The Kansas Speedway is one of the most exciting racetracks in the nation. The 1.85-mile oval features 18-turns and an exciting night of racing complete with thundering engines and burning rubber. This year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race is set for May 5th, making it a must-watch on television.
The most direct route from Chicago to the Kansas Speedway is I70. The first two and a half hours of the drive are relatively uneventful, passing through relatively small towns. About an hour north of Wichita you’ll begin to notice signs for the race track. An asphalt rainbow awaits you in the form of the Kansas Speedway. You’ll quickly find out why this is nicknamed the “Doughnut.”
The first exit off the I70 is known as Old Fort Road. You’ll head westbound on this road for about 10 miles until you reach a traffic light at Westport. Cross this intersection, and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a small town with a popular restaurant, Jack’s Barbecue. A quick left turn here will get you to the front gates of the race track. You can park in the infield and wander around the area before the big race later on. The grandstands will be open, and you’ll get a good look at the track from all sides. There are also many luxury suites available for corporate event planning.
What About I66?
Another option for reaching Kansas is via I66. This lesser-known route passes through Lawrence, the home of the University of Kansas. You’ll have to take this route if you want to avoid Interstate 70 completely. When you reach Lawrence, you’ll have to make a right onto what is known as the “Kellogg Bridge.” This bridge connects I66 to the old route 66. Follow this for a little less than a mile, and you’ll reach an intersection with a street named “Race Street.” A left turn here will bring you to the middle of the track. You can’t miss the entrance if you’re coming from the north, south, or east. From the west, you’ll have to go all the way to the end of the bridge and make a right turn.
More Than Meets The Eye
If you really want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, take I40 westbound. This route will get you directly to Derby. Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from there is an exit to the Kansas Speedway. You’ll only be an hour and a half from downtown Chicago. The view from the top of the hill looking down on the race track is breathtaking. You’ll feel like you’ve escaped to the country. The windmill outside Jack’s Barbecue is a sight to behold.
Wichita is the capital city of Kansas and the largest city you’ll come upon along the I70. As you near the edge of the city, you’ll notice some of the largest chicken processing plants in the world. These plants are a testament to Wichita’s deep-fried, juicy chicken products. If you’re a fan of fried chicken, you’ll feel right at home. There’s also a great brewery called “Toppling Tower” if you’re a beer drinker. These two destinations alone are worth a trip to the Midwest, but there are so many more. The list of attractions is endless. It would take a month to see it all. Even seasoned travelers would be hard-pressed to fit it all in.
The Final Stop
If you’re getting off at Derby, you’ll have to make a left onto what is known as the Derby Road, then take another left onto what is called the “Keegan Avenue Extension.” This will lead you to the race track. You’ll have to follow the signs to reach the entrance, especially if you’re coming from the south. The last exit off the highway is named the “Keegan Avenue Bridge” and will take you back over the train tracks to get to I70. It’s a beautiful drive, with many fantastic restaurants along the way. If you’re a fan of racing, you can’t miss this section of the highway. It’s less than 15 minutes away from the track. You can either head to downtown Chicago or take the long way and visit some of the sights along the way. Even those who live in Kansas City or other parts of the state love to take this route when they visit the track. Less than an hour away from the biggest race in the state. You can’t make this up.