Maybe you can’t get to the Indianapolis 500 or the Texas Motor Speedway, but there are racing spectator options right here in Oklahoma. If you’re in the Tulsa area, try Port City Raceway, and for Oklahoma City area residents, check out I-44 Riverside Speedway.
With the Oklahoma race track layout, you’re right in the action.
“You’re relatively close to the racing surface, so it makes it more exciting for the fans,” says Mike Eubanks, co-owner of Port City Raceway.
Megan Eubanks, the track’s secretary and treasurer, enjoys the inclusivity of the fan experience.
“The thing about racing is you don’t have to be a race fan to know anything. When you come out, just the fast pace of it gets you excited,” she says.
Port City Raceway, founded in 1974, is a ⅛ mile clay oval racetrack where spectators can view USAC micro sprint car racing. The track was founded as RuJo Raceway, and while the name has changed – to reference the track’s proximity to the Port of Catoosa – and many up-to-date amenities have been added, the visceral thrill of the fast cars and dirt track remains.
Port City has indelibly left its mark on the racing world. According to the track’s announcer and director of media relations, who goes solely by Hoss, the race track has seen the beginnings of several outstanding racing careers, including NASCAR star Christopher Bell.
“We’re kind of in a hotbed for racing around this part of the country,” says Mike Eubanks.
But the racetracks aren’t the only reason Oklahoma is a hot spot for the sport.
“So many chassis manufacturers, engine builders and suppliers [are] right here in Tulsa. This is the main spot that you want to be … if you’re a micro racer,” says Hoss.
Mike Eubanks continues: “We [hear from] drivers that say that Port City … Tulsa … the area is on their [racing] bucket list,” he says. “They tell [drivers] to come here, because if you can win here, you can go any place in the country and win.”
But it’s not just an attraction for the drivers; racing is truly a spectator sport for people of all ages.
“It’s a true family sport. And what I can say about this form of racing, micro racing especially, you create a big family with all the other racers. And they’re all in it together and it’s just a good, fun atmosphere,” says Mike Eubanks.
Hoss continues: “It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the sport or if you’ve been in the sport for 30 or 40 years. Racing is an environment that opens its arms and opens the doors to anybody. We don’t pick and choose who gets to come. We want everybody here.”
Want to try a version out for yourself? Check out JRP Speedway in west Tulsa for go-kart rental. Owner Alf Gebhardt, who raced full-sized cars in Germany and the United States for decades, says guests 12 and over can rent go-karts with 6.5 horsepower Honda motors that can go up to 50 miles per hour for a fast-paced ride around the dirt track.