Baja 1000 defends their title of Best Motorsports Race
Knoxville Nationals wins second place
Take a look at the global motorsports racing calendar, and you'll find no shortage of high-octane events, from NASCAR and Formula 1 to hill climbs and drag racing. We asked a pair of motorsports experts to nominate their favorite events as the best in the world, and for the past four weeks, our readers have been voting for their favorites from a pool of 20 nominees. The results are in!
Baja 1000 (Baja California, Mexico)
The SCORE Baja 1000 is a rally race from one end of the California peninsula to the other that changes configurations from year to year. Most of the time, the event consists of a point-to-point race from Ensenada to La Paz, Mexico, but a slightly shorter loop race beginning and ending in Ensenada is also a popular choice by organizers. Photo courtesy of SCORE International
Knoxville Nationals (Knoxville, Iowa)
Nicknamed "the Granddaddy of Them All," the Knoxville Nationals is considered the premiere title in sprint car racing (with the highest paying purse), held on the second Saturday in August at the Knoxville Raceway in Iowa. Photo courtesy of Knoxville Raceway
Indianapolis 500 (Indianapolis)
Billed as the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”, the Indy 500
has been a cornerstone of American sports for over 100 years and serves as one of the biggest races in the world, raking in nearly 300,000 spectators on race day. Average lap speeds of over 220 miles per hour also make this race the fastest circle-track event on our list. Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway
12 Hours of Sebring (Sebring, Fla.)
Sebring International Raceway was originally an Air Force training base during World War II, but in the post-war years the base was bought from the US government and transformed into the cathedral of American endurance racing that it is today. Sebring hosts a twelve hour event in March that serves as one of the benchmark races to determine who has what it takes to win the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Photo courtesy of Brian Cleary/Getty Images
Chili Bowl Nationals (Tulsa)
, Oklahoma two weeks after Christmas may not sound like the best place and time for a race, but the Chili Bowl Nationals fixes this problem by hosting its race indoors at the Tulsa Expo Center. Inside is the quarter mile dirt track where drivers from all disciplines hailing from Australia to Florida duke it out across four days of qualifying races and one A-Main event on the last day to decide the king of dirt for that year. Photo courtesy of Joe Orth
Night Race at Bristol (Bristol, Tenn.)
Having more in common with a hockey fight than a race, the Night Race at Bristol is no stranger to tossed helmets, flared tempers and more than a few expletives being hurled around. Five hundred laps at the World’s Fastest Half Mile make up this relatively speedy event in late summer, but it doesn’t help mitigate the torn sheet metal and bruised egos at the end of the night. Photo courtesy of Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
24 Hours of Le Mans (Le Mans, France)
The 24 Hours of Le Mans was and still is the single greatest test of automotive tech in the world. For well over half a century, global auto manufacturers from Ford to Ferrari have waged war on the high speed 8.469 mile Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France in a battle of technological minds, driver will power and corporate egos. Photo courtesy of Gabi Tomescu / AdrenalMedia.com
Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (Isle of Man)
The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy is the most prestigious motorcycle race in the world and has its roots in street races held on the island since 1904. The race consists of time trials across many different classes of motor bikes on the old narrow twisty streets flanked by stone walls and hay bales, and the makeup of the track itself also makes it the most dangerous event on our list with 245 competitor fatalities since 1907. Photo courtesy of Isle of Man TT
24 Hours of Daytona (Daytona Beach, Fla.)
hosts two of the biggest events in motorsports and they occur scarcely a month apart. The worldwide motorsports season unofficially kicks off in mid January, when the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
heads down to the winter haven of Daytona Beach for a grueling day long test of man and machine. Photo courtesy of Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Daytona 500 (Daytona Beach, Fla.)
Most sanctioning bodies save their biggest race for the end of the season or the mid way point. NASCAR however hosts The Great American Race to kick off the NASCAR season in style in mid February. The 500 miles long Daytona 500
is preceded by nearly two weeks of preliminary events all collected under the banner of Speedweeks, so there is always something worth watching. Photo courtesy of Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
The top 10 winners in the category Best Motorsports Race are as follows:
- Baja 1000 - Baja California, Mexico
- Knoxville Nationals - Knoxville, Iowa
- Indianapolis 500 - Indianapolis
- 12 Hours of Sebring - Sebring, Fla.
- Chili Bowl Nationals - Tulsa
- Night Race at Bristol - Bristol, Tenn.
- 24 Hours of Le Mans - Le Mans, France
- Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - Isle of Man
- 24 Hours of Daytona - Daytona Beach, Fla.
- Daytona 500 - Daytona Beach, Fla.
Congratulations to all these winning races! Be sure to mark your calendars so you don't miss out on these Readers' Choice high-octane events.