Racing dates back to ancient Greece, where chariot races around city walls settled disputes such as farming rights and which philosopher had a superior beard. Witness the fairest system of justice with today's Groupon: for $60, you get an all-you-can-eat ticket package to the NHRA Nationals drag-racing event at the Route 66 Raceway in Joliet (a $120 value). Today’s deal is valid for Friday, July 8. Gates open at 7:30 a.m., the first race starts at 9 a.m., with professional racing categories starting at 4 p.m., and the event ends at 9:30 p.m.
At the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals, drag-racing spectators feel the vibrations of 7,000-horsepower engines as race-ready autos rumble their chrome pipes at competing cars before blasting their chassis up to 320 mph in just a few seconds. Friday's heats ignite from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., firing up the track with a full adrenaline-injected schedule of Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle adversaries. Seats in the north grandstands give spectators a prime view of the festivities a stone's throw from the pre-event hospitality tent, so visitors can reap the benefits without relying on a map like a lost hiker or a backyard camper with a horrible short-term memory. Each ticketholder's entry also serves as a pit pass, granting access to an up-close look at the vehicles' inner workings, a chance to meet the drivers, and an opportunity to ask the track about its favorite skid marks. All-you-can-eat attendees also spend 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. under the open buffet tent, engaging in a lively Q&A with drag racing legends "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, John Force, and other NHRA Funny Car and Top Fuel superstars between bites and sips. After the last cars finish their displays of vehicular superiority, visitors head back to their less competitive autos bearing a gift bag full of goodies, including a commemorative Route 66 pin.
3200 S. Chicago St.
Joliet, Illinois 60433