Heartland Motorsports Park attracts competitive drivers for open track event

Heartland Motorsports Park attracts competitive drivers for open track event
Published: Mar. 26, 2023 at 10:55 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The National Auto Sports Association (NASA) and Road Motorsports teamed up with Heartland Motorsports Park to host a day filled with track time, safety practices, and networking in preparation for the upcoming season.

The month of March marks the beginning of racing season. Matt Wilson, the owner of Road Motorsports, gave drivers of all levels an opportunity to train through a two-day open track event with NASA and Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka.

“I provide kind of test and tune day for people who wanna race but also get a lot of seat time,” said Wilson. “You can’t do this stuff on the street. You can actually do it out here at the track, it’s all legal out here, and it’s safe and controlled.”

The open track allows a space for competitive drivers to practice their enhanced skills and gives new drivers the opportunity to learn new skills. Donna Lane, regional director of the NASA, said legal drivers as young as 12 years old can take a go at driving the courses too.

“We can take a driver from almost at any age, twelve, twenty-three, fourteen years old, and bring them in through a system of the very beginning of driver development; the very beginning car; all the way through to a national competition license,” said Lane.

After months without racing, the event brought in drivers from around the Midwest. Participants were able to find time to connect with fellow drivers even with the filled schedule.

“It gives everybody the opportunity to get the winter blues out of the way,” said Travis Hilton, track manager of Heartland Park. “While it may not feel like it, summer is just around the corner and being able to come out here and being able to make passes and enjoy time with all of our friends and family we’ve missed all winter-long, it’s phenomenal.”

For Heartland Park, events like the open track allows for the park to thrive in a hard economic environment.

“It’s a great way to get the season started back off and you know it’s all about trying to make sure that we’re building events for the future,” said Hilton. “You know, we’re always trying to find ways to build up motorsports and build up the city of Topeka, because the only way that we can grow is if the City of Topeka grows.”

Hilton said safety is a top priority when hosting events. By having medical staff on call, the park is able to ensure the safety of its guests.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re 16 years old, just got your drivers license; or 60 years old, looking for that last bit of speed; you can come out here and participate on either the road course or the drag strip and have a good time in a safe environment,” said Hilton.

For more information on future open track events, visit the Heartland Motorsports Park website.