Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

What is the Best Intermediate Track in NASCAR?

Article Contents

Article Contents

Let us know what you think

Join the conversation on socials

Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts

Until the Next-Gen car was introduced, saying the Cup Series was going to an “Intermediate Track” was met with a collective groan from the fanbase. Now, intermediate race tracks feature one of the best racing products of the Next-Gen car, and they are now anticipated by the fanbase. What is the best intermediate track in NASCAR? Let’s try to rank every intermediate track in NASCAR.

**Neither Atlanta or Auto Club are included on this list since Auto Club will not be raced at in 2024 and Atlanta is more of a superspeedway.

9. Texas Motor Speedway

Of all intermediate tracks in NASCAR, none have had quite the bad press that Texas Motor Speedway has had from day one. First off, it took the beloved North Wilkesboro Speedway in 1997 when the track opened, and the track has been reconfigured multiple times. The most recent one between 2016 and 2017 made the track only one groove, which killed the racing with the Generation 6 cars.

The Next-Gen car has not totally fixed it either, although the most recent race at the venue did show a second groove form somewhat. Maybe NASCAR needs to just sit back and let the surface age. Maybe after a few years, the track could come into its’ own.

8. Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Las Vegas Motor Speedway is by no means a bad race track, and the finish last Sunday was spectacular. However, Las Vegas has a lot of competition to go up against, and that’s why it sits here on this list. However, it has had some great moments in both of its configurations.

There was the iconic finish between Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth in 2006 before the original flat layout was reconfigured to the 24-degree high banks of today. Now, with the Next-Gen car, the track continues to put on good races. Sometimes the crowds are iffy, but that can be traced back to the track having two dates.

7. World Wide Technology Raceway (Gateway)

One of the newest tracks on the Cup Series schedule, World Wide Technology Raceway has brought in great crowds for both of its’ Cup Series dates to this point. If the local fans turn out to support the race, then that gives it major points on this list. The track itself is pretty unique as well.

It is a 1.25 mile egg-shaped oval shaped exactly like an inverted Darlington. The track is also flatter than any intermediate tracks in the sport, and it means the racing more resembles that of shorter tracks like New Hampshire or Phoenix. The flat track does mean it can be hard to pass, which can hurt the racing product, but the races here so far have been solid.

6. Michigan International Speedway

In an era of reduced horsepower, Michigan International Speedway continues to routinely see single-car speeds over 190 miles per hour. While the track does not see the 5-wide restarts and cars racing from the bottom up to the wall like it used to, its’ groove is wide enough to pass. Not only that, but the long straightaways create quite the draft effect.

This is another track that was not loved by the fanbase before the Next-Gen car was introduced, but the racing there now is incredible. It may not be in a flashy location like Las Vegas or other tracks on this list, but it does provide good racing and high speeds. That’s exactly what racing is about.

5. Kansas Speedway

Kansas Speedway has arguably the best race in the track’s history back in May, and, while the track itself may not be super unique, it’s still an interesting venue. The track took a cue from Homestead-Miami Speedway during the 2012 reconfiguration as Kansas put in progressive banking from 18-20 degrees. It makes for racing similar to Homestead but on a tri-oval.

Not only that, but the complex around the track is crawling with things to do. There is a casino off the backstretch, a soccer stadium, and a baseball stadium off of turns three and four. It is quite the change of pace from tracks with not much to do outside of the track.

4. Nashville Superspeedway

It’s hard to find a market that has embraced NASCAR quite like Nashville has. Nashville Superspeedway was once seemingly down and out, but it has been revitalized in recent years. The Next-Gen car has helped the racing product there too.

It’s also a unique venue being only 1.25 miles in length with a concrete surface. While it does race similar to most intermediate race tracks, that’s by no means a bad thing with how solid the racing product is. The groove may sometimes take a bit to widen out on a weekend, but it still widens out enough for interesting racing.

3. Homestead-Miami Speedway

Homestead-Miami Speedway went through many iterations in its early years, but the current one has stood the test of time. When it was reconfigured in 2003, it had multiple banking angles, which meant the track had multiple grooves already. While the top is preferred, drivers still search around the track for grip.

It hosted the season finale from 2002-2019, and some fans still want it to host the season finale again. Maybe it will, and maybe it won’t. It does mean the track has been the host of some iconic NASCAR moments.

2. Darlington Raceway

NASCAR’s oldest superspeedway, Darlington Raceway is what racing on a two-lane country road feels like. An egg-shaped 1.366-mile oval that hosts one of the sport’s crown jewel races, the Southern 500. While it is not the Playoff opener for 2024, it is still one of the most popular races on the schedule.

Despite being so narrow, the racing there is always interesting. The tight quarters and mental focus required also mean the Southern 500 tests endurance in a way that few other races can anymore. Not to mention the iconic “Throwback Weekend” in the spring at the track either.

1. Charlotte Motor Speedway

NASCAR’s home track, the Charlotte Motor Speedway, is a short drive for teams, and that means every driver wants to win there. The Next-Gen car has also made the racing product there better than it ever has been. The Coca-Cola 600 is also one of the sport’s Crown Jewels.

The racing here has been so good that fans have been asking for the Charlotte Roval to leave the schedule. However, that track will remain on the schedule for 2024 at least. Still, this may be the most popular intermediate track on the schedule.

Which intermediate track is your favorite? Fan sentiment has been turning better towards these tracks in recent years, and that could continue.

Let us know what you think

Join the conversation on socials

Share this:

Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts