When talking about the major features of NASCAR races that make them exciting, most of the time, we think about the powerful V8 engines, aerodynamic designs, and potential for collisions as racers whip around the track.
Of course, it is also interesting to follow the driver’s position in the series and the points each racer gets for winning each stage of the race. But as exciting as these aspects of NASCAR are, without the variety in types of tracks drivers race on, the sport may not be as interesting.
Some track layouts are smaller, allowing for the most laps-driven and nail-biting track activity. Other courses are larger, like a big oval track or the always exciting road course tracks, and let drivers fully open their engines and race intensely.
Let’s take a look at some of the largest tracks in NASCAR and find out what the biggest NASCAR track is and why?
How Big are NASCAR Tracks?
The variation of track sizes is one of the main draws of NASCAR spectators as drivers that perform well on one type of track may not succeed on a different style course allowing for shake-ups and excitement all season long.
Most of the time, the track length is what’s thought about when discussing the biggest NASCAR tracks, like the Daytona International Speedway on Daytona beach, the location of one of the sport’s most popular races, the Daytona 500. Track width, on the other hand, seems to be less considered but can make smaller tracks like Bristol Motor Speedway contenders in the biggest NASCAR tracks.
Unlike track length, which is recorded across countless sources and helps determine how many laps cars will need to make to complete the race distance goals. Without knowledge of how long the Charlotte Motor Speedway is, you would have a hard time knowing if it would take your driver 100 laps or 1,000 to hit the 500-mile goal.
Just like track length, track width doesn’t have a rigid set of guidelines but rather has a few minimum requirements, and the rest of the design should be pushed to test the racer’s capabilities.
As a rule, all NASCAR tracks must be at least 3 cars wide, allowing enough room on the track for three cars to line up and pass each other. Some tracks will have 4 or 5-car lineups and wide banks around breakneck turns.
The Auto Club Speedway has a track width of 75 ft, while the Circuit of The Americas is only 39 feet wide. Bristol Motor Speedway has a width of 75 feet in the turns despite being only .5 a mile long.
Which NASCAR Tracks Hold the Most Fans?
The tarmac isn’t the only aspect that determines the size of a race track. After all, the hoards of fans that come to the races every Sunday during the regular season are not standing alongside the track. All the spectators need seats, and the size of fan accommodations also impacts the total size of a track.
The biggest tracks will have long track lengths, wide turns based on degrees of banking, and ample seating for race viewers.
Privately owned speedways like Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway have the largest seating capacity and rank highest in fans in the seats. The rest of the tracks are public and have varying seating capacities completely unrelated to the track length.
An example of this is the small .533-mile track at Bristol Motor Speedway has a capacity of almost 150,000 people. The much larger track in Daytona Beach, used for the Daytona 500, can only seat 100,000 fans.
10 Longest NASCAR Tracks
Ultimately for active drivers to really race and pass and utilize all the exciting skills that make NASCAR drivers awesome, the longer tracks hold the most appeal.
The fastest track Talladega Superspeedway even with restrictors, lets drivers hit 200 MPH in a drift chain which is only possible because of the 2.5-mile-long rectangular-oval track’s massive straightaway.
The events below represent some of the longest tracks on a race schedule where drivers can get some insane speed.
|Track Name||Track Type||Track Length|
|Road America||Road Course||4.048 miles|
|Daytona Road Course||Road Course||3.610 miles|
|Circuit of The Americas||Road Course||3.427 miles|
|Talladega Superspeedway||Superspeedway||2.660 miles|
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway||Speedway||2.500 miles|
|Daytona International Speedway||Superspeedway||2.500 miles|
|Pocono Raceway||Superspeedway||2.500 miles|
|Canadian Tire Motorsport Park||Road Course||2.459 miles|
|Watkins Glen International||Road Course||2.450 miles|
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway||Road Course||2.439 miles|
What Are The Biggest Races In NASCAR?
When it comes to the biggest races in NASCAR, the most popular is the Daytona 500. This is the race that most people know from pop culture and is a likely event to be playing in the background at a NASCAR fan’s house.
Throughout the season schedule, there are other popular races that attract viewers both trackside and digitally. One example is the fifth-largest track, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Other than the Daytona 500, races at the Atlanta Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway are also heavily televised. The longest road course at Elkhart Lake, Road America, is also very popular and another one of the biggest races in the NASCAR season.
Talladega Superspeedway, a 2.66-mile-long tri-oval asphalt track, is one of the highest-speed races with tight degrees of banking and long straightaways comparable to other superspeedways.
Intermediate tracks like Chicagoland Speedway can be popular because they allow high-lap racing as well as enough distance to let cars out a bit. Wide tracks and capacities for tracks to let racers pass in 4s and 5s can make for exciting racing.
Even tracks like Martinsville Speedway’s .526-mile track are popular for how fast each car goes around the track and the ease of seeing the whole race from your seat. Longer tracks with a high-seating capacity can have corners where you cannot see the action.
One of the biggest races and race tracks in NASCAR, even though it is one of the shortest, is Bristol Motor Speedway. This .5-mile track is the largest in terms of seating capacity, with a grandstand capacity of almost 150,000 people.
It is also one of the most exciting races as it takes seconds for drivers to lap, and the 75-ft wide banks allow for high-speed degrees of banking that are unseen on thinner short tracks. Winning this race, as well as a 2.66-mile tri-oval track race, is good for drivers’ careers as it shows they can race well on separate tracks like every legendary driver.