MPACT Motorsports Festival: Fresh Eyes at the Nation’s Gnarliest BMW Event

Photography: Sam Du

  • MPACT is a motorsports festival that takes place every year at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, a track famous for hosting more than 50 NASCAR races and its signature “Tricky Triangle” road course layout.
  • MPACT is a two-day event, but the main event takes place on Saturday and hosts a mix of roll racing, a car show/car meet, HPDE track driving, a burnout contest, drift ride-alongs, and a vendor showcase.
  • This year marked the 13th running of MPACT which attracted an insanely large crowd of BMW owners and performance car enthusiasts, along with more than 50 exhibiting vendors.

I’m a little embarrassed to say this, but I’m definitely the only team member of Pit+Paddock that has never attended MPACT. This is odd considering my affinity for BMWs stretches back to before I had even owned my first project car. 23 years ago in the year 2000, my brother started modifying his E46 323i sedan while I was still a carless high school student. I’d spend time with him scouring Max Power, European Car, and Performance BMW magazines looking for inspiration on what wheels, body kits, and suspension components he should get. A few years later, I ended up jumping into a Mk4 GTI, but my love for Bimmers continued thanks to my big bro. Fast forward another few years and all that Euro obsession paid off as I kicked off my journalism career as an editor for Eurotuner magazine. Aside from covering Volkswagen and Audis, BMW builds were at the top of the food chain, and I had the pleasure of attending five straight Bimmerfest shows. I even got my hands dirty helping build 330i and 135i project cars for the magazine. You could almost say…BMWs were “my thing”, which brings me back to my first point. I came to set that right this past weekend.


MPACT usually falls on the same weekend as Monterey Car Week, but this year, I decided it was time to take a sabbatical from strapping on my shiny brown shoes with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance crowd, and finally make the 3,000-mile journey to Pocono Raceway where I’d be comfortably dressed in my jeans and t-shirt while listening to the snap, crackle, and pop of turbocharged straight-six engines.


MPACT takes place at Pocono Raceway, and I’ve been there once before during one of our Drivers Project road trips. It’s a track rich with history dating back to the ‘60s. Then in 1972, Pocono hosted its first NASCAR, and the iconic “Tricky Triangle” was born. To accommodate the tens of thousands of fans that walk through the gates, you can imagine the place is a massive facility, so I second-guessed a BMW event being able to pack the place, especially given its two-hour proximity from New York and Philadelphia. But low and behold, MPACT proved me wrong, and they’ve been proving the naysayers (like me) wrong for years.

Before making the drive up from the Turn 14 Distribution office, I was brushing up on articles about MPACT from 2020 and 2021. I found it hard to grasp the size and environment until I finally pulled into the pits and began walking the countless rows of BMWs.

The first thing I gathered is that MPACT is one big-ass car meet at a racetrack. More than four massive lots are filled to the brim with cars, and not one of them is stock. At first glance, I was actually worried that I wouldn’t find many high-quality builds; however, I found myself snapping photos nearly every few steps. While there are only 70 photos here, there were easily a couple hundred cars that caught my attention from high horsepower sleepers to simple ‘n clean street builds rolling on legit wheels.


The next thing that piqued my interest was the number of vendors on hand: over 50! Not just quantity, but the quality of exhibitors was also on point with top performance brands such as Turn 14 Distribution, Akrapovic, CSF, BBS, Toyo Tires, IND, Liqui Moly, Ohlins, and Eventuri representing.

I was chatting with some sponsors, and they expressed how MPACT is great at taking care of their partners, making sure they have enough space and everything they need, and how they don’t break their promise to deliver a crowd of quality customers. The vendor showcase was popping and it was refreshing to see such a well-attended exhibitor area. I’ve been to plenty of shows where those areas can sometimes feel like a ghost town. 


The final element of MPACT that caught me off guard was roll racing. I’ve been to a few half-mile events in California, Arizona, and Texas, but man…MPACT was on a different level. Not only did they sell out of 100 spots fast, but the stands on both sides of the track were filled with people all day long as thousands watched 1/3-mile roll racing. There wasn’t even a structured competition, just an open format. Folks just wanted to see, hear, and experience the high horsepower and top speed of these vehicles. Maybe I’m jaded from the West Coast where I rarely see any type of straight-line racing anymore, but out here in the East, it’s what many enthusiasts still enjoy watching and what they aspire to mod their project cars for: engine power and top-end performance.


Before I packed up my camera and signed out from the Poconos, I couldn’t help but think how this event felt like Waterfest and Honda Day at Englishtown Raceway during their peak. MPACT has capitalized on a booming BMW community, and just like how Waterfest and Honda Day incorporated aspects like drag racing and autocross, it’s great to see MPACT incorporate roll racing, which has helped it stand out. It’s also something you don’t see at many large-scale events in the country aside from TX2K. MPACT lived up to the hype, and I’m looking forward to attending MPACT events for years to come. You just might just see me pop in at their first COTA event next year!