Saturday, August 31, and Sunday, September 1
District of Rock Island IL
An annual Labor Day-weekend tradition blasts into the District of Rock Island in this year's Xstream Rock Island Grand Prix, the August 31 and September 1 event in which thousands will cheer as hundreds of racing-kart drivers traverse the tree-lined streets at speeds close to 100 MPH.
Established in 1994 and held every year except for 1997, the Rock Island Grand Prix is one of the premier professional karting events in the world. Drivers from coast to coast and Canada, Mexico, France, Colombia, England, Poland, Costa Rica, Argentina, Bermuda, Italy, Poland, and the Philippines have participated in what has become one of the largest and most popular kart-racing events in North America. Each year more than 250 race teams set up shop in downtown Rock Island for a chance to win in dozens of individual racing categories, with the family-friendly event combining the thrill of professional racing with the energy of a District summertime festival.
Eleven years ago, the Phillipines' Michele Bumgarner became the first female driver to win at the Rock Island Grand Prix, emerging victorious in the TAG Senior Race. Californian Alex Speed won the coveted “King of the Streets” crown and took home a $4,000 prize, while Iowa's Johnny Johnson won the TAG SuperPro class and Steve Kilsdonk durvived several on-track accidents to win the four-cycle Rumble at the Rock race. In 2015, Tony Neilson of Delmar, Iowa, won a single-session record six events, surpassing the previous record of five set in 1998. And at last year's Rock Island Grand Prix, not only did Quad Cities driver Morgan Schuler capture the two Yamaha Super Can races, but Quincy native Riley Scott notched two wins, including one over his father. The elder Scott, however, won the Briggs & Stratton 206 Masters race, marking the second time a father-son duo had won in the Rock Island event.
Practice rounds for the Xstream Rock Island Grand Prix begin at 8 a.m. on both August 31 and September 1, with the District's marketplace vendors open for business at 10 a.m., and the annual awards ceremony scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sunday at the Rock Island Holiday Inn. Both evenings of the Grand Prix will also boast evening concerts held outside the Rock Island Brewing Company, with neighboring events including live music at Rozz-Tox and the interactive mystery comedy Shear Madness at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse.
Admission to the Xstream Rock Island Grand Prix is free, and more information on the weekend is available by visiting RockIslandGrandPrix.com.