Watching a race on television or in your local bar is intense and fun to be sure, but there’s something entirely different about sitting on the sidelines of America’s greatest race tacks and feeling the energy in the air all around you. Of course, there are a lot of race tracks in the world, so it would be hard to visit them all.
That’s understandable, which is why we’ve decided to bring you our list of the top 10 American race tracks. Add these to your next excursion, you’ll be glad you did! Once you’re finished here, you should pick out some American Car Brands to take on your test drive.
America’s 10 Greatest Tracks
While these tracks are all located in the North American continent, don’t rule out the other tracks around the world. There are plenty of those that could make a list like this one. For now, let’s check out these North American tracks:
1. Lime Rock Park
Located just over an hour from New York City, Lime Rock Park is a 1.5 mile haven situated in the Connecticut hinterlands. This track makes our list on the sheer variety it offers. With seven turns, it changes elevation and includes tight, high-speed corners.
The best time to visit here is in the early fall when the leaves are changing. It paints the perfect scene.
2. Atlanta Motorsports Park
While Atlanta certainly isn’t wanting for race tracks, there is one that lays aside from the Atlanta Motor Speedway or the Road Atlanta facility. Known as Atlanta Motorsports Park, this track was designed as a destination where drivers could really let their exotic cars loose and not fear for their safety.
3. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Anyone who has sampled the recent racing video games out there will recognize the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. This track is known for it’s infamous turn 8, which requires a specific racing line. Or, take turn 2 for example, which requires a trail brake to maneuver properly.
Various races are held here each year, from the Monterey Car Week, to the Pirelli World Challenge.
4. Willow Springs International Raceway
This track immediately sets an impression on you. It is, after all, situated in the rolling hills of the High Desert in southern California. It is known for its “Big Willow” track and the “Streets of Willow” road course.
You can reach the track from Los Angeles, but you’ll find yourself a long way from the city when you look around at the desert landscape surrounding you.
5. Watkin’s Glen International Raceway
North America’s storied history of racing all links back to the Watkins Glen International Raceway in upstate New York. Thanks for this stretch of 3.4 miles, cars moved from the streets to dedicated tracks that we know and love. Today the track hosts a variety of events including the SCCA races, historical races, and endurance events.
You can even drive your own car on the track, but don’t leave right away, there’s plenty to see and do in this gorgeous part of the world.
6. Palmer Motorsports Park
Springfield, Massachusetts and the surrounding area are known for the Basketball Hall of Fame, and its ice cream shops. Beyond that, there’s not much else to bring people in, let alone racing enthusiasts. With the construction of Palmer Motorsports Park though, there’s a new reason to go visit.
It’s only been open for a short while compared to the others on our list. Even so, it is a 15-corner masterpiece with tight turns and steep drops. It welcomes both motorcycles and cars alike.
7. Circuit of the Americas
You probably wouldn’t have guessed that the hub of international racing in the United States would be in a no-name area near Austin, Texas, now would you? Opened in 2012, this track has been a major destination for locals and international visitors. Circuit of the Americas plays host to the Formula 1, Lone Star Le Mans, and MotoGP, which makes it well-known amongst racing fans.
8. Virginia International Raceway
Year after year, the Virginia International Raceway earns a place on the top race tracks lists, and for good reason. For starters it is a re-configurable circuit in southern Virginia that can be up to 4.1 miles in length and 24 turns total. The fuel crisis in the 1970s shut it down for about 25 years, but it’s back up and running now.
With a location far from the city and some great places to stay, this is the way to escape the city and enjoy some live, pulse-pounding races.
9. Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
While the smog in Mexico City can be troublesome, racing enthusiasts should visit regardless because of Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. This incredible racetrack is very significant to Mexico since the late 1950’s. An outside company keeps it maintained, but it’s still owned by the government. It is home to the Mexican Grand Prix as well.
10. Circuit Gilles Villenueve
The final stop is the Circuit Gilles Villenueve in Montreal. This is a major track in Canada’s Formula 1 racing. It was renamed to its current title in the early 80’s to honor the legacy of a race car driver. Interestingly, it is also located on an island.
Thanks for checking out our list and be sure to schedule a visit to these incredible tracks!
All Images via Race and Track