IRL fans feel the need for speed.

Car Talk 

IRL fans feel the need for speed.

FRI 7/1

Unlike football fans (who can throw a few spirals in the parking lot) and baseball fans (who have dugouts to swarm), racing fans have little opportunity to emulate their heroes or watch them up close. So Friday's IndyCar Fanfest in Westport is a perfect opportunity for racing enthusiasts to fulfill their fuel-soaked fantasies. Starting at 3 p.m., the Fanfest provides several interactive games, including a virtual race simulator (with jumbo TVs and running commentary by an announcer) and the Pit Stop Challenge (which tests fans' skills at changing tires and refueling a real Indy car with actual pit-stop equipment). Gearheads can check out race-worthy cars and trucks and get drivers' autographs, and pint-size fans get a piece of the action with an inflatable pit-stop challenge, a chance to design their own cars and a kiddie track for pedaling mini cars. And because it's Westport, there's an entertainment stage and a beverage tent. The event is free. Call 816-474-4652 for details. -- Christopher Sebela

Outlaw and Order

7/1-7/2

The life of an outlaw doesn't leave much time for pursuits like history-based bike tours, but we're betting that Kearney-born bad boy Jesse James would appreciate the effort put into the Long Riders Century. This two-day ride starts Friday in St. Joseph with a pancake breakfast at James' home (and the site of his death) before a day of hard and hilly biking. The path takes travelers along the same roads once used by the James Gang, but organizers are hoping to make it to Saturday night without any arrests. The $95 fee includes overnight accommodations and a catered banquet in Weston. Call 785-842-5273 or see www.borderraiders.com. -- Rebecca Braverman

Royal Treatment

FRI 7/1

Contrary to popular opinion, bottle-rocket wars are not fun. And by "not fun," we mean "terrifying." Luckily, the little punks who invented this activity haven't entirely ruined the Fourth of July. A fireworks display follows the Royals' 7:10 p.m. game Friday against the Los Angeles Angels at Kauffman Stadium (Interstate 70 and Blue Ridge Cutoff, 816-504-4040), and wimps like us can watch worry-free from the safety of our $7 seats. Worry-free, that is, as long as foul balls don't come anywhere near us. -- Annie Fischer

Tee Party

MON 7/4

Unattached golfers looking to, um, score, may want to hit the links Monday at Falcon Lanes Golf Course (4605 Clubhouse Drive in Basehor) when the American Singles Golf Association celebrates Independence Day with food and, of course, fireworks. Games start at 2 p.m. Call 816-228-1059. -- Braverman

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