Sheboygan County Historical Research Center
History of the Elkhart Lake Road Races, 1950-1952

History of the Elkhart Lake Road Races, 1950-1952

By Peter Laun and the Elkhart Lake Historic Race Circuits Preservation Society.

After WWII, open road racing gained popularity all over the United States due to the influx of European sports cars purchased by American veterans who had experienced the thrill of road racing overseas. The driving force behind the growth of the sport in America and the main organizer of these races was The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). A Midwest course was deemed necessary for racers, and Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin was chosen as the site. In 1949 the Milwaukee chapter of the SCCA and the Chamber of Commerce of the Village of Elkhart Lake planned the first road race at Elkhart Lake, scheduled for July of 1950. These open road races lasted from 1950-1952, when they were deemed too dangerous for spectators and drivers.