Ozarks International Raceway Opens Course to NASA

The brand-new Ozarks International Raceway opens its road course to the NASA Central region this weekend. They will be hosting a track day at the 3.87-mile circuit in Gravois Mills, Missouri, on Saturday, November 6.

“We began construction of the facility two years ago, but due to minor interruptions due to supply chain issues, we are opening this weekend,” said manager James Pesek. “We’ve poured concrete in existing turkey barns to create 50 garages. The buildings meet to have a large garage bay in the center where tech inspection will take place.”

The track itself measures 36′ wide, expanding to 44′ in the corners. It has 73 pit boxes that are 25′ wide. They constructed grandstands at key vantage points along the course. The facility boasts of an extensive camping and RV area.

Pesek’s father, J.R. Pesek, owns Ozarks International Raceway. The family first ventured into racing five years ago.

‘We went to Ford Performance Racing School, and then started racing in the NASA Central region, then SRO America, and then IMSA with our Ford Mustang GT4,” Pesek said. “Then, we decided to jump all in, building a racetrack.”

The Peseks consulted with other racers to help create the course.

“We talked to many IMSA and SRO drivers ,” said Pesek. “[Among those drivers included] Canadian champion Scott Maxwell and Chad McCumbee, who is experienced in several genres of racing, including NASCAR trucks. We consulted engineer Jay O’Connell, who helped us with a lot of the elevation challenges. We wanted not too much rollover for GT3 cars, with curves not overly aggressive.”

After extensive research, they developed a road course with 19 turns and no straightaways, eliminating the need for drafting to pass.

“The track is made so drivers set up their passes,” Pesek said. “It’s very fast and committing, with a lot of elevation changes. The total elevation changes on the course are 1,600′, making it fun and challenging.”

They limited this weekend’s NASA Central event to 50 entries.

“We want drivers to try the track, and we want to hear their feedback,” said Pesek.

Ozarks International Raceway looks forward to a big weekend on May 20–22, 2022. SRO America comes into town then as the track’s first professional motorsports event on the road course.

Mike Adaskaveg

This year marks the Rock the Curb Director of Photography’s 51st year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg has been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.