I truly wish I could be opening this Competition Corner with talks of sunshine, salt-free roads, and green grass. But alas, dear friends, Mother Nature continues using her sharp claws to burst every bubble of warm-weather hope we have. However, there is some light at the end of this hella-long tunnel! While February brings frigid temperatures, short days, and crappy drugstore chocolate, it also arrives bearing the gift of auto events. From the Chicago Auto Show to the 57th Annual Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari to the kick-off of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, there’s plenty of enthusiast-geared events to stave off the winter freeze.
Chicago Auto Show
The people of Illinois can tell you a thing or two about cold weather. And with an average winter temperature hovering around 30°F, we sure are glad the state’s premier auto exposition is an indoor event.
The Chicago Auto Show runs February 9 – 18 at McCormick Place, the largest convention center in North America. A fitting location, since this is the nation’s largest and longest-running auto show. With over 1 million square feet of exhibition space, nearly 1,000 different vehicles on display, and a hoard of exhibits, accessories, concepts, and new technologies, there is no shortage of sights to see.
This is the 111th year for the Chicago Auto Show and, as always, it promises to wow. Find tickets and additional information here.
Philadelphia Auto Show
The coldest recorded temperature in the Keystone State was clocked at an absolutely bone-chilling -42°F. Which just goes to show that while the Midwest gets pretty cold, Pennsylvania can be a tricky little minx herself. With such depressing weather stats, we’re glad Philadelphia can help warm our hearts this season with its own massive indoor auto show.
Replete with hundreds of vehicles from the world’s leading manufacturers, live musical performances, celebrity meet-and-greets, there’s 700,000 sq ft of entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. The 118th Philadelphia Auto Show runs from February 2 – 10 at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Show up a day early and enjoy a preview gala—the Black Tie Tailgate. With custom culinary creations and a top-shelf open bar, this is the way exotic and classic cars were meant to be seen! All proceeds from the preview benefit the Department of Nursing at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Click here for tickets and event info.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
It’s safe to assume we’ll all be getting the bug for warmer weather by the time NASCAR returns in February. Luckily if you book those flights to Daytona now you can snag a killer deal!
The 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series kicks off February 10th at the Daytona International Speedway with the invitation-only Advance Auto Parts Clash. Then on Valentine’s Day, the Can-Am Duel qualifying races take place, leading up to the 61st running of the Daytona 500 on February 17th.
Even if you can’t jet down to sunny Florida, just watching the race will remind us of blue skies and sunshine. Click here for broadcasting and ticket information. And check out the video above to relive last year’s Daytona 500.
26th Annual Winter Extravaganza Auto Swap Meet
If you’re committed to soakin’ up that sunshine for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, head down to Florida a few days early and check out the Sumter Swap Meet’s Winter Extravaganza in Bushnell, Florida. Roughly two hours west of Daytona, the Sumter County Fairgrounds are home to this family-friendly event filled with over 1400 vendor spaces offering cars, tools, antiques, memorabilia, and more. With daily door prizes, a car show, and plenty of food, this is a great way to kick off those feelings of spring. Click here for more information.
Why not just stay in the appropriately named Sunshine State? Jet on down to the Tampa area and hit the Winter AutoFest, powered by Carlisle Events. Running February 22 – 24, this automotive-themed weekend offers fun for gearheads of all ages.
From a two-day collector car auction and a free car cruise-in, to hundreds of Mustangs and Corvettes courtesy of local clubs, plus food, art, entertainment, and even helicopter rides, you can’t afford to miss this event. Just call your boss and tell him you’ll need the whole month of February off. He’ll totally understand.
4th Table Mesa Jeep Jamboree
Arizona can see its own dynamic weather patterns, believe it or not—the record low is a shocking -40°F, go figure. But Jeep enthusiasts itching for some off-road antics will only see this as one more obstacle to conquer. This newest Jamboree event, taking place just north of Phoenix, offers over 11,000 breathtaking acres of Arizona’s high desert, with elevation ranging from 1800 to 2600 feet.
In addition to the desert views, participants will see interesting wildlife and remnants of Arizona’s rich mining history. From old mine shafts and ghost towns to large boulders and rocky ledges, Jeepers will get a true off-road treat on this trip.
The Jamboree runs from February 28 – March 2. To learn more about registration information and vehicle requirements, click here.
57th Annual Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari
If you find yourself a little further west than Arizona, check out the largest and longest-running off-road event in SoCal—the Annual Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari. Entering its 57th year, this event offers some of California’s finest wheeling along with great vendors, a raffle with over $150K in prizes, and a whole lotta friendly Jeepers.
Running March 1 – 3, all proceeds assist in fighting California land and trail closures as well as helping worthy charities. Click here for registration and event information.
2019 Ultra4 Western Series
Brought to you by the same guys who host King of the Hammers (KOH), the Ultra4 Racing Western Series features many of the same types of vehicles and challenges of the renowned hardcore off-road event, just a bit more laid back. That doesn’t mean you won’t be wowed by racers pushing their vehicles against the borders of destruction, though. (Just check out the video below for a taste of what happens at these events.)
Ultra4 Racing is switching things up this year and kicking off the 2019 race season in Rancho Cordova, California. Running March 22 – 23, this event will be the first regional race of the season and the kick-off of the 3-part Western Series.
Over 100 drivers are expected to take part and the course will consist of a 2-mile lap, all of which is completely visible to spectators. The top 10 finishers who haven’t already qualified for KOH 2020 will do so at this event. So come out and see what makes these events so exciting and unique!
Denver Auto Show
For those of you too far west to make the auto shows in Philly or Chicago, the Denver Auto Show will run March 27- 31 at the Colorado Convention Center. Showcasing all the newest models of import and domestic vehicles, visitors will see the latest and greatest in fuel-efficient technologies and aftermarket accessories. Use it as an opportunity to brush up on where the industry is heading or just go and kick some tires—there’s plenty of entertainment for all.
Don’t miss Dream Street, featuring some of the world’s most expensive vehicles or the Race Car Pit Stop, which lets you experience a special up-close look at sports cars from every level of racing, compliments of the Colorado Region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). Click here for ticket information.
Goodguys 36th All American Get-Together
Bringing us into the spring season is the Annual Goodguys All American Get-Together held March 30 – 31 at the Almeda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, California. The event features over 3,000 American-made or powered hot rods, customs, classics, muscle cars, and trucks from all years, as well as an indoor car show, “AutoCross Shootout,” Nitro Thunderfest Dragster Exhibition, and plenty of music, food, and fun for all ages. Click here for ticket and event information.
We’ve given you plenty of time to check out these events, snag some tickets, and secure a cool spot to stay with the fam. Make sure to let us know where you landed, take lots of pics, and share your experiences with us in the comments section below!