NASCAR races are some of the most exciting events of the year — watching the cars blur as they tear around the track and hearing the roar of the crowd as their favorite driver takes the lead is an experience that almost defies description.
Most of us probably enjoy the races from the comfort of our own living room, but if you really want to get the full experience, it’s worth the time and energy to get to a live race at least once in your life. When you are ready to be one of the roaring voices in the crowd at NASCAR, here are some things to remember that will make it a memorable experience.
Buy Tickets Early
NASCAR races are some of the most attended sporting events in the country, with the biggest races drawing more than 300,000 attendees. When tickets go on sale, the best seats disappear fast. If you’re not planning on crowding into the infield, buying your tickets early can help to ensure that you get a good seat to watch the excitement.
There are also a ton of places in the interior of the track where you can park your car or RV — depending on space availability — and see the race from a totally different perspective. We’re using the Indianapolis 500’s track for an example here, but results will vary depending on where you’re viewing your NASCAR race.
Pack the Essentials
Whether you are driving a car or an RV, there are a few essentials you should have with you. Make a list of what you need – from medications to personal care items. Top the list with the needs you can’t buy from a corner store.
Many of us have gotten out of the habit of carrying cash, but it’s important when you are heading to the track. If you’re not parking in the infield, chances are, you’ll need to park at one of the locally-owned lots. Parking isn’t free, and most of these little parking lots are exclusively cash only. Carrying cash also makes it easier to buy snacks or drinks while you’re watching the races.
Show Up Early
Showing up early has a bunch of benefits. First, it puts you in the perfect position to watch practice runs and enjoy the pre-race festivities. It also makes it easier to find a good parking space and ensures you’ll be able to get to your seats easily.
If you want to show up really early, some tracks offer camping and RV locations where you can pull up and park. The Indy 500 offers four-day camping passes for the weekend of the race so you can hook up your RV without too much trouble. You can enjoy the entire event from beginning to end without worrying about paying for parking every day or the cost of a hotel.
NASCAR races are an inherently outdoor activity, so it’s important to be prepared for anything Mother Nature throws at you. While races might be cancelled for severe weather, you can probably expect to experience:
- And lots of it! Sunscreen, umbrellas, hats and sunglasses are all useful to protect yourself from the sun. This is especially important if you’re checking out a race in Florida like the Daytona 500.
- With sunlight comes heat, so make sure you stay cool and hydrated. Pack plenty of bottled water and remember to drink it before you hit the beer.
- No one is going to cancel a race because of a little bit of rain. Bring an umbrella or poncho and a waterproof cooler or bag to keep your stuff dry.
- Noise; Races are loud. Between the screams of the crowd and the roar of the race car engines, the noise may be startling. Bring some ear protection, either earplugs or headphones. This is vital for smaller race fans as well. You don’t want their passion for racing to damage their hearing!
The most important thing to remember when you’re heading to your first NASCAR race, no matter who crosses the finish line first, is to HAVE FUN! Scream your heart out, cheer for your favorite racer and celebrate whether they win or lose. There’s nothing quite like a NASCAR race, and seeing one in person is an experience you’ll never forget.