Our Two Cents: Car races on our bucket lists

A record number of race fans enjoy festivities prior to the 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. ©Rolex/Jensen Larson

Our last installment of this series certainly got the creative juices flowing, both among our staffers and members of the Hagerty Community. This week’s question changes the topic, as we seek to inspire you to add another item (or three) to your personal bucket list. Be it participating or spectating, attending one of the many famous races around the world might be worth your consideration.

Let’s ask our team and see if you agree with their choices: What race or races are on your bucket list?

Goodwood Festival of Speed

Bentley Goodwood 2023-1

“For me, it has gotta be the Goodwood Festival of Speed, mostly because it is the polar opposite of what I do and love: kudging the 24 Hours of Lemons.” — Sajeev Mehta

Indianapolis 500

106th Running Of The Indianapolis 500
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

“I’ve been to the [Goodwood] Revival. It’s spectacular. I’ve been lucky enough to see Le Mans and the Daytona 500 in person, so I think completing the trifecta, it would have to be the Indy 500 for me. I have actually kissed the bricks there once, on a photo shoot, in the dead of winter. I would also like to see an F1 race at Monaco as well, and the new F1 race in Vegas would be fun to watch, too.” — Todd Kraemer

Monaco Grand Prix

Monaco Jack Brabham
The Monaco Grand Prix; Monte Carlo, May 10, 1959. Jack Brabham turns his Cooper into Tabac on his way to Cooper’s first F.1 win. (Photo by Klemantaski Collection/Getty Images) Klemantaski / Getty Images

“Oh, this is easy. Monaco Grand Prix. I’ve been to Monaco and I’ve driven the race route in a Maserati Quattroporte, slowly, so I know the scene. The question is whether I will take in the action from a yacht in the harbor or from a balcony of the Hôtel de Paris, across from the Casino. Either way, I will have a flute of champagne in my hand at all times.” — Joe DeMatio

24 Hours of Le Mans

24 hours of le mans endurance race 2020 cars action
James Moy Photography/Getty Images

“Le Mans. The noise. The legacy. The exhaustion, the camaraderie. The champagne and soft cheese.” — Eric Weiner

“I agree with Eric—Le Mans is an absolute bucket list item. Closer to home, the Indy 500 is one that I want to see at least once. The tradition and the level of drivers that flock to the race are just incredible. It certainly ranks among the greats.” — Greg Ingold

Knoxville Nationals

Knoxville Raceway dirt track racing fans and the field
High atop the five-story suite tower in Knoxville Raceway’s Turn 2, a couple of fans bench-race while a pack of sprinters prepares to take the green flag. Cameron Neveu

“Knoxville, Iowa, is Mecca for sprint car enthusiasts. It’s a beautiful, well-kept little dirt track, perfectly groomed with somehow-white fences. I’ve been there, but never to a race, and I’d love to see the Knoxville Nationals.” — Steven Cole Smith

Circuit des Remparts

“For me, it’s the Circuit des Remparts festival in Angoulême, France. Prewar cars race through the streets of the old city on a circuit that first hosted an event in 1939.” — Aaron Robinson

F1 with my son

Getty Images

“I’m just pulling into Goodwood Festival of Speed as I type. It was at the top of my list of automotive events to attend, so I’m quite excited to tick that box. What’s next? I’d say almost any F1 race, but with my oldest son in tow. He loves F1 and fast cars in general. My preference would be one at a non-U.S. track with a long history of racing (Spa, Silverstone, Monza). Get a bit of international culture along with the exhilarating experience of being up close and personal with the scream of F1 engines (although I wish I could have experienced an F1 race during the era of V-12s!). Anyway, I’d probably get more enjoyment out of watching my son watch the race than the actual race itself, but that’s just sort of where I am in life right now!” — Ben Woodworth

Tulsa Shootout

Cameron Neveu

“The Tulsa Shootout is ahead of the Chili Bowl and has three times the number of cars, some 1500 entrants. It is also run during the usual racing dead zone between Christmas and New Years.” — Larry Webster

Bonneville Speed Week

Speed Needle Homegrown Bonneville front three quarter
Brian Booth

“I’ve been to Bonneville Speed Week 10 times by now, but it belongs on everyone’s bucket list. I will continue to proselytize about racing and spectating on the salt because it’s such a unique environment with such a wide range of cars and fantastic competitors. Do you want to see a 1932 Ford powered by a flathead V-8 race for the same record that’s been contested for 75 years? Speed Week has that. How about multiple 400-plus-mph streamliners battling back and forth for bragging rights? Speed Week has that too. There’s no money to be made, just racing for the sake of racing. Besides that, cars just look great on the salt.” — Brandan Gillogly

Hilbilly 100 + Bathhurst 1000

“I have two. I would love to attend the Hillbilly 100 in West Virginia. The 100-lapper is one of dirt late-model racing’s most prestigious races, dating back to its first running in 1967. Back then, it was held at Pennsboro Speedway—an old horse-racing track cut lengthwise by a creek with a bridge in each turn. Spectators had to bring shovels to dig themselves a seat in a ridge that ran perpendicular to the front straight. Now, the crown-jewel race is run at Tyler County Speedway, just east of the Ohio River. While the venue has changed, the frenetic nature surrounding the race has not. Dirt-racing fans travel from around the country to watch drivers throw their purpose-built machines around the quarter-mile bullring.

“My other bucket list race is the Bathhurst 1000, the Daytona 500 of Australian Supercar racing. While I typically attend over 30 races per year, I have still to witness one outside of the United States. If I ever went international, Bathhurst would be my first stop. The 1000-kilometer contest around the undulating Mount Panorama Circuit features plenty of on-track action and even the occasional kangaroo.

“The events are worlds apart but feature some of auto racing’s rowdiest fans.” — Cameron Neveu

World Rally Championship

Hyundai i20 WRC Rally Turkey
Hyundai Motorsports GmbH/Fabien Dufour

“I need to see a WRC car fly through the air in person, it doesn’t matter where. Perhaps a race at Eldora Speedway, preferably with Kyle Larson making an appearance. And I am told I haven’t lived till I’ve seen a super-modified run at a half-mile track—I’ll let the commenters tell me the best venue for that.” — Eddy Eckart




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    The Race of Gentlemen is about the most fun I’ve ever had at a car race. Will be returning as participants in 2024.

    It would have been great to have been there on August 4, 1957. That was Fangio’s greatest race.
    His fastest lap time that day was 9m 17s. Top of my Bucket list would be to do laps of anger in a Mazda Miata, stock NC, and see if I could beat El Maestro’s time.
    No ego trips, just an honest attempt.

    PS: No Stability Control.

    I was there in 1968, one of the wettest F1 races ever run. I’d been to races before (Riverside, CA mostly), and what I got from that was that you barely got to see the cars, since the laps were so long.

    The only race on the list that I have been to was the Monaco Grand Prix in 1977. It was made more memorable as my brother and I scored a free all access paddock pass and a free trackside photographer’s pass (do they even issue these anymore?) for the Saturday and Sunday,

    GoodWood Revival must absolute be on the list. My wife who is not a race fan is demanding to go back…”Give me a fall day in GoodWood and you can have the world.”

    My bucket list had the 4 wide national drag race in Charlotte NC. The experience was body shaking, and sound was unforgettable. Thx.

    What!!! No U.S Nationals in Indy. There is nothing like nitro baby. You gotta go to the BIG GO!! Labor day will never be the same ever again.

    Hadn’t ever heard of this until now. Will have to see it — at least once! Sounds like a larger version of what we call “Roller Derby” around here at our local track, nothing big but noisy and a hell of a lot of fun…

    All must see event’s, my favorites attended were Eldorado nascar trucks & Bristol nite race witnessing Kyle Busch Sweep all 3 races 2010

    I’ve been to Indy and Monaco, as well as the sadly defunct CanAm races at Riverside and the California 500 at Ontario Motor Speedway. I’m still missing LeMans, and I’m fairly close to Bonneville, so that’s a distinct possibility.

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