My adventure at Thunder Road Raceway Park


If you aint first, you’re last!

-Ricky Bobby, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)


Right off I-49 North in Gilliam, LA lies Thunder Road Raceway Park. Thunder Road is a Motorsports facility featuring a 1/4-mile Drag Strip, sanctioned by the National Hot Rod Association™ (NHRA) in Division 4.

The raceway park is run by Nelson and Marla Hoyos. Nelson is a professional driver with over 35 years experience in Motorsports. He was the 2003 & 2004 NHRA Sport Compact Pro/FWD Champion, 2004 Turbo Magazine “Driver of the Year” and has many other awards and accomplishments including national records.

In 2006, the Hoyos launched Drive 2 Win Drag Racing School which provides corporate entertainment, team building, instructional racing and ride and drive programs in professionally prepared race cars.

The Hoyos were successfully operating their business in Hollywood, FL when they heard about an abandoned raceway park in Gilliam, LA. They always had dreams of owning and operating their own raceway so this was just the opportunity they were looking for. They visited then moved to Gilliam!

Thunder Road Raceway has now become home to Drive 2 Win Drag Racing School and they host several races there including the NHRA Division 4 Race, Harley-Davidson Explosion 3 Motorcycle Racing, PDRA Cajun Nationals and others.

Now that you know a little about the Hoyos and Thunder Road Raceway Park, let’s get to the exciting part!


Thanks to Johnny Wessler and Explore Louisiana North, I was able to personally experience drag racing! I was able to ride with Nelson on the drag strip going between 120-125mph in about 3 seconds! Talk about speed racing!


To get prepared, Marla demonstrated how I needed to get into the car.


Once I was in, she got real close and personal with me and strapped me in. Do y’all see that look I was giving her?! LOL I have so many inappropriate jokes running through my head.


After I was strapped in, Nelson drove us to the starting line and we took off! Well we kinda took off. We traveled a couple of feet and went back to the starting line. I was told that this was to heat up the tires.


Ok so now it’s really time for us to take off. The lights went from red to yellow to green and then we were off! We went so fast, I didn’t even have time to yell out from my shock and excitement! By the time I could form any kind of sentence, the ride was over. That is how fast we were going!


Click above to check out the video.


I think I could get use to life in the fast lane. Shake and Bake!

When You Go:

Thunder Road Raceway Park
5700 Thunder Road, Gilliam, LA 71029
318-299-RACE (7223)

Disclaimer: This experience was paid for by Explore Louisiana North however all opinions are 100% my own.

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  • TDashfield June 09, 2015 12.01 pm

    Looks like fun but I don’t know if I could do this 🙂 #blmgirl

    • Jada June 09, 2015 03.23 pm

      You definitely could!


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Hi I'm Jada! I'm a blogger and freelance writer. I love all things related to travel, food, and entertainment.

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