Family fun at Raceway Park

3790 Highway 93

Family night at Montana Raceway Park.

Family night at Montana Raceway Park.

When you’re the dad of a 3-year-old boy, you know all about Lighting McQueen, Mater, Doc and Sally. These characters have filled my life the last few years through Pixar’s animated movie “Cars.” When I heard that Raceway Park just south of Whitefish was hosting a kids night, I instantly know where we would be Saturday evening.

We’re a pretty classic Whitefish family with weekends often spent hiking, camping, gardening, running or mountain biking, but the allure of bringing these Disney characters to life on a warm, summer night was just what this weekend needed.

The fun began as soon as we parked in the grass lot and heard the roar of engines. Racers were putting in time-trial laps before the major event.

Since it was kids night, my son was free and my ticket was $10, an absolute deal for hours of raw entertainment.

Walking behind the grandstands past concessions of hot dogs, French fries, burgers, pizza and a beer selection that would make The Northern jealous, I knew were were in for a fun night.

My son, usually a sucker for a hot dog, was on a mission to see the race cars. His dreams came true the moment we laid eyes on the short track of the local raceway.

Right as we stepped up to the fence a race car sped past, pushing for a qualifying time. We found a perfect spot on the south end of the grandstand, put in earplugs and started cheering for unknown racers.

We picked cars we liked based on color schemes, logos, sponsors and numbers. Some races our car won, some races they smashed into a wall or spewed oil all over the track. These minor disasters caused wreckers, fire trucks and ambulances with flashing lights to rush to the scene, only adding to the excitement for my 3-year-old rapt with attention and cheering for more.

The racing was fun, the action was consistent and the crowd was incredible. The stands were packed with kids and adults of all ages enjoying a summer night at the racetrack. I can guarantee it won’t be the last weekend evening we spend at Raceway Park this summer.

Raceway Park is located at 3790 Highway 93 between Whitefish and Kalispell. For more information, visit or call 406-257-RACE.

Raceway Park 2015 schedule:

May 30: Super Late Models 125, Bombers, Hornets

June 6: Super Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Legends, Bando’s (Kid’s Night, 10 & under get in free)

June 13: Super Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Bombers, Hornets

June 20: Super Late Models 125, Bombers, Hornets, Bando’s

June 27: Legend Thunder (Legends), Super Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Baby Grands, Mini-Cup

July 3 & 4: Straight Up Racing Grand Monster Truck Show (2 nights) with Fireworks Display

July 11: Super Stock 75, Bombers, Legends, Hornets, Bando’s

July 16-18: Super Late Models, 25th Anniversary of the Montana 200

July 25: Bombers, Hornets, Legends, Bando’s (Fan Appreciation Nite, Fans get in FREE!)

Aug. 1: Hobby Stock 50, Super Stocks, Legends, Hornets

Aug. 8: Super Late Models 125, Bombers, Legends, Bando’s

Aug. 15: Hornet 30, Legends, Bando’s (Kid’s Night, 10 & under get in free)

Aug. 22: Super Stock 100, Hobby Stocks, Bombers, Bando’sv Aug 29: Super Late Models 125, Bombers 50, Legends, Hornetsv Sept 5: Super Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Legends, Bando’sv Sep 12: Super Late Models 125, Bombers, Hornets

Sept. 19: Super Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Legends, Hornets, Bando’s