Were you aware that Hendricks County plays host to an event that is considered the Super Bowl of its sport? The arrival of August signals that we are just a few weeks away from Hendricks County’s biggest visitor event and the biggest weekend for the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) each year. If you aren't familiar with the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, it truly is one of those bucket-list things you must do even if you aren't a racing fan.Mac Tools U.S. Nationals But beware, one visit and you may just become hooked as one of our All Access Hendricks County bloggers found out last year. You can read her experience here. U.S. Nationals will once again roar into Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg. And when I say roar, I do mean roar with legendary names like Force, Schumacher, Bernstein and more. This year’s event is Aug. 28-Sept. 2, and just by reading this blog post you can get a special discounted ticket by clicking on this link and choosing the day or days you would like to attend. With all of that said, here's our list of Top 10 insider tips for a visit to U.S. Nationals.
  • Give it a try — As I said before, even if you don’t like racing it is something you should try once and with the special deal we’ve worked out above, there is no better time than now. I was amazed by how it tickles all the senses including smell with nitro fuels wafting through the air and feel as a shockwave of sound and vibration flows over the crowd as these machines go from 0 to 300 mph in seconds!
  • Bring your sharpies — Every ticket to U. S. Nationals doubles as a pit pass providing unequaled access to the drivers and their teams compared to any other major professional auto racing event. Be sure to buy a special souvenir hat or photo and get autographs from your favorite drivers. Some people even walk away with actual tires and other gear that the race teams sometimes give away. The Schumacher Racing Team makes a couple "minor" adjustments to their Top Fuel Car.
  • Smell the Nitro — That access also allows you to see the teams work on these impressive machines between their blasts down the track. The pure excitement on my then 4-year-old’s face when one of the race cars was towed right past him was priceless!
  • Bring your family — Over the years, this event has become as family friendly as they come. In addition to the unlimited access, children also love Nitro Alley on the east side of the drag strip in front of the professional pit area. Nitro Alley includes games, displays, race gear and other interactive experiences that every member of the family will enjoy. Kids 12 and under can even get in for free!
  • Pack accordingly — Earplugs are a must for every member of the family. The souvenir shops sell them at the track if you come unprepared. You might even want to bring full, ear-muff protection for the youngsters. Don't forget to wear comfortable shoes and bring sunscreen, hats and other protection from the sun.
  • What about coolers? — They are permitted though they can’t be any larger than 14X14X14. But don’t let that preclude you from trying food from vendors at the track. Be sure to check out the ‘Nitro Hog’ and their special style of barbecue cooked in an old Top Fuel dragster.
  • What you can’t bring — Glass bottles of any kind and alcohol are not permitted. John Force Racing fans get a peek inside the legendary driver/owner's Midwest headquarters during the annual summer car show Aug. 25.
  • Visit local race shops — It is worth the trip to come a little early to see all the race shops, located within a short drive of the track along Northfield Drive and Southpoint Circle in Brownsburg. Don Schumacher Racing will even host an open house on Aug. 30. John Force's annual summer car show and open house has been cancelled this year, however.

  • Attend church services — Racers for Christ offers non-denominational church services scheduled for 7:15 and 8 a.m. Sept. 1. This service is free at the track and is usually held in one of the team tents and hosted by the racers. The public is welcome to attend.
  • Be social — Follow @HendricksCounty, @LucasOilRaceway and #NHRA on Twitter to get up-to-the-minute updates on all the happenings at the track throughout the six-day event.