NASCAR Cup Returns To Wisconsin For July 4 Race

Road America Will Host Its First Top-Tier Stock Car Race Since 1956

The background is blurred as a car zooms by.
Boris Said drives in a practice race Friday, July 2, 2021, at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

Start your engines. Wisconsin is set to host its first top-tier stock car race since the 1950s.

Road America in Elkhart Lake will host NASCAR’s inaugural Jockey Made in America 250 on Sunday. For years, the course has hosted second-tier NASCAR events with positive reviews from drivers and fans. But this weekend marks the first time that top stock car drivers will race at Road America in more than 60 years.

Kyle Larson leads the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Standings. He’ll compete at this weekend’s event, along with past series winners like Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick.

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Road America’s 4-mile course features 14 turns. Road courses have become increasingly popular in NASCAR, with seven on the NASCAR Cup calendar for this year, including Road America. Drivers will complete 62 laps during Sunday’s race.

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On Friday, fans gathered to watch qualifying races and practice, some standing along fences and others filing into bleachers. Spectators have free rein at Road America to check out different areas of the grounds. Many watched along Turn 5, the track’s first left turn.

Jorgan Janssen and his friend came from Minneapolis for the race. They traveled around the venue on scooters, stopping to eat ice cream cones and watch some laps near the startling line.

“You have to come here and enjoy it. Road America is probably one of the best race tracks in America, I’d say,” Janssen said.

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“You can walk around, and everybody is pretty friendly,” she said. “We love it!”

Helen Hayon was there with her husband, son and grandson. The Sheboygan Falls resident said it’s exciting that her area is playing such an important role in the national sports scene this year. Nearby Whistling Straits is set to host the Ryder Cup in September.

“I think it’s fantastic! We’ll be well known, I guess,” Hayon said.

NASCAR officials announced the race in September. In addition to Road America, there are two new tracks on the NASCAR Cup calendar for this year: Nashville Super Speedway and Circuit of the Americas in Texas.