Route 66 Raceway To Offer Exceptional Content During NHRA Route 66 Nationals Weekend, May 31 - June 3

Special Display with legendary cars and drivers, First Responders salute and more planned


Joliet, Ill. – April 23, 2018 – The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing returns to Route 66 Raceway as part of the 20th anniversary season at the World’s First True Stadium of Drag racing. On May 31 – June 3, the stars of today and the legends of yesterday will gather for four explosive days and nights of racing as the world’s top drag racers rocket to speeds exceeding 330 miles per hour in under :04 seconds. Some of the weekend highlights include:

20th Anniversary Celebration Display
With the marking of its 20th anniversary, Route 66 Raceway will offer an unprecedented level of content surrounding this milestone celebration including appearances by drag racing legends “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, Illinois-native Gary Dyer, pioneer Funny Car driver Larry Reyes. Garlits was voted by the NHRA in 2001 to be the greatest driver of all time. Within his four-decade career, driving chassis he fabricated and were powered by engines he built, Garlits won 144 major open events and 17 national championships in the sport's three major hot rod associations. Garlits will even partake in the pre-race track walk on Sunday morning giving fans the opportunity to walk and talk with the legend himself.

An expanded red carpet area will also grace the midway featuring the iconic Little Red Wagon, the winner of the 1970 Winternationals, “The Hawaiian,” “Mr. Norms” Grand-Spaulding Dodge Charger and the 1971 Sox & Martin Hemi Cuda Pro Stock. The tribute of legends and vehicles will encourage fans to reflect on the special moments that paved the way for Route 66 Raceway to flourish as it has and celebrate over 20 years of its own unique memories.

In addition, premiere motorsports artist Kenny Youngblood will be on-site at the Route 66 Raceway display throughout the weekend personalizing unique prints for fans to commemorate the track’s 20th anniversary as well as some of the notable vehicles featured on the red carpet.

20th Anniversary Post-Race Celebration
Following the festivities on All-Star Saturday, a Blues Brothers tribute performance will take place on the north side of the grandstands. All fans are welcome to attend, grab a drink and enjoy the familiar tunes of Sweet Home Chicago, Everybody Needs Somebody and Jailhouse Rock.

NHRA Salutes First Responders
In addition to the 20th anniversary celebration, Route 66 Raceway will once again partner with the NHRA Salutes First Responders platform to honor those who serve on the front line during emergencies in the Chicagoland area. First responders of all kinds will be honored for their commitment to the community throughout the NHRA Route 66 Nationals weekend.

In the coming weeks, first responders will also be given the opportunity to purchase general admission tickets to the Route 66 NHRA Nationals with a 15 percent discount until 10-day-out pricing starts. The discount is extended to all service men and women who are designated or trained to respond to an emergency and hold a current ID in their line of work. The program will culminate on Sunday, June 3 as the Joliet Police Department Pipes and Drums perform “The Star Spangled Banner” just before the championship rounds begin.

On-track Winner’s Circle
Championship Sunday is the day that determines who will take the coveted top place in the Winner’s Circle for the top four Pro Classes (Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle). Fans can now partake in the celebration as the staging lanes will open immediately following the on-track action for those in the grandstands to get up-close as the winners receive their Wallys.

NHRA Y.E.S. Program
The NHRA Y.E.S. (Youth & Education Services) program presented by the U.S. Army is a highly successful educational motorsports program. The Y.E.S. program featured at Route 66 Raceway is one of 15 of its kind in the 24-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series circuit.

The program allows participants the opportunity to learn about and explore various career opportunities while gaining a new perspective on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) by taking what they acquire in the classroom and applying it to real-world experiences. Students and educators will hear thought provoking presentations from U.S. Army Soldiers, NHRA Top Fuel Drivers Tony Schumacher and Antron Brown, as well as business, racing and educational professionals.  Attendees participate in mental, physical and emotional challenges with various vendors complete with free admission to the race track for the day. Educators interested in the program can visit to find more information and register your class today.

To purchase tickets to the NHRA Route 66 Nationals, or any of the other 2018 Route 66 Raceway events, visit us online at, call 888-629-RACE, download the Route 66  Raceway mobile app,  visit the Route 66 Raceway Administrative office or stop by the box office on the day of the event.

For email reminders regarding the 2018 Route 66 Raceway schedule, click here.

For more information on Route 66 Raceway, stay connected on Twitter and Facebook or by visiting

The 2018 schedule at Route 66 Raceway is as follows:

May 6   Import Face Off
May 31-June 3  Route 66 NHRA Nationals
July 14   Four Seasons Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing Burndown at Sundown
July 26-29  13th Annual NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing
August 18  D’Arcy Buick GMC Route 66 Classic

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Chicagoland Speedway & Route 66 Raceway
Chicagoland Speedway is a 1.5-mile, paved oval race track located in Joliet, Ill.  The track has hosted racing events of the major U.S. racing series, and currently conducts races in all three NASCAR national series, including the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series, and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.   Along with Route 66 Raceway, a multimillion-dollar complex that includes a ¼ mile stadium-style drag strip and a ½ mile dirt oval track, Chicagoland Speedway is wholly-owned by International Speedway Corporation (ISC), a major promoter of motorsports activities.  ISC owns and/or operates 13 of the nation’s major racing venues, including Daytona International Speedway. For more information on Chicagoland Speedway, visit

Chicagoland Speedway & Route 66 Raceway
Denny Hartwig: (815) 722-4180

Sarah Palya: (815) 722-4166



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500 Speedway Blvd
Joliet, IL 60433
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Route 66 Raceway
500 Speedway Blvd, Joliet, Illinois 60433 Tickets & Information Call 888.629.RACE (7223)

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