Located just a stone’s throw from the Canadian border, Genesee Speedway is a legendary American racing venue. With roots that reach back to the dawn of motorsport in North America, the speedway has seen some pretty incredible times and has played host to numerous famous races. If you’re curious about what exactly Genesee Speedway is and how big it is, check out this article. We’ll tell you precisely where you can find it, as well as give you a sense of its size allowing for some comparison to other famous racetracks around the world.
The History Of Genesee Speedway
Genesee Speedway is widely considered to be one of the great American racing venues. It was originally constructed in 1910 and was the scene of the first official NASCAR race in North America. Since then, it has continued to hold races and is currently one of the premier track destinations in the United States. The speedway is located in the heart of Genesee County, which is just northwest of the capital city of Lansing, Michigan. The county is named after John W. Genesee, a pioneer settler who helped create the city back in the 19th century. The original wooden grandstand and infield were destroyed by a devastating fire in 1922, but the track itself survived and continued to operate. The following year, the grandstand was rebuilt and the stadium continued to grow, becoming one of the largest in the country. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the track really took off, as more and more racers sought the unique experience that is Genesee Speedway. There were also efforts at the time to add a third deck to the grandstand, but these were scrapped in favor of preserving the ambiance of the original structure. Thankfully, the deck remains one of the greatest aspects of the track, as it offered amazing views of the action and allowed fans to follow the races better. Nowadays, the speedway has one of the most modern and up-to-date facilities of any track in North America, as it continues to hold races annually and is a busy stop on the racing tour. In fact, the track is so popular that even NFL and Major League Baseball players have taken the opportunity to shine on the gridiron and diamond respectively.
The Size Of Genesee Speedway
When comparing the size of Genesee Speedway to other major racing venues, it’s hard to put into words just how big this particular track is. For context, check out one of the best online encyclopedias for cars, motorcycles, and trucks: Wikipedia. The site currently lists Genesee Speedway as one of the 17 largest stadiums in the United States. Nowadays, the track is so big that it actually takes three days to finish a NASCAR race there. The grandstand is over 200 years old and is a staggering 237 feet tall, making it the third tallest structure in the state of Michigan (behind the Big Dipper and Chrysler Building). The track itself is a quarter of a mile (400 meters) wide and is also the seventh largest in the nation. In total, Genesee Speedway covers over 832,000 square feet (80,800 square meters) of usable space. To put that in context, the entire Complex at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, only covers 759,000 square feet (71,400 square meters). On the other end of the spectrum, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is located just 16 miles (26 kilometers) south of Genesee Speedway, only covers 732,000 square feet (71,100 square meters). So, while not as big as some of the others, Genesee Speedway certainly isn’t lacking in size-related trivia!
The Layout Of Genesee Speedway
From what little we know about the design and layout of Genesee Speedway, it appears that the track was originally laid out in a “figure 8” shape with two straights and two tight bends. This type of design is often referred to as a “fishbowl” or a “banana” race track, due to its resemblance to the interiors of those two popular fruits. The two straights are each three quarters of a mile long, while the two tight bends are each two thirds of a mile. Like most other American race tracks, the turns are banked to offer better grip and allow for faster qualifying speeds. This makes for some really amazing racing, as the cars are constantly changing directions. The overall effect is often compared to that of a swimming pool lane, with multiple car racing around the edges with an occasional fish bouncing off the waves from time to time.
The Naming Of Genesee Speedway
Another thing that makes Genesee Speedway unique is the naming of the track itself. Like many other American race tracks, the vast majority of the structures at the facility were named after the first three letters of the track’s location. This is especially relevant today, as the speedway still uses this system and continues to expand its list of namesake structures. For example, the three-eighths mile (1.2 kilometer) straight that leads to the first turn is named after Earl T. Bennett, while the two-and-a-half mile (4 kilometer) straight that leads to the second turn is named after Homer L. Register. The remaining turns, including the backstretch, are all named after other famous American inventors, scientists, or politicians. The most prominent of these structures is the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge that spans the Genesee River, connecting Michigan to New York. It was named after JFK, who grew up in Massachusetts and attended Harvard University. While there, he was a member of the Harvard Legal Fraternity. One can only imagine what it would have been like to grow up in that neighborhood and take the Kennedy Bridge for granted.
Where To Watch The Races
If you’re trying to figure out where to watch the races at Genesee Speedway, there are a few options. First, you could always head to the track and find a spot on the grass. However, if you want something a little more comfortable, you could always find a bar nearby and order a drink. If you head to the Grand Avenue district in Lansing, you’ll find a number of bars, restaurants, and hotels, some with outdoor seating. This area is home to a Saturday night farmers’ market, too, which means you’ll have your pick of local produce to cook your food with. For those who want to avoid any food allergies, the market also features a large selection of local dairy products, so one could always order a cheese pizza or ice cream for dessert.
One of the great things about Genesee Speedway is that it always makes room for improvement. As the saying goes, “it’s never enough”, meaning that there’s always room for more parking spaces, more hotel rooms, and more bar stools. This track has definitely kept up with the times and now offers all the modern conveniences fans could want. For instance, the infield has a brand new, state-of-the-art grandstand now, whereas the outfield remains unchanged since the 1920s. In the last few years, the speedway has added a ton of new amenities, including a driving range, disc golf course, bocce ball alleys, and an entire indoor-outdoor ski run. These additions are wonderful because they allow for the community to have more activities and can also be enjoyed by people who may not have the chance to ski outdoors due to climate or safety concerns. Genesee Speedway also offers bikers, joggers, and pedestrians a scenic and peaceful area to enjoy the outdoors. The track’s website even encourages people to get out and about and explore all the places that this great American institution has to offer.
If you’re a racing fan and have ever been to Genesee Speedway, you know exactly what we’re talking about when we say that it’s one of the most impressive venues for a sporting event in the entire country. We’re not quite sure where all the fans come from, but the track attracts a large and loyal following. This is most likely due to the fact that it is a “home” track for many in the NASCAR community. The others who might come to watch a race here are usually corporate teams and drivers who are on a nationwide media tour and thus don’t have time to travel to a smaller track. As a result, the crowd grows as the race draws nearer. For example, the largest recorded attendance at a NASCAR race at the track was in 1975, when over 125,000 fans came out to see Jimmie Johnson win the Winston Cup Championship.