Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Rookie Stripe: Tracks – What’s Your Favorite?

Photo credit: Lisa Janine Cloud for Skirts and Scuffs
By Logan Stewart

NASCAR tracks have flavor. There is an idiosyncratic life force at each track, an energy that accelerates as the race draws near. The 23 diverse tracks of NASCAR differ in size, speed, entertainment options, history, atmosphere, and of course, location. If you missed our Inside Track on NASCAR tracks, it’s a must-read if you’re newer to NASCAR.

My first NASCAR race, and the first track I ever saw, was Darlington Raceway. It overwhelmed me with its size, a colossal display of cars and humans and competition. "The Lady in Black" and "The Track Too Tough to Tame" is one that drivers often claim has them racing the track more than it does their competitors. (Side note: a farmer named Sherman Ramsey once had a minnow pond not too far from one side of the track’s oval. Ramsey was okay with the racetrack being built as long as his minnows would be undisturbed, and as a result, one corner of the track is steeply banked).

I am a fan of history and anything with a quirky story, so I love Darlington and its rural roots. But I’m also partial to the small, zippy track of Bristol, and to Charlotte because it’s my home track.

This probably won't surprise you, but just like with drivers, fans play favorites when it comes to tracks. Here’s what some have to say about which tracks are their favorites.
Photo credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs
Andy C. – Rockingham (also known as “The Rock”, not currently for NASCAR events) - Drivers had to race the place. Tires were good for about five laps. Then you had to find a line that worked. Coming out of Turn 2 onto the backstretch was one of the most amazing experiences ever. That outside wall came up quick. Track has such a cool history: 1969 redesign was the first track in the U.S. designed by an engineer. Was originally a flat one-mile oval.

Seth H. – Why Darlington of course, it's the first track I saw the Southern 500, while in high school.

Kim O. – For me it's Daytona. The family atmosphere, great employees; it feels like "home" - the entire place just screams racing to me. Love it there.

Aaron R. – Atlanta Motor Speedway. It's home, for one, but I love the racing there. There's always a battle going on, usually several, every single lap.

Michael R.
– Talladega!

So as a new fan, how do you choose your favorite track? This one’s a little more complicated than choosing your favorite driver. From personal experience, you just have to go. I’m three and a half years into being a NASCAR fan and I’ve still only been to six of 23 tracks. Just six. But a girl can dream, right?
Photo credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs

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