Burke Lakefront Airport was opened in 1947 as a secondary airport for the Ohio city. Overlooking Lake Erie, the facility is busy throughout the year but is closed three times each summer to host an Air Show, the Grand Prix of Cleveland and the National Rib Burn-off.
The race takes place on the nearest weekend to July 4 Independence Day on a 2.1-mile temporary track laid out on the runways and taxiways of the airport. This is very bumpy but always provides an exciting race as drivers can run three or four abreast as they race down to the corners. The first event was in 1982 and the racing was originally promoted by Chuck Newcomb but it proved difficult to make it a financial success and in 1985 Roger Penske took over the promotion of the event - Cleveland being his home town. In recent years it has been run by the International Management Group. In 2003 the race was due to be held under floodlights - the first CART event to be run in such conditions.