A Brief History of the Five Greatest NASCAR Race Tracks

NASCAR has some truly amazing venues and tracks all over the United States. We’ve selected some of our favorites, pick your own in the comments section!

Eldora Speedway: New Weston, OH

The Eldora Speedway is Ohio’s pride and joy in the world of NASCAR. A half-mile high-banked dirt oval, it was purchased by Tony Stewart in 2004. The venue seats up to 30,000, making it the biggest stadium in this region of Ohio. It was initially built as a quarter-mile stadium, but then gradually enlarged over the years to reach the half mind required by the United States. The Speedway hosts a number of key racing events, such as The Kings Royal, one of the biggest sprint car races in the country. Other events include the World 100 and the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series’ Eldora Dirt Derby.

Our Five Favorite NASCAR Race Tracks

Watkins Glen International: Watkins Glen, NY

Watkins Glen International, also known as “The Glen” is located at the southern tip of Seneca Lake. It is best known around the world as the home of the Formula One United States Grand Prix, which it hosted between 1961 and 1980. However, the site has been used for many other classes of races, like the World Sportscar Championship and the Monster Energy NASCAR cup series. Up until 1956, there was no track, and instead the local roads were used as a racecourse. It has remained in the same layout since 1971, with minor modifications after the fatal crashes of François Cevert in 1973 and J.D. McDuffie in 1991. The circuit has also been host to a number of music venues, such the 1973 Summer Jam.     

Daytona International Speedway: Daytona, FL

The Daytona International Speedway has been open since 1959. From day 1 has it been home to the Daytona 500, which is far and wide considered the most prestigious race in NASCAR. The track’s design, as created by William France Sr., revolutionized fan experience. The banked design not only allowed for higher speeds, but also gave the audience a better view of the cars. To add to the experience, lights were installed around the track in 1998, making it the third largest lit sports facility in the United States. The venue was renovated several times, the most recent having been completed in 2016. The grandstands are now designed for viewer comfort, with larger and more comfortable seats.  

Our Five Favorite NASCAR Race Tracks

New Hampshire Motor Speedway: Loudon, NH

The New Hampshire Motor Speedway is a relatively recent track, having opened in 1990. Used as a multipurpose track, it is not only host to NASCAR races but also to motorcycle and go-cart racing events. The track has seen some emotional times, such as the July 1996 race where Ernie Irvan captured the win less than two years after he suffered a nearly fatal crash at the Michigan International Speedway. Similarly, the 2001 New Hampshire 300 was originally scheduled for September 16th, a mere five days after 9/11. The race ended up being postponed until late November of that year. On a lighter note, mascot Milo the Moose was introduced in 2009 wearing his fire suit and socializing with fans and drivers.   

Auto Club Speedway: Fontana, CA

The Auto Club Speedway has a fascinating history. It all started when on April 20th, 1994, Roger Penske and Kaiser Steel decided to build a racetrack on the site of the abandoned Kaiser Steel Mill in Fontana, California. The next day, CART announced that it would hold an annual race at the speedway, and three months later NASCAR president William France Jr. agreed to sanction the Winston Cup Series. This was the first time in history that NASCAR committed to run a race at a track that had yet to be built. Today, the venue is often used in Hollywood productions such as Charlie’s Angels and The Bucket List.