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The 5 Best NASCAR Tracks You NEED To Visit

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Joshua Lipowski

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Every NASCAR track will provide an incredible experience, but a certain few stand out amongst the others. Certain NASCAR tracks have certain character to them that makes them must-see. Which NASCAR race tracks do you NEED to visit if you are a NASCAR fan?

5. Martinsville Speedway

Attending a race at Martinsville Speedway is similar to attending a baseball game at Fenway Park or Wrigley Field. Tucked into the Blue Ridge Mountains seemingly in the middle of nowhere South Virginia, the track just oozes history. It’s also not built like most modern race tracks are, but not in a bad way.

It’s not built on a flat landscape surrounded by paved parking lots and bulldozed dirt. The track just squeezes its way into this valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s a true blast from the past, and even the history of the place cannot be ignored. Also the $2 hot dogs are delicious.

When sitting in the grandstands, you can close your eyes and envision Lee Petty tearing it up with the strictly stock cars of the 1950s, Richard Petty with the land yachts of the 1960s and 1970s, Darrel Waltrip with the boxy 1980s cars, Jeff Gordon during NASCAR’s boom in the 1990s, and Jimmie Johnson during his dominance of the 2000s and 2010s. Now, it’s the home of the final race before the Championship Four, and that race is perennially one of the best races of the year.

Ross Chastain added to the legacy last year with his “Hail Melon” move on the last lap. It’s a rare spot where NASCAR’s past meets NASCAR’s present, and the two coexist in harmony. As someone who has been there four times, this is a great place especially for someone who appreciates the history of stock car racing.

4. Darlington Raceway

NASCAR’s first superspeedway, the Darlington Raceway is fittingly in Darlington, South Carolina. Once the host of NASCAR’s premier event, the Southern 500, now it hosts NASCAR’s Throwback Weekend. Just like Martinsville, it’s a blast from NASCAR’s past.

It’s egg-shaped thanks to a minnow pond outside of turn four that the owner just refused to sell. Those who enter into the track walk through trees and over a creek behind the front straightaway. Add to that, the track hosts great races on a year-to-year basis, and it is a great race track for those who appreciate driver skill.

It’s incredible to watch the drivers rip it at 160 mph just inches from the wall in turns one and two, only to be forced to slam on the brakes and finesse the car through the banking of turns three and four. There is a reason why Darlington’s race winners list features the “Best of the Best.”

If you appreciate great driver skill and NASCAR history as well, this is the track for you. Add to that both of its races are can’t-miss events, with “Throwback Weekend” in the spring, and the Southern 500 on Labor Day.

3. Talladega Superspeedway

No race track leaves you like the edge of your seat quite like Talladega, both on and off the race track. The 2.66 mile high-banked tri-oval strikes fear in the minds of some, but excitement in minds of others.

Let’s start with the racing on-track. Talladega is just a little bit longer and wider than Daytona, with banking just a little bit steeper. Massive packs of cars just inches apart lap after lap after lap means that there is always something to watch at Talladega. Drivers are all just one small mistake away from potentially taking out the whole field, which just adds to the sense of danger and excitement.

Off the race track, the campgrounds at Talladega have stories that may best not be told. Regardless, the Talladega Boulevard is one of the wildest infield party scenes in all of NASCAR. If you are not interested in partying, there are plenty of other camping options at Talladega, including three free campgrounds during Cup Series weekends.

This is the track for adrenaline junkies and those who love to party. Races at Talladega Superspeedway are always must-see events, and they are the types of races that can make someone a NASCAR fan.

2. Bristol Motor Speedway

Gargantuan grandstands tower above a 0.533 mile bullring in the hills of Eastern Tennessee. When the sun goes down and the lights come on during an early autumn evening, nothing compares to Bristol Motor Speedway.

The track boasts banking of as much as 28 degrees, almost as steep as Daytona International Speedway. This means the track can stake its claim as the “World’s Fastest Half Mile.” The sense of speed at Bristol Motor Speedway is truly like nothing else.

Also the sound is like nothing else either. The sounds of the engines echo off of the grandstands producing engine noise unlike any other. Add to that the grandstands make for some of the best sight lines of any NASCAR track. Everywhere has a full view of the action.

This is the track for those who want to see and feel the unadulterated power of a NASCAR stock car. The atmosphere is also unlike anything else in the sport. Just one word that will leave your lips if you go to this race track, and that word is “Wow.”

1. Daytona International Speedway

The “World Center of Racing” is what they call it, and there is no more appropriate name. The 2.5 mile high banks on the Coast of the Atlantic Ocean is the birthplace of NASCAR as we know it. It was the brainchild of Bill France Jr., who tried to build a venue to answer the question “How fast can a car go?”

Nowadays the track hosts NASCAR’s biggest race, the Daytona 500. This world famous event is a race that routinely sells out, and produces some of the sport’s most memorable moments. With it being slightly shorter and narrower than Talladega, moving up through the pack is more about strategy and handling than pure speed.

Add to it that the recent “Daytona Rising” renovations at the track have made it one of the best facilities for fans in the sport. Unlike other tracks that are stuck in the middle of nowhere, Daytona is in a more urban area with amenities found in most modern stadiums.

For those who love big events, glitz, and glamour, Daytona is the place for you. The Daytona 500 is the biggest race of the year, and it makes for an incredible atmosphere along with an incredible race day experience.

Attending a NASCAR race at these track are “Must-Do’s” for those who are NASCAR fans. Some incredible racing and incredible at-track atmospheres are at all five of these tracks.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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