Go-kart racing is quickly becoming a favorite activity for drivers of all skill levels. Whether you’re looking for something fun to do with the family, or you’re searching for serious race competition, these Detroit-area go kart tracks offer something for everyone.
Extreme Indoor Kart Racing
2241 W. Vienna Rd.
Clio, MI 48420
Price: $16 per race/$10 first race juniors 8 to 14/$8 each additional race/discount for members
Hours: Mon to Fri – 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sat – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sun – 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Take go kart racing to the next level at Extreme, with Michigan’s largest indoor kart track at .25 miles and cutting-edge Sodi RX7 karts that reach speeds of up to 40 mph. Extreme offers single races or a Grand Prix that includes a practice race, a qualifying race and the main event. A $15 annual membership reduces race fees, and could pay for itself in as few as two sessions of multiple races. League racing is available for adults or juniors — racers compete in a Grand Prix each week. Dedicated racers will want to check out the 60-minute endurance race. Billiards, arcade games and a concession stand are on-site for spectators or between-race breaks.
Great Escape Family Fun Center
2630 E. Grand River
Howell, MI 48843
Price: $6 per five-minute race
Hours: Tues to Thurs – 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri – 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sat – 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sun – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Great Escape’s Velocity Racing indoor go kart track runs 850 feet per lap, with an average of eight to 10 laps per race. Karts average 28 miles per hour, and two-seaters are available so parents with young children may enjoy a race as well. Geared toward a fun experience for the whole family, Great Escape also offers inflatables, bumper-car basketball and a nine hole mini golf course. The 14,000-square-foot video arcade also includes skill games, pinball, air hockey and pool tables. Check the website for daily specials, group rates and birthday club offers.
Kart 2 Kart
42705 Van Dyke
Sterling Heights, MI 48314
Price: $17 per eight-minute race/$10 per five-minute race kids 8 to 15
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri and Sat – 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Sun – 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Serious kart racers will appreciate Kart 2 Kart’s focus on the competitive side of go karting. The facility features computer-timed laps, a textured concrete track for improved grip around the six corners and a 200-foot straightaway for high-speed racing. The pro karts run on a 5.5-horsepower engine and can reach speeds of up to 35 mph. For the younger race enthusiast, Kart 2 Kart offers junior karts for drivers younger than 16, or two-seaters for kids 5 and older to ride as a passenger with an adult driver. Leagues compete in a point series over several weeks, and teams of two to four drivers may compete in Kart 2 Kart’s monthly two-hour endurance races.
45799 Grand River Ave.
Novi, MI 48374
Price: $7 per race/$1 for child passenger shorter than 56 inches/$3.50 per race kids ages 3 to 8
Hours: Wed and Thurs – 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Fri – 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sat – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sun – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The quarter-mile outdoor go-kart track at Paradise Park is constructed to maximize the excitement for drivers of any skill level. Banked curves, five elevated hairpin turns and a straightaway are constructed of seven-inch fiberglass reinforced concrete for safety and low sound. The karts themselves feature hi-torque, 6.55-horsepower Honda gas racing engines. A separate kiddie track with electric karts lets kids ages 4 to 8 experience the excitement of kart racing while keeping them safe and sound. Paradise Park also offers a variety of fun family activities, including mini golf, an arcade, laser tag, soccer cages, a trampoline and a rock-climbing wall.
153 E. Tienken Rd.
Rochester Hills, MI 48306
Price: $15 per 10-minute race/$10 per 10-minute race kids younger than 14
Hours: Tues to Fri – 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., Sat – 12 p.m. to 11 p.m., Sun – 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
With an eight-turn track and average lap time of 20 seconds, you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck at Race Rochester’s indoor go kart course. The rally karts feature a nine-horsepower gas engine, hydraulic brakes and a gear-driven transmission. Naskarts and double seaters are available for younger drivers, or parents, and small children, featuring a governed nine-horsepower engine and single-wheel drive. Both karts include a four-point safety harness and roll bar. Race Rochester also offers a Saturday morning Rally Kart class, teaching drivers not only kart controls, construction and safety, but also driving techniques, race rules and tips to improve track time.
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Jennifer Walker is a freelance writer living in Detroit. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.