31001 144th Ave. SE
Kent, WA 98042-4601
Elevation: 280 feet
Radio Frequency: 540 AM
The traditional Western Swing gets turned on its head in 2010 as Pacific Raceways hosts the kickoff to this year’s three-race, three-state, three-weekend trek. Previously, the event has been both the second and third stops on the Swing. One of the tour’s most breathtaking environments, the facility is parked in the shadow of majestic Mount Rainier and surrounded by towering trees that add more than beauty at the first stop on the Western Swing: They emit tons of power-enhancing oxygen to feed the appetites of the high-horsepower machines, resulting in prime performances.
2009 recap: At last year’s event, which was the middle event of the Western Swing, Antron Brown kept alive his hopes of a rare swing sweep with a Top Fuel victory. Brown scored his fourth win of 2009 by denying Tony Schumacher a second straight Seattle victory and a chance to narrow points leader Brown’s edge. Tim Wilkerson hadn’t been to a Funny Car final since September 2008 but took full advantage of his first title-round appearance of the season by defeating low qualifier Tony Pedregon, and Mike Edwards’ final-round defeat of Jason Line in Pro Stock ended a frustrating streak of runner-ups in his previous four finals and gave him his first win since May, his third of the year and 18th of his Pro Stock career.
How to Get There: The track is 10 miles east of Interstate 5 on Highway 18. From I-5, use Exit 142A (Auburn exit) and travel east 10 miles on Highway 18, following the signs to the track. From other points, use Highway 18 and exit SE 304th Street or SE 312th Street.
Visitor Information: Pacific Raceways, 253-639-5927; Auburn Chamber of Commerce, 253-833-0700; Kent Chamber of Commerce, 253-854-1770; Seattle-King County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 206-461-5800