It’s a question that’s been on a lot of minds since the season’s first race at Daytona International Speedway in February: How many laps is 500 miles?
That question is certainly relevant for the upcoming Coke Zero Sugar Bowl, which pits the Michigan Wolverines against the Virginia Tech Hokies in one of the most highly anticipated college football games of the year. The game will be played on Jan. 1, 2019, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
There are a few answers to the question of how many laps is 500 miles. The first is that it depends on your definition of a lap. In the case of the Atlanta Motor Speedway, there are exactly 500 miles (800 kilometers) of asphalt. To get round-trip to and from the venue, you would need to drive 500 miles (800 km) once. Or, if you’re looking for an exact time, the lap would be between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. (EST).
You could, however, make the argument that one lap around the half-mile racetrack is not quite the same as going 500 miles (800 km). The former is more like 60 mph (97 km/h), while the later is more like 100 mph (161 km/h). So, in relative terms, it would be more accurate to say that one lap around Atlanta is equivalent to 300 miles (482 km). Or, to put that in perspective, if you could keep your foot on the gas the whole way around, you could potentially go from Atlanta to Miami in under three hours. (Yes, that hour and a half that you spent at the coffee shop in Atlanta could be used to drive to and from Miami.)
In case you’re wondering, here’s a list of some of the other famous speeds in North America:
- Indianapolis Motor Speedway: 1.25 miles (2 km)
- Michigan Speedway: 2.5 miles (4 km)
- Phoenix International Raceway: 3.03 miles (5 km)
- St Petersburg Square Mile Drive: 1.74 miles (3 km)
- Sonoma Raceway: 2.56 miles (4 km)
- Texas Motor Speedway: 1.5 miles (2.5 km)
- Tucker Speedway: 3.05 miles (5 km)
- Triple Crown Speedway: 3.98 miles (6.5 km)
- Virginia International Raceway: 4.7 miles (7.6 km)
- Watkins Glen International Raceway: 5.6 miles (9 km)
- Weatherford Raceway: 6.5 miles (10.5 km)
- Nashville Speedway: 7.35 miles (11.9 km)
- Arrowhead Racing Stadium: 8.27 miles (13.1 km)
- California Speedway: 10.5 miles (16.5 km)
- Kentucky Speedway: 13.1 miles (21 km)
- Daytona International Speedway: 14.35 miles (23.9 km)
- Iowa Speedway: 16.8 miles (26.8 km)
- Las Vegas Motor Speedway: 24.5 miles (39 km)
- Oak Tree Motorsports Park: 28.28 miles (45 km)
- Auto Club Souvenir Parlor: 33.91 miles (53 km)
If you want to extend your travels beyond North America, you could do worse than look towards Europe or even the entire world. There are a number of tracks around the globe where cars can go as fast as they can round a bend. For example, the European Grand Prix at Monaco is one of the most famous races of all time, attracting fans from all over the world. The race itself lasts for approximately three hours, taking place during the afternoon of a Sunday. The course is famous for its challenging uphill section and its spectacular sea of blue cars. The last race held there was in 1914 and it has only been held twice since – in 1935 and again in 2014. If you’re a car lover, you owe it to yourself to check out one of the most historic racing venues in existence. (There’s actually an iPhone app called Monaco Racing Map that can help with navigation if you’re planning on traveling to the Principality for the day of the race.)
The Importance Of Distances
While it’s fun to debate the relative merits of different tracks, the fact remains that distances matter. The farther you are from home, the more important it becomes to get the most out of your trip. That’s because, to the best of our knowledge, there are no convenient places to refuel on the road. Therefore, every mile (or kilometer) that you travel means more money out of your wallet. Just keep that in mind.
The Importance Of Timing
Another thing that you need to consider is the importance of timing. Some events are only available at certain times of the year. For example, the Daytona 500 is usually held in February, which is a few months after the last race of the year. The point is that you need to schedule your visit to one of these events, especially if you want to do a lot of driving. If you miss the chance to see a particular event at a famous North American racetrack, you’ll probably never get the chance. If you’re going to be traveling anyway, why not?
Taking A Break
Many of these events are fairly high-profile. You might want to take a break from your busy schedule for a few days and visit one of these venues. There are a few cars that you can take along with you (such as a bicycle or scooter), so that you can get around the track faster. Or, if you’re really ambitious, you can rent a luxury vehicle and take full-time driving lessons from a professional race instructor. If you do decide to take a break from your busy schedule and travel to one of these events, make sure to pack accordingly. You won’t want to spend half of your vacation stuck in traffic due to heavy car traffic.
Of course, the opposite is also true. Some events don’t have the same appeal if you’re not on vacation. For example, the Indy 500 is much more fun if you’re driving your own car. The point is that you need to consider what will make the most enjoyable experience for yourself. When it comes to deciding where to travel to and which events to attend, you need to set your own rules and stick to them. Don’t get paralyzed by fear of missing out. Instead, pick a destination that you know about and that interests you. Once you land there, you can take it from there.
What About Roads?
This is the most important point. We mentioned above that there are no convenient places to refuel on the road. This is especially true if you want to travel long distances. Even in countries where there is petrol available, it cost money to fill up your tank. Therefore, it’s better to plan your route before you leave. This, of course, means that you need to be prepared for the occasional traffic jam. If you’re going to be traveling during rush hour, you might want to consider taking a bus or taxi instead of driving your own car. This, however, is usually a bad idea. The point is that you want to be in a moving vehicle for as long as possible. It’s not only going to cost you more money, but it’s also going to cost you a lot of time.
In some countries, you’ll find gas stations every few miles along the highway. In others, you’ll need to find a way to fill up at a more remote location. If you have a gas station nearby, it’s usually better to park there and walk to the event. This is especially true if you’re coming from a long distance. There is usually plenty of walking and not too much driving involved.
How Does Transportation To The Event Work?
If you’re attending one of these events, it is highly likely that you’ll have to find a way to get there. You have a few options when it comes to transportation: drive yourself, hire a car or take the bus/train/plane. If you do decide to drive, you will definitely need gas stations along the way. This is especially true if you have a long distance to travel to the event. You could also opt to walk, but you might want to avoid this if the weather is cold. (On the other hand, you could carry a small stove with you and make some tea. It probably won’t be available at the restaurants near the stadiums, though.)