How Long Is It From Kalamazoo Speedway? [Updated!]

In the middle of the summer, it is hot. Hot enough that many places have adopted an ‘air-conditioning’ policy, where the units are turned on all day and night, making the outside world feel more like an extension of the office. Hot enough that at least one person has died from heat-related causes, making the summer of 2015 the hottest on record. This is a challenge to American summer sport, particularly NASCAR, which is generally seen as a ‘winter sport’.

Summertime is the best time for stock car racing, as the tracks are mostly empty and the air is fresh. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. The hot weather is a pain, and it presents certain challenges that you have to overcome to have a successful racing season. One of these challenges is how long is it from Kalamazoo Speedway to everywhere else? How far is it really? The answer to this question is not quite as far as you might think. Although the route will be different for every driver and car, as long as you use MapQuest, your GPS device, or similar mapping software, you can find the answer to this question pretty easily. So let’s find out.

The Basics

Before we begin, let’s cover some of the basics. First off, Kalamazoo is a speedway, which is a type of racetrack optimized for high speeds. The track is owned by the city and has the following dimensions:

  • Length: 4.9 miles
  • Width: 68 feet
  • Aspect Ratio: 9.61
  • Bank Size: 12 degrees
  • Surface Type: Clay
  • Capacity: 120,000
  • Raceway Number: F2S
  • Opening Date: 1922
  • Closing Date:
  • Status:
  • Location:
  • Weather: Hot and humid
  • Slope: 8%
  • Speed Limit: 150 mph
  • Bike Lane: Yes

The surface of the track is clay. This is a type of dirt that is soft and abrasive, making it perfect for high-speed racing. The dirt on the track will make the car’s tires spin, causing the vehicle to gain traction and speed. The clay surface also helps absorb some of the impact from crashes, making the track a little safer.

The Route

For the purpose of this article, we are going to focus on driving directions from Kalamazoo to other locations. To do this, we need to start by heading south on I-96. This is an east-west highway and is one of the primary arteries that connect Kalamazoo to the rest of the world. Past the border of Tennessee, I-96 becomes the William Jennings Bryan Highway, named after the 19th century politician and educator. South of Nashville, the route turns into the George Bush Parkway, named after another prominent politician. In Florida, the parkway becomes the Tamiami Trail, named after the ‘Tropical Park’ region in which it runs. After driving for roughly 45 minutes, you will reach the city of Jacksonville, and continue east on I-295, which eventually connects to I-95 south of Savannah, Georgia. From there, it is a short trip to the mainland United States. Although the roads are different, the distance is about the same.

How Much Does It Cost To Ride The Bus?

Another thing that you need to keep in mind about driving to Kalamazoo is that you will likely have to pay for transportation to get there. There is no direct bus line from Jacksonville to Kalamazoo, and the only way to get there is either by air or road. As we stated above, the distance is not that far, but you have to factor in the cost of gas and the wear and tear on your vehicle. Driving there will not only be tiresome, but you will also waste a lot of time. For these reasons, we strongly suggest that you take the bus. The bus stops frequently along the route, so you will have the opportunity to get off and make your way to a rest stop for a few hours, if needed.

Is It Worth It?

To continue on our journey from Jacksonville to Kalamazoo, we need to head back to Tennessee. Past the state line, the route turns into Highway 21, which continues to parallel I-96, but moves farther south. After roughly 40 minutes, you will reach the town of Hendersonville, which serves as a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains. From there, you can either turn off on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which will take you to another rest stop, or you can continue south and reach I-40 in Asheville. From I-40, it is a straight shot west to Kalamazoo. Although there are fewer towns and fewer other cars on the road, the route is considerably longer than the one that we took earlier, and you will reach your destination after a gruelling journey. Let’s face it, when the temperatures are above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, it would be wise to avoid driving unless necessary.

As you can see, there are multiple options for traveling to Kalamazoo. The choice is yours. The above information is a brief overview of the basics. For a more in-depth guide, check out this useful resource from the city of Kalamazoo:

Kalamazoo City

As a bonus for those of you who are fans of NASCAR, we should mention that at least three of the circuits that you can visit as a driver are located in North Carolina (formerly known as the ‘United States of America’), namely, Charlotte, North Carolina; Dover, Dover, Delaware; and Martinsville, Henry County, Virginia. This means that even if you are not from there, you may get the chance to drive on some of these historic grounds. It would be a shame to pass on such an opportunity, so we suggest that you include these stops on your agenda. Of course, you can always take the interstate route, but sometimes the little things make a difference in terms of the overall experience.

Traveling To And From Kalamazoo

Since the above information was useful to those of you who are planning to visit or drive to Kalamazoo, let’s revisit the question at hand: how long is it from Kalamazoo to everywhere else? As we stated above, the answer to this question is not quite as far as you might think. Although the route will be different for every driver and car, as long as you use MapQuest, your GPS device, or similar mapping software, you can find the answer to this question pretty easily. So let’s find out.

The Route

To begin with, let’s plot the route on MapQuest. Since we don’t have an established destination, let’s put in Norfolk, Virginia, which is roughly 100 miles west of Kalamazoo. As we can see, it is a straight shot west on I-96 from Norfolk, and then north on I-70, which connects to I-96 in Kansas City. After another 40 minutes or so, you will reach the little town of Weston, where you will have to make a left turn onto the Blue Star Highway (Highway 36). Now, here is where things get a little tricky. Highway 36 branches off to the right at the town of La Grange, and then continues as the Macon Road. However, in order to reach Kilgo Beach, which is between La Grange and Macon, you will have to make a left turn onto the Old Macon Road. This brings us to our next point.

Which Route Should You Take?

One of the most important things to consider is which route to take. As we mentioned above, there are several options, but here is a short overview of the pros and cons:

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