Last year for Halloween, I found an old friend who I hadn’t spoken to in years. Since we were both college students at the time, the conversation flowed smoothly as we reminisced about our past. When I asked my friend how far he lived from Eldora Speedway, he said that it was a 2-hour drive. Intrigued, I checked the map and discovered that it was actually closer to 3 hours. Upon arriving at his house, I congratulated him on living this far from the track, and he replied with, “Well, it’s not all that far. I just didn’t want to drive there during rush hour.”
This made me curious as to how far he would have to go during off-peak hours. I thought that maybe there was some sort of logic to his aversion to going there during the week, so I asked him what time of day he would normally drive and whether that changed how far he had to go. After some hemming and hawing, he admitted that he usually drove during the afternoon, so that was the time I picked for my expedition.
I hopped in my car at 12:30, and after a short trip to the grocery store, I arrived at the track at 1:30. I was a little early, but since it was a beautiful day and the track was empty, I felt like I had the place all to myself. I took out my phone and looked up a route to calculate the miles, and it turned out that it was slightly over 100 miles. My friend wasn’t kidding when he said that it wasn’t that far; however, this was definitely a drive that I wouldn’t want to make during rush hour.
What Is Eldora Speedway?
Located in northern Ohio, about an hour and a half outside of Cleveland, Eldora Speedway is America’s favorite dirt track. It’s considered an intermediate track, which means that it’s somewhere in between the likes of Talladega and Watkins Glen. The track mostly hosts weekly races in the summer, which consist of a smaller field of cars than a regular NASCAR race. There are also various touring cars and sprint cars that appear at the track throughout the year.
Eldora’s biggest event is the Triple Crown Tour, which runs every year in May. For $15, you get to see three consecutive nights of high-speed racing, along with a Saturday night fireworks display. The track also hosts the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Sportster Series, which is open to both amateur and professional drivers.
The highlight of my trip to Eldora was definitely the food. The place is famous for its bratwurst, which are sausages that they serve inside of mustard-based bratwurst bortsch. Yum! You can’t make them sound more disgusting than the Germans do, and I was impressed by how authentic the translation was. It was as if they were transported back in time and transported themselves to Ohio. The bratwurst is good, but the bortsch rules!
Also, if you love chocolate and ice cream, you have to try their version of the traditional German dessert strudel. With the classic choice of cinnamon or strawberry, it’s the perfect way to end a long day at the track. I went back there a second time during the month, and the food was still as good as my first time around. On my second visit, I had the chicken tenders, which are a combination of chicken and potato. It was juicy and seasoned well. The nachos that accompanied it were crisp on the outside but still creamy on the inside. I was so sad that I had to leave that day, and I highly recommend trying the food there before the end of the day. Especially since it’s getting late, and you’re starting to feel a little bit peckish…
Tips On Traveling To Eldora
If you live in or near Cincinnati, you already know that it’s quite the drive north to get to Eldora Speedway. The best way to make the trip more enjoyable is by planning in advance. A little research before you set out will give you an idea of what time of day is best to travel and whether or not to bring a change of shoes. It’s best to avoid going during rush hour, so if you can help it, avoid going on weekend afternoons or evenings (unless your destination is in the opposite direction).
You should also know that it can get pretty chilly at night, so don’t forget to bring a coat. The temperature can drop quite a bit, especially if there’s a lot of wind or if it’s slightly overcast. The sky can be a very important factor to consider. Bring a flashlight, and if you’re going during the night, you should also bring a camera with you. This way you can capture all the iconic pictures that Eldora is known for.
It’s always better to arrive at the track early than to show up late. There are no reserved parking spots at the track, and it’s best to try and find a spot as soon as you arrive. It will save you from having to search for parking later on when you’re trying to enjoy the evening. If you do find an empty spot, be sure to move your car before someone else parks in it. This is especially important if you’re driving a luxury vehicle, as they may not be the most common on the road.
How Is Eldora Speedway’s Parking?
Eldora Speedway is one of the most popular spectator sports venues in the country. It drew over 230,000 people in 2017 alone. The track is huge, and even with a luxury vehicle, it can be difficult to find a parking space. There is plenty of parking for VIPs and drivers, as well as people who just show up at the discretion of organizers. If you do find a spot, be sure to move your car before the end of the day, as there will be lots of traffic and it will be difficult to find a place to park. Also, it’s always better to use the parking garage, as there are no tickets given away at the gates. This is an added bonus if you’re driving a luxury vehicle, as you won’t have to worry about getting a parking ticket. Be sure to use the nearby gas stations to purchase tickets and merchandise, as this will save you from having to go to the track to pay. Since it’s a large scale operation, they will have cash registers at the entrance that you need to stop by. If you don’t have cash, you can use a credit card on file to make the purchase.
Should I Go During the Week or Weekend?
As I mentioned earlier, the track mainly hosts weekly races in the summer. The rest of the year, they have sporadic races that can be either weekly or monthly. In general, the track is less crowded during the week, so this is probably the best time to go. You will usually find less people around, and the sun is at its peak. The weekdays are usually hot and humid, and the evenings can get a little chilly. This makes it a good idea to go during the weekend or early in the morning, before the temperature starts to rise. Of course, you may also find that some places are better to visit on certain days, so make sure that you check the calendar before you make your plans. If you go during the week, be sure to stay in the same hotel as the track. This is to avoid disappointment if you get there and the track isn’t open. You can always stop by the hotel bar to have a drink, but it’s better to go to the track for alcohol.
The weekend is definitely the best time to go. On Friday and Saturday nights, the track is a hub for activity, as there are various racing groups that come together for a fight for the NASCAR crown. On Sunday, the track is closed, but you can have a nice brunch at a nearby restaurant. The best time to visit here is definitely on a Thursday or Friday night. You will find more people around, the beer will be cold, and the grass will still be wet from the previous night’s rain. It doesn’t get better than this!