Imagine you’re at a racetrack, surrounded by 400,000 screaming fans cheering on their favorite drivers. The air smells of concession foods and burnt rubber, and the only noise able to cut through the clamor of the crowd is the roar of engines. The energy is incredible.
Due to the length of the tracks, and since the cars pass each point multiple times, it’s possible to seat extremely large numbers of people. Here are the top 10 auto racing venues by capacity.
1. Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis, Ind. Capacity: 400,000.
This speedway is the largest of its kind and home of the world’s most famous auto race, the Indy 500. The race, covering 500 miles through 200 laps, is the world’s largest single-day spectator sporting event.
2. Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Fla. Capacity: 168,000.
Home of the Daytona 500, NASCAR’s biggest and most prestigious event. In addition to NASCAR events, the speedway hosts motocross events like the Daytona Super Cross
3. Charlotte Motor Speedway
Concord, N.C. Capacity:167,000.
This speedway hosts NASCAR races, drag racing and the Summer Shootout series, featuring bandolero and legends car racing, school bus racing and fireworks shows.
4. Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol, Tenn. Capacity: 160,000.
The speedway’s cornerstone events, the Food City 500 and 250, are held during spring and in August. Four gigantic TV screens, each about four stories tall, ensure fans won’t miss a second of the action.
5. Texas Motor Speedway
Fort Worth, Texas. Capacity:154,000.
The speedway will be hosting major events this summer, including the Samsung Mobile 500, Firestone 550 and AAA Texas 500.
6. Talladega Superspeedway
Lincoln, Ala. Capacity: 143,000.
Hosts the ARCA Racing Series 250, Aaron’s 312 and 499 series. Race fans who want to drive a stock car around the track can attend the Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure racing school.
7. Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, Nev. Capacity:142,000.
Between official NASCAR races, the speedway hosts drag racing, dragster racing and junior dragster racing series. The Neon Garage, a state-of-the-art infield fan zone, features concession stands, a sports bar with big screen TVs showing live track action and Las Vegas-style entertainment.
8. Dover International Speedway
Dover, Del.Capacity: 140,000.
Hosting NASCAR races and events, the speedway has options to make it an all-day experience. The Monster Mile Club includes an all-you-can-eat buffet, drinks, free access to live entertainment and driver appearances.
9. Michigan International Speedway
Brooklyn, Mich. Capacity: 137,000.
This summer the speedway will be hosting the Alliance Truck Parts 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series and the Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
10. Atlanta Motor Speedway
Hampton, Ga. Capacity: 125,000.
The speedway hosts various racing and stunt events during the week, including exciting short-track racing nights called “Thursday Thunder” and a drag racing series called “Friday Night Drags.”
—By Manny Vega