The Top Events Speed Enthusiasts Look Forward to Each Year

The Indianapolis 500

Known as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” the Indianapolis 500 is held every year during Memorial Day weekend in Speedway, Indiana. Drivers race 200 laps, counter-clockwise around the circuit, for a distance of 500 miles. The field consists of 33 drivers and is the most prestigious events on the IndyCar calendar.                           

The Indy 500 is the largest, single-day sporting event in the world and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the world’s largest sporting facility in terms of capacity. It has a permanent seating capacity for more than 235,000 people and infield seating that raises capacity to an approximate 400,000.

The inaugural race was held in 1911 and was won by Ray Harroun. The active driver with the most victories is Helio Castroneves.

The Woodward Dream Cruise

The Woodward Dream Cruise is the world's largest one-day automotive event that brings 40,000 classic cars and more than one million people to Detroit from around the world. Muscle cars, street rods, and collector cars dating across several decades are on display. The Woodward event takes place on the third Saturday in August.

24 Hours of Le Mans

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world’s oldest, active sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since 1923 in Le Mans, France. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious races in the world and is often called the “Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency.”

The race runs on the Circuit de la Sarthe which contains a mix of closed public roads and a specialist racing circuit, in which racing teams have to balance speed with the car's ability to race for 24 hours without sustaining mechanical damage. The race has approximately 60 competitors.

The Daytona 500

The Daytona 500 is a 500-mile-long NASCAR Cup Series motor race held annually at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is the first of two races held every year at Daytona, the second being the Coke Zero 400. It is one of the four restrictor plate races on the Cup schedule.

The inaugural Daytona 500 was held in 1959 coinciding with the opening of the speedway and since 1982, it has been the season-opening race of the Cup series. The Daytona 500 is regarded as the most important and prestigious race on the NASCAR calendar. The race has been shortened four times due to rain in 1965, 1966, 2003, and 2009. It was shortened due to an energy crisis in 1974.

Hilton Head Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance

The Hilton Head Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance is a 10-day classic car show and festival in Hilton Head, South Carolina that offers a speed classic, car and aero show, along with a gala.

Monaco Grand Prix

The Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most glamorous races in the world as the rich and famous are often in attendance. It began in 1929 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

It is one of the most difficult races in Formula 1 racing, as Monte Carlo is full of narrow streets and has virtually no concrete barriers that line the track. Racers experience demanding elevation changes, top-speeds, and tight corners. Aryton Senna won the race a record of six times.

Dakar Rally

The Dakar Rally, formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, is a rally-raid style of an off-road endurance race, where competitors in multiple classes of cars, motorcycles, and trucks race along grueling terrain in two weeks.

The Dakar Rally began in 1978 and was held from Paris to Dakar, Senegal. However, security threats in 2008 caused a cancellation of the rally. Since 2009, all events have taken place in South America.

It’s open to amateur and professional racers. About 80 percent of participants are amateurs. They key to Dakar is actually finishing.

At least one participant a year doesn’t live to see the end of the race, and there are many who don’t finish.

Rocky Mountain Race Week

Rocky Mountain Race Week features street drag racers who compete on quarter-mile strips every day for a week while driving 1,500 miles in between tracks. The competition spans five days and four racetracks and includes races in Pueblo Colorado, Great Bend, Kansas, and Kearney, Nebraska.

Hot Rod Power Tour

The annual Hot Rod Power Tour is a seven-day, seven-city journey that brings together more than 6,000 vehicles and 100,000 auto enthusiasts.

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