with both Maricopa County and the Arizona State Land Department to rectify the issues brought to their attention, but some of the requests by the County and State have left them in a somewhat of a Catch-22.

Some of the requests by the County and State just cannot be satisfied as there is no reasonable way to meet the demands.

Matthews has spent thousands of dollars in legal fees trying to keep the park open during the last year, but on December 26th, 2012 the Arizona State Land Commission issued an Order for Lease Cancellation.  The order states the “the Lease is hereby canceled.  This Order is final.”

Speedworld Lease Cancelation Order

This Order does not mean Speedworld’s fate is final.  Their staff is still working hard and doing everything they can to ensure they can get through the Spring drag racing schedule while they work through the appeals process with the Arizona State Land Commission.

Like many of you, Arizona Auto Scene are big fans of Speedworld.  We have enjoyed watching many or you race there and have made many friends along the way.  As much as many of you would like to continue racing at Speedworld, we’d like to continue cover the drag races and shows there in the years to come



  1. jason chandanais says:

    Well they closed firebird……now speedworld is shutting down possibly…..i guess they want people to street race from now on.

  2. Timothy Corcoran says:

    Dear Governor Jan Brewer

    I believe it would be a huge injustice to close Speedworld Motorplex. We are not talking about an elicit massage parlor or strip club or a porn store like Castle Boutique and others that are allowed to operate freely. This is a wholesome sporting activity that is good for the Great State of Arizona and local economy. Aside from the loss of revenue and loss of jobs directly and indirectly the people who use this facility will no longer have a place to go for these activities. Think for just a moment about the people of your state that you represent. Now is the moment in time that you have an opportunity to show us you care and do something for your people. There is no reason to force this facility to close. From where I am sitting this is a case of misuse use of government power, an ego power trip of some Maricopa County officials showing how powerful they are. No one is thinking about the damage that will be done to the people of Arizona and people from other states that use this facility. I am sure if an independent review was done in a fair and reasonable manner the state could work out any dispute with the track owner/operator to satisfy the County’s insignificant needs. Please intervene here and help us, we voted for you, we trust you to help us in our time of need, please help us, your constituents. Give the track a waiver or an injunction or whatever you have to do to keep the track open. There is no harm that this facility is doing to the county; the harm is in closing the facility. I am just an old man living out my childhood dreams to be a race car driver. I am not the only one. Show us you care, you have the power to do something good. In a world of crumbling values and corruption in and out of government you can step up and do something for your people. Will you take this opportunity?

    Tim Corcoran
    Drag Racer
    Phoenix, Arizona

  3. Don Kennedy says:

    SuThe Government provided a baseball park funded by the tax payers for Millionaires baseball players and makes a huge amount of money for the owners of the baseball team seems like a good idea if it actually helps the economy not just the players and owners , now it seems that a government could help a race track which provides a out let for car enthusiasts or young people to race in a a safe environment would be the right thing to do , help the track not fight it . If the Gov does not help then street racing will spike up and some one will get hurt . Support the track not fight it for the Good of the people just like the Gov did for baseball payers and owners , Now I would like the tax payers taxes to go to the race track as this is a better way for the good of all car enthusiasts , I know where some of the tax payers taxes are wasted big time on worthless endevors so support the track the Track not fight it

  4. Mark Sheffer says:

    Closing speedworld would cause the city to loose a lot of revenue as well as loose a place for kids to go and race their cars legally as apposed to street racing. Not to mention the all of the other activities that Speedworld offers to other family based motorsports. Phoenix residents that regularly use this facility and Firebird Raceway as well will now have to go to Tucson, Las Vegas and California facilities and spend their Arizona money. There is a very large motorsports community in Arizona and doing something like this would put even more of a strain on the Arizona economy because of another loss of revenue. Motorsports enthusiasts come from all over the state as well as neighboring states to use this facility. That revenue will be lost also. Please don’t let this happen.

    Mark Sheffer Gilbert Arizona

  5. Brianna Leigh Blinzler, Racer says:

    January 10, 2013

    Governor Janice K. Brewer
    Executive Tower
    1700 W. Washington Street
    Phoenix, AZ 85007

    Dear Governor Brewer,

    As a participant in the motorsports community, I am writing to you about Speedworld Dragstrip. I have been encouraged to write to you about this situation by other motorsports enthusiasts.

    We are just one family, of many, that travel to Speedworld Dragstrip in Wittmann many times a year to race junior dragsters. In your state, we also race at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler and Southwestern International Raceway in Tucson.

    Our family alone travels about 800 miles round trip to race at Speedworld. We spend lots of money in the State of Arizona when we come to race. We spend crazy amounts of money on fuel, hotels, food, meals, clothing, race fuel, vehicle repairs and even hospital expenses! We have been traveling to Speedworld to race since 2005.

    We have received information that Speedworld Motorsports Park will be forced to close it’s doors in the very near future. Many stories are out there as to the reason why. One story is that there are problems, with the County and another story is they are running out of funds to keep the Park open due to astronomical legal expenses in the dealing with the County. I’m not a person to believe everything I’m told by one party in a dispute, but I am a person to wonder if any part of the story about issues with the County is true, why isn’t there some kind of middle of the road all parties can agree on.

    It seems to me that the loss of revenue the neighboring cities, County and State will incur, should the Park close permanently, ought to be taken into consideration. Also, let’s not forget about the employees losing their jobs and income!

    With the Park’s closing many other sports activities will be affected also; Motocross Racing, Off Road Racing, BMX Racing, RC Off Road Racing and RC Plane Flying Competitions. Imagine the impact of these activities taking place in areas not set up for their specific use and the increased number of potential accidents! It’s also hard to imagine the actual number of competitors, support crews and spectators affected by the closing of this facility!

    If there is anything you can do to help with this unfortunate situation, I would truly appreciate your help in this matter!


    Brianna Leigh Blinzler, Drag Racer
    On Pointe Racing
    Ventura County, California

  6. Jimmy says:

    Dear Jan Brewer,
    I am a native to this wonderful state and city but over the last 20 years, there seems to be a concerted effort to eradicate anything that gives the valley it’s charm. Speedworld is most definitely one of those places! If Speedworld closes, please consider this note my official notice in regards to holding out any hope for Phoenix and it’s outlying areas. I have early memories of this place, when it was Mel Larsons Dragstrip and have frequented this establishment ever since. Don’t blow it! Respectfully, Jimmy

  7. Rocky Phillips says:

    Gov. Brewer,
    I’m from California but have traveled to Speedworld to enjoy it’s refreshing welcome to an average racer like myself. Please look into the matters at hand and see what you may be able to do to save a Drag racers way of life. Thank You, Rocky Phillips

  8. Bill MacKenzie says:

    Dear Gov. Brewer,

    Please consider the ramifications of closing Speedworld. I have seen other tracks close due to encroaching subdivisions and the results are always the same. Expect more illegal and dangerous street racing. Also, consider the activities that will take the place of a dissapearing enthusiast’s hobby. Many vocations are started by novices that become skilled technicians by honing their interest in competing with their race cars. Good clean fun can be spending a day competing against your friends car in a safe enviornment. Take away yet another activity and Phoenix becomes less desireable for the automotive enthusiast. You may have already heard that Firebird Raceway is also having it’s problems. Without any facility to release “automotive energy” legally, you will undoubtedly see it revert to the public streets. This facility is already built, is being run responsibly, and is not hurting anyone. I enlist your help in rescuing a worthy venue that has far reaching effects on the community and it’s tax base.

    Bill MacKenzie

  9. Jeremy Jacobs says:

    January 10, 2012

    The Honorable Janice K. Brewer
    Arizona Governor
    Executive Tower
    1700 West Washington Street
    Phoenix, AZ 85007
    (602) 542-4331

    Subject: Possible closing of Speedworld Motorplex

    The Honorable Janice K. Brewer,

    I am writing to show my support for Speedworld Motorplex, hereinafter referred to as “Speedworld”. Please work with Speedworld to either renew the lease or sell the property to Speedworld and work with the County Permit office to resolve the differences between Speedworld and the county so the complex will stay open. I make this request as a motorsports enthusiast/participant, west valley resident, concern for public safety, and concern for the local economy that benefits from events held at Speedworld.

    In the first quarter of 2012 Auto Club Dragway at Fontana was closed and prior to that Barona Dragstrip was closed also. This lead to a sudden increase in street racing in Southern California as there was no place for young adults to legally and safely race any longer. Actually within the first week of the Auto Club Dragway closing there was a fatality due to street racing. I don’t want the Arizona streets to start looking like the streets of Southern California. With Firebird shutting this spring due to their lease not being renewed by the Gila River Indian Tribe, that leaves Speedworld as the only motorsports facility of its kind in the valley and the only dragstrip in the valley. If Speedworld is closed the only dragstrip in the state will be in Tucson. I believe this will lead to a very sharp increase not only in street racing but off-road riding, mud bogs, sand drags, etc. occurring in the desert in an uncontrolled environment.

    Links to news stories in Southern California:

    From an economic perspective there are many National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) races held at Speedworld that bring in hundreds of racers and even more spectators. Many of the racers are from out of state and stay in hotels in Surprise and the other West Valley cites. They spend money on food, gas, hotels, fun, along with supporting the track and the many motorsports related businesses in the West Valley. Speedworld also hosts the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing series which is nationally televised on CBS and Speed Television. This event brings in thousands of people who spend money in Surprise and the other West Valley cities.

    For me personally the closing of Firebird and if Speedworld closes this will force me to race in Bakersfield, CA, Las Vegas, NV, and Tucson rather than racing and spending money in our local economy and at local tracks. This will also significantly hurt many friends’ small businesses that are motorsports related businesses that employee many people. With any already fragile economy our government of elected persons should work for their citizens and try to do all they can to support the citizen’s wishes and not harm the local economy with bureaucratic red tape.

    Sincerely a very concerned Maricopa County Citizen.
    Jeremy Jacobs

Leave a Comment

− five = 3