While U.S. racing fans of all stripes can debate which track is the best, there is no doubt that they bring lots of thrills and excitement to those who are watching and participating in the action. From the blacktop to the mud, America is full of pedal-to-the-metal, adrenaline pumping race tracks for speed demons of all types.
Bristol Motor Speedway
NASCAR continues to be one of the most-attended sporting events in the country, holding four out of five of the top attendance records for sports across the board. One of the best tracks to check out this sport is Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.
BMS has one of the shortest tracks in the sport, a .5333-mile concrete oval built back in 1960. The track’s builders intended to offer a more intimate feel for spectators than traditional speedways. Today it’s often referred to as the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile,” and a is must-see destination for any racing fan. The track’s turns have the steepest angles in official stock car racing, banked at 36 degrees. BMS was named the best NASCAR racing venue in 2013, and most fans would agree.
Auto Club Famoso Raceway
If you’d rather be in on the action than watch from the stands, the Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California offers “Friday Night Drags.” This event is open to everyone, and you can race your own vehicle on the ¼-mile track after meeting basic safety guidelines. For a street vehicle, you’ll just need to make sure that there are no leaks dripping off the car, and that it has a radiator overflow canister as well as seat belts. Helmets aren’t required, but it can give the experience more of an authentic race feel.
If you think your ride might go faster than 13.99 seconds in the ¼ mile, you will need a helmet that meets SNELL 2005 or better standards.
Fischer’s Pine Lake Off-Road Facility
Of course, getting out in the mud is always a good time, and the Pine Lake Off-Road Facility in Ashtabula, Ohio is considered to have the oldest and some of the best ATV racing in the country. The unique track features a famous bowl turn and is known to bring in more ATV enthusiasts than any other venue.
Pine Lake hosts the most popular race in the ATVA Extreme Dirt Track National Series, which is all about horsepower and traction. These powerful machines are modified with performance accessories and ATV parts to improve speed and handling.
While the U.S. is widely known for its oval tracks, it’s also home to some of the best road-racing courses, like Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The layout makes outstanding use of the natural terrain with its moderate elevation changes, and is one of the oldest and most beautiful permanent road circuits in the country. It’s also one of the longest, at 4.05 miles, but it’s still extremely fast so those who are watching won’t have to wait long for the field to come around again.
This racing venue hosts events like the AMA Superbike Championship, the premiere superbike racing series, vintage motorcycle classics, races that feature some of NASCAR’s future stars, and even a Ferrari challenge.