A Little Bit of Heaven

By Susan Phillips

Earlier in the year George asked me where I wanted to go for a summer vacation. Being a beach girl, I began looking at beach vacations. The thought of ocean sunsets and walks on the beach was very appealing to me. Maybe I’ve been in a pensive mood and want to reflect on where I have been in the last year and where I am going in the future—and naturally being selective about places that give me strength and peace. Road America is one such place for me. It’s a place where I’d like to lie in the grass and look up at the clear, blue sky, and relax. Road America always comes in the IndyCar schedule just when I need it. We always had post-Indy 500 blues, but now that we have decided to make Road America part of our annual race schedule, it cuts some of the blues and gives us something very special to look forward to.

There are places in your life where you have an instant connection—Road America is that place for me. Road America was made for fans to enjoy–there is something for everyone. I have never camped, but it appears that the camping areas are run well and have a lot of the conveniences that you look for in a home-away-from-home. If I were to ever camp here, it would be in one of those giant motor coaches. I did enjoy seeing all the dogs that came to the events here at Road America. It makes me miss our pups back home, but it would probably be bad of we brought our dogs—Pippa would be trying to run away from everyone and Maley would be jumping into camp fires hoping to grab a morsel of food. It is very family-friendly as well.

The concession stands are outrageously good and the prices are reasonable. There’s pretty much any kind of food you would want to eat on the grounds of Road America. The surrounding areas have all kinds of restaurants. We regularly go to Schmitty’s Oar House Bar and Grill—Fond du Lac (I highly recommend the Crab Rangoon Egg Rolls for an appetizer), Majerle’s Black River Grill—Sheboygan (for the Friday night fish fry), and P.J. Campbells at the Depot—Plymouth (great food with a German flair). Tonight I have no idea where we are going to eat—maybe Trepanier’s Bar and Grill. We are open to suggestions! Sadly, my days of fish fry’s are over, but I had the best grilled Walleye at P.J. Campbells last night.

Road America has the most reasonably-priced gift shop that I have ever seen at a track. When we first started coming to Road America, they had the usual gift shop merchandise, but they have expanded their brand and include a lot of gift items. It’s a great place to do some Father’s Day Shopping.

As for me, the beach may have to wait another year. After this past year is in the books, so to speak, I feel better than I have for months. The timing of Road America couldn’t be better—just a couple of weeks after my last radiation treatment. A lot of cancer survivors go into a mode of “I should be doing things to fight off the cancer” or “Is my cancer growing since I am not doing any treatment?” and I have to admit is freaks me out. But coming to this beautiful place has given me some much-needed peace—that everything is going to be OK. This must be what heaven feels like.


grosjean sign


magnusen 2

magnuson car

palou auto


purple cars

rahal auto




5 Responses to “A Little Bit of Heaven”

  1. Maurice Kessler Says:

    Having never been to Road America, you & Mr. Phillips have painted an image of a great weekend of good racing, good food, & good times. One area you have not commented on is lodging. Is that an issue, or are there ample choices in the area. How far in advance,if any, do you have to make reservations?

    • Nearby lodging is hit or miss. The last two years, we have stayed in Elkhart Lake, but only because Susan has points that are eligible at one of the resorts. In previous years, we have stayed in either Fond Du Lac or Sheboygan. They both have plenty of accommodations and are fairly reasonably priced. I hear there are a lot of good Airbnbs in the area. – GP

  2. Talón de Brea Says:

    Thanks for letting us “join” you two on your race weekend. Glad you got to go to a place you really like. The photos that you post always seem to show that you’re the “people person” in the family, illustrating the drivers, the spectators and their reactions to and interactions with each other.

    I know it would change the “couple’s weekend” dynamic on your race weekends together, but you two might consider conducting small race weekend tour groups at those tracks where you know the ropes well … I know I would pay. As it is, we appreciate the virtual tour.

  3. Carburetor Says:

    Susan–thank you for your insights and post plus your terrific photographs. Truly, you are an inspiration for others.

  4. I am so happy you are enjoying your stay in Wisconsin. Thanks for all your photos. I plan to return there someday and explore the whole track since I only made it on race day in 2017. So much more to see. I also appreciate the restaurant recommendations.

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