Kick-Off Summer 2021 at Dirt Oval 66 With Open Wheel Slam May 15

The outdoor family entertainment venue at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet re-opens with an adrenaline-fueled motorsport show that can't be missed

Dirt Oval 66

Get ready to wave that checkered flag this season at Dirt Oval 66 in Joliet, IL. The outdoor family entertainment venue is back open and kicking off its 2021 season on Saturday, May 15, with this year's first event, Open Wheel Slam, Tony Stewart's 410 Winged All-Star Sprints & Wingless Sprints. 

Dirt Oval 66, located at Route 66 Raceway, hosts a wide variety of live, outdoor events the entire family can enjoy.  Whether you make it an overnight camping event or a half-day excursion, guests can enjoy time together, indulge in great food, and experience action on the track. The premiere event on May 15 will be the Open Wheel Slam, where 410 Winged Sprint cars will be in action with the All-Star Circuit of Champions.

"We're very excited to be kicking off the 2021 season after being closed for the past year," says Sherri Heckenast, owner of Dirt Oval 66. "We've made a lot of changes to the venue to ensure the health and safety of our fans and performers. We are following Illinois state guidelines for COVID restrictions, and we are ready to entertain again and bring people together for outdoor family-friendly fun."

A former racecar driver, racing has always been a part of Sherri Heckenast's life. Growing up in a racing family, Sherri combined her passion for event planning and motorsports in creating Dirt Oval 66 to offer the ultimate form of entertainment in the Chicagoland area. The venue hosts a wide range of motorsports and family entertainment, including demolition derbies, Monster Truck rallies, car shows, music, and rodeos.

"Racing was always a part of my life growing up," says Heckenast. "What I really love is planning events and entertaining people. It was a natural fit for me to combine planning and racing to create a space where anyone, no matter what their interests or age, can come and have a guaranteed fun time."

As exciting as the adrenaline-fueled events are, guests come back time and again to Dirt Oval 66 because of the "fan-tastic" experience they have at the "Dirty O."  At each Dirt Oval event, guests are wowed by a variety of food stands, overnight camping accommodations, pre-event parties and tailgating, outdoor activities, and plenty of interactive options to keep you entertained no matter your age. Each event ends with a climactic firework show for the ultimate DO 66 fan finale.

The season begins on Saturday, May 15, with an Open Wheel Slam. Additional events for the 2021 Dirt Oval 66 season include:

Saturday, 5/15: Open Wheel Slam! Tony Stewart's All-Star Sprints

Friday, 5/28 - Saturday, 5/29: American Flat Track Racing - Chicago Half Mile

- Amateurs on Friday, Pros on Saturday!

Sunday, 5/30: Group Firme Concert

Saturday, 6/26: Team Demolition Derby: Tournament of Destruction

Saturday, 7/24: Team Demolition Derby: Five O @ Dirty O

Saturday, 7/31 - Sunday, 8/1: Monster Truck Mayhem

Saturday, 8/21: Dirty O Rodeo

Saturday, 9/25: Team Demolition Derby: Tournament of Destruction Final Round "Racin' for Boobs"

Saturday, 10/23: Eve of Haunted Destruction

For an updated list of events and information regarding each, including ticketing information, visit Dirt Oval 66 is located in the Chicagoland area at 3200 South Chicago Street, Joliet, IL 60433.

To ensure the health and safety of all guests and employees, Dirt Oval 66 is following federal and state guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic. Policies in place at the venue include (but are not limited to):

  • Check-in will be done with guests still in their vehicles to minimize contact with staff members.
  • Gates are opening earlier than previous years to prevent heavy crowds and gradually welcome guests.
  • Contactless ticketing, including event passes and parking, is available and encouraged.
  • Increased bathroom capabilities to reduce the number of people in small spaces.
  • Sanitation and handwash stations regularly throughout the facility.
  • Designated smoking sections.
  • New! Family sections where drinking is discouraged and family-friendly behavior is respectfully encouraged.
  • Food vendors have been transitioned to self-serve for contact-free and/or minimal contact service.
  • Increased hospitality ushers to navigate guests throughout the venue to prevent crowding.

According to the CDC, masks are recommended for anyone who is unvaccinated in an outdoor public event. For more information on safety protocols and recommendations on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus, please visit

Media Contact: Christine Rosko

Source: Dirt Oval 66