Racing fans can get set to enjoy their favorite sport this season because there are plenty of tracks in our area. Fans can take in a top NHRA drag racing event, NASCAR-sanctioned racing on paved tracks and lively dirt track and motocross action.
Some tracks listed here offer novelty races, including "Eves of Destruction," school bus races and so on. Tracks usually offer season passes, ticket packages and pit admissions, with most tracks charging more for special races. Prices listed are for regular events. Tracks are usually open at least one weekend evening plus some holidays, and some tracks offer camping facilities.
Brainerd International Raceway - The SCCA returns Aug. 7-9, followed by the NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals Aug. 13-16, when the sport's big names race. Muscle cars (June 3-5, Sept. 4-6) and regional NHRA racing (May 22-24) are also on a schedule heavy with drag racing. Motorcycles run one weekend a month and anyone can drag an inspected street car for $25 (spectators $5) on 10 Wednesdays starting May 6. 1-866-444-4455, www.brainerdraceway.com.
Rock Falls Raceway - The Elk Mound facility (near Eau Claire, Wis.) opens next weekend, showcasing dragsters many Saturdays/Sundays into October. $10, $8 seniors, $5 ages 10-15; 715-879-5089, 715-858-0170, www.rockfallsraceway.com.
Elko Speedway - Already open, this high-banked oval south of Burnsville has Saturday racing through Oct. 4 followed by live bands. There's NASCAR racing, a Sprint Cup driver appearance (July 8-9) and the Dirt Nationals (on dirt) July 22-25. $10-$15, $5 ages 5-12; 952-461-7223, www.elkospeedway.com.
Raceway Park - Shakopee's oval features Sunday racing April 26-Sept. 26, including ASA and NASCAR Whelen All-American series and lots of "trademark" figure-eight racing. $12, $5 ages 5-12; 952-445-2257, www.goracewaypark.com.
La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway - This West Salem, Wis. track, opening April 25, holds its 40th Oktoberfest race Oct. 8-11. Before that, it's Saturday events through Sept. 12 on inner and outer ovals. $10, $3 ages 6-11; 608-786-1525, www.lacrossespeedway.com.
I-94 Raceway - Sauk Centre's ASA-sanctioned track holds races primarily on Saturday starting in late May. There's an ASA 100-lap race in July. $11, $10 seniors, $6 ages 11-17, $1 under 10; 320-352-5263, www.i94raceway.com. (Note: All information from 2008.)
Spring Creek Motocross Park - Bikes race on selected weekends May-October on this Millville track. The biggest week (July 15-18) features an AMA National Motocross Championship Series race for the 25th straight year. $10 ages 4-adult; 507-753-2779, www.springcreekmx.com.
Arlington Raceway - IMCA sprint cars highlight Saturday racing at the Sibley County Fairgrounds in Arlington April 25-Sept. 5. $10, $3 ages 6-12; 507-931-4803, 507-380-3464, www.arlingtonraceway.com.
Cedar Lake Speedway - Saturday racing in New Richmond, Wis., on a high-banked oval April 10-Oct. 3 includes World of Outlaws sprint cars (July 12) and the USA Nationals (July 31-Aug. 2). $12, $6 ages 6-16 (2007 prices); 866-425-7386, www.cedarlakespeedway.com.
Deer Creek Speedway - Spring Valley's banked oval offers Saturday racing into September with the World of Outlaws Aug. 19 and a USMTS national race weekend Sept. 24-26. $12 ages 12+, under 12 free (reg. events only); 877-327-7223, www.deercreekspeedway.com.
Princeton Speedway - It's mostly Friday racing April 24 through Sept. 4 at this high-banked quarter-mile track. $10, $6 ages 7-14 and 62+; 763-389-3135, www.princetonspeedway.com.
Other Minnesota dirt tracks closer to the metro are in Fairmont, Grove City, Kasson, Lansing, Sauk Rapids, Redwood Falls and Willmar. Nearby Wisconsin tracks are in St. Croix Falls, Rice Lake, Fountain City and Menomonie. Visit www.wissota.org or www.racingaroundamerica.com/speedways/minnesota.asp for weblinks or information.