10 Wild Places to Legally Race Your Car
Sometimes a man simply needs a lot of speed, and no, we’re not talking about the drugs that get you wired.
Driving fast, if our experience and an endless onslaught of car commercials tell us anything, is a hell of a lot of fun. Problems only arise when you decide to race down city streets, and people get hurt. Even if everyone manages to escape injury, your wallet will most likely suffer because of the fines and bailout money you’ll have to shell out to the police.
The best fix you can find for this problem is locating a place where you can legally race your car and excise your racing demons –– often with police approval, oddly enough.
So strap on your seat belt, pedal to the metal, and vroom, here we go….
People in San Diego have come up with an innovative idea to stop illegal street racing by setting up legal and police sanctioned street racing events. If you want to race your car at top speeds, with the cops looking on (that could be a bit creepy), you can sign up for “Race Legal” events taking place at the Qualcomm Stadium (home to the San Diego Chargers football team) parking lot. It’s a great way to have a blast with your vehicle, and reduce crashes and fatalities from illegal street racing at the same time.
When you’ve just got to get your race on in Louisiana, head on over to the No Problem Raceway Park in Belle Rose. If you show up for Friday Night Racing, you can enter your vehicle (hopefully it’s damn fast) into the bracketed racing competition for about 20 bucks. This is your chance to tear up the drag strip and burn some rubber down 4,000 feet of pavement. You might only be driving in a straight line, but it will be one of the most thrilling lengths of road you’ll ever travel along.
Aspen Racing and Sports Car Club offers up one of the best tracks in the Rocky Mountains. It also happens to be situated higher (altitude wise) than any other racetrack in the nation. From go-carts and motocross to road and off road tracks, you’ll find plenty to do here, and lots of exciting racing opportunities. If you’re a true gear head, and you live relatively nearby, you should definitely think about becoming a member of the all-encompassing Aspen Racing and Sports Car Club.
If you like to drive really fast, and listen to the squeal of spinning tires, you ought to swing by the Albuquerque Dragway in New Mexico. Make sure you bring your sweetest ride with you, so you can kick some automotive ass out on the drag strip, and then brag to all of your friends about what an incredible driver you are. The track only hosts a few No Bull Street Car races throughout the year, usually starting in the spring and continuing through the fall. With four classes of street cars available, it’s a pretty good bet you’ll be able to find a group to enter. If your vehicle is up to the task, you might even be able to wipe your class off the map, and earn those valued bragging rights.
Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park is one cool place to race your car. Skip Barber, founder of Skip Barber Racing School, was heavily involved with the roads and curves here. This means you’re pretty much guaranteed a ton of excellent racing, as well as the chance to up your driving game. Lime Park is a natural race tack with an awful lot of history. You can join a car club (subject to the kind of car you have), or take part in the racing school and learn from some of the best drivers around, all with impeccable driving pedigrees (Paul Newman used to race here). Then you'll be able to see what you’re truly made of.
In Canton, Mississippi, you can race your heart out at Junkyard #1 Dragway. The name, apparently, says it all. This is a drag strip where the average Joe or Jill can hop into his or her car and launch down the 1/8-mile racetrack. The great thing about Junkyard (or the worst thing, depending on your point of view) is that there aren't a lot of rules here, apparently. Just about anyone can make use of the strip, but of course drivers do so at their own peril. But hey, what's a wreck or two in the grand scheme of things?
When you’re in Indiana, and you have a lot of extra cash and fuel to burn, you need to stop by Prairie Hills Motorsport Club in Lake Village. This is the spot for some serious racing fun. Membership is limited, and it doesn’t come cheap, but with close to seven miles of track, you won’t be disappointed. This really is driving for the racing elite. If you’re lucky enough to become a member, or know a member (time to make some new friends), you’ll be set for life as far as auto racing goes.
Redline Raceway, located in Caddo Mills, Texas, has racing events for just about everyone. Head on out to the track with your car, and settle racing scores with friends and enemies alike –– at least in the realm of driving fast. Spend a day here, and you’ll swear you’re a cast member in a Fast And Furious movie. If your ride is up the task, and you manage to kick some drag strip butt, you might even walk away with some prize money as well.
All right, some of the tracks and drag strips on this list are clearly geared toward the down and dirty street racers out there, but not so for New York’s Monticello Motor Club. This is a motor club with more than 4 miles of road course, surrounded by beautiful woodlands. After a couple of laps here, you probably wouldn’t be too surprised if James Bond himself pulled up besides you and challenged you to a race. It’s just that kind of place. The club offers driving programs, as well as races for all skill levels. You can use a dedicated track car, or normal street car, pay your fees, take the driving classes, and then race until you’re too tired to drive anymore.
There’s more to Idaho than great skiing, incredible rafting and bumper potato crops. Folks living in or passing through Boise get their auto racing kicks at Firebird Raceway. With an amazing amount of racing categories open, you’ll definitely find one that suits your particular needs. If you like a challenge, and want to take part in “street legal” races, all you have to do is qualify for the 100 MPH Club on one of the open test days. Regardless if you’re a pro, or a novice just getting started, you’ll find something at Firebird Raceway to whet you driving appetite.