9 Hair-Raising Racing Events in the Midwest

When it comes to over-the-top, world-class racing events in the Midwest, the Heartland is kicking things up a notch. The Midwest is jam-packed with unbelievable scenic locations. And, the Heartland is quickly becoming one of the world’s premier racing destinations for motocross, powerboat, and sprint car racing.

Experienced professionals look to explore new and exciting tracks. For adrenaline junkies searching for a brand-new mindblowing opportunity, these first-rate events are not to be missed. Take a look at the top 9 racing events in the Midwest that will keep you on the edge of your seat all year round.

Sprint Car Racing

Once considered a stepping stone for NASCAR or IndyCar racing, Sprint Cars have now taken on a life of its own. Sprints are popular with thrill-seeking drivers who love the incredible power drawn out of these impressive smaller cars. Sprint car races can easily result in speeds of up to 160 mph.

Easily able to take place on flattened dirt or paved tracks, several leagues have popped up throughout the Midwest in recent years. So, the events result in several races for fans to enjoy throughout the year, including these two awesome events.

1. Knoxville Nationals

Widely considered one of the top Sprint Car Racing events in the U.S., this world-class event has garnered generations’ worth of fans since the first race in 1961. At the Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, this four-day event is annually attended by around 25,000 fans. The $100,000 Grand Prize is also the highest in the sport, which usually brings in around 100 teams to compete.

While the event is nationally broadcasted live, the exhilaration and excitement felt by fans who watch the race in person is intoxicating and is definitely worth experiencing at least once in your life, if not every year.

2. AGCO Jackson Nationals

Minnesota’s annual crown-jewel sprint car racing event, this World of Outlaw’s series is the weekend event of a lifetime. With a $ 25,000-to-win payout, professionals from across the country come to test their skills on the 4/10ths of a mile course.

Dubbed the “Greatest Show on Dirt,” this is one racing event that’s honestly not to miss, especially for real fans of this high-speed sport.

Drag Racing

While the original Fast and Furious may have brought Drag Racing more to the forefront, the sport has been taking place since the 1930s. After gaining serious popularity at the end of World War II, the National Hot Rod Association was officially founded in 1951. This helped skyrocket Drag Racing to the next level, allowing it to eventually grow into the powerhouse racing it is today.

Take a look at these incredible jaw-dropping events highlighting the finest of Midwest muscle cars.

3. Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals

Known as the world’s biggest, longest, and most historic drag race event, the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals is an electrifying event unlike any other. Nicknamed “The Big Go” within the racing community, this annual event holds a special place in the heart of professional drag racers and fans alike, with many believing that a career in the sport is not complete without a win at this glorious Indianapolis track.

4. Rocky Mountain Race Week

A true test of talent and endurance, this week-long drag race event brings together enthusiasts from around the world and is the pinnacle of Midwest Nationals’ drag racing. Racers will partake in several events, including daily races, in addition to having to drive at least 1,000 miles between the different tracks.

Kearney Raceway Park in Kearney, Nebraska, is one of the principal dragstrips on the roster and is often the location of the kick-off and finale of the event. A race designed by racers for racers, this is a life-changing experience for any drag race fan.

Off-Road Motorcycle Racing

Quickly becoming one of the most popular motorsports in the country, off-road motorcycle racing plays a huge role in Midwest racing culture. Competitors typically use off-road or Enduro bikes specifically designed to handle the intense tracks and courses on which the races take place. A grueling sport requiring skill and stamina, these exceptional off-road motorcycle races are an ideal experience for thrill seekers and daredevils.

5. Midwest Off-Road Events

Midwest Off Road Events, or MORE, is Missouri’s premier promotor of all things off-road motorcycle racing in Missouri. They typically host five racing events between May and November in various locations around the state. These include Jenkins, Summersville, and New Florence. The experienced professional races are typically the most entertaining. This particular promotor holds onto the idea that off-road motorcycling can be a family-friendly event and holds races even at the PeeWee level.

6. FDXC Racing

FDXC is short for Four-Wheeler Dirt-Bike Cross Country. This premier hare-scramble race series is the best way to get an authentic taste of this unbelievable over-the-top sport. FDXC Racing sponsors 8 separate races taking place from May through October throughout Wisconsin. Fans, beginners, and professional riders experience epic off-road motorcycle racing, filled at its finest with dirt, danger, and pieces flying.

Powerboat Racing

Ever since powerboats were created, there have been races to test their speed and strength. Powerboat racing brags a 100-year history and worldwide popularity. This is a sport designed to show off not only the engine performance and structure of the boats themselves but also the unparalleled skill of the drivers. These guys need an unquestionable understanding of their boats and the waters they need to navigate.

Here are two of the most spectacular powerboat racing events in the Midwest that you absolutely need to check out.

7. Mercury Racing Midwest Challenge

This incredible summer event is a complete celebration of powerboat racing. It attracts participants from around the world, even as far as Australia and Norway. Finishing off with a fabulous festival for fans and competitors alike, this is guaranteed to be a weekend where you’ll make memories you can hold onto for a lifetime.

8. Upper Midwest Power Boat Association

The UMPBA was originally founded in 2005. The organization promotes and preserves the boating culture throughout the region, and its incredible annual racing series has played a huge role in that preservation. These races offer the epitome of speed and thrill, with racers navigating a wide range of challenging waterways. Experts of all things inspiring aquatic adrenaline, these summer-long events are the perfect place for new fans and seasoned pros alike.

Snowmobile Racing

You might think of snowmobiling as a fun way to enjoy the cold. But, professional racers have turned these winter vehicles into world-class racing machines. Competing on purposefully built courses or naturally snow-covered tracks, this heartstopping sport is gaining serious popularity throughout the U.S., particularly in the Midwest.

9. Midwest Vintage Andy 50

Created by full-blown addicts of the sport, Midwest Vintage hosts several exceptional snowmobile races throughout the winter. However, the most popular is undoubtedly the Andy Englund Memorial Race or the “Andy 50”. Andy Englund tragically lost his life in an automobile accident in December 2012. He was a lover of all things racing. To honor him and keep his memory alive, his family helped create this 50-mile race raising money for local organizations.

Undoubtedly, the Midwest is quickly becoming the motorsport mecca of the United States. When you combine its beautiful landscape, idyllic seasons, and thrill seekers looking for every opportunity for a good time. Keep these races in mind and make the most of these world-class events this year.

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  • Chris Kane

    Chris Kane is a military veteran and former business owner currently living in the Des Moines, Iowa, metro. Chris is an inveterate entrepreneur and avid web developer who is not shy about sharing his opinions.

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