Screaming, yelling of epitaphs and things totally awe-inspiring are just a glimpse of the atmosphere ever present in one or all of NASCAR’s top five race tracks.
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway will forever go down in history as the race track where one of NASCAR’s greats raced his final race; forever to be missed by all NASCAR fans. Dale Earnhardt crashed in the last lap of his race in the 2001 Daytona 500.
Daytona International Speedway is a 2.5 mile Super Speedway, located in Daytona Beach, FL. Not only is this NASCAR track ‘Home of the American Race – the Daytona 500,’ It also holds the largest amount of fans in motorsports.
This Super Speedway is a tri – oval; meaning, it is an oval in the shape of a triangle. It has an 18º banking on the start/finish line, a chute length of 1900 feet and a 3000 ft. backstretch. Everything about this track spells fast speeds and total exhilaration.
The Sonoma Raceway is a 1.99 mile Road Course; located in Sonoma, CA, and is a particular favorite among NASCAR fans who prefer the stimulation and anticipation that Road Course racing offers. A Road Course has straight stretches that allow for higher speeds, both left and right turns, and Short Course type areas where drivers must use slower speeds, but have the excitement of plenty of paint swapping going on, with drivers pushing the other guy out of the way.
In the old days this NASCAR track was known as Sears Point Raceway; that is, until 2002 when Infineon Technologies purchased the naming rights. There are 12 turns in this Raceway, and of particular interest are turns 2 and 3. These turns are ‘off – chamber’ turns, which means, the inside of the turn is higher than the outside. Now that’s a challenge.
In 1995 Dale Earnhardt won his first and only NASCAR Road Course race here at Sonoma Raceway.
Watkins Glen International
Watkins Glen International is a 2.45 mile Road Course track; located in Watkins Glen, NY. and just like Sonoma Raceway, offers everything NASCAR Road Course fans love in a good race. The track has 11 turns with a variability of banking in the turns ranging from 6 – 10 degrees.
In 2008 Kyle Busch became the first driver in the history of NASCAR to have 3 Road Course wins in one season.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a tri – oval 1.5 mile Intermediate track, located in Las Vegas, NV. For the NASCAR fans that love speed this track is sure to give it to them. The 20 degree turns get a bit hair – raising at times, and with the added bumps between turns 1 and 2 can really get a fans adrenalin pumping at times.
Bristol Motor Speedway
The Speedway is an oval shaped Short track, located in Bristol, TN. Many NASCAR fans love Short track racing because the race isn’t all about speed. Because drivers can’t use the excessive speeds that they do on Intermediate and Road Courses, fans will see a lot more ‘have at it boys’ and paint swapping.
On March 20, 2010, during the Saturday Night Showdown, which is a 35 lap race where retired drivers for charity, a horrifying accident occurred between Larry Pearson and Charlie Glotzbach.