How Big Is Auburndale Speedway? [Facts!]

Auburndale Speedway is one of the newest, if not the very newest, NASCAR speedways. It is also one of the biggest. The concrete ring is a whopping 7.022 miles long, making it the longest one of its kind. The 1.25 mile stretch of Richmond Road that is used for the track is a part of the National Historic Road, which was established in 1935. The Speedway was also designed by the same person who designed Watkins Glen in upstate New York. The grandstand alone is 162 feet high and holds 82,000 fans. It is also the 3rd largest one-day sporting event venue in North America.

How Did The Speedway Get Its Name?

The NASCAR speedway got its name due to its location in the heart of Auburndale, which is a suburb of Tampa, Florida. The track is actually situated on the former site of Temple Baptist Church, and its first event was held on April 7, 1960. The first-ever winner at the track was Bill Pollard in the Veggie Special, which he piloted to victory in front of an audience that did not number more than 400 people. The first Cup Series race at the new facility was the 1961 Southern 500, won by Red Farmer in the Plymouth Fury.

What Is The Capacity Of The Grandstands & Fans’ Area?

The biggest surprise when going to the grandstands and seeing them for themselves is the sheer number of empty seats. While parts of the stadium are packed, the vast majority of it is not. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, the weather in the area is quite nice most of the year, so people do not really need to be wearing heavy coats, which are advised against near the entrances. Second, several other tracks, especially those in the Southern US, also have a similar seating configuration, which makes the fans there a little more familiar with the style. Third, the sightlines are quite bad for the majority of the events at the Speedway, which some people might find tiring if they are coming from an excursion to the beach or a ballgame.

Taking a closer look at the seating itself, there are a total of 82,000 permanent seats available for sports matches. The remaining 11,000 are in the form of loge boxes, which are similar to the ones you will find at a Broadway show. There is also a large number of grandstand roofs available for those who want to leave a bit of their sunshine at the races. Even with the luxury suites, the overall capacity of the stadium is only 104,000, which is a quite a bit less than expected.

Are There Any Famous Musicians Or Celebrity Visitors From The Area?

It is quite an event when a local musician, or even a famous one, shows up to support their home team. One of the biggest recent examples of this was the Charlotte Hornets’ 2012–13 NBA season, when they had a special guest appearance by John Fogerty, who is from Tampa and is a big sports fan. The song he performed was “Center Stage,” which is a track he wrote for his album, Center Field. It’s a fitting song for an NBA basketball arena, as the arena is in the center of the field.

Other famous faces that have graced the stage at the Speedway include: Prince, who performed there in May 1977 with the Purple One Band; Alice Cooper, who performed there in April 1985 with her band, the Blues Magoos; Bruce Springsteen, who performed there in July 1984 and June 1990 with his E Street Band and Nebraska Cornhuskers, respectively; and the Neville Brothers, who performed in March 1981.

How About The Food, Am I Supposed To Eat What They Serve Me At The Racetrack?

Nope. While the food at the park is pretty good, you are not supposed to eat what is served you at the track. The two are completely different venues. At the track, you will find concession stands, each one offering a different menu, and some of the best restaurants in Florida. At the stadium, the food is meant to be quick and easy to eat, while the experience is an attraction itself. Plus, people come to the races to socialize, so there should be plenty of friendly competition when it comes to food-related jokes.

One good option at the Speedway is the Chicken Express. You get a basket of fried chicken with your ticket, and you may opt to add some baked beans or potato salad, which are both good alongside the chicken. If you sit in the front row of the grandstands, you will see the chefs at the snack bar, which is next to the concession stands, preparing your food. It is quite an experience to watch them work their magic, especially when combined with the aroma of fresh, hot food wafting through the air. Another option is the Classic Car Café, which offers great food and even better service. The closest you will come to an Asian meal at a NASCAR event is the Cajun chicken tenders, as all of the food there is fried. You get a lot of it too, especially if you opt for the four-piece hand-tossed basket. Just remember that alcohol is not served in any of the restaurants at a NASCAR event, and the only place you can get it is at the nearby bars, which will close down as soon as the last car has left the garage.

Does The Speedway Have Its Own Police Force?

Yep. The officers at the Speedway are part of the Florida Highway Patrol, and they wear the standard patrolman’s uniform with a few extra badges on the chest. Additionally, each of them is assigned to a specific task force, such as the drug unit, or the robbery unit, which targets bank presidents and the like. There are also bike troopers who patrol the grounds, as motorcycles are occasionally involved in accidents on the race track, which make for great photo-op opportunities.

How Many Miles Of Parking Are There At The Speedway?

Auburndale Speedway does not offer much in the way of parking, as it is a fairly new, and quite a popular, sports venue, so there is often a line of cars waiting to enter the garage, especially during the peak season, which is from April until October. Luckily, there are a few spots available for patrons, as the majority of the spaces are taken up by the teams, their drivers, and the staff, who all need to park in order to get their work done. Still, even with the limited parking options, the line to get in can be quite long. It is advisable for those traveling by car to park in the nearby townships, as there are plenty of parking spaces there. The closest major city to the speedway is Tampa, which is only a few miles away. The drive will not be a long one, as traffic is usually light, and there is only one entrance, which makes a roundabout trip easy.

Going to the races is a great way to spend a Saturday or Sunday evening, as you get to see some of the most famous cars and drivers in the world, along with some great music and comedy. The downside is that you are not really supposed to eat what they serve you at the park, as it is not considered good for your health. Still, if you are a big sports fan, it is undoubtedly one of the sporting events you will want to see. And if you are one of the fortunate ones who got a ticket to one of the big NASCAR events, then the memory of the experience will last a lifetime. Plus, you get to tell your friends that you got to see a NASCAR race in person.

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