7530 SW Topeka Blvd.
24th annual NHRA Summer Nationals
Elevation: 980 feet
Tickets: NHRATix.com; 800-884-NHRA (6472)
Radio Frequency: 88.7 FM
Sprawling multipurpose Heartland Park Topeka has been a Midwest favorite since it opened in 1989, but its dragstrip has gained the majority of headlines. The event, originally in the fall, has featured numerous record performances, the most significant of which was the shattering of the quarter-mile four-second and 300-mph barriers in Funny Car in 1993. The event moved to its current spot on the schedule in 2001.
2011 recap: Spencer Massey’s first Top Fuel win of the year came at the expense of Bob Vandergriff Jr., who extended his NHRA record of runner-up finishes without a win to 13. Robert Hight outran teammate Mike Neff in the Funny Car final, and Shane Gray won Pro Stock for the second time in his career.
How to Get There: The track is on Topeka Boulevard where it intersects Gary Ormsby Drive, four miles south of Interstate 470. From Kansas City, take the Kansas Turnpike (I-70) to the South Topeka exit and travel south on Topeka Boulevard to the track. From Wichita, take the Kansas Turnpike (I-335) to the South Topeka exit and travel south on Topeka Boulevard to the track. From I-470, take the Topeka Boulevard exit and travel south to the track.
Visitor Information: Visit Topeka Inc., 785-234-1030 or 800-235-1030, www.visittopeka.travel