Road America

Road America is a motorsport road course located near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, United States on Wisconsin Highway 67. It has hosted races since the 1950s and currently hosts races in the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series, WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, IndyCar Series, SCCA Pirelli World Challenge, ASRA, AMA Superbike series, and SCCA Pro Racing's Trans-Am Series.

Road America
"America's National Park of Speed"[1]
Road America logo.svg

Road America.svg
Road America Track Layout
LocationTown of Plymouth, Sheboygan County, at N7390 Highway 67, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, United States
Time zoneUTC-6 (UTC-5 DST)
Coordinates43°47′51″N 87°59′38″W / 43.79750°N 87.99389°W / 43.79750; -87.99389Coordinates: 43°47′51″N 87°59′38″W / 43.79750°N 87.99389°W / 43.79750; -87.99389
CapacityOpen seating without capacity limitation
OwnerRoad America, Inc.
OperatorRoad America, Inc.
Former namesElkhart Lake Road Races (1955–1960)
Major eventsIndyCar Series
REV Group Grand Prix
WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Continental Tire Road Race Showcase
NASCAR Cup Series
Jockey Made in America 250
(1956, 2021–present)
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Henry 180
MotoAmerica (AMA FIM) Series
American Le Mans Series
Road America 500
Road America 200
(1982–2004), (2006–2007)
Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series
(2000-2001, 2011–2013)
The Hawk with Brian Redman (vintage cars)
SCCA Runoffs
(2009–2013, 2020)
SCCA June Sprints
Road Course
Length4.048 mi (6.515 km)
Race lap record1:41.874 (Alex Zanardi, Chip Ganassi Racing, 1998, CART)
karting road course
Length0.8 mi (1.3 km)
Off road racing road course (defunct)
Length1.1 mi (1.8 km)
Elkhart Lake Road Race Circuits
Road America is located in Wisconsin
Road America
Road America is located in the United States
Road America
LocationCty Hwys, J, P, JP, A, and Lake St., Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Area56.7 acres (22.9 ha)
NRHP reference No.06000053[2]
Added to NRHPFebruary 17, 2006

Current track and facilitiesEdit

Road America is a permanent road course. It is located midway between the cities of Milwaukee and Green Bay, and classified as an FIA Grade Two circuit.[3]

The track is situated on 640 acres (260 ha) near the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive. It has hosted races since September 1955 and currently hosts over 400 events a year.[4] Of its annual events, 9 major weekends are open to the public which include 3 motorcycle events including the MotoAmerica (AMA FIM) series, 3 vintage car events, Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) events, the United Sports Car Racing Series, the Pirelli World Challenge, and the NASCAR Xfinity Series.[citation needed]

Road America is one of only a handful of road circuits in the world maintaining its original configuration[4] being 4.048 miles (6.515 km) in length with 14 turns. The track features many elevation changes, along with a long front stretch where speeds approaching 200 mph (320 km/h) may be reached. One of the best known features of this course is a turn on the backside known as "the kink".[citation needed]

Road America's open seating allows spectators to venture throughout the grounds. Grandstands are available in several locations, as well as permanent hillside seating where crowds of more than 150,000 can be accommodated.[citation needed]

CTECH Manufacturing MotorplexEdit

In addition to the main course, the facility includes a 0.8-mile (1.3 km) karting track called the CTECH Manufacturing Motorplex inside the Carousel. The motorplex hosts two series of karting events. It hosts weekly events on Tuesdays in the summer. It also hosts approximately six Saturday events during the summer. The motorplex also hosts events sanctioned by the North Woods GP series running Supermoto and street bike racing using small displacement motorcycles.[citation needed]

Off road racing circuitEdit

The Motorplex was built at the site of an earlier off road racing circuit used for several SODA events in the 1990s. The 1995 event was televised tape delayed on ESPN2 by reporters Marty Reid, Ivan Stewart, and Jimmie Johnson.[5] The course was 1.1 miles (1.8 km) long with 150 feet (46 m) of elevation change.[5] The track featured a blind jump nicknamed "The Hell Hole".[5]


In late 2006, Road America began a project to remove the old Billy Mitchell bridge and use a tunnel as the main entrance to the paddock. The tunnel project was completed in May 2007 with the grand opening celebration on May 31 for the AMA Suzuki Superbike Championship weekend.[6] The tunnel is 16.5 feet (5.0 m) high and 36 feet (11 m) wide and has two lanes of traffic and two pedestrian walkways on either side. With the removal of the bridge, a new spectator viewing area was created.[citation needed]

History of racing at Elkhart LakeEdit

Open road courseEdit

The site of the 1951 and 1952 start finish line for road races in downtown Elkhart Lake

In the late 1940s, road racing was gaining popularity, owing to the post World War II economy, and the influx of sporting automobiles. The Sports Car Club of America was the main organizer of these races, and in 1950, the Chicago Region SCCA and the Village of Elkhart Lake organized the first road race at Elkhart Lake.

The 1950 circuit start-finish line was on County Road P. Competitors went north to County Road J, then South into the Village of Elkhart Lake, and West on what is now County JP (then called County Highway X), and reconnected with County Road P for a total distance of 3.3 miles (5.3 km).

For the next two races, in 1951 and 1952, a different course was used. It was 6.5 miles (10.5 km) long, on County Roads J, A, and P. To date, one may still drive most of the original course.

The original course was registered on the National Register of Historic Places on February 17, 2006. Signs have been installed marking key locations on the course.[7][8]

Private road courseEdit

After the tragedy at Watkins Glen in 1952, where a child was killed, the U.S. ruled to discontinue motorized contests of speed on public highways. This was a major blow for competition auto racing and brought the end of a long-standing tradition. This did not permanently stop road racing, however, it did shift it to private courses. In 1955, Clif Tufte started what is now known as Road America, in a configuration that has changed little over the past 60 years. The addition of Road America as a private track meant a transition from racing through the streets of tiny Elkhart Lake to racing on a big, wide, dedicated race track.

Racing at Road AmericaEdit

Many different racing series have had the occasion to race at Road America. The first was the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) on September 10, 1955.[9] The Road America 500 is a sports car race that was part of different championships, among them the SCCA National Sports Car Championship, the United States Road Racing Championship and the IMSA GT Championship. Currently it is a points-paying race of the United SportsCar Championship. The Grand Prix of Road America is an open-wheel race that was held as part of the Champ Car World Series and currently it is a part of the IndyCar Series.

Other notable series have included NASCAR's Grand National (now NASCAR Cup Series) in 1956 and NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2010, CART from 1982 until 2007,[10] Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Racing Series, CanAm, Trans-Am, AMA, and the SCCA National Championship Runoffs from 2009 to 2013. The Stadium Super Trucks began racing at the track starting in 2018; the trucks run a shortened course that bypasses turns 6 to 12, though the full layout is used on the final lap.[11][12]

Road America also holds a variety of vintage racing events, including the Brian Redman International Challenge, now the HAWK with Brian Redman.

ALMS race historyEdit

At the 2008 Road America 500 an Audi R10 TDI set an LMP1 pole time of 1:46.935. At the 2009 Road Race Showcase, Dyson Racing Team set an LMP2 pole time of 1:51.010. At the 2011 Road Race Showcase, BMW Team RLL set a GT pole time of 2:05.447, while at the same event a Porsche 997 GT3 set a GTC pole time of 2:14.126.

NASCAR race historyEdit

Cup SeriesEdit

One NASCAR Grand National (now NASCAR Cup Series) race was held in 1956. The track will host another Cup series race in 2021.[13]

Year Date No. Driver Team Manufacturer Race distance Race time Average speed
Report Ref
Laps Miles (km)
1956 August 12 15 Tim Flock Bill Stroppe Mercury 63 252 3:29:50 73.858 Report [14]

Not held
2021 July 4 9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 62 250.48 (403.131) 2:54:33 86.271 Report [15]

Xfinity SeriesEdit

Xfinity cars in 2019

On December 21, 2009, NASCAR announced that with the situation at the Wisconsin State Fair Park being unclear, and losing races at the Milwaukee Mile, they would move Milwaukee's Xfinity Series race to Road America. The first race was held on June 19, 2010 and was won by Carl Edwards.[16] In 2015, the race moved to late August during an off-weekend for the Sprint Cup Series.

Year Date Winning Driver Team Manufacturer Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
Laps Miles (km)
2010 June 19 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 50 202.4 (325.731) 2:57:17 68.501
2011 June 25 Reed Sorenson Turner Motorsports Chevrolet 57* 230.736 (371.333) 2:55:24 78.929
2012 June 23 Nelson Piquet Jr. Turner Motorsports Chevrolet 50 202.4 (325.731) 2:22:35 85.171
2013 June 22 A. J. Allmendinger Penske Racing Ford 55* 222.64 (356.224) 2:58:50 74.697
2014 June 21 Brendan Gaughan Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 53* 214.544 (345.275) 2:48:03 76.6
2015 August 29 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 45 182.16 (293.158) 2:20:21 77.874
2016 August 27 Michael McDowell Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 48* 194.304 (312.702) 2:36:20 74.573
2017 August 27 Jeremy Clements Jeremy Clements Racing Chevrolet 45 182.16 (293.158) 2:12:53 82.25
2018 August 25 Justin Allgaier JR Motorsports Chevrolet 45 182.20 (293.222) 2:23:57 75.926
2019 August 24 Christopher Bell Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 45 182.20 (293.222) 2:11:38 83.031
2020 August 8 Austin Cindric Team Penske Ford 45 182.20 (293.222) 2:56:37 61.830
2021 July 3 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 45 182.16 (293.158) 2:25:47 74.972
  • 2011: Race extended due to three green–white–checker finish attempts and ended under caution when the three attempts to finish the race failed.
  • 2013: Race extended due to two green-white-checker finish attempts.
  • 2014 and 2016: Race extended due to green-white-checker finish attempt.

Indy Car / Champ Car race resultsEdit

The CART Champ Car series held races at the track from 1982 to 2007, with the exception of 2005. The Verizon Indy Car Series revived the event beginning in 2016.

Major incidents and events at the trackEdit

2005 BRIC wreckEdit

At the beginning of the Group 6 race in the 2005 Brian Redman International Challenge, there was a large incident consisting of most of the field: The driver starting fifth (Ray Mulacek, 1969 Chevrolet Camaro) accelerated well before the green flag and tried to force his way between the wall and the car in front of him, resulting in contact with the wall. A following car checked up and was rear-ended, causing a spin that led to further contact as following cars were unable to avoid the growing incident. After just a few seconds of green flag racing, the red flag was waved. Following the initial incident, the failure of trailing drivers to heed red flags being shown at 14 and 15 (under the bridge at the crest of the hill) may have compounded the issue. Luckily, nobody was seriously injured, with the worst injury being a broken arm.[17]

Cristiano da Matta deer incidentEdit

On August 3, 2006, Cristiano da Matta, driver of Champ Car's RuSPORT team, was involved in a collision with a deer during Champ Car open testing at Road America. The deer ran in front of his car as he was heading towards turn 6. He hit the deer with his right front tire, the deer then flew back and hit da Matta in the cockpit.[18] Da Matta was unconscious when the safety crew extricated him from the car,[19] and was airlifted via ThedaSTAR to Theda Clark Medical Center south of Appleton, where he underwent surgery to remove a subdural hematoma.[20]

Death of Adam SchatzEdit

Adam Schatz, 26,[21] from Chicago, Illinois, died in a karting accident during the Road America Super Nationals, Championship Enduro Series on July 12, 2008.

Bump drafting was a determining factor of the crash.[22]

During the end of the race, Schatz was in second place. On the main straight, shortly after the last turn, Schatz saw the kart in third position on his left and tried to pull ahead to be bumped. As he did so, the kart in fourth position bumped the third, speeding the third kart up. At this point Schatz was not clear as to what was happening, and as he moved to his left, the two karts made contact.

Schatz's kart veered hard left and hit the wall. The impact sent the kart flying ten feet into the air ejecting the driver onto the track. The rest of the drivers avoided Schatz, some drivers stopped and after seeing Schatz's condition, waved to get medical help.[22]

The race was immediately stopped as medical assistance arrived on the place of the accident. Schatz had suffered brain stem and spinal cord injuries and his heart had stopped. He was revived by the doctors and taken to the Theda Clark Memorial Hospital in Neenah, Wisconsin, but his injuries proved to be too severe to survive and one week later he died.[23]

2015 CCR Tifosi Challenge red flag wreckEdit

During the Pirelli World Challenge weekend, drivers Steve Hill and Jim Booth were involved in an intense battle for first. The drivers contacted each other heading towards turn 5, causing Jim Booth to go airborne into the catch fence at 150 mph. This caused significant damage to the fence throwing debris into the spectator area. Booth's car was completely destroyed while Hill was able to continue the race with minor damage. Neither of the drivers, personnel, or spectators were injured during the incident.[24]

Lap recordsEdit

The official fastest race lap records at the Road America for different classes are listed as:

Category Time Driver Vehicle Event
Current Layout: 6.515 km (1955–present)
CART 1:41.874 Alex Zanardi Reynard 98i 1998 Texaco/Havoline 200
IndyCar 1:43.4651 Josef Newgarden Dallara DW12 2017 Kohler Grand Prix
CCWS 1:44.133 Sébastien Bourdais Lola B03/00 2006 Grand Prix of Road America
LMP1 1:48.723[25] Marco Werner Audi R10 TDI 2008 Road America 500
LMP2 1:49.439[25] Franck Montagny Acura ARX-01B 2008 Road America 500
DPi 1:51.034[26] Dane Cameron Acura ARX-05 2020 IMSA SportsCar Weekend
Indy Lights 1:53.013[27] Zachary Claman DeMelo Dallara IL-15 2017 Indy Lights Grand Prix of Road America
DP 1:55.458[28] Tristan Nunez Mazda Prototype 2016 Continental Tire Road Race Showcase
LMPC 1:59.245[29] Patricio O'Ward Oreca FLM09 2017 Continental Tire Road Race Showcase
Indy Pro 2000 2:01.330[30] Toby Sowery Tatuus PM-18 2018 Road America Indy Pro 2000 round
LMP3 2:01.664[31] Matthew Bell Ligier JS P3 2020 Road Atlanta IMSA Prototype Challenge round
GT Le Mans 2:02.664[26] Antonio García Chevrolet Corvette C8.R 2020 IMSA SportsCar Weekend
FRAC 2:06.069[32] Kyffin Simpson Ligier JS F3 2021 Road America FRAC round
GT Daytona 2:06.991[26] Jack Hawksworth Lexus RC F GT3 2019 Road Race Showcase at Road America
US F2000 2:09.656[33] Scott Anderson Élan DP08 2012 Road America US F2000 round
NASCAR Cup 2:14.089'[34] William Byron Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE NASCAR 2021 Jockey Made in America 250
NASCAR Xfinity 2:14.953[35] Austin Cindric Ford Mustang NASCAR 2020 Henry 180
GT4 2:16.673[36] Corey Lewis McLaren 570S GT4 2020 Road America 120
Formula 4 2:19.489[37] Bijoy Garg Crawford F4-16 2021 Road America F4 United States round
TCR 2:20.971[36] Michael James Lewis Honda Civic Type R TCR (FK8) 2020 Road America 120

Other eventsEdit

Road America is host to several non-automotive events.

In pop cultureEdit

Video gamesEdit

The Road America track has been included in multiple racing video games, including the Forza Motorsport series, iRacing, Raceroom Racing Experience, NASCAR Heat 2, NASCAR Heat 3, NASCAR Heat 4,NASCAR Heat 5, Need for Speed: Shift, Shift 2: Unleashed, Project CARS, Project CARS 2, TOCA Race Driver 2, and Ride 3.

Photo galleryEdit


  1. ^ staff (May 28, 2014). "Continental Tire Sponsors Road America Race". National Speed Sport News. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  3. ^ "List of FIA licensed circuits" (Press release). Federation Internationale de l'Automobile. December 14, 2018. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Road Rage: American LeMans". 2008-08-09. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  5. ^ a b c "Road America". True Value Off Road Series. 1995. 1 minutes in. ESPN2.
  6. ^ PaddockTalk. "Road America To Remove Bridge and Add Tunnel :: PaddockTalk :: F1, Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar, MotoGP, ALMS, And More!". PaddockTalk. Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  7. ^ "Elkhart Lake Road Race Circuits". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  8. ^ Miller, Elizabeth L. (2005-08-01). "Elkhart Lake Road Race Circuits". NRHP Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  9. ^ Christopher H. Kintner. "Mg Vintage Racers". Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  10. ^ [1] Archived May 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Kallman, Dave (October 17, 2017). "Road America adds stadium off-road trucks to NASCAR Xfinity Series weekend". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  12. ^ Nguyen, Justin (August 26, 2018). "SST: Gordon and Brabham take Road America victories". Overtake Motorsport. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  13. ^ Hart, Megan (2020-09-30). "Road America Gets NASCAR Cup Series Race In 2021". Wisconsin Public Radio. Retrieved 2020-09-30.
  14. ^ "1956-37". Racing-Reference. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  15. ^ Long, Dustin (September 30, 2020). "Road America to host 2021 Cup race on July 4". NBC Sports. Archived from the original on January 15, 2021. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  16. ^ "report on Road America". Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  17. ^ "OT: Multi crash @ BRIC - Road America - Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars". Ford Forums. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  18. ^ "Articles". Archived from the original on 2006-08-15. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  19. ^ PaddockTalk. "Wrong Place, Wrong Time: Cristiano da Matta Still in Critical Condition :: PaddockTalk :: F1, Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar, MotoGP, ALMS, And More!". PaddockTalk. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  20. ^ "Update on Condition of RuSPORT Driver Cristiano da Matta". Archived from the original on July 7, 2008. Retrieved August 4, 2006.
  21. ^ "Smith-Corcoran Funeral Home: Obituary: Mr. Adam W. Schatz". Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  22. ^ a b The Motorsport Memorial Team, "Motorsport Memorial". Motorsport Memorial. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  23. ^ "News". 2008-07-22. Archived from the original on 2011-07-10. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  24. ^ "News". 2015-07-04. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  25. ^ a b "American Le Mans Series Road America 2008". Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  26. ^ a b c "2020 IMSA SportsCar Weekend Race Results" (PDF). Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  27. ^ "2017 Indy Lights Road America Session Facts". Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  28. ^ "2016 Continental Tire Road Race Showcase Road America". Retrieved 1 May 2021.
  29. ^ "2017 Continental Tire Road Race Showcase Race Results" (PDF). Retrieved 1 May 2021.
  30. ^ "2018 Indy Pro 2000 Championship Road America Session Facts". Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  31. ^ "2020 Road America IMSA Prototype Challenge Race Results" (PDF). Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  32. ^ "2021 Formula Regional Americas Championship Round 4 Provisional Results" (PDF). Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  33. ^ "2012 USF2000 National Championship Road America Session Facts". Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  34. ^ "2021 NASCAR Cup Series Jockey Made in America 250 Session Facts". Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  35. ^ "2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Henry 180 Session Facts". Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  36. ^ a b "2020 Road America 120 Race Results" (PDF). Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  37. ^ "2021 F4 United States Championship Round 6 Provisional Results" (PDF). Retrieved 17 May 2021.

External linksEdit