The roar of stock cars, trucks, open wheels, modifieds, and drags fills the air on summer weekend afternoons and evenings as racing fans enjoy short track action at speedways across Michigan. Amateur, and pro, and junior drivers put on exciting shows that are affordable and fun for the family.
Some tracks sell pit passes that get you close to the action during the races, and others open the gates for free, post-race visits and photos of the drivers. Be sure to check on rules for each raceway, as well as special pricing often offered for families and active military personnel.
NASCAR in Michigan
The granddaddy of Michigan car racing facilities, and one of the top venues in the nation, is in the Irish Hills town of Brooklyn. Michigan International Speedway (MIS) is in its 44th year of racing and will welcome more than a quarter million fans during its two race weekends this season: June 17-19 featuring the ARCA Racing Series 200, NASCAR Nationwide Series 250, and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 400, and the August 19-21 Meijer Pole Day, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 400 and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 200.
Feel the need for speed? Experience the thrill of the MIS two-mile D-shaped oval your way: for $25 MIS Track Laps allow you to drive your own vehicle (no motorcycles allowed) for three laps at speeds up to 70 mph. Three driving schools at MIS---Richard Petty, Mach1 and Fast Track---offer three-lap ride-along experiences in a race car next to a professional driving instructor who tops 150 mph, and hands-on racing action as you get behind the wheel of a race car and drive for your choice of laps, from six to 80.
Heres a sampling of the more than two dozen raceways across the state:
- Auto City Speedway in Clio started as a dirt track in 1955 and today hosts over 30 racing events on its one-mile paved track. Fans love the Auto City Super Stocks (Pro Late Models) as well as Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks and other short track racing action.
- Berlin Raceway in Marne, which opened in 1950, is a 7/16-mile paved oval that hosts Saturday race nights for Late Models, Pro Stocks, Super Stocks, and 4-Cylinders.
- Dixie Motor Speedway in Birch Run has hosted many of Michigans motorsports greats since it opened in 1948 with a dirt 1/3-mile track. The original short track was paved in the 1960s, and Figure 8 was added in 1994 and a 4/10-mile track in 2003. Today 4,500 fans can watch Friday evening races and the popular Eve of Destruction events on some Sundays. There's no charge to visit the pit after each event to meet and take pictures of the drivers, and admission is free to the Tuesday evening practice sessions.
- Kalamazoo Speedway with its 3/8-mile high banked paved oval with 14 degrees banking, hosts a NASCAR-sanctioned weekly racing series for Outlaw Super Late Models, Modifieds, Pro Stocks, and more. Seating capacity is 5,500, with a designated alcohol-free family section. Bring your camera and visit the pit area free of charge after each event.
- Kinross Speedpark in the Eastern Upper Peninsula, built in 1995, is one of the newer tracks in the state and hosts racing action on Friday evenings. The 14-mile high banked paved oval has a concave surface with 3 degrees slope on the inside and about 12 degrees on the outside corners, allowing Late Models to exceed 100mph on the straight-aways.
- Merritt Raceway, west of Houghton Lake, features dirt track racing on a 3/8-mile clay oval with most events on Saturday evenings.
- Milan International Dragway has hosted drag racing action since 1963; Shirley Muldowney hit 306 mph on its 1/4-mile straight dragstrip. Up to 14,350 fans come out to watch IHRA Motor City National and Thunder Alley events plus Jr. Dragster racing, Friday through Sunday. Try it yourself on Wednesday evening Test & Tunes, no experience required.
- Norway Speedway at the Dickinson County Fairgrounds has thrilled Upper Peninsula racing fans since it opened in 1942. Originally a dirt track, the 1/3-mile oval was blacktopped in 1979. Friday night races feature Late Models, Street Stocks, compact frontwheel drive Fab 4s, and a fan favorite, the wild Norway Slammers division.
- Onaway Speedway is a 14-mile short track with a Saturday night schedule of Modifieds, Street Stock, Pure Stock V8s, Bombers and 4 Cylinders. Afternoons of Destruction are once a month on Sundays. Visit the pits for free after each evening of racing.
- Spartan Speedway in Mason has been attracting fans since its opening in 1956. The 14-mile track is favored by veterans and rookies alike, in Late Models, Modifieds, Pony Stocks and Spartan Stocks Races are every Friday night through the summer, with popular Slugfests and Figure 8s on one Sunday each month.
- Springport Motor Speedway opened in 1989 as the Michigan Ideal Speedway; its 3/8-mile high banked asphalt track was modeled after MIS on a 3/8-mile scale.
- US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, north of Kalamazoo, is billed as the fastest track in Michigan. It's 14-mile dragstrip has seen championship drag racing since it opened in 1962, featuring Thunder Nationals, Funny Car Nationals, IHRA Nitro Jams, Junior Dragster racing and more. Test & Tune evenings are open to anyone on Wednesdays, Fridays, and some Saturdays.
- Upper Peninsula International Raceway at the State Fairgrounds in Escanaba is a 1/5-mile clay track and the scene of a handful of race days in its second season, featuring 4-Cylinders, 6-Cylinders, 600 and 650 Microsprints.
- Waterford Hills Road Racing in Southeast Michigan is an approximately 1.4-mile road course for amateur racers.