How Much Does Erie Speedway Cost? [Solved!]

There is nothing more American than spending your summer vacation at a racetrack. With temperatures rising and the kids going back to school, it’s time for the annual summer vacation for many families. While the idea of a warm summertime and the beach may still be appealing to some, the majority of us want more than a boring beach-bound summer vacation. A racing season is the perfect way to spend a summer vacation. The warm weather and the bright lights create the perfect canvas for budding photographers or artistes. And what could be more American than getting a bunch of your friends together and forming a garage league? Whether you enjoy Indycars, Merets, or something in between, there is plenty to choose from this year.

The Basics

Erie Speedway, like many other tracks, is a race track located in the heart of Pennsylvania. The track itself is located in the shape of a horseshoe, with the grandstands and restrooms located on the outside of the track. One of the best sections of the track is the tri-oval located in the middle of the infield. The banking is so steep that even the front running cars need to overcome the banking and speed down the straightaway. The outside walls are covered with a metal roof to provide some shade from the harsh summer sun while still enjoying the racing. This year, the track was resurfaced and repainted which made it look even more spectacular.

Getting There

The track is located just off of I-90 in Erie, Pennsylvania. The best way to reach the track is via the interstates. I-90 East is the closest major highway to the track, and it’s only about an hour and a half away from the Chicago area. For those who want to make a weekend out of it and for those who want to avoid Chicago traffic, I-90 West is the way to go. From Chicago, you can take the Pennsylvania Turnpike south to I-76 West to reach the Pittsburgh area. From the I-90 exit at Erie, it’s only about a 40-mile drive to the turnoff for the track. There is an overpass/underpass located just before the turnoff which allows drivers to make the transition seamlessly.


There are a few different parking lots located near the track, each with a different cost. The preferred parking lot is behind the main grandstand on the side nearest I-90. There is also an overflow lot located behind the clubhouse which charges $60 for the season. Parking in the clubhouse or in the lots along the backstretch is free. Bumper-to-bumper parking is also available for those arriving early or leaving late. The Pennsylvania Lottery offers a $30 discount for Thrive Senior citizens, disabled veterans, and teachers. Valet parking is also available for $12 per day at the nearby Hampton Inn & Suites.

Getting In

The easiest way to reach the track is via the escalator located at the corner of Washington and Jefferson Streets. A side entrance is located adjacent to the Washington Street entrance, while the Jefferson Street entrance has a separate set of stairs to get to the lower tier of seating. The escalator goes to the top deck where you can get a good view of the whole track. Once you’re on top, you can take the stairs or the elevator down to the lower level.

The Layout

The layout of the track largely determines how you want to approach the racing. If you’re a fan of banked tracks where cars spin out and almost come to a complete stop before continuing on their way, Erie Speedway is the place for you. Alternatively, if you want your car to reach its maximum speed almost immediately, the tri-oval is the place to be. A third option is to take your pick between the two.

The Track

The track is a 4.615-mile circuit. The banking is quite steep in some places, especially the third turn which is nicknamed the “Corncob.” The track is completely paved with white chalky clay which provides a unique texture and appearance to the track. The surface is very grippy in places, making for some exciting racing. The track is usually very bumpy in the spring due to the frozen ground and thawing of the clay, so pay attention to the condition before heading out on the hood of your vehicle. In some parts of the track, a car can get completely airborne, creating a spectacular sight for fans. The crowd goes wild each time this happens. In others, the cars just barely clear the track surface, creating an extremely close and exciting racing where the slightest error can spell disaster.

The Equipment

As mentioned above, the banking in certain parts of the track is quite sharp, making for some spectacular turns. Some of the corners even require a bit of a run up in order to fully exploit the banking. Of course, this is all dependent on your own personal driving style. For those who want to take the banking on flat out, there are plenty of grooves in which to do so. The surface of the track is also wide enough that it doesn’t feel as though you’re driving on a skating rink at times. The track has several hundred feet of boards located on each side of the track which drivers use for grip. This year, the track was repainted which made the boards even more prominent.

The Weather

The weather in Erie is mostly unpredictable, but it tends to heat up quickly in the summer and cool off quickly in the winter. While a hot day with a nice breeze is certainly welcome, be mindful of the weather and the possibility of sudden downpours of rain which can leave you stranded or catch you off-guard. Check the forecast before leaving for the track and be prepared for the unexpected. If you want to be certain that you’re going to be comfortable, dress in layers –- a light jacket, a sweater, a T-shirt and a tank top. If it’s a bit chilly, a fleece or a warm zip-up sweatshirt will keep you cozy on the outside. In the summer, long sleeves and long pants will keep you cool. In the winter, thicker and heavier clothes will keep you warm. When it comes to your car, make sure that it’s well-maintained and has all of its necessary paperwork in order. Familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of car maintenance before heading out on the track. Cleaning the engine and other aspects of your vehicle will greatly increase its performance. A full tank of gas is also very important as you’ll be driving a long distance to the track and back. On the other hand, it’s best to go into debt only for necessities. Stay away from high-priced gas bottles as they’ll eat into your bank balance quickly.

Overall, it’s an excellent summer track with some fantastic racing. The only downside is that it can get overcrowded during the season, so try to avoid going during the peak season. Otherwise, the racing is so good that it’s almost worth it. Be mindful of the weather, however, as it can get dangerous driving on wet or humid days. If you do go, be sure to visit the nearby museums and galleries which provide an excellent insight into the region’s history. The food in Erie is very good, and there are plenty of places located along the waterfront that serve up some great grills and seafood. If you’re looking for a place to eat, the options are endless. Just make sure to visit the local establishments as much as possible and avoid going to chain restaurants as they tend to be overpriced and underwhelming. Last but not least, take the family and have some fun. You can’t beat a few nights where you and your kids can bond over a game of cards or catch some football.”

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