Coming Home To Road America

Corvette at Canada Corner. [Photo by Jack Webster]

Corvette at Canada Corner. [Photo by Jack Webster]

By Jack Webster & Eddie LePine

At this point in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, we are now closer to the end than we are to the beginning of this year’s historic 50th anniversary season of IMSA sports car racing.

The IMSA circus has already been to Daytona, Sebring, Long Beach, Detroit, Watkins Glen, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (Mosport to us old timers), and Lime Rock Park (GT cars only). The only remaining events on the schedule are Road America, VIR (GT only), Laguna Seca and Petit Le Mans. Championships are getting very serious now, and every point earned or lost seems to count for so much more than it did just a month or so ago.

For all the IMSA WeatherTech teams and drivers, the fans and the media, going to Elkhart Lake’s Road America this coming weekend is like an annual family reunion, a comfortable spot to reflect on the past and plan for the future.

Road America is like coming home to comfortable surroundings.

Also, Road America’s 4-mile circuit is at the top of all the driver’s lists of favorite tracks. It is challenging, fast and has lots of elevation changes. Road America also has a history of some of the closest finishes in IMSA history.

Highway 67, Junction J, Plymouth, Siebkens, Hurry Downs, the Kink, Canada Corner – mention any of these to a race fan and they will know where of you speak. Road America, known as the National Park of Speed, encapsulates all that is good about sports car racing. Not to mention that it is the home of the best race track food anywhere on the planet.

That National Park of Speed designation is very appropriate, as this fantastic facility is maintained like a national park. It is always clean and neat, the grass is always freshly mowed, and it has a very family friendly atmosphere. So, in addition to being one of the most competitive race tracks in the world, it also has the best management we have seen in our many years of covering motorsports.

It seems like we have been going to Road America forever, and in some ways, we have. Eddie LePine grew up down the road in Milwaukee and I have been coming to races here since the glory days of the CanAm in 1972. Every year we keep coming back. Every year we keep coming home to Road America. Road America is so well known that you don’t even have to refer to it by its official name. All you have to tell anyone is that you are going to “Elkhart” and they will know where you are going.

This week will be no different than any others in years past – sports car racing fans from around the country and around the world will be making the trek to that little corner of racing paradise in Wisconsin known as Road America. If you have been there before, you know what we are talking about. If this track is one you haven’t yet visited in person, you just have to go.

For once you have visited Road America, you will look forward to the annual family reunion there year after year.

See you in Elkhart.

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