NASCAR may be a sport that’s idiosyncratic to a certain part of America but it has a huge following from all over the world. Because of its tight knit location, the tracks that are used to host this thrilling motorsport have become exceptionally familiar across the globe.
What are the Most Famous NASCAR Race Tracks?
More than 20 locations are used throughout the series but what are the most famous tracks of all? Here is our list of the best surfaces across a busy NASCAR calendar.
Situated in Lincoln, Alabama, this is a track with great history having originally broken ground in May 1968. It is sited on an old air force base and, although the exact location is slightly north of Talladega, the venue has adopted this name.
One of the reasons that Talladega Superspeedway is up there with the most popular NASCAR surfaces is the simple fact that it is the biggest of them all. It’s 2.66 miles around for each lap and that provides plenty of expanse for drama and thrills along the way.
That leaves room for lots of visitors and Talladega has room for a colossal 175,000 spectators. 80,000 of those can be accommodated at the track’s main grandstand. As well as the main NASCAR series, the Talladega Superspeedway also hosts the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
This is also known as the fastest course on the circuit. Talladega currently holds the record for the fastest lap and the fastest 500 mile race.
All events are highly anticipated and NASCAR talladega betting odds are published well in advance of each race.
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Located in Concord, North Carolina, the Charlotte Motor Speedway was open for top class racing in 1960. It’s since become a regular on the NASCAR circuit and a favourite for many fans across the US. When it comes to NASCAR odds charlotte events are published well in advance of the start and this is another track where the best sportsbooks will all be looking to get involved.
1960 saw Charlotte Motor Speedway open officially with its first NASCAR 600 race. Unfortunately, the course owners oversaw a rocky start and, a year later, they were filing for bankruptcy. The situation took some time to resolve but Charlotte started to become a regular fixture and a firm favourite on the circuit through the end of the 1960s and into the 1970s.
The track itself is a more regular oval and measures 2.28 miles all around. It’s a stiff test for drivers with its 17 turns and an overall change in elevation that comes in at 45 feet.
In the present day, no fewer than five main NASCAR events highlight a busy schedule at Charlotte. There are two NASCAR Cup Series Races plus two more in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Finishing off the list is an important race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Another good reason to pay the Charlotte Motor Speedway a visit is the fact that many of the competing NASCAR teams are located in the area. Many offer factory and shop tours which would complete a great racing experience.
For NASCAR odds Charlotte, sportsbooks will tend to focus on the Cup Series but there should be a more compact set of markets for the other events.
First of all, the Darlington Raceway stands out because it is the oldest track on the NASCAR circuit. Construction began in the 1940s and the venue was first opened for business in 1950. It also carries a rather odd design which is an extended oval and most liken the shape to that of an egg. Legend has it that the former owner refused to give up his minnow pond and the track was adapted accordingly.
Darlington has many nicknames and NASCAR fans often refer to it as ‘the track too tough to tame’. This is largely because of that unique design which makes it difficult for drivers to handle both ends as they need to take different approaches to each one.
It’s known for its traditions but the Darlington Raceway was almost lost to the NASCAR calendar. It was clear that parts of the track needed to be updated and, in a belated response, some £20 million in improvements have now been made.
Unfortunately, those changes came along a little too late to save one of Darlington’s prestige events. It previously held meetings on US Labor Day which has now been lost. The one remaining major NASCAR event now takes place on Mother’s Day.
Betting odds for darlington NASCAR races should be widely covered. This remains as one of the most prestigious surfaces on the NASCAR calendar and it’s one that the sportsbooks will look to get extensively involved with.
Watkins Glen International
Originally built in 1956, Watkins Glen International is arguably the most famous track as far as the wider sports community is concerned. This could be due to the fact that it has also hosted Grand Prix for Formula One but it is mostly associated with NASCAR within the United States. Also on the roster here is an IndyCar event, World Sportscar Championship and Trans-Am but NASCAR is very much a focal point.
Prior to its construction, the local village would shut down for major race days and public roads were used to host racing events. Clearly that was never going to be sustainable and a purpose built track was desperately needed as interest in racing increased.
Watkins Glen International duly opened in 1956 and there were a number of changes to its design in the immediate years following its inception. Since 1971, that design has largely remained unchanged.
It’s set against some dramatic scenery with Niagara Falls just about visible over the border and it seems to bring out the best, and sometimes the worst, in drivers. Some great battles involving the likes of Kyle Busch, Marcos Ambrose, Juan Pablo Montoya and Kevin Harvick, amongst others, have been witnessed. Insults have been traded while great finishes can usually be guaranteed at Watkins Glen.
Unlike many of the tracks on the current circuit, the Martinsville Speedway was designed and built exclusively for NASCAR and that’s why it’s the favourite of many racegoers. The arena opened in 1947 and it was one of the first paved oval speedways used in the NASCAR series.
Martinsville stands out from other locations on the NASCAR calendar for many other reasons. It’s just over half a mile in length and, as such, it’s the shortest of the tracks on the circuit. The action is fast and furious with fewer turns for the drivers to negotiate along the way.
It’s also the only track in NASCAR to have asphalt surfaces along the straights while there is concrete in place around the bends. While it’s technically an oval, Martinsville Speedway is often referred to as the ‘paper clip’ because of its relatively long straights and brief corners.
Those who feel that NASCAR has become too corporate are drawn to Martinsville with its traditions including the unusual grandfather clock which serves as a trophy. The focus is entirely on the racing and fans are extremely grateful for that.
There are 23 tracks in total on the NASCAR circuit. Because of the nature of the sport, many of them are similar in design with their oval layouts so it takes a lot to stand out from the rest. The surfaces on this list are appreciated by motorsport fans across the United States and beyond and each is a little different from the norm.
The best sportsbooks cover the entire NASCAR season but there is added interest when the calendar reaches one of these very special venues.