I've been to a number of auto racing events in my life, and one of the most memorable experiences was at the Southern Illinois Motor Speedway. For those who don't know, SMMS is located in Urbana, IL and is one of the premiere indoor auto racing events in the Midwest. I've driven through some of the dirt tracks at SMMS and have seen some of the older indoor tracks that have been converted to indoor tracks. Here is my personal review of each track I've visited.
This is probably the oldest oval track in Illinois and has a long history of hosting various sports events. The problem with this track is that it isn't very exciting for racing. The reason it hasn't developed much over the years is because of how close it is to the downtown area. It is also fairly flat and fairly narrow, so typically you can only drive two or three cars over the course of a race. The benefit to this track however, is that it's actually good for different types of racing. One particular event I have enjoyed at this track has been the annual “Green Bean” meet.
This is an old-fashioned oval track, but is owned by the Illinois State Fair. Like many other old-fashioned oval tracks, this track has some interesting history behind it. There is an old railroad bed over the track that is actually part of the history of the track. Also, the fairgrounds is one of the few places in Illinois where you can still get hot chocolate. The track has also hosted a number of important events such as the Annual Great Ironman triathlon. This track has been remodeled in the recent years, but is still a great place for racing enthusiasts.
This is one of the newer indoor auto racing tracks in Illinois, and features mainly a rectangular track. It isn't known for being particularly fast, but it does have quite a bit of history behind it. It's host is the Carlsbad airport, which has a pretty good indoor facility for racing.
This indoor track is located near Carbondale, Illinois and was built specifically for indoor auto racing. It is known for being particularly fast due to the fact that it's layout is almost the opposite of most other tracks. Because it is an indoor facility, it's usually pretty clean. It doesn't get very much traffic, because there are rarely any big race events in town. This is a fun track for the families though, because it's not very competitive.
This indoor facility is the oldest indoor auto racing track in the area. It's hosted by Bill France. It's a relatively new track, being built in 1998, but it's pretty fast due to Bill's dedication to his craft. It gets a decent amount of traffic though, and Bill is considered by many to be the best indoor auto racer in the area. If you're looking for some indoor auto racing in Carbondale, IL, this is a good place to start.