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Tips and Tricks To Beat Traffic At a NASCAR Race

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What’s Happening?

There is nothing that bogs down the NASCAR race day experience quite like a traffic jam. It’s part of having large crowds of people in the same place all arriving and leaving at the same time. However, we at the Daily Downforce have a few life hacks to help avoid these massive traffic jams on race day.

  • It’s important to note that certain tips and traffic patterns will vary based on the race track. What may work at one track may not work at another, but this list is just some general tips for avoiding long traffic jams.
  • Oftentimes, avoiding some sort of traffic is inevitable. These tips will not guarantee a straight shot out of the track, but, they should cut down on the time spent in traffic.
  • Fans are always looking for ways to improve their race day experience. The less time spent in traffic, the better the race day experience often is.

Arrive Early

The easiest way to avoid traffic jams before a NASCAR race is to arrive early. Usually, the last hour or two before the race is when the entrances to the parking lot get backed up. This is especially true of tracks where fans need to pay for parking (Indianapolis, Dover, Gateway, LA Coliseum, and North Wilkesboro).

Arriving early allows fans to avoid some of the early traffic jams. It also gives fans plenty of time to enjoy everything they can before the race such as shopping for merch, exploring the track, and enjoying pre-race ceremonies. The earlier the fans get there, the less traffic there normally is.

Park Further Away From the Track

Speaking from personal experience, parking closer to the race track usually means worse traffic jams after the race. This is because if you are close to the race track, you are further away from the exit, which puts you at the back of the line when trying to leave the track. Oftentimes, people who live near the track will allow fans to park in yards for a price, which can allow fans to avoid race track parking lot traffic jams.

The obvious drawback is having to walk a while or take a tram to get to or from the track. If fans are unwilling to walk a while to get to their car, then this may not be the best idea.

Take the Road Less Traveled

Major highways are how most fans get to the race track for a race weekend. However, there are often some back roads and interesting ways to get to and from a race track. For example, at Martinsville Speedway, there is a road called Clover Road off of Route 58 that is only open on race weekends and offers a back entrance into the track.

This usually requires a decent knowledge of the roads surrounding a race track. It also only helps after the car is out of the parking lot post-race, so, it does not avoid parking lot traffic. Still, it can offer some inconvenience even if it means taking a slightly longer route.

Leave As Soon as the Checkered Flag Drops

Many fans will suggest leaving early from the race, but, who wants to miss the end of a great race? From personal experience, the perfect time to leave a race track is as soon as the checkered flag drops. This causes fans to get out before the large traffic jam but still stay for the entire race.

However, using this method causes fans to miss what happens after the race. If fans want to watch the post-race interviews or any conflict between drivers, it will be missed.

Limited Tracks: Use Public Transit

Not every race track offers this, but, some do. This allows fans to maybe even skip driving their car at all depending on which track they use. One example is the Chicago Street Race, where the most practical way to get to the track is using public transit.

The problem is that many race tracks are not in major cities, so, public transit is not readily available at many. Even then, fans waiting in line for public transit after the race may be as long if not longer than just sitting in their car.

What are some other great methods to avoid traffic jams at a NASCAR race? Avoiding traffic could improve any fans’ experience at any race.

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Joshua Lipowski

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