How Big Is East Alabama Motor Speedway? [Expert Review!]

Have you ever visited a racetrack and wondered how big it was? Wondered how many lanes of racing there were or how many green flags there were flying at any one time? Well, you came to the right place because we’re going to tell you all about one of the biggest tracks in America and how you can make the most of your visit.

The Biggest Racetrack In America

Although it may not seem like it, Alabama’s smallest city, Florence, has a connection to one of the biggest sporting events in the world. On October 11, 1927, Florence was the starting point for one of the most storied sporting events ever. The floodgates opened as drivers from all over the country came to take part in the first “World’s Championship Auto Race.” In the end, over 30 different cars were competitive, with numerous passing zones and incredible speed. The winner was William K. Draine and his Blue Bird racer, clocking in at a very respectable 163.968 miles per hour! After the excitement of the 1927 Indianapolis 500, people were talking about the possibilities of a “World Championship of Automobile Racing.”

Since that day, over 100 years ago, the Indianapolis 500, also known as the “Indianapolis 500 Miles,” as it is today, has continued to grow in both stature and popularity. Now considered the Super Bowl of racing, it is widely known and accepted as the greatest single-day sporting event of the year. In 2020, it will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Since 1927, the Indianapolis 500 has also become the longest-running motor race in history, with each passing year bringing a new championship and a fresh crop of drivers eager to stake their claim on the legendary trophy.

While the Indy 500 has largely remained in Indiana, its popularity and influence has spread throughout the country, with countless spinoffs and imitations springing up across the country. One of the most famous of these is the Asheville 300, held in North Carolina in late May/early June annually; it too is almost a carbon copy of the Indy 500, with multiple passing zones and speeds reaching well over 200 miles per hour. The only real difference is that you have to qualify instead of showing up and driving off.

It’s not only the Indianapolis 500 that draws thousands of people to the state each year. The entire state of Indiana has a love affair with all things automotive, and thousands make the journey to see the dazzling array of automobiles on display at the Indy Museum, as well as the nightly fireworks display that caps off each day’s racing activity. Although the race itself is run on a Sunday, the entire week is a circus, as residents, tourists and enthusiasts alike flock to Indy to witness the spectacle. On this front, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia also boast hugely popular auto racing scenes, drawing enthusiasts from across the country to their respective shores. This is in addition to the large population base of Michigan and Ohio, which are home to a number of NASCAR competitors, making them arguably the biggest motorsport states in the US. The list of big tracks in these areas is endless, with all able to hold their own against the big boys of racing. This is in addition to the huge Mid-Ohio race, one of the most historic venues in American motorsport, where it all began in 1914.

An Unexpected Attraction

While traveling in the South, it’s best to keep your eyes open for billboards and signs advertising NASCAR events. The sport has exploded in popularity in recent years and is now broadcast live across the country, making it accessible and attractive to anyone with an interest. Although the Indianapolis 500 is the most famous of these events, they are by no means the only drawcard. The entire country is abuzz with excitement around NASCAR each year, as evidenced by the numerous fans turned up in stadiums across the country to cheer on their favorite drivers. Even in these politically correct and sophisticated times, it’s amazing how much passion there is for NASCAR and how much it draws in visitors. From humble beginnings in the early 1950s, it has grown into a major sport in its own right and enjoys near-universal coverage in the media. According to Forbes, NASCAR’s ‘‘annual revenue is projected to hit $13.9 billion by next year.’’ That’s billion with a ‘‘B.’’

In spite of all this, there are still many who view NASCAR with a jaundiced eye, dismissing it as mere ‘‘entertainment for rednecks.” Some may even take issue with the way the sport broadcasts live, with bleacher-style seating and over-exclusivity to the point of sanitizing the whole event. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that not that long ago, NASCAR was a small slice of American sports and culture, enjoyed mainly by a select audience, broadcast on a relatively obscure channel. Today, NASCAR is a way of life.

The Grand Tour

For drivers and enthusiasts alike, the appeal of a grand tour of American motorsport is obvious. With three or more events to choose from, you can soak up as much racing as you can in three or four days, rather than the usual one or two. The options for 2019 include the Indy 500, the Daytona 500 and the Gold Cup NASCAR event in Chicago. While it may not seem like it, the travel requirements for a grand tour are minimal. With most major airports having regular service to all major cities and travel speeds being relatively high, it’s not that difficult to visit all the major venues within a few days. The only real inconvenience is getting from one airport to another, as you may have to change planes.

How to Make the Most of Your Visit

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, the next step is to locate suitable accommodation. The first thing to do is to familiarize yourself with the layout of the track. The best places for fans to sit and spectate the race are either at the front or at the back, as these are the best vantage points from which to observe the entire spectacle. If possible, try and sit on the right side of the track, as this is where all the action is and you have a clear view of the entire track. If not, then the other side will do just as well. As for the track’s restrooms, they are usually not that accessible, so it is best to use the one at the venue’s entrance instead. This will help you avoid missing one of the race’s most exciting moments just because you were too busy using the amenities.

The next step is to decide which of the track’s attractions are most appealing to you. As mentioned above, the layout and surface of the track is one of the main drawcards. Do you want to see how fast real drivers can go or would you rather spend your time in the company of fellow enthusiasts and take in the ambience? Perhaps you’d like to try both, as all racing is about entertaining and informing the viewer, whether that be a fan or someone sitting on the other side of the world. The important thing is to decide what you want out of your visit and then work hard to make that happen. If you’re looking for a traditional tour of the monuments and galleries that make up an American motorsport trail, then begin your research well in advance and plan your trip accordingly. A couple of days or weeks on the road is a small price to pay for the thrill of witnessing one of the most exciting sporting events in the world.

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