Gainesville Raceway is a quarter-mile dragstrip just outside Gainesville, Florida. It opened in 1969 and is most famous for hosting the NHRA's prestigious Gatornationals event since 1970. Kenny Bernstein became the first drag racer to break the 300 mile-per-hour barrier at the track on March 20, 1992 during qualifying for that year's Gatornationals.OverviewGainesville Raceway, which has a capacity of 30,000, opened in 1969 and held its first Gatornationals event in 1970. Long considered one of the fastest tracks on the NHRA circuit, it was from this launch point that drivers clocked the first 260-, 270- and 300-mph Top Fuel runs. It also was from this starting line, during the 2000 Mac Tools NHRA Gatornationals, that eight of 10 national records were set in the professional classes.Gainesville Raceway has a separate road course, which is purpose-built for vehicle testing and driving schools. Completed in 2000, the road course has 1.6 linear miles of asphalt, with a 1-mile-long outer loop. The road course has multiple inter-connecting loops and turns for training exercises. It has been used extensively for law enforcement training, high-performance driving schools, and amateur and professional testing and tuning. The road course is equipped to handle corporate hospitality functions, autocrosses, and other events.Following the 2003 season, Gainesville Raceway underwent some significant renovations. The concrete launchpad at the starting line of the ultra-quick drag strip was extended to the 675-foot mark and the remainder of the racing surface, the shutdown area, as well as areas in the professional pits was repaved. A new television compound was constructed for the ESPN crew on the north side of the drag strip, which frees up space in the pit area.