This country grew from coast to coast with the power of engines and wheels. Motorsport is the highest expression of automotive design. What better reason for a road trip than to tour the finest racetracks in the nation?
No grand tour would be complete without visiting these shrines to car racing:
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona features something for everyone. The course includes various configurations including a 2.5 mile oval, a 2.95 mile super-bike course, a 3.56-mile road course, and a quarter mile flat track. The 180 acre infield holds Lake Lloyd, which hosts powerboat racing events. It has even hosted high school and college football games, along with the Daytona 500 of course. If that’s not enough entertainment, don’t forget the Florida beaches and one of the country’s wildest Spring Breaks.
Image via Flickr by Thanks for over 2 million views!!
Sebring International Raceway
A trip to Florida wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Sebring. Built on the former site of Hendricks Army Airfield, Sebring is still part of an active airport and is rich with military history. It has hosted the 12 Hours of Sebring since 1952. The 3.74-mile course features 17 corners with little elevation gain or camber, making it quite tricky to negotiate. The surface is rough and often extracts sparks from the bellies of race cars.
Circuit of the Americas
COTA, outside of Austin, Texas, was built for Formula 1 but features much more than that. It has hosted the Summer X Games, concerts, motorcycle Grand Prix, Le Mans endurance racing, and cycling. The course begins with a four-story climb to turn one followed by a winding downhill stretch. The sculpted circuit was designed to honor some of the finest elements of older F1 tracks, including Istanbul’s Turn Eight and the Senna S at Interlagos.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The Brickyard, with a capacity of 235,000 on the outside and 400,000 in the infield, has the highest seating capacity of any sports venue in the world. The fairly flat 2.5-mile oval was built in 1909. It also includes a 2.4 mile Grand Prix road course and a 2.6 mile motorcycle course. It is home to the iconic Indy 500 but has also hosted speed roller skating, PGA golf, the Indianapolis Half Marathon, and the 2016 Air Race World Championship.
Image via Flickr by Agência CNT de Notícias
Milwaukee Mile Speedway
While not as big or famous as the other tracks on this list, the Milwaukee Mile is the oldest. It has hosted at least one event annually since 1903. Its infield, which now contains a 1.8-mile road circuit, was home to the Green Bay Packers from 1934 to 1953. It was a dirt track until it was paved in 1954. The Mile is now part of the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds. Racing events have dwindled and currently, the site is at risk of being demolished. Already some of the bleachers have been auctioned off. The track needs support. Visit Save The Mile to learn how you can help.
The United States is home to a wealth of racing history. Plan a road trip around these great tracks and see some fantastic racing.