I am a huge NASCAR fan and each season, I become glued to my very large HD-TV with surround sound. This is located in my garage at the back of the house and as far as the neighbors are concerned the race is taking place right outside our front doors. It sounds much like the drag races that take place about a mile away a few times a year, all neighbors are welcome to come and watch, have a cold beer and listen for the call “gentleman, start your engines”.
Here is a list of my picks for the top 5 NASCAR tracks.
1. Auto Club Speedway – My number one pick, like I said it’s right in my own backyard and I can see the race live. This two mile, low banked and D shaped track is located in Fontana, California. ACS has hosted this race each year since 1997 and is open to other racing events. Easy to get to by both the I10 and I15 but if you don’t drive or plan on drinking you can take the Metrolink which is right behind the backstretch. I remember going one year and taking the train with another couple, man we had a blast and no worries about drinking and driving.
2. Thunder Valley – Otherwise known as Bristol Motor Speedway. Rated number one by most fans, this 0.533 or half mile short track is considered the fastest in the world. Of all the tracks on the Nextel Cup schedule, there is one that has the steepest turns than any other and that is Thunder Valley With its turns at thirty-six degrees during banking . Tennessee is a great place to visit in the first place, I personally have family there, but if you are planning a visit in August and don’t mind paying a scalper a higher price, you may want to plan on attending the race this year.
Drivers that have won at this track include:
- Cale Yarborough
- Dale Earnhardt
- Richard Petty
- Darrell Waltrup
- and Rusty Wallace
3. Daytona International Speedway – located in Daytona Beach, Florida this track which is considered the most prestigious has hosted the Daytona 500 since the year 1959, (I was 2). This track hosts many other races and types of races which makes it a place you can enjoy more than once a year like other NASCAR tracks.
What is interesting is that the founder of NASCAR, William France Sr. built this track back in 1958. Intentionally design with banks that would endure higher speeds it would not only give a thrill to the driver of the car, but the fan as well with an amazing view of the cars.
4. Indianapolis Motor Speedway – located in Indiana this is the home of the first race I ever attended, the Indianapolis 500. This is the one and only original Speedway, constructed in 1909 this track could hold an enormous amount of fans, estimated at 257,325 this does not even include the infield which brings this number to 400,000. This is noted as the highest capacity sports venue in the world.
5. Talladega Superspeedway – located in Alabama on what was once the Anniston Air Force Base. Considered the longest oval track measuring in length at 2.66 miles this race can hold 175,000 spectators at one time. Currently this capacity has been reduced to 80,000 due to the demolition of the Allison Grandstand. I remember a movie called “Talladega Nights” a great tribute to auto racing. It cost a mere $4 million dollars to build this track which broke ground back in 1968 and opened in September of 1969. If you ever get the chance to see a race in person don’t miss out on the opportunity, there is nothing like it!