The 27th annual Xtream Rock Island Grand Prix, the world’s largest karting street race, takes place September 1-4 featuring 18 racing classes. Admission is free and racing is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The schedule calls for morning practice and afternoon qualifying heat races on Saturday, with practice, opening ceremonies and 18 feature races on Sunday. Joining the historic King of the Streets open shifter race, one of the most iconic races in karting, will be the King of the Rock races for 100cc engines and for the Briggs & Stratton 206cc engine. Vintage karts from prior to 1985 are featured again this year.
Major improvements are underway in Rock Island with the construction of a new federal courthouse and YWCA and on-street parking is limited due to the racecourse. Fans can park either in the city parking garage or the Modern Woodmen parking lot on the south side of First Avenue across from Schwiebert Park. Another option is parking in the neighborhoods south of Fifth Avenue and entering the race area on 19th Street by the Rock Island Library.
Last year the Grand Prix added the team of Jay Kidwell, sports director at WHBF-TV, and long-time karting announcer Dave MacIntyre to bring more excitement and energy to the race. The double-team effort was seen as one of the biggest improvements in the event. The entire downtown will be wired for sound and race fans can expect more information, more explanations, great interviews and lively banter from the team. Crews will be busy setting up the track on Friday and moving race teams into the pits with practices starting Saturday at 8 a.m.
For the first time in Grand Prix history, exhibition races will be held both Saturday and Sunday featuring electric powered karts with 20kw motors created by Best Hybrid Batteries in Shorewood, IL. “These should be fast and interesting events for both racers and spectators as electric powered racing could be part of the future of the sport,” said Roger Ruthhart, Grand Prix president.
Earlier this year, the Xtream Rock Island Grand Prix announced a new team racing event where drivers from the same track can collect teams points even if they are racing in different classes. There are no additional entry fees and few rules, just the chance to win glory and bragging rights as the 2022 Xtream Rock Island Grand Prix Track Team of The Year. The winner will receive a large banner to display at their home track or club.
When drivers register for the Grand Prix, they are asked to designate their home track or club. A track must have a minimum of four registered drivers to participate. Points will then be assigned for these declared drivers for finishing position in feature races in the classes they have entered. At the end, points are totaled and divided by the number of race entries from that club to get an average finishing position. The club with the lowest average finishing position wins and takes home the banner. The number of racers on teams might vary, but competition is balanced by finding an average.
This year’s Trackside Bash features Wolfskill, The Resistors, DJ Tom Cox, B and D Acoustic, John Born Duo and Midnight Blue Country Band. Admission for music fans is just $15 or $10 for racers and fans with pit passes on their wrists. A weekend pass for all 3 nights is $40. Fans can also donate a dog or cat toy or food for the QC Paws Animal Shelter and receive $5 off the regular day pass.
The Quad City Storm professional hockey team will be on hand to encourage fans to Shoot the Puck street hockey fun in the center of the course and invite them to learn more about the team, its schedule and ticket information. They can meet Radar, the team mascot.
61 Kartway, the local kart track in Delmar, Iowa, will have a booth where the public can see racing karts up close, get questions answered about kart racing and learn about how both adults and kids can get involved in kart racing locally.
The Bradley University Society of Automotive Engineers will have their race cars on display in front of WHBF-TV on 18th Street and will be happy to talk about their program and careers in motorsports for men and women.
Xtream Rock Island Grand Prix 2021 race weekend schedule
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
6-11 p.m. The Trackside Bash: Downtown Rock Island. Wolfskill and The Resistors. Admission $15, $10 with pet toy or food. Food and drink vendors.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2
2-9 p.m.: Competitor sign-in at Holiday Inn, Rock Island.
8-5 p.m.: All teams arriving before 5 p.m. should stage at the parking lot at Bally’s Casino & Hotel, Rock Island. From there follow directions for pitting.
5 p.m.: Streets close in The District of Rock Island.
5 p.m. to next morning: Track construction
6-11 p.m.: Pits open.
6-11 p.m.: The Trackside Bash: Downtown Rock Island. DJ Tom Cox and B and D Acoustic. Admission $15, $10 with pet toy, pet food or pit pass wrist bands. Food and drink vendors.
6 p.m.: Circa 21 Dinner Theatre, “Disaster.”
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3
7 a.m.: Pits open.
6:30-8 a.m.: Driver sign-in at Holiday Inn, Rock Island.
7 a.m.: Mandatory Driver’s Meeting in front of the Argus Building, 1724 Fourth Avenue, by the Pre-Grid.
8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Practice rounds. Six-minute sessions.
10 a.m.: Grand Prix Marketplace vendors open. QC Storm Shoot the Puck and Bradley SAE race team both days and 61 Kartway.
12:45-5 p.m.: Qualifying and Heat races.
5:45 p.m.: Track closes at conclusion of racing.
6-11 p.m. The Trackside Bash: Downtown Rock Island. John Born Duo and Midnight Blue Country Band. Admission $15, $10 with pet toy, pet food or pit pass wrist bands.
Food and drink vendors.
6 p.m.: Circa 21 Dinner Theatre, “Disaster”
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4
8:30 a.m.: Final practice rounds begins.
10 a.m.: Grand Prix Marketplace vendors open featuring QC Storm Shoot the Puck, Bradley SAE race team, 61 Kartway.
10:30 a.m.: Opening Ceremonies.
11 a.m.: Kid’s Autograph Session. Start/Finish line. Featuring QC Storm mascot.
11:15 a.m.-5:30 p.m.: 18 feature races.
6 p.m.: Track deconstruction begins
6 p.m.: Circa 21 Dinner Theatre, “Disaster”.
7 p.m.: Awards Ceremony, Holiday Inn, Rock Island
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 5
9:30 a.m.: Annual Rock Island Labor Day Parade. 18th Avenue and 24th Street.
Note: All times tentative and subject to change.