Top 5 NASCAR Races in 2017
When it comes to NASCAR, choosing your favorite race might be a lot like picking your favorite child; each one has something special that makes them unique. You love them all!
However, with 92 races in the NASCAR season, some events spur more hype and anticipation. That can be because of each race’s traditions, the track and ambiance. For example, the Coca-Cola 600 offers rare daytime to night-time racing while the Night Race at Bristol includes some of the most good-spirited tailgating on the NASCAR circuit.
So if you can’t attend all of them, how do you prioritize which ones to see in person?
We’ve simplified the choice for you. Here’s a look at five of the year’s most anticipated races and what makes each one so distinctive:
- Coca-Cola 600 – The 58th annual Coca-Cola 600 rolls into the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway for a Memorial Day race on May 28. Formerly known as the World 600, this has been NASCAR’s longest race since it began in 1960. Drivers will make 400 laps around the 1.5-mile track, which means a long day with lots of great racing. Also, that means the race changes dramatically from start to finish. It begins in the daylight, then gradually switches to the glow of dusk and finishes under the lights – almost like combining three races into one! In addition to the race, which begins at 6 p.m. ET, race day events include a live concert from Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members Lynyrd Skynyrd as well as a patriotic salute to military heroes.
- Eldora 150 – The half-mile dirt track at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway is home to the Camping World Truck Series Race, which returns this year on July 19. This is the only series in NASCAR to race modified pickup trucks, and it’s also unusual in that it’s a mid-week race. Plus, did we mention they race on dirt which makes it the only dirt race in NASCAR’s top 3 series? What better excuse could you find to take the week off and go see what you’ve been missing?
- The Night Race at Bristol – If you like late summer races, then you may like the Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. The race takes place in the “Last Great Collessum”, a half-mile concrete track completely surrounded by stands! It is also a popular meeting spot for NASCAR tailgaters who fill the surrounding parking areas and campgrounds. In the days prior to the race, these fans forge friendships over campfires and cooking stoves, and a shared passion for racing. The cars glimmer at night, assuming a bigger-than-life appearance. Between the atmosphere at the track and the race itself, plan on leaving with a truckload of new memories.
- Bojangles’ Southern 500 – When it comes to great races, this one at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina always ranks near the top of the list. The Labor Day Weekend race on Sept. 3 has become known as NASCAR’s Official Throwback weekend, in which race teams swap their primary paint schemes for paint schemes from the past. For its third year, the Throwback Weekend will celebrate the 1985-89 era of racecars and drivers, which was an exciting time of growth for the sport. That era ushered in such greats as Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace and Bill Elliott, so expect to see some familiar favorite designs from the past circling the track. The weekend includes a commemorative ticket design to honor the retro theme and a full weekend of fun – ‘80s style – that includes music and even food from that era.
- Ford EcoBoost 400 – For 15 years, this race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida has wrapped up the NASCAR season. This year’s race, set for Nov. 19, will once again determine who will walk away with the championship trophy. It’s also part of the Ford Championship Weekend, which includes the championship race for the Camping World Truck Series and the Xfinity Series. This race consistently sells out, so plan ahead if you want to be part of this hot-ticket event.
Whichever races you decide to see this year, remember that each has something different to offer. You’ll never have the same experience twice. Putting these at the top of your NASCAR bucket list is a great way to make the most of your racing season. Make sure you know what to bring to each NASCAR race you decide to attend.