Summer of Motorsports ‘17
The summer solstice. Think of it as nature’s version of “Start your engines” – because it’s officially road trip season.
Whether you’re in the market for a quick weekend getaway or a Great American Road trip, racetracks and their thundering performances are the perfect destination for car-lovers.
Raring to hit the road? Here are 7 tracks to road trip to this summer.
Watkins Glen International
Watkins Glen, NY
Affectionately nicknamed “The Glen,” this illustrious track is considered the Mecca of North American racing. This road course is 3.4 miles in length and features 11 twisting turns. For nearly 70 years, The Glen has served as one of the marquee destinations in motorsports. Our flagship NASCAR driver, Joey Logano made history at the track in 2015 when he became the first driver to sweep a NASCAR race weekend.
When to go:
June 30th for the IMSA Sahlen’s 6 Hours at The Glen
August 6th for the NASCAR 355 at The Glen
August 31st for the IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen
Nestled in the rolling hills of California Wine Country, the Sonoma Raceway packs 12 tight turns into a 1.99 mile road course and boasts a quarter-mile drag strip to boot. As one of only two road courses on the NASCAR circuit, stock cars face unique challenges you won’t find at a typical race. Namely, high elevations, downhill runs, sight hampering horizons and right hand turns. Since 2015, the track has served as the host for the IndyCar season finale.
When to go:
June 25th for the NASCAR Toyota/Save Mart 350
July 28th for the NHRA Toyota Nationals
September 15th GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma
Home of the MOPAR Mile-High Nationals, the Bandimere Speedway kicks off the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ mid-summer “Western Swing.” Its quarter mile drag strip is one of three NHRA national event tracks to feature an all-concrete surface (allowing for a more consistently even drag strip) and features elevations of over 5,800ft above sea level. Once you add in the booming power of 10,000HP dragsters, “Thunder Mountain” is must visit.
When to go: July 21st for the NHRA MOPAR Mile-High Nationals
Great for audiences, tough on drivers. This 1.5 mile tri-oval course is home to the Quaker State 400 and arguably the most difficult corner on the NASCAR circuit: Turn 3. It’s flat, slick and completely unforgiving to drivers who don’t pay it the proper respect. The treachery of the Kentucky Speedway has proven to be an advantage for Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski. He’s a three-time winner of the Quaker State 400.
When to go: July 7th for the Quaker State 400
Streets of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Technically, there is no “track.” IndyCars zip through the same streets that Toronto commuters navigate on a daily basis. The compilation of closed-off roads covers 1.786 miles with 11 bending turns. It’s the fourth oldest race on the circuit, and the second longest running street race (trailing only the Grand Prix of Long Beach). Don’t forget your Passport.
When to go: July 17th for the Honda Indy Toronto
Michigan International Speedway
In the scenic hills of southeastern Michigan hosts one of the preeminent facilities in all of motorsports – The Michigan International Speedway. This “D-shaped” oval course covers 2.0 miles of wide lanes and high banking turns. Due to its sweeping corners, extensive straightaways and lack of a restrictor plate requirement, the Michigan International Speedway is known as the fastest track in NASCAR. You’ll witness qualifying speed well above 200 MPH. Speed demons welcome.
When to go: August 13th for the Pure Michigan 400
Bristol Motor Speedway
With a max capacity of 162,000, Bristol Motor Speedway is the eighth largest venue in the entire world. It’s also one of the shortest tracks on the NASCAR circuit measuring in at a tidy half mile as well as a quarter mile drag strip. With nicknames like “Thunder Valley” “The Last Great Colosseum” and “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile” and its dual pit roads, Bristol stakes its claim in the hearts of racing fans as one of the most beloved tracks around. Due to its steep banking turns and all concrete surface, cars run much faster here than they would at your typical short-course track. If you’re passionate about feeling the rumble of 39 world class engines roaring in unison, look no further. Bristol Motor Speedway has been named one of the loudest tracks in NASCAR.
When to go: August 19th for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race.
It’s the green flag for summer. We’ve got races to win and you’ve got vacation days to cash.
See you at the track.