Thunderon the


Thunder on the Chain!

Welcome to the unique world of Blarney Island Drag Boat Racing. Now entering its 36th season, Blarney Island on Grass Lake (Antioch, IL) is the only location in the world where high performance drag boat racing takes place every Thursday Evening, from Memorial Day to Labor Day. This is bare-knuckles, heads-up, ‘race-what-you-brung’ drag racing. The racecourse length is approximately 800 feet and it is located on an open lake. The notoriously choppy waters have given Blarney Island racers a reputation for being both fast and fearless.

Want to watch the Races?

Blarney Island's "front row seat" to the race course *Blarney Island pier parking* is reserved, or pay per race spots. The pit area is race boat parking ONLY! These are reserved from 5:30 to 7:30 (or race ending). Once the races are over, all slips are once again open to FREE parking.

Seasonal Race Night Slips

Blarney Island offers you the chance to reserve your preferred slip every night of the race season. Click HERE for more information and to request your seasonal slip.

Thursday night races boat parking 5:30 - 7:30

Race Night Free Parking

There is also an expanded section of FREE parking on Blarney Island during race nights, now including the brat bar row. Please view the parking map above for FREE vs. RESERVED vs RACER ONLY parking.

All Thursday night racing is run by the Northern Illinois Drag Boat Association


All race participants are members of the Northern Illinois Drag boat Association (NIDBA), the race event sanctioning organization, which manages the weekly race events. Blarney Island Corporation is the sponsor and race promoter.

Want to Race on Thursday nights? The NIDBA is happy to be a resource in assisting you with becoming a member, learning the racing rules and other boating regulations. Please contact NIDBA if you have any questions or are interested in being a part of the NIDBA.

The NIDBA will try to accommodate most anyone willing to race. If your equipment has not been listed or you feel your equipment doesn't quite fit one of the classes listed here, feel free to contact the NIDBA. They will make arrangements to have your equipment inspected for safety and provide you with a class assignment.

Drive Race Class
Outboard Pro Sport
Outboard Lake Racer
Outboard Outlaw
Outboard Pro Gas
Inboard Lake Racer
Inboard Single Carb
Inboard Multi Carb
Inboard Open Class
Inboard Unlimited

Check out the Boats

that race on Thursday nights!

  • Single Carbs heading out 00:23

  • Blarney Racing 2:19

  • More racing action 3:25