Posted: Aug 08, 2017
Ultimate Petrolhead Tour of the USA Part 4
You've come a long way to go a long way and now you're in the final home stretch. Nine months into your journey and you've now found yourself in New Orleans in the middle of hurricane season. Locals know it's a possibility, but they keep on living and you should too.
Head East to Biloxi, Mississippi and spend the week cruising the coast at...Cruisin' the Coast. If you've bought a car to use for your tour of the States, you might have an opportunity to sell it here, either with a sign in the window or at the auction at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.
If you've had enough of cruise nights and car shows or that was never really your thing, head back over to Road Atlanta and take in the Petit Le Mans. Once those events conclude, you'll start making your final trip Westward with your first destination being Austin, Texas. What awaits you there? America's only Formula 1 race, the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas.
The conclusion of the F1 race leaves you with roughly a week to get back out to Las Vegas for what some consider the biggest non-car show car show in the world- the SEMA Show. The SEMA Show is technically an industry-only trade show, but how the industry is defined seems to be ever-expanding. For example, people who own customization/repair shops can apply for passes, as can people who work for those folks. If you make it out to Vegas early, you can catch the NHRA race at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which takes place the weekend before.
Once SEMA reaches it's conclusion, the excitement doesn't end. The OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational takes place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on the weekend after the SEMA Show and takes up to 100 cars from the show floor to the track and puts them through their paces on the track and the street. Even after that wraps up, we'd invite you to take in many of the attractions that is quickly turning Las Vegas into a motorsports mecca.
There are several locations that offer track experiences in exotic supercars, where you actually drive a Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, etc... including Exotics Racing. There are also several driving schools to choose from at both Las Vegas Motor Speedway and nearby at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump. You can also rent dune buggies & Jeeps out in the desert outside of town. There are also some area businesses worth checking out, including Shelby American, Counts Kustoms and Welder Up (Count's runs a tour bus to all three locations).
On the weekend after the OUSCI, the dirt track at LVMS welcomes one of it's two biggest events of the year, when the IMCA Modifieds come to town for the Duel in the Desert. the Strip at LVMS also plays host to the Street Car Supernationals the weekend after that. That very same weekend, LVMS also hosts the Lucas Oil Modifieds, keeping your horsepower cup overflowing.
Things slow down quite a bit everywhere for the Thanksgiving holiday, but you can head back to Los Angeles on Route 66, to gear up for your final adventures. While there, be sure to check out the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, Toyota USA Automobile Museum and the John Force RaceStation.
Your Petrolhead tour of the States is just about over, but you can still stick around to catch the LA Auto Show during the first week of December. The PRI Show usually takes place in Indianapolis right around the same time, if your travels abroad are in the direction of Europe. If you're headed toward home over the Pacific or south of the border, that may not make the cut. You could still treat yourself to a top-down drive along PCH-1 to finish things off in grand style. Thanks for following the tour and if you decide to hit the road and make this reading a reality, we wish you good luck and safe travels!
If you missed the first parts of this year-long tour, check them out below: