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Road America

N7390 State Highway 67
Elkhart Lake  Wisconsin  53020
United States
(920) 892-4576
(800) 365-7223
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Midwest Living Review

Melanie Radzicki McManus
You don't have to be a racing fan to get some thrills watching the competition at this historic race course (one of the world's longest), which is quite pretty, too.

The 4.048-mile Road America race course was carved into a swath of hilly, glacial terrain in 1955, following several years of racing through the streets of nearby Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, that drew some of the best drivers of the day. Designers took full advantage of the topography, creating a challenge course that includes 14 turns and high-speed straights that, naturally, drivers love to take on. (And spectators love to take in.) Over the years, legions of famous drivers have tackled the course, including the late Paul Newman, and celebrity racing fans like Tom Cruise, Tom Allen and Michael Jordan have visited, along with millions of others. Compared to other tracks, a day at the races here is a bargain. Tickets start around $10, and kids 12 and under are admitted free. There's no charge to park, and you can stroll around the paddock gratis, which is a huge perk. Camping on the grounds and carry-ins are also allowed. While the latter may be awfully tempting, Road America is considered to have some of the best food on the racing circuit, so you may want to check out the eats before you open your cooler and grab that PB&J. If watching all those races gives you the itch to find your inner Richard Petty, the Skip Barber Racing School is occasionally held at the track, giving you a chance to get behind the wheel of a real race car. Still not enough? Head into Elkhart Lake, where you can grab a map (they're everywhere) and drive, bike or walk the two race courses that spawned Road America. The 1950 circuit is 3.3 miles; the 1951-52 circuit is 6.5; both are designated state and national historic places. About a dozen historical markers along the circuits identify key spots.

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