There’s no event more heart-pounding or exhilarating than spending a day at the track. It doesn’t matter whether you’re treating yourself to a track day or watching the professionals in action; the atmosphere, the noise, the crowd cheering and the thrill of seeing the cars drift around corners and speed down the straights is nothing else on Earth.
No matter which part of the United States of America you live in, there is plenty of racing action going on across the States to keep you busy. However, if you’re a die-hard car enthusiast, you’re going to want to do everything you can to see and feel the best of the best.
Therefore, we’ve taken the time to find out the very best racing cities across the whole of North America. Whether you live in the city or fancy taking a weekend away to see some of the best racing you’ll ever see, this is the bucket list you’ve been waiting for.
#1 – Atlanta, Georgia
To kickstart our list, we’re heading over to the north of the state of Georgia, to the capital city of Atlanta. The city has been the hub of racing in this area of the United States for decades and today is no exception.
Firstly, there is a vast number of racing experiences for you, your friends and family to enjoy, including the legendary and incredibly fast-paced Porsche Experience Center, as well as a variety of on-road and off-road track events throughout the year. However, nothing comes close to dominating power of the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
One of the hottest tracks in the Northern Hemisphere, the Atlanta Motor Speedway is the home to an extensive range of pulse-pumping events, including Monster Truck derby’s, numerous motor festivals and, of course, NASCAR events.
Since the NASCAR event is held over an exciting and activity-filled weekend, both on and off the track, it’s one of the main reasons Atlanta is on the map, as all three national NASCAR touring series come to one track for an unforgettable weekend! For all other days of the year, you can find personal track experiences, and even ‘Formula One’s answer to go-karting.’
#2 – Miami, Florida
No best city for car culture list would be complete without a mention of Miami, Florida, the city of indulgence, and there’s no exception when it comes to the love of automobiles. Described by many enthusiasts as the automobile oasis, any lovers of all things car or bike needs to make the pilgrimage to this beautiful city at least once in their life.
Even walking around the city, you’ll stand testament to some of the most gorgeous, and most exotic cars in the world, whether they are owned by high-flying business owners or celebrities. Car culture is rife all areas of the city, especially when it comes to the Homestead Miami Speedway and the Miami Exotic Auto Racing headquarters.
At the speedway, you can enjoy all manner of adrenaline-fueled events, including the NASCAR championships held every year, the Sports Car Challenge and a wealth of other activities to enjoy throughout the year.
However, if you’re looking to satisfy your own driving needs, head over to the Miami Exotic Auto Racing for a plethora of supercar racing experiences around the iconic track, drive your own car, or go for gold and test your skills against others with timed lap experiences.
Since Miami is home is the annual Miami International Auto Show, it goes without saying that this is one city that should be at the top of your petroleum-themed bucket list.
#3 – Illinois, Chicago
Home to the largest auto show in all America, the Chicago Auto Show which has been annually held since 1901, a trip here is a treat for a car lover of any level, whether you live and breathe your engine, or just like to indulge every now and then. The event takes place in February every year and is a great way to start off your racing year.
There are cars, models, brands, modified beauties and professionals, and celebrities from all areas of the motoring industry and it’s safe to say that even a friend or family member that isn’t really into racing will get a kick out the booming engine roars that ricochet off the buildings in the Downtown area.
If you’re looking for other events throughout the year, then it’s only natural that you’ll need to make your way over to the truly outstanding and utterly captivating Chicago Speedway.
Whether you’re into traditional racing, Truck racing, Supercar racing or even the high-energy events hosted by brands like Monster and Xfinity, a day or weekend spent at any of the events here promise to be an unforgettable experience, full of like-minded enthusiasts, famous musical performances and enough engine-induced pleasure to keep you going until it starts again the year after.
#4 – Grand Bend, Ontario
Our first entry into the list from Canada is Grand Bend, which of course is most famous in the racing world for the Grand Bend Motorplex, one of the most premium racing facilities in Canada. Upon visiting this beautiful speed arena, you’ll find the Dragway, which of course is used throughout the year for drag races, as well as the iconic Raceway which is home to the CSBK series and the entire SOAR motorcycle race series.
It’s here that you’ll be able to witness your favorite motorcycle champions take to the asphalt to prove their worth among the best of the best, and there’s even the opportunity throughout the year to rent the track yourself and race the superstar track with your own motorcycle, or the bikes kept here which run up to an impressive 1,000CC.
Additionally, in this location, you’ll find the Grand Bend Speedway, where championships are held throughout the year for anybody to get involved with their own vehicle with the aim of fighting through the divisions for the top spot. Unfortunately, the final track in this area, the Grand Bend Motocross track, has been closed indefinitely in recent years.
The city of Grand Bend itself is located beautiful coast of Lake Huron and is a city overflowing with family-friendly activities and race-related excursions, making it the ideal city for family adventures while quenching your thirst for the racing culture.
#5 – Lakeville, Connecticut
Home to one of the most historical raceways in all the United States, Lakeville is the proud location of the truly stunning and state-of-the-art Lime Rock Park, a raceway known for its premium style, beautiful surroundings and, of course, its nail-biting speeds.
If you’re looking to come down to the city with your family or friends, there’s plenty on for you to enjoy. On top of the impressive PWC Memorial Weekend that’s held every year, one of the most exciting events held here is the ISMA Northeast Grand Prix, an event which attracts some of the most captivating supercars and drivers from across the country.
For lovers of more classical cars, you can even find the SCCA events held here, as is the Historical Festival Labor Day. But that’s not all. Fancy trying your hand at this iconic track yourself and you’ll be in luck. Whether you want to bring your car or buy a car experience or rent the whole facility to yourself, the options are available from their website.
#6 – San Antonio, Texas
Located in the south-center of the expansive state of Texas, heading East on Highway 10 from Houston and you’ll come to the racing-fanatic city of San Antonio. While many racing fans will already have heard of the iconic San Antonio Raceway, made famous by yearly events, such as the No Prep Bounty Hunters, Monster Truck and Large Cars, Street Light Showdown and Texas Total Domination, most fans come for any of the additional 12 racing series events that occur throughout the year.
However, on top of the Raceway events, you’ll find a ton of racing-related activities and experiences throughout the city. These include the Retama Park racetrack for horses, as well as being a popular sport’s bar, K1 Speed, an indoor go-karting track where you can test your own skills, the Harris Hill Raceway, The Lone Star BMX raceway and a ton of other off-road race tracks, over 30 in total.
#7 – Monterey, California
No best racing cities list would be complete without a mention of the sun-soaked state of California, but when it comes to racing, nowhere does it better, or more excitingly, as Monterey. Located on the beautiful coastline of the Californian state, Monterey is not only a fantastic city for a weekend away by yourself or with family and friends, but it’s also the home of some of the most exciting racing events in the world.
Most notably, these cut-throat events are held at the glorious and iconic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, a paved 2.2-mile road-racing track, with off-road dirt bike jumps and tracks that host world-famous car and motorbike events. This track can be found a stone’s throw from the city, and it’s dusty, sandy presence reminds many a racer of a James Bond-styled action set.
The track first opened back in 1960 when it was the home of the USAC Road Racing Championships. However, after the USAC disbanded back in 1962, the track took on a life on its own, hosting the event for another three years before becoming an integral part of the Cam-Am schedule. Since, the track has become part of numerous other racing series, including IMSA GT, Indy Car, CART, Champ Car and the home the Atlantic Championship; the golden years of US racing.
However, visit the track today, and you’ll still be treated to nail-biting racing action. There are events held through the year, including the Ferrari Challenge three-day weekend and, of course, the Superbike World Championship, one of the most coveted bike racing events of the year.
Although the track itself isn’t open for public racing, the atmosphere of the events held here is truly out of this world. In between Turn 8 and 9 of the death-defying corkscrew track, the track drops 10 stories (109 feet) in a matter of a few hundred meters, making this one of the fastest tracks on this side of the US.
#8 – Plymouth, Wisconsin
While Wisconsin may not be the first state to jump to your mind when you think of racing, venture north from Plymouth on Highway 67 and you’ll soon find yourself at Road America, one of the longest and most traditional racetracks in the entire US. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you love about racing; some might say this is the Mecca of US racing.
To start with, the track is home to some of the most diverse yet coveted racing events of the year, including;
- SVRA Spring Vintage Festival Weekend
- Verizon IndyCar Series World Challenge
- IMSA/Continental Road Race Showcase
- NASCAR XFINITY Series Johnsonville 180
- Vintage Motofest
And that’s just to name a few. However, this glorious arena is so much more than that. In addition to being able to drive your own car around the track or purchasing a racing experience to drive a high-performance supercar around the track yourself. There are also a ton of off-road driving experiences to be enjoyed and on-site driving schools, giving you the opportunity to start your own racing legacy.
As you can see, Plymouth is home to some of the most surreal and out of this world driving experiences that will satisfy the quench the of a racing lover of any level.
#9 – Baton Rouge, Los Angeles
Los Angeles is renowned for its racing culture, both in real life and the digital entertainment world, both are gaming, such as the 2006 L.A Street Racing and blockbuster movies like The Fast and The Furious. However, watching or playing racing games is nothing compared to the real thing.
This is where the Baton Rouge Raceway enters the scene, located just of Charlton Rd. and Plank Rd. just off Highway 67, this off-road styled track is ideal for racing lovers who adore all things vintage. As a blast from the past, the Baton Rouge hosts events through the summer, starting in April, all the way through till mid-September.
This particular track specializes in late models, street stock cars, limited modifications, side by sides, motorcycles and many more. There are championship events held through the season for lovers of racing to enjoy, usually closing with a heart-pounding Louisiana State Championship, an event that can’t be missed.
#10 – Las Vegas, Nevada
Of course, this extensive list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Sin City itself. Of course, the main points of topic here would be the truly mesmerizing experience that the MotorTrend International Auto Show, a beautiful showcase of over 350 of the latest and greatest cars of our time which span the automobile timeline, complete with test driving experiences from the hottest companies and innovators in the world.
Likewise, Las Vegas is also home to the highly coveted SEMA show, one of the greatest car developer shows in the world. This is a great way to end the racing season and is attended by over 100,000 developers, buyers, and businesses from all over the world, showcasing the very latest technology that the car world has to offer. This is truly a treat for car lovers who want to keep up to date with everything that’s going on.
By nature, Las Vegas is a car enthusiasts haven. Everywhere you go, you’ll see the hottest supercars and vintage classics side by side on the main strip, something you wouldn’t be able to see anywhere else. Of course, if you’re seeking out the opportunity to try your hand at a bit of racing yourself, who wouldn’t after attending all these captivating events, you’ll find yourself drawn to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Here, you’ll find a range of unique yet equally inspiring events, including the Las Vegas NASCAR Weekend and the NHRA Toyota Nationals, both some of the most high-octane racing events that the city has to offer. You’ll also be able to indulge in a comprehensive range of track activities, including the insanely popular NASCAR racing experience, which is exactly what you think it is!
#11 – Nashville, Tennessee
The car culture that you’ll find in Nashville is beyond comprehension. Although most of the meets happen underground, comprising of modified saloons and sports cars that have been adapted in so many beautiful ways, attending one of these events, either with your own car or just to see what’s going on, is one of the most exhilarating things a car enthusiast can do.
In short, the Facebook page alone has a stunning collection of the best photographs from these meets, and with over 11,000 followers, it’s safe to say that a large majority of the Nashville population are as like-minded as you.
Of course, if you’re looking to get some hardcore track action, there are many options available to you, including the Nashville Speedway and the Nashville Superspeedway. More commonly referred to as the Fairgrounds Speedway, the track is renowned for being America’s most popular short track and hosts its own track championships every year, as well as a ton of charitable events.
#12 – Houston, Texas
If you’re looking for something a little more elaborate or, as some might say, completely mind-blowing, a trip to Houston, Texas should be near the top of your bucket list. You’ll find all kinds of crazy meetups here, including Slabs, bangers, modified classics and, of course, supercars, some of which drive to Mexico and back most nights a week, just for the experience.
You’ll also have the opportunity to attend the Tx2K (the Texas2K), one of the most fast-paced and high-octane events of the year. You can also enjoy a range of drag racing events in between walking around and admiring the cars themselves, an activity that’s ideal for friends or family.
Of course, if you’re looking for a range of equally high-quality events, it goes without saying that you’ll need to visit the Houston Motorsports Park. Here you’ll be able to bask in a range of Speedway events, including modified models, super stocks, pro trucks, pro-modifieds and more, ensuring days or full weekends of car-loving excitement.
#13 – Talladega, Alabama
Finally, to conclude our list of some of the best racing-oriented cities in the USA, we’ve chosen the outstanding city of Talladega. Made popular on the global stage by Will Ferrell’s Talladega Night’s hit movie, this city has had a long, extensive and rich history that spans its roots back along the lines of NASCAR.
Most prominently, you’ll want to focus your attention on the Talladega Superspeedway, once titled the Alabama International Motor Speedway that was constructed back in the 1960s and has been a part of the local racing culture ever since. The track is by far the longest oval NASCAR track in all the US, stretching around an impressive 2.66 miles, ensuring that fans have one of the most enjoyable racing experiences on the continent.
It’s also at this track that you’ll be able to enjoy a complete range of racing events throughout the year which include the highly-popular GEICO 500 Weekend, one of the hottest weekends on the racing calendar. As with most speedway tracks, you can also book yourself in for a test driving experience of this iconic track yourself, an experience that is sure to make you the envy of your racing-loving friends and family.
What Are You Waiting For?
And there we have it! As you can see, North America is overflowing with fantastic cities that have the ability to suit any and all lovers of racing, regardless of how passionate you are about the subject. Be sure to check out all the cities above, research the events, and you’re sure to find a ton of opportunities for you to fully indulge yourself in.
Whether you’re into cars, bikes, trucks and all the modified extras in between, the United States of America is the true home for racing.