Start Your Engines: NASCAR Nomads Rev Up for Racing

January 14, 2019

RVing fans at the Pocono Raceway. Photo: © 2012 jason d smith/pixelcrisp

NASCAR’s racing seasons begins in February. Are you ready for the high-speed action?

Imagine settling into a favorite lawn chair, cracking open a cold beer that you just pulled from the fridge and watching as stock cars roar past your campsite at speeds reaching 200 miles per hour.

It’s no pipe dream. Fans of high-powered stock cars can satisfy their thirst for speed action from the comfort of trackside campgrounds across North America. Venues like Talladega and Texas Motor Speedway provide infield camping, giving RVing fans the chance to watch their favorite drivers circle the surrounding course. Several tracks also offer RV camping on terraces overlooking the track for excellent vantage points.

Any camping race fan will tell you that nothing beats the thrill of watching colorful stock cars zoom near their site. And with a little planning and foresight, RVers can live the dream of a truly immersive NASCAR experience that blends camping and thrills.

And the experience never gets old. More than 100 tracks host NASCAR races across the continent, and many accommodate RV travelers. Tracks come in a variety of configurations — there are road courses, tri-ovals and ovals, each with unique quirks and challenges.

Tips for the track:

  • Prepare for a long stay. If you’re camping on an infield spot during a racing weekend, access and exit times are restricted (for obvious reasons). Bring lots of provisions and settle in for a long outing.
  • It’s more than the racing. Today’s major NASCAR tracks offer several off-track diversions, from live entertainment, driver meet-and-greets and pit passes.
  • Get social. During long racing weekends, trackside campsites become little communities, complete with social mixers and games. Make new friends when you’re not cheering the drivers.

Here are five NASCAR tracks that wave the green flag for RVers seeking a racing spectacle. Check race schedules, make your reservations and buckle up for high-octane fun.

1) Pocono Raceway (Long Pond, Pennsylvania)

Track type: Known as the “tricky triangle,” this tri-oval vexes drivers with its sharp turns, while its long straightaway allows drivers to top 200 mph.

Camping options: Infield camping and trackside camping accommodate RVs.

Fun between heats: Take the kids to Tricky’s Kit Kamp, which features games, play structures and special entertainment. The Tricky Triangle Club hosts driver Q&As.

Alabama 500

Fans perched at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway. Image courtesy of Talladega Superspeedway

2) Talladega Superspeedway (Talladega, Alabama)

Track type: This 2.66-mile tri-oval has gained notoriety as Nascar’s longest track, and its 33-degree banks are legendary. It hosts the Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series.

Camping options: Talladega has nine inside-the-gate camping areas, from infield camping to the Allison Motorhome Ridge, which overlooks the straightaway near Turn 3.

Fun between heats: Occupying 3,000 acres, the Talladega complex hosts a slew of fun events, with a traditional Saturday Night Infield Concert that features famous performers. Check out the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

3) Iowa Speedway (Newton, Iowa)

Track type: This .87-mile tri-oval track earned the nickname, “the fastest short track on the planet,” for its compound banking and 12-, 13- and 14-degree banks. Racing legend Rusty Wallace envisioned this course, making it the first-ever driver-designed track.

Camping options: Prime camping spots occupy RV Hill, with Terrace Camping spots that feature full hookups.

Fun between heats: The Iowa Speedway features the Pit Fan Zone for racing events and entertainment.

4) Sonoma Raceway (Sonoma, California)

Track type: This hilly, 2.6-mile road course boasts 12 sharp turns and multiplying the thrills for fans.

Camping options: Four campgrounds offer infield or trackside camping. Campgrounds foster a laidback, family-friendly atmosphere.

Fun between heats: Check out the RevZone concert and happy hour, or take the free shuttle service that connects the track to the Sonoma Plaza for wine tasting.

5) Daytona International Speedway (Daytona, Florida)

Track type: Built in the city that birthed NASCAR, this tri-oval features 31-degree banking and a “superstretch” that’s 3,000 feet long. It hosts the Daytona 500, one of NASCAR’s most prestigious races.

Camping options: RVers can camp on the banks of the Lake Lloyd in the track’s infield or overlooking tight turns.

Fun between heats: This venue serves as a veritable shrine to NASCAR, with statues of iconic racers and the dazzling Daytona 500 Champions’ Walk of Fame. Refuel at the 4th Turn Grill or snag a souvenir at the Fanatics Pit Shop.

When you’re not camping near the racing action, you can always stay at Good Sam Parks during your NASCAR nomad travels.

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