Yakima motorsport complex has become an annual stop for many top-level cyclists. It’s located in the US state of Washington, close to the Oregon border. The facility regularly welcomes Grand Tour champions and other distinguished visitors. Its size is impressive – it covers 400 acres (1.5km²) of land, and has 25 miles of (one-way) pavement for motorcyclists and cars. You can read more about the complex at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakima_Speedway.
The Expansion Of The Complex
The facility currently has nine racetracks. The largest one is the 2.5-mile (4km) paved oval named after legendary racer Lee Banfield. It was originally constructed in 1947 and has been expanded several times since then. The current extension of the oval was built in 2007, and it hosts events such as the Lucas Oil ProMotocross, the Monster Energy Cup Series, and the Bingshoot Battle. In 2012, the Lee Banfield Freightway Bridge that crosses the length of the complex was named after Lee Banfield, thanks to a local business group.
The new extension consists of a 1.9-mile (3km) strait (named Tri-Track), a 1.3-mile (2.2km) medium-sized oval (Cement), a 0.75-mile (1.2km) road (named Mud Lake), and a three-quarter-mile (one-mile) dragstrip (Sand) that was unveiled in 2016. The latter two are temporary asphalt-based tracks, and they will be removed in due course, as the complex is currently repaving itself.
The complex has seven venues, ranging from the smallest to the largest one. The smallest one is the grandstand, a temporary outdoor venue that currently has 12,000 seating capacity. It is used mostly for amateur racing, and some bigger events are held there, too. The largest venue is the granddaddy of them all, the 4.45-mile (7km) long Speedway Center, which was originally built in 1967 and has been expanded several times since then. It can hold up to 200,000 people for a motorsport event. The track is made up of 12 individual lanes, featuring long straights and a high-speed turn that comes next. The entire length of the track is surrounded by a fence with places for fans to sit and watch the oncoming action. When the crowd is in attendance, the atmosphere feels like that of a small town carnival.
Other venues include the 1.9-mile (3km) paved oval (Mud Lake) and the 0.75-mile (1.2km) road (Sand), both of them temporary. Also, the 0.98-mile (1.6km) Cement is a banked turn named after its location near the city of Yakima, and the 1.3-mile (2.2km) Tri-Track is a temporary three-lane oval built in 2012. The complex also features a 3,000-foot (900m) straightaway (Alameda) and the 3,600-foot (1.1km) straight (Powder) that lead to it. There are no loop-arounds or rest sections on these straights, so racers can go as fast as they can maintain without risk of over-speeding. Finally, the complex has a 1,000-foot (300m) long jump (Sandy) that is used mostly for school competitions.
To make it easy for fans to find their way around the track, starting next year the complex will feature a small map in the corner of each ticket, explaining the location of the track and venue. And don’t forget to visit the Midway House, which is located at the entrance to the main complex and serves as both a restaurant and bar. It also features a souvenir shop and has places for fans to have their picture taken.
The people of Yakima motorsport complex are among the most welcoming in the world. The staff and volunteers consistently put in an effort to make sure that each racer feels comfortable and is given the best possible experience. The atmosphere in the facility is always joyful, and the fans are a joy to meet and talk to. After a hard day of racing, it is not unusual for fans to come together at the end of the day and have a few drinks at the nearby bars.
Yakima is known for its fantastic food and drink, so it is only natural for fans to want to take a quick break from the action to eat some of its world-class cuisine. And what is a trip to the United States without eating some blue ribbon BBQ, right?
The people of Yakima have always been passionate about motorsport and its drivers. Many of them make it a point to follow the entire event from the earliest stages all the way to the end. When racers return home at the end of the day, they are often treated to a friendly round of applause, and the locals really go the extra mile to make sure that each visitor has a great time. The passion that the people of Yakima have for motorsport is infectious, and it has helped create an environment where world-class athletes can thrive.