Albuquerque Dragway hosts ‘Midnight Madness’ racing events

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Albuquerque Dragway opens its gates at 10 p.m. on a few summer Saturdays for its “Midnight Madness.”

Organizers with the Albuquerque Dragway say they want to make sure street racing is happening on their turf, and not on Albuquerque’s streets.

“We wanted to get involved with how we get the street racing problem addressed. So we thought, well, let’s do this. Let’s bring it to where they are on a weekend night. Let’s not close at 11, let’s open somewhere around that time. Kids are up late, they’re up till 2 in the morning, so have them come out,” said Gene Grant, an Albuquerque Dragway announcer. 

Grant says Midnight Madness is one of the dragway’s most popular events, especially with the younger drivers. 

“You can see it, there’s no question about it. There are younger kids out here with faster cars,” Grant said.  

It’s the same combination Albuquerque police leaders say still causes problems Friday, and Saturday nights.

“With it warming up and the weather being nice, we’re seeing a lot more people out there on the roadways. With some of the recent movies that have come out as well, we’ve seen a little bit of an uptick,” said APD’s Metro Traffic Division Lt. Chris Patterson.  

He says there’s already been two serious crashes this year where street racing was likely involved. But, it’s a far cry from what they were dealing with right before the pandemic.

“We’re seeing a lot of intersection takeovers, a lot of events on the freeway, and a lot of crashes involving serious injury and fatality crashes,” said Patterson. 

He credits the dragway for giving young racers a place to go.

“Especially here, I could go fast, and it’s like, I can’t get in trouble for it,” said Ron Roybal Jr, a drag racer. “It’s all fun, and it’s like an adrenaline rush. So it’s exciting.” 

While some of the older drivers spend the night improving their performance, others say Midnight Madness is all about having fun.

“It’s awesome to be racing at midnight, I mean, you could be asleep and be missing out on action, or you can be out here experiencing the action,” said Alex Owen, another drag racer. 

Saturday night is the second Midnight Madness event of the year. The dragway has two more planned in August and September. Races go on through 2 a.m..

For more information on Albuquerque Dragway’s upcoming events, click here.