What City Is Michigan Speedway In? [Updated!]

The name “Michigan” is synonymous with Motorcycle racing, perhaps more than any other state. The most famous track is undoubtedly Michigan International Speedway, which was founded in 1967 and is located in Speedway, about 25 minutes from downtown Detroit.

A Monumental Achievement

The track is best known for its unique configuration, a figure-eight layout that makes for an exciting and sometimes dangerous pit stop. The track’s grandstands can accommodate over 100,000 spectators, making it the largest indoor motorsport venue in the world at the moment.

Though the track is an amazing feat of engineering and logistical planning, it wasn’t always meant to be. In its early days, the track only had 2 corners and was used for only 200 races per year. The track was then acquired by the state and had a major renovation that expanded the track by adding two more turns. Today, the track is considered one of the greats among American tracks.

A Mecca For Motorcycle Enthusiasts

One of the major appeals of the track is that it is a Mecca for motorcycle enthusiasts. The sheer volume of bikes and the danger of crashes make for spectacular television. The races are also closely followed by fans who tune in from all over the world. Many consider MI to be the ultimate bucket-list race, alongside the Indianapolis 500 and the Bonjoro Endurance Race.

The track has undergone a few renovations over the years, the most significant of which came in 2014, when a new owners group took over and invested heavily in the infrastructure. The renovations included adding a new wing that connected the track’s two existing hotels and created a direct link to the road network. This link allowed for easy transfer from hotel to hotel and eliminated the need to find a parking spot near the track. The track also got a multi-level car parking garage, making it easier for fans to reach their vehicles after the race.

A Global Destination

Another major attraction of the track is that it is a global destination. The track frequently hosts major motorbike races from all over the world, with Europe, Asia, and Africa all sending high-profile teams. Though the track has always attracted international teams, in recent years its appeal has extended well beyond the United States, drawing interest from all over the globe.

The global aspect is enhanced by the fact that many of the venues for these races are outside the U.S., making travel more convenient for the teams. The logistics of hosting events like this aren’t easy, especially as many of the teams are used to traveling globally for competitions.

A Mecca For Fans Of The Fast And The Furious

Finally, MI is a Mecca for fans of the Fast and the Furious. The popular American film franchise, which began in 2009 with Harrison Ford driving a souped-up 1965 Ford Mustang around a Los Angeles police department, is famous for its ultra-fast car chases. Though many of the movies were set in Los Angeles, the locations of the chases were actually filmed in the desert around Victorville, California, using the nearby Tehachapi Mountains as a stand-in for the more famous Hollywood Hills. Many of the cars used in the chases have been modified with nitrous oxide boosters, allowing them to drive at extremely high speeds.

The connection between the films and the real-life car races is that the Tehachapi Motorcycle Races, held annually just outside of Victorville, were used as a setting in one of the movies, with the venue itself playing a crucial role in the plot. The races were actually held at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Ranch in Lakewood, California, but the filmmakers used the Tehachapi races as a reference point for the action scenes.

How Do I Get To MI?

If you are considering a trip to MI, the best way to get there is by car. The track is easily accessible from both the I-75 and I-96 corridors, which run north and south of the state, respectively. Though much of the driving is on rural roads, the trip is still quite scenic, with spectacular views of the countryside and the occasional town.

There are also direct flights to Detroit from many major cities, making the trip even more convenient. If you are looking to visit the historic City of Motown, then you can’t miss out on this opportunity. Though public transportation is available, most people who visit the city drive as it’s quite a ways to park and ride the bus to your destination. Motorcycle enthusiasts are well-acquainted with the dangers of driving in Detroit, so security should be a priority during your stay.

Where To Stay

There are a variety of options when it comes to lodging near the track. Though not directly on the road between the airport and the track, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Mount Pleasant is the closest lodging to the I-75 entrance and offers a direct link to the Freeway. For those who want to stay in the Hilton Garden Inn & Suites in Southfield, the hotel is easily accessible from I-96 and offers a suburban vibe and a peaceful night’s sleep in a comfortable bed.

Though the hotels have a direct connection to the road network, it’s not necessarily recommended to drive as there are miles of No Parking Zones on the streets nearby. During the week, the city has a parking lot adjacent to the hotel that costs $25 per night. Additional parking passes are available for purchase at the hotel’s front desk. Though finding parking can be challenging, it’s still the best choice for those who want to stay close to the action.

Where To Eat

Though a trip to MI wouldn’t be complete without eating some Hoosier Dog, the best option near the I-75 corridor is arguably the Cherry Coke Café, which offers visitors a wide array of choices when it comes to traditional diner fare. For those who want to keep a healthy option, the Blazing Tomato Pizzeria, which serves wood-fired specialty pizzas, is also a great choice, as is the Papa John’s Pizza, a short walk from the café. Those who want a bit of a change can check out the Bucktown American Bar & Grill, which serves classic American fare like pulled pork sandwiches and macaroni and cheese, or opt for fish and chips or frog legs, as the case may be. Though the variety of eateries is impressive, it might be wise to splurge a bit on dinner, as eating takeaway at the hotel restaurant gets rather costly after a while.


Though a trip to MI isn’t complete without a movie, fans of the Fast and the Furious might want to consider checking out the Lakewood Film Festival, which screens all the hit films in the franchise as well as some of the lesser-known treasures from the 1970s and 80s. The LFF also runs various other themed mini-festivals throughout the year, including a Penny Arcade-sponsored event called The Degenerates, a gathering of vintage motorcycle racers who wear matching leather jackets and drive in funny formations. The best part is that all these events are free. Though these are some of the main tourist attractions in and around MI, the University of Michigan Athletic Department maintains a great website with all the upcoming events, as well as a detailed guide to visiting the city. The site even provides customizable trip plans, based on the preferences of the traveler.


Though the University of Michigan Athletic Department maintains a great website with all the upcoming events, fans of the Fast and the Furious might want to consider shopping for souvenirs and other assorted knick-knacks at the Victorville Premium Outlets, which is just north of MI on Highway 395. The outlet mall, founded in 1973, features over 150 stores and offers a great selection of branded goods at affordable prices. The mall has a food court with international cuisine, fast food outlets, and eateries serving classic American fare. Though the Victorville mall attracts visitors from near and far, the best part is that all these attractions are accessible by bicycle. It’s not often one gets to enjoy such an eco-friendly way of travel. According to the website, “biking is encouraged on-site and there are bikes available for rent.”

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!