Best Road Trips for Race Fans: California Dreaming Part 1

Click Here to Begin Slideshow Winter is here, but that doesn't mean that the road trip season has ended (if you live in certain parts of the country, of course). This time, we’re traveling north to south through California, “The World’s First Auto-Civilization” per the State of California Capitol Museum. A state as car-centric as The Golden State offers so much to the racing enthusiast that we’re splitting our visit into two halves, starting with this entry covering the North Coast down into the Central Valley. Click Here to Begin Slideshow

Road Trips for People Who Love Racing: California Dreaming Part 1

Click Here to Begin Slideshow

Winter is here, but that doesn't mean that the road trip season has ended (if you live in certain parts of the country, of course). This time, we’re traveling north to south through California, “The World’s First Auto-Civilization” per the State of California Capitol Museum. A state as car-centric as The Golden State offers so much to the racing enthusiast that we’re splitting our visit into two halves, starting with this entry covering the North Coast down into the Central Valley.
Click Here to Begin Slideshow

Redding Motorsports Park - Credit - Facebook - Redding Motorsports Park

Redding Motorsports Park, Redding:
Established in 1948 on the abandoned runways of Redding Municipal Airport as a place for local hot rodders to safely race their rides, the drag strip sought and was granted official sanctioning by the National Hot Rod Association in the 1950s, cementing Redding Motorsports Park as the oldest continuously operating NHRA drag racing facility in the United States. Redding hosts several large events throughout the year, including the week-long kool April Nites car show held in late April.

Diamond Mountain Speedway - Credit - Diamond Mountain Speedway

Diamond Mountain Speedway, Susanville:
Along the way to Reno, Nevada is the town of Susanville – the birthplace of NASCAR great Mike Skinner – located in the northeastern section of NoCal. It is here you’ll find a quarter-mile dirt oval on the Lasser County Fairgrounds named Diamond Mountain Speedway. Sanctioned by the International Motor Contest Association, fans will find mini stocks, sport mods and IMCA Modifieds among the handful of classes that compete in this intimate setting near the mountains.

Thunderhill Raceway Park - Credit Thunderhill Raceway Park Facebook

Thunderhill Raceway Park, Willows:
From the mountains to the hills of thunder in Willows is Thunderhill Raceway Park, the home of the longest endurance race in the United States, the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Originally built in 1993 as a 1.9-mile, 9-turn road course, Thunderhill expanded to its current 3-mile, 15-turn configuration in 1997. Thunderhill then gained a 2-mile,10-turn track to the west of the original in 2014. The 24 Hours of Lemons and Trans-Am are frequent visitors to the road courses.

All American Speedway - Credit - All American Speedway Facebook

All-American Speedway, Roseville:
A couple of hours southwest of those thundering hills is a red, white and blue horsepower party in the U.S.A. called All-American Speedway. Established in 1954 as a quarter-mile oval on the fairgrounds of At the Grounds Placer County in Roseville, the current third-mile paved oval is a NASCAR Home Track, hosting not only the usual assortment of late models, bandoleros and

Placerville Speedway - Credit - Placerville Speedway Facebook

Placerville Speedway, Placerville:
A short hop east of All-American Speedway in Placerville is Placerville Speedway. If the name sounds familiar to some of you, you have NASCAR star Kyle Larson to thank. The quarter-mile dirt oval hosted the USAC National Midget Series for the first time in 2019 with the Elk Grove Ford Hangtown 100, a race Larson won. World of Outlaws also arrived in 2019, the first time sprint cars ran at the formerly named “Hangtown Speedway” in around two decades.

Sonoma Raceway - Credit - Jeffery G. Katz Wikimedia Commons

Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma:
Formerly known as Sears Point and Infineon, Sonoma Raceway in the heart of California’s wine country has hosted the likes of IndyCar, NASCAR, AMA, the Ferrari World Challenge, the GT World Challenge America and more since its founding in 1968. The road course varies in size from 1.99 to 2.52 miles, depending on the configuration, and has been NASCAR’s only stop in NoCal since its first visit in 1989. Sonoma is also a major stop for the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, with the first Nationals held in 1988.

Stockton 99 Speedway - Credit - Stockton 99 Speedway Facebook

Stockton 99 Speedway, Stockton:
Founded in 1947, Stockton 99 Speedway is the oldest running track west of the Mississippi River. The quarter-mile paved oval hosts a wide variety of classes including late models and street stocks, as well as monster trucks, test-and-tune sessions, and even some non-motorsport happenings for the whole family to enjoy.

Stockton Dirt Track - Credit - Stockton Dirt Track Facebook

Stockton Dirt Track, Stockton:
A few miles south of Stockton 99 is the Stockton Dirt Track. The 4/10-mile clay oval opened in 1991 as a 3/8-mile oval on the former 1-mile horse track within the San Joaquin Valley Fairgrounds. Up to 7,000 dirt fans can see tractor pulls, monster trucks, winged and non-winged dirt sprints, and more from March to November.

Laguna Seca Raceway - Credit - Laguna Seca Raceway

Laguna Seca Raceway, Salinas:
Time to scrub up and get fancy again. It’s time to further down the Bay Area into Laguna Seca Raceway in Salinas. Built to take the reins from the public roads of the Del Monte Forest, Laguna Seca saw its first event head down the famed Corkscrew on November 9, 1957. From then on, IMSA, IndyCar, MotoGP, Can-Am, Trans-Am, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and more have all called the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course their home by the Pacific Ocean.

Madera Speedway - Credit - Madera Speedway Facebook

Madera Speedway, Madera:
If you’ve watched MAVTV long enough, then you know about this one. For everyone else, Madera Speedway in the San Joaquin Valley of Central California is not only the stage for MAVTV’s “Madera Racing” – featuring future NASCAR and ARCA stars like Hailie Deegan, Ryan Vargas and Jesse Love – and the 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series, but pro late models, super modifieds, and now some ARCA events. The current 1/3-mile paved oval was built in 1971, replacing the original from the 1940s that was across the street from the current oval.

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