Beeline Dragway: A Decaying Blast From Phoenix's Racing Past
The barren land surrounding the Beeline Dragway outside of Mesa can be a quiet place.
Benjamin Leatherman The timing tower at the old Beeline Dragway outside of Mesa.
Pay a visit to the decaying racing facility, which closed more than 35 years ago, and you might hear the sound of the wind blowing through its abandoned timing tower or the whisper of traffic from the nearby Beeline Highway, which inspired the bygone track's name.
Had you visited back in the day (specifically a 15-year stretch during the '60s and '70s), the place was alive with the roar of souped-up engines, squealing tires, and the clamor of thousands gathered in its grandstands, as the Beeline Dragway was one of the premier racing destinations in the Valley.
A remnant from the dragway's racing past.
Built in 1963 by local entrepreneur Jim Rogers on land leased from the Salt River Pima Indian tribe, the facility featured a pair of quarter-mile asphalt lanes where fired-up four wheel speed machines burnt rubber and shot forward at breakneck speeds of well over 200 miles-per-hour.
www.nitromater.com The Beeline Dragway back in the day.
Tricked-out muscle cars that were wildly popular amongst motorheads in that era - including Dodge Chargers, Ford Mustangs, and Pontiac GTO - regularly raced at the track, earning screams of delight from crowds as drivers put their pedals to the metal. The long and skinny custom-built dragster vehicles that are widely associated with the sport were also a common sight at the Beeline.