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Daytona International Speedway

Track Length – 2.5 mile

Seats – 168,000

Probably the best known race in the NASCAR schedule is the Daytona 500. The Daytona 500 is the biggest race of the year for NASCAR, and is the first race of the season as well. The second race of the year for Daytona is the Coke Zero 400 held in July.


Talladega Superspeedway

Track Length – 2.66 mile

Seats – 143,200

The fastest and biggest track on the NASCAR schedule is Talladega. Located in North Talladega County in Alabama, the speedway was built on top of an old World War II airport. Even from it’s beginnings in 1969, Talladega quickly became known for the speeds that the cars could reach on the long track.

Lowe’s Motor Speedway

Track Length – 1.5 mile

Seats – 165,000

The track formerly known as Charlotte Motor Speedway was built in 1959. Now named Lowe’s Motor Speedway, the track gets 2 NASCAR races each year. The Coca Cola 600 in May is the longest race of the year on the NASCAR schedule. The NASCAR Banking 5oo is in the fall and is one of the races leading to the conclusion of the Chase. Because of the length of the race, the 600 can become a “fuel mileage race” with the winner simply having enough gas to outlast the competition.

Richmond International Raceway

Track Length – .75 Mile

Seats – 112,000

Known as the best short track in NASCAR, Richmond International Raceway (RIR) is located just outside of Richmond, Virginia. RIR got its start in the late 1940’s and has seen many changes through the years. Originally RIR was a .5 mile long track and was increased to .75 in 1988. The early 1990’s saw the introduction of lighting to allow the night time races. As a fan favorite, Richmond is a race that historically sells out and can be difficult to get tickets to. Richmond holds two NASCAR races a year and both are run at night time. The Crown Royal 400 is in May and the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 is held in September.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Track Length – 2.5 Mile

Seats – 250,000

The one track that is famously not associated with NASCAR is the Indianapolis Motor speedway (IMS). Known throughout the world for the Indy 500 (open wheel racing) that is run here, NASCAR started racing at Indy in 1994. Also know as the “Brickyard” due to the track being laid with bricks at one time, IMS was built in 1909. The only NASCAR race at Indy each year is appropriately named the “Brickyard 400″. Due to the size of Indy, it’s actually the biggest attendance race of the year for NASCAR with over 250,000 seats.

Bristol Motor Speedway

Track Length – .5 Mile

Seats – 160,000

Another short track that is a fan favorite is Bristol Motor speedway located in Bristol Tennessee. Bristol held its first NASCAR race in 1961 and currently has 2 NASCAR Cup Series races a year. The Food City 500 in the spring and the Sharpie 500 in late summer. One of the features that make this track unique is that it has an all concrete racing surface. Most tracks use asphalt as the main track surface. The corners at Bristol have a very high bank angle as well. Reports vary, but most agree that the corners have around 25 – 30 degrees of bank.

Darlington Raceway

Track Length – 1.366 Mile

Seats – 63,000

Darlington Raceway is located in Darlington, South Carolina and is considered NASCAR’s first superspeedway. When it was built in 1950 a superspeedway was a paved track that was one mile in length or longer. NASCAR’s only race of the season at Darlington is the Southern 500. The shape of Darlington Raceway is unique as it resembles the shape of an egg. One end of the track has a smaller turning radius than the other side which can give crew chiefs problems when setting up the cars suspension.

Infineon Raceway

Track Length – 1.99 Mile

Seating – 102,000

Probably the biggest curve ball a NASCAR driver can get is adjusting to arguably the best road course on the schedule. Located outside of San Francisco in Sonoma, California, this is anything but the typical turning left track that fans and drivers are used to.

Infineon has sharp turns as well as hills that really put the emphasis on the car’s handling and braking. This is a race where high speed and aerodynamics are not the most important factors. A car that can handle well combined with a driver who can manage the brakes for this race will have a shot at one of the more challenging tracks on the circuit. Infineon gets just one race a year and it’s the Toyota/Savemart 350.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Track Length – 1.5 Mile

Seating – 142,000

If there was ever a race that justified the expense of a road trip, it’s the NASCAR race at Las Vegas. The track first opened in 1996 and saw its first Cup Series race in 1998. Typically run in early part of the season, most teams are still playing with the setup of their cars when they hit Vegas for the Shelby 427. At 400 miles and 267 laps, this is one of the shorter races for a 1.5 mile track. Success at this track is from a combination of a strong engine and a great handling car.

Texas Motor Speedway

Track Length – 1.5 Mile

Seating – 159,000

Located north of Ft. Worth, Texas, Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) has become one of the more popular 1.5 mile races on the NASCAR schedule. Texas gets two races on the schedule, the Samsung 500 in April and the Dickies 500 in November. TMS was built in 1996 and first saw Cup series racing in 1997. Although initially drivers had some issues with the track, most agree that today TMS is one of the faster 1.5 mile tracks on the schedule. Speeds at TMS regularly get into the 190 MPH + range.

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