WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — As Maryland International Raceway gets ready to host this weekend’s International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Summit Sportsman Spectacular, we caught up with the track’s general manager Royce Miller to answer some questions about the Maryland facility and what makes it so special.
Maryland International Raceway, a 1/4-mile track in Mechanicsville, Maryland, has been around since 1966 when Joe LaRoque opened the facility. In 1967, Bill Cairns, bought facility remaining under his control until 1972 when the facility was purchased by Tod Mack and Larry Clayton. Current owner and general manager Royce Miller leased the facility in 1989 and finally purchased the track in 1998.
The IHRA Summit Sportsman Spectacular races are tailored to the track’s weekly racing programs.
The double race weekend is tailored to Maryland International Raceway’s weekly racing program featuring Top ET, Mod ET, Junior Dragsters, Bike competing on Moser Engineering Saturday and Battle Born Batteries Sunday.
IHRA: Maryland International Raceway was built in 1966, explain the history of the track and why there is a lot of records that are being broken at the track?
Royce Miller: There are multiple reasons as to why records fall here at MDIR. The track is fairly close to sea level, surrounded by trees, and close to water which are all additional sources of oxygen that some other facilities do not have. With more oxygen, fuel will combust with a higher explosiveness giving more horsepower. This, along with a great, smooth racing surface and skillful track prep, is part of why records fall here. We take pride in having the ability to help racers set personal bests and with shattering track and world records as consistently as we do.
IHRA: You have many exciting events that take place at the track, what makes your schedule so unique?
Royce Miller: We are able to produce events that target many different genres of racing. From all Ford, all Mopar, all Motorcycle, all Truck, Grudge, Big Buck ET Races, Pro Mods, Import, Athletic Events, Jet Show, Swap Meets and many other events that we are able to produce in-house. Add this to a large list of National Tour Events and co-promote events, we are able to have an event for every type or racer and fan out there.
IHRA: You have a strong backing in your weekly racing program, what makes racers come back and new ones want to race at Maryland International Raceway each year?
Royce Miller: For years, MDIR has had strong and consistent programs that provide fair and safe racing for our weekly racers. Both veterans and first time racers know that they will have a solid track surface to run on, consistent payout program, and other benefits for racing here at this facility.
IHRA: What are some of the rewards of the running Maryland International Raceway? What are some of the challenges that you face?
Royce Miller: Some of the rewards are seeing big crowds and high car counts with fans and racers alike all enjoying themselves. Some of the challenges we face are the weather and maintaining the facility to such a high standard with all of the special events that are run here. But when everything comes together, there is a satisfying feeling of pride that overcomes you when everything goes just right.
IHRA: Maryland International Raceway won the 2018 Divison 1 Summit Team Finals, how does that showcase the strong competition that racers will face on a given week at the track?
Royce Miller: MDIR was won numerous Team Finals, including three in a row, over the years as the MDIR racers are among the best in the country. Most racers want to race against the best to prove their grit.
For more information about Maryland International Raceway visit RaceMDIR.com.