10 of the Coolest U.S. Car Races/Shows for 2018

car shows 2018

Love cars? These events are sure to get your motor running …

1. NHRA Winternationals

If drag racing is your thing, put away your winter coat and head to sunny Southern Cali for the NHRA Winternationals February 8 to 11. Tickets are a reasonable $25 to $50. For more info: www.NHRA.com.

2. EyesOn Design

You’re welcome at Edsel and Eleanor Ford’s house in Michigan, but not every vehicle is—showcased cars are “by invite only” to this rare concours that focuses on design rather than collectability. January 13 to 28. $25. For more info: www.eyesondesign.org/carshow.

3. The Indianapolis 500

For open-wheeling at its finest, head to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this Memorial Day Weekend for America’s best 200 laps. Tickets are $40 to $150. For more info: www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/indy500.

4. The Night of Destruction

Remember the demolition derby at the ol’ county fair? This seems to be something like that. Complete with racing, trailer racing, and school bus destruction, or is it school bus racing and trailer destruction? Apparently, there’s a big YouTube following. Probably free. Check your area—these pop up all over the place. For more info: Google “night of destruction.”

5. Pebble Beach Concours d’Élégance

Prewar exclusivity will be on display again at this year’s Concours d’Élégance. The theme is “significant cars of India,” and almost as impressive as the cars themselves are the views from the famed 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links. $150 in advance, $175 at the show, plus ridiculously inflated hotel and food costs during the event. They say it’s worth it. For more info: www.PebbleBeachConcours.net.

6. (The Unofficial) Woodward Dream Cruise

Drawing more than 40,000 muscle cars, street rods, and custom and collector vehicles—and more than 1 million attendees—Detroit’s Woodward Dream Cruise on August 18 is sure to be a dream come true for classic car fans. Plus, it’s free! For more info: www.WoodwardDreamCruise.com.

7. New York International Auto Show

Four floors of cutting-edge design and extraordinary innovation from the world’s automakers await you at North America’s first and largest-attended auto show, dating back to 1900. March 30 through April 8. $17 for adults, $7 for kids. For more info: www.autoshowny.com.

8. NASCAR Night Race at Bristol

What happens when you combine NASCAR, a small oval track, darkness, and great hot dogs? The Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway (“the race that every race fan must attend”)! August 18, with tickets starting at $60. For more info: www.BristolMotorSpeedway.com.

9. MSRA Back to the ’50s

Celebrate hot rods, customs, and classics at the car event that was ranked #1 in USA Today’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards. Further taking you back is ’50s music, a flyover, and a giant swap meet. St. Paul, Minnesota: June 22 to 24, with free admission. For more info: www.msrabacktothe50s.com.

10. Hot Rod Power Tour

Seven days, seven cities … and more than 6,000 hot rods! Whether as part of the Long Haul Gang or as a single city spectator, if you love hot rods, you won’t want to miss the action. June 1 to June 30. Cities and tickets unavailable at time of posting. For more info: www.hotrod.com/events/power-tour.

Bonus Event! The Friends of Steve McQueen Car Show

Taking place at Boys Republic in California, where a 16-year-old Steve McQueen spent time as a student, this show acts as a fundraiser for the nonprofit school and draws automobile, motorcycle, and off-road motorsports enthusiasts from across the U.S. June 2, with tickets just $10. For more info: www.stevemcqueencarshow.com.

Know of any others worth mentioning?

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