Our Two Cents: Car races on our bucket lists
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
“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
“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
“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, 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
F1 with my son
“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
“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
“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
“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