By Daniel Rose
Special to TravelWisconsin.com
Wisconsin isn’t just filled with an abundance of sparkling lakes and beautiful state parks. If roaring engines, speeding vehicles and hairpin turns are what you’re looking for, then this list of five exciting Wisconsin race tracks is for you. Different tracks offer a different racing experience, so be sure to check out the track type to determine which Wisconsin race track to add to your next road trip or family vacation. With about 50 local tracks in the state, the options are endless!
Track Type: Asphalt oval
Wisconsin's only weekly racing NASCAR-sanctioned asphalt track, the La Crosse Speedway is home to two different race tracks -- a ¼ mile paved asphalt oval and a 5/8 mile paved asphalt oval (as well as a dragstrip for Friday night street drags). It features a race season of weekly Saturday night racing from April to September. However, the real magic at the La Crosse Speedway happens Oktoberfest weekend during the 4-day racing festival. Starting in 1970, the Oktoberfest Race Weekend is one of the oldest, and largest, racing events in the Midwest. Check out Oktoberfest weekend here, and consider staying in the on-site campground for the most authentic experience.
Track Type: Asphalt road course
“Walking around Road America is walking through a state park with a race track inside it,” says John Ewert of Road America’s 640-acre grounds.
The outdoor road racing track is no less impressive than the giant grounds, featuring 14 turns over four miles of track. The track is NASCAR-sanctioned, but there’s something for everybody in the more than 400 events held there annually. Regardless of which event you choose, you can feel confident there’s something at Road America for the whole family.
“Come for the experience, stay for race,” Ewert said.
Track Type: Dirt
If you find the well-controlled nature of asphalt racing to be too predictable, then head to Plymouth Wisconsin and check out this ¼-mile dirt track at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds. Vehicle classes raced include 360 sprints, dirt late models, grand nationals, wingless super mods, and 4 cylinders. The race schedule features an event most Saturday nights, but if you head to the track during the Sheboygan County Fair be sure to check out the demolition derby.
If lap-style racing isn’t your thing then the Great Lakes Dragaway may be just what you’re looking for. This track features a ¼-mile asphalt drag strip, tricked out vehicles and street style drag racing. Yet, the Great Lakes Dragaway’s most interesting feature is also its simplest. The track is open to the public, so if you have a car, you can race here. There is some variety of drag racing almost every night of the week during the race season, so be sure to check out their schedule of events. If you have an explosive experience in mind then the Nitrous Street Car Brawl can’t be beat.
Does reading about all of these excellent Wisconsin race tracks really give you an itch to get behind the wheel yourself? Then why not start out where Danica Patrick got her start, at the Sugar River Raceway go-kart track. Here you can rent everything you need to participate in a few hours of real go kart racing. And don’t confuse this track with the go-karts you find at an amusement park. The Sugar River Raceway has go karts that can reach speeds of up to 70 mph.