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Road America

Coordinates: 43°47′51″N 87°59′38″W / 43.79750°N 87.99389°W / 43.79750; -87.99389
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Road America
America's National Park of Speed[1]

Road America Grand Prix Course (1955–present)
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; -87.99389
CapacityOpen seating without capacity limitation
FIA Grade2
OwnerRoad America, Inc.
OperatorRoad America, Inc.
Opened10 September 1955; 68 years ago (1955-09-10)
Former namesElkhart Lake's Road America (1955–1958)
Major eventsCurrent:
IndyCar Series
Grand Prix of Road America
IMSA SportsCar Championship
Road Race Showcase at Road America
GT World Challenge America
(1991–1996, 1998, 2002–2004, 2006, 2008–2009, 2014–present)
FR Americas
Trans-Am Series
(1970–2005, 2009–present)
SCCA Runoffs
(2009–2013, 2020, 2024–2025)
NASCAR Cup Series
Kwik Trip 250
(1956, 2021–2022)
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Road America 180
American Le Mans Series
Road America 500
Road America 200
(1982–2004, 2006–2007)
Rolex Sports Car Series
(2000–2001, 2011–2013)
Grand Prix Course (1955–present)
Length4.048 miles (6.515 km)
Race lap record1:41.874 (Italy Alex Zanardi, Reynard 98I, 1998, CART)
Motorcycle Course (2003–present)
Length4.000 miles (6.437 km)
Race lap record2:09.025 (United States Josh Herrin, Ducati Panigale V4 R, 2023, Superbike)
Karting road course
Length0.8 miles (1.3 km)
Off road racing road course (defunct)
Length1.1 miles (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

Road America is a motorsport road course located near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on Wisconsin Highway 67. It has hosted races since the 1950s and currently hosts races in the IndyCar Series, IMSA SportsCar Championship, Sports Car Club of America GT World Challenge America and Trans-Am Series and the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship.

Current track and facilities[edit]

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] Road America held one NASCAR Grand National race (now NASCAR Cup Series) in 1956 and two more Cup Series races in 2021 and 2022; NASCAR then opted to move the Cup Series and become a race in and around Downtown Chicago streets starting in 2023.

Briggs & Stratton Motorplex[edit]

In addition to the main course, the facility includes a 0.8-mile (1.3 km) karting track called the Briggs & Stratton 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 circuit[edit]

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 Bill 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 ft (5.0 m) high and 36 ft (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 Lake[edit]

Open road course[edit]

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 mi (5.3 km).

For the next two races, in 1951 and 1952, a different course was used. It was 6.5 mi (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 course[edit]

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 America[edit]

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 IMSA 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 history[edit]

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 history[edit]

Cup Series[edit]

One NASCAR Grand National (now NASCAR Cup Series) race was held in 1956. The track hosted two more Cup series races in 2021 and 2022 before being planned to be replaced by the Chicago Street Race in 2023.[13][14]

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 [15]

Not held
2021 July 4 9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 62 250.48 (403.131) 2:54:33 86.271 Report [16]
2022 July 3 8 Tyler Reddick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 62 250.48 (403.131) 2:35:51 96.622 Report

Xfinity Series[edit]

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.[17] 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 Report
2011 June 25 Reed Sorenson Turner Motorsports Chevrolet 57* 230.736 (371.333) 2:55:24 78.929 Report
2012 June 23 Nelson Piquet Jr. Turner Motorsports Chevrolet 50 202.4 (325.731) 2:22:35 85.171 Report
2013 June 22 A. J. Allmendinger Penske Racing Ford 55* 222.64 (356.224) 2:58:50 74.697 Report
2014 June 21 Brendan Gaughan Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 53* 214.544 (345.275) 2:48:03 76.6 Report
2015 August 29 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 45 182.20 (293.222) 2:20:21 77.874  Report
2016 August 27 Michael McDowell Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 48* 194.304 (312.702) 2:36:20 74.573  Report
2017 August 27 Jeremy Clements Jeremy Clements Racing Chevrolet 45 182.20 (293.222) 2:12:53 82.25 Report
2018 August 25 Justin Allgaier JR Motorsports Chevrolet 45 182.20 (293.222) 2:23:57 75.926 Report
2019 August 24 Christopher Bell Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 45 182.20 (293.222) 2:11:38 83.031 Report
2020 August 8 Austin Cindric Team Penske Ford 45 182.20 (293.222) 2:56:37 61.830 Report
2021 July 3 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 45 182.20 (293.222) 2:25:47 74.972 Report
2022 July 2 Ty Gibbs Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 48* 194.304 (312.702) 2:36:14 74.621 Report
2023 July 29 Sam Mayer JR Motorsports Chevrolet 49* 198.352 (319.217) 3:02:21 65.265 Report
  • 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, 2016, 2022–2023: Race extended due to green-white-checker finish attempt.

Indy Car / Champ Car race results[edit]

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 track[edit]

2005 BRIC wreck[edit]

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. Nobody was seriously injured, with the worst injury being a broken arm.[18]

Cristiano da Matta deer incident[edit]

On August 3, 2006, Cristiano da Matta, driver of Champ Car's RuSPORT team and 2002 series champion, 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.[19] Da Matta was unconscious when the safety crew extricated him from the car,[20] and was airlifted via ThedaSTAR to Theda Clark Medical Center south of Appleton, where he underwent surgery to remove a subdural hematoma.[21]

Death of Adam Schatz[edit]

Adam Schatz, 26,[22] 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.[23]

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.[23]

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.[24]

2015 CCR Tifosi Challenge red flag wreck[edit]

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.[25]

Lap records[edit]

The official lap record for Road America is 1:39.866, set by Dario Franchitti during the qualifying of the 2000 Motorola 220 while the race lap record is 1:41.874, set by Alex Zanardi in the 1998 Texaco/Havoline 200. As of June 2024, the fastest official race lap records at Road America for different classes are listed as:

Category Time Driver Vehicle Event
Grand Prix Course: 6.515 km (1955–present)
CART 1:41.874[26] Alex Zanardi Reynard 98I 1998 Texaco/Havoline 200
IndyCar 1:42.8921 Will Power Dallara DW12 2023 Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America
CCWS 1:44.133 Sébastien Bourdais Lola B02/00 2006 Grand Prix of Road America
LMP1 1:48.723[27] Marco Werner Audi R10 TDI 2008 Road America 500
IMSA GTP 1:48.944[28] Juan Manuel Fangio II Eagle MkIII 1992 Road America 2 Hours
LMP2 1:49.439[27] Franck Montagny Acura ARX-01B 2008 Road America 500
LMDh 1:49.676[29] Filipe Albuquerque Acura ARX-06 2023 IMSA SportsCar Weekend
DPi 1:51.034[30] Dane Cameron Acura ARX-05 2020 IMSA SportsCar Weekend
Indy NXT 1:51.4038[31] Nolan Siegel Dallara IL-15 2023 Road America Indy NXT round
LMP900 1:53.403[32] Frank Biela Audi R8 2002 Road America 500
Group C 1:55.330[33] Manuel Reuter Porsche 962C 1993 Road America 500 km
DP 1:55.458[34] Tristan Nunez Mazda Prototype 2016 Continental Tire Road Race Showcase
LMP675 1:56.944[32] Jon Field MG-Lola EX257 2002 Road America 500
WSC 1:58.379[35] Didier Theys Ferrari 333 SP 2001 Road America 500
LMP3 1:58.566[29] Nico Pino Ligier JS P320 2023 IMSA SportsCar Weekend
Formula Atlantic 1:58.652[36] Tõnis Kasemets Swift 016.a 2023 Road America Atlantic Championship round
LMPC 1:59.245[37] Patricio O'Ward Oreca FLM09 2017 Continental Tire Road Race Showcase
Can-Am 2:00.268[38] Geoff Brabham Lola T530 1981 Can-Am/CRC Trans-Am Road America
Pro Mazda 2:01.3306[39] Toby Sowery Tatuus PM-18 2018 Road America Pro Mazda round
GT1 (GTS) 2:01.446[40] Olivier Beretta Chevrolet Corvette C6.R 2005 Road America 500
F5000 2:02.220[41] Danny Ongais Lola T332 1976 Road America F5000 round
LM GTE 2:02.281[42] Nick Tandy Chevrolet Corvette C8.R 2021 IMSA SportsCar Weekend
Formula Regional 2:03.377[43] Callum Hedge Ligier JS F3 2023 Road America FR Americas round
GT3 2:04.089[29] Frederik Schandorff [da] McLaren 720S GT3 Evo 2023 IMSA SportsCar Weekend
Group 7 2:04.374[44] Mark Donohue Porsche 917/30 TC 1973 Road America Can-Am
GT 2:05.882[45] Antonio García Chevrolet Corvette C6.R 2012 Road Race Showcase
Lamborghini Super Trofeo 2:05.961[46] Sandy Mitchell Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo 2019 Road America Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America round
IMSA GTP Lights 2:06.115[28] Charles Morgan Kudzu DG-2 1992 Road America 2 Hours
TA1 2:06.328[47] Chris Dyson Ford Mustang Trans-Am 2022 Road America Trans-Am round
IMSA GTS 2:06.593[33] Scott Pruett Oldsmobile Cutlass 1993 Road America 500 km
Ferrari Challenge 2:08.597[48] Onofrio Triarsi Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo 2023 Road America Ferrari Challenge North America round
USF2000 2:08.8197[49] Danny Dyszelki Tatuus USF-22 2023 Discount Tire Grand Prix of Road America
Porsche Carrera Cup 2:09.049[50] Riley Dickinson Porsche 911 (992) GT3 Cup 2023 Road America Porsche Carrera Cup North America round
IMSA GTO 2:09.182[51] Pete Halsmer Mazda RX-7 1991 IMSA GTO Road America 200 km
Group 5 2:10.250[52] John Paul, Jr. Porsche 935 JLP-3 1981 Road America 500 Miles
Sports 2000 2:10.648[53] Gary Gove Ralt RT2 1980 Road America Can-Am round
GTO 2:11.399[54] Paul Gentilozzi Jaguar XKR 2000 Road America 500 Miles
NASCAR Xfinity 2:12.408[55] Justin Allgaier Chevrolet Camaro SS 2023 Road America 180
AGT 2:12.453[54] Irv Hoerr Chevrolet Camaro 2000 Road America 500 Miles
Formula 4 2:13.190[56] Daniel Quimby Ligier JS F422 2024 Road America F4 United States round
TA2 2:13.999[57] Rafa Matos Chevrolet Camaro Trans-Am 2019 Road America Trans-Am round
NASCAR Cup 2:14.089[58] William Byron Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE NASCAR 2021 Jockey Made in America 250
GT4 2:14.987[59] Robin Liddell Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R 2023 Road America 120
USF Juniors 2:15.264[60] Nicolas Giaffone Tatuus JR-23 2023 Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Road America
SRO GT2 2.15.474[61] C.J. Moses Audi R8 LMS GT2 2022 Road America GT America round
GTU 2:16.719[54] Darren Law Porsche 911 (996) GT3 R 2000 Road America 500 Miles
Formula BMW 2:17.762[62] Adrien Tambay Mygale FB02 2008 Road America Formula BMW Americas round
Group 6 2:17.799[63] Mike Hall Lola T294 1977 Citicop Can-Am Challenge
TCR Touring Car 2:18.035[59] Mikey Taylor Audi RS 3 LMS TCR (2021) 2023 Road America 120
IMSA AAC 2:19.146[64] Michael Dingman Ford Mustang 1992 Nissan Grand Prix of Road America
IMSA GTU 2:20.208[64] John Fergus Dodge Daytona 1992 Nissan Grand Prix of Road America
Mazda MX-5 Cup 2:32.432[65] Maximilian Opalski Mazda MX-5 (ND) 2023 Road America Mazda MX-5 Cup round
TU 2:43.700[66] John Morton Datsun 510 1972 Road America Trans-Am round
IMSA Supercar 2:57.261[67] Hurley Haywood Porsche 911 Turbo 1991 Nissan Grand Prix of Road America
Motorcycle Course: 6.437 km (2003–present)
Superbike 2:09.025[68] Josh Herrin Ducati Panigale V4 R 2023 Road America MotoAmerica round
Supersport 2:16.685[69] Stefano Mesa Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R 2023 Road America MotoAmerica round
Twins Cup 2:24.298[70] Rocco Landers Suzuki GSX-8R 2024 Road America MotoAmerica round
Junior Cup 2:38.493[71] Avery Dreher Kawasaki Ninja 400R 2023 Road America MotoAmerica round



Other events outside racing[edit]

Road America is host to several non-automotive events.

In pop culture[edit]

Video games[edit]

The Road America track has been included in multiple racing video games, including Automobilista 2, the Forza Motorsport series, CART Precision Racing, 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.

Wisconsin license plate[edit]

An example of Wisconsin's Road America license plate with a vanity slogan; if no message is so chosen by the driver, a five-digit number, followed by "RA" within the rightmost letter space is produced instead.

On October 4, 2021, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation introduced a special license plate honoring Road America, colored black and featuring an outline map of the Road America track (with a northward orientation; this article's infobox map features the track orientated westward) on its left side. The plate itself is fully black with all-white lettering, and has proven to be popular among state drivers for its 'blackout' design, especially among car clubs, and making vanity plate messages stand out, becoming the most requested specialty design in 2023, above specialty plates for the state's sports teams and a Harley-Davidson-specific design.[72]

Photo gallery[edit]



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