The best venues to watch NASCAR action vary by seating, sight, sound, and in some cases, history. A NASCAR enthusiast’s preference is going to be as subjective as anybody’s when it comes to watching rubber burn. Wherever the race happens, one thing is certain: fast cars are going to punch it to the finish line.
Give or take, these are the five best tracks to take in a NASCAR race. There is no such thing as a lackluster NASCAR track. It’s more than worth it to power down the HD television and buy a ticket to watch the events play out live. Whether the trip to the speedway is made by carpool, in your Jeep Grand Cherokee, Greyhound shuttle or power scooter, the effort made will only serve the notion that there is nothing quite like NASCAR! Starting with fifth place:
Dover is the home of the Monster Mile, a track with a serious make-or-break factor for new and experienced drivers alike. Its similarity to Bristol Motor Speedway is a bonus, but some NASCAR fans give Dover the nod for the countless times the line between cautious and reckless has been compromised on its concrete, one-mile oval track. One last yet spectacular tidbit: above the Dover track floats the Monster Bridge, where NASCAR nuts can take in the race from above!
With its Coliseum-esque design and the capacity to sit 160,000 people, Bristol Motor Speedway is where many thousands of fans congregate to watch Thunder Valley, the official nickname for a half-mile track race considered the fastest of NASCAR events today. The race takes place after nightfall in October or November and is the hottest ticket on the NASCAR circuit.
Logistically and aesthetically, Indianapolis Motor Speedway is not quite on par with other tracks — and it doesn’t matter to most if not all race drivers. Indianapolis is a classic venue that is held near and dear on historic merit alone. Most drivers would love to have a ghost of an opportunity to win the Brickyard 400 trophy.
Daytona International Speedway is synonymous with car racing. A large venue that is home to the world-famous Daytona 500, it seats 147,000 and sports a 2.5 mile-long, tri-oval racetrack. Race records for the 400 Mile and 500 Mile Sprint Cup races were set here in 1980. Car racing great Mark Martin set a record in the 2006 Truck Series Race. For a true fan experience, Daytona Speedway allows a number of ticket-holders to stand in close proximity to the NASCAR garage and get a closer view of the action. Daytona International Speedway also has its own museum, where the Daytona 500 winner’s car gets an exhibit. On a sad note, Daytona is also where Dale Earnhardt, Sr.’s career came to a tragic end in 2001.
It’s really a toss-up between Daytona, Bristol and Talladega, and many will vouch one or two of three as the absolute best. For now, Talladega wins on the strength of sentiment. Over four decades old, Alabama’s 2.67-mile-long Talladega Superspeedway track is where legendary NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt, Sr. won 10 trophies. Talladega seats a little over 143,000 rabid fans. Several race records were set at Talladega, including two in Spring 1997, for the Sprint Cup Race and the Nationwide Race. Talladega is also where another racer, Bill Martin, completed a speed lap was clocked at 212 MPH. Now that’s fast!