Sonoma Raceway will host a one-of-a-kind endurance race for $500 cars when the 24 Hours of LeMons returns to the wine country on March 23-25.

If you’re expecting throaty stock cars or high-performance open-wheel machines, forget it. This endurance road-racing series, which will host 20 events coast-to-coast in 2013, was founded on a particularly questionable concept: all cars must be bought and prepared for no more than $500.

“America is the land of opportunity — all you need is one bad idea,” quipped Jay Lamm, a Bay Area resident and series founder.

While all this foolishness is primarily done in the name of fun, it’s also done in the name of charity, as a portion of the proceeds benefit Speedway Children’s Charities, the charitable arm of Sonoma Raceway.

You will see Cadillacs and Celicas battle to lap a Toyota sporting a mural of David Hasselhoff, and all 170+ entries have been purchased and prepared for $500 or less. Overaggressive pilots are often taped to the roof of their car, given a bullhorn, and driven around the paddock while they apologize for their bad driving. The winners receive cash prizes--in sacks of nickels.

Spectator tickets are $20 per day or $30 for a weekend pass--all tickets can be purchased at the gate. Kids under 16 admitted FREE. The weekend will feature racing from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, and 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. on Monday.  For more information on this wild and wacky series, visit