The Gainesville Raceway has been around for quite some time. The raceway attracts thousands of people, offering a wide variety of racing events.

It is a go-to location for people who want to enjoy the thrill of speed while also offering individuals an opportunity to see champions like Jonathan Anderson and Greg Slack in action.

Let’s take a closer look at the Gainesville Raceway in this post.

History Of Gainesville Raceway

The Gainesville Raceway has made a name for itself over the past few decades. It is now considered to be one of the fastest NHRA circuits in existence. In fact, some people describe the Gainesville Raceway as legendary.

The raceway was first opened in 1969. Just one year after its opening, the first Gatornationals event was held on the Gainesville Raceway. Since this time, the track has been gaining traction for being the home of the Gatornationals.

Who Owns Gainesville Raceway?

The National Hot Rod Association owns the Gainesville Raceway. The National Hot Rod Association is related to racing and related events.

The association decided to invest in the Gainesville Raceway project. The project was built on land that stretched for 8,000 square feet. The control tower on the Gainesville Raceway was built to be three stories tall.

Did Gainesville Raceway Use To Be Auto Plus Raceway?

The initial naming of the track was Auto-Plus Raceway. This was the name provided to the track and accompanying structures when the National Hot Rod Association first built and opened the raceway.

After several decades, however, the company was able to obtain naming rights for Gainesville. This allowed the National Hot Rod Association to change the name from AutoPlus Raceway to Gainesville Raceway.

While the name change was only done in 2012, most people have now come to know the track as the Gainesville Raceway.

The renaming was done to match the location of the track. The raceway is located just north of Gainesville, a town in Florida.

Gainesville Raceway Events And Schedule

Numerous events are held at the Gainesville Raceway track. The Gatornationals are generally considered to be the most popular attraction that occurs at the Gainesville Raceway. This event will run from 11 to 14 March 2021 and is held on an annual basis.

This year’s annual event is named the 52nd Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.

Apart from this annual event, there is a host of other events scheduled for this year too.

Here is a quick overview of some upcoming events:

  • Frank Hawley Drag Racing School Gas Class (16 – 17 March)
  • Slicks & Radials Test-and-Tune (20 March)
  • Pure Speed Drag Racing Experience (21 March)
  • Friday Night Street Legal Madness (26 March)
  • Racewars USA (28 March)
  • Summit Series Bracket Race #3 & NHRA.TV Wally Race (3 April)
  • 6th Annual 352 Shootout (17 April)
  • All Welcome Test-and-Tune (1 May)

Gainesville Raceway Seating Chart

The seating chart for Gainesville depends on the event that is being held. The seats are generally divided into multiple categories. There are seats for general admission. Seat positions are available at the starting position of the drag strip. Additional seats are available along the drag strip, up to the finish line.

Image Source: North American Motorsports

Image Source:
Vivid Seats

Gainesville Raceway Phone Number

It is possible to give Gainesville Raceway a phone call if you have any questions or would like more information on booking a seat for an upcoming event. Gainesville Raceway can be contacted at +1 352-377-0046.

Hotels Near Gainesville Raceway

If you are traveling toward Gainesville for the Gatornationals or another event held at the track, then you will likely need to find some accommodation for the time. Fortunately, there is a wide range of options available.

When looking for a hotel, it would be a good idea to consider options that are located in Gainesville.

The raceway is a 15-minute drive toward the north of Gainesville. This provides easy access and ensures you do not have to drive hundreds of miles to get to your destination.

You should also consider a few additional factors. Some hotels in Gainesville can be quite pricey, especially when taking your family with you. If you are traveling with people, try to find a hotel that offers a suite with multiple beds.

This may help you save some money in the process. Take your budget into consideration while searching for a hotel. It is always a good idea to filter the hotels available according to your budget.

Below, I share a few of the best hotel options you can choose from when visiting Gainesville Raceway.

1. Hotel Eleo at the Unversity of Florida

A hotel that is situated in Gainesville. The hotel is about a 15 minute to 30-minute drive from Gainesville Raceway.

It is a highly rated hotel that comes with a range of different luxury facilities and elements. Multiple room options are available. Each room comes with its own bathroom.

Hotel Eleo offers a complete hospitality experience. Luxury is a priority with all of the rooms and services offered at the hotel.

The restaurant at Hotel Eleo allows you to enjoy gourmet dishes at any time of the day. The minimal design in the hotel adds an inviting feel, and each room is fitted with beds that are comfortable to sleep on.

Visit at Hotel Elco at the University of Florida

2. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Gainesville I-75

Another great option that features a relaxing atmosphere. The hotel is also situated inside Gainesville and offers access to a large swimming pool. This hotel offers rooms at more affordable rates, making it great for times when you are on a budget.

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Gainesville I-75 hotel makes luxury affordable. Rooms are fitted with minimalist designs while still appearing elegant.

Each room comes with one or two beds, as well as a desk, TV, a telephone, and even a couch. This adds more versatility to your room, allowing you to watch movies after you get back from the Gatornationals.

A fitness center is also available for those who want to keep their bodies in shape while they travel.

Visit at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Gainesville I-75

3. Quality Inn University

If you’re looking for something cheap but still want a quality experience, then the Quality Inn Unversity is another good option to look at. The hotel offers free breakfast, a relaxing environment, and comfortable beds.

The addition of a business center at the Quality Inn University means this location can be used for companies who want to travel with employees.

Easily set up meetings that can occur in the morning or afternoon, depending on the scheduled event that is being held at Gainesville Raceway.

A pool can be found in the outdoor area at this inn. The pool is always clean and properly maintained. This allows you to easily cool off after a warm day or add some relaxing time to your experience in Gainesville.

Wi-Fi is also offered at this hotel, ensuring you can browse the web while you are at the inn.

Visit at Quality Inn University


While we have covered all the basics that you should know about Gainesville Raceway, you may still have a few questions in mind.

I am going to share a few of the most frequently asked questions. This list will help you get a better idea of what to expect at the Gainesville Raceway.

Q1. How Much Are Gator National Tickets?

There are a few factors that determine the price of Gator National tickets. The seating options tend to have a major impact on the price that you should expect to pay.

Generally, the lowest-priced tickets that are available sell for $28. Some people prefer a better seat, however. This is why the average ticket price is around $125.

Q2. Where Are The Gatornationals?

The Gatornationals are held at the Gainesville Raceway each year. The Gatornationals have become somewhat of a tradition at the Gainesville Raceway, with an annual event held since 1970.

You can find the Gainesville Raceway at a 15-minute drive from Gainesville.

Q3. When Is The Gatornationals?

The Gatornationals can be enjoyed every year by visiting the Gainesville Raceway on specified dates. For 2021, the Gatornationals are scheduled to being on 11 March. The event will continue up to 14 March. Last year, in 2020, the event ran from 12 March up to the 15th.

Q4. Who Won The 2020 Gatornationals?

2020 marked the 51st annual Gatornationals event, hosted at the Gainesville Raceway. For 2020, the winner was Jonathan Anderson.

This was the fifth win for Jonathan, who had a score of 9.910 while participating in the 9.9 class index. Greg Slack scored 9.884, putting him just behind Jonathan Anderson.


The Gainesville Raceway is a popular destination for fans of fast cars and good company. The annual Gatornationals event is just around the corner, with many other events on the schedule too.

The raceway is situated close to Gainesville, which ensures gaining access to accommodation during your visit to the track is easy and convenient.

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