Have you ever been to Lancaster Speedway? If so, then you know what a unique and exciting place it is! The first-ever dirt race track opened its doors to the public in 1925 and has been a popular destination ever since. Thanks to Steve Henson and the rest of the great staff for keeping this historic gem alive!
So, you’re thinking about going this year for the first time? Do you want to know what time the gates open and close? Or maybe you just want to know if there are any special events taking place? Then, this article is for you. Here, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about going to the race track. So, let’s get started.
If you’re not familiar, Lancaster Speedway is an open-air racing track located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. There are 17 turns (including a main straightaway), two jumps, and one brake run totaling about 4.9 miles of dirt and paved oval. Most of the turns are banked, which makes for some truly unique and exciting experiences for the drivers and people attending the races!
The track is popular because it offers something that can’t be found in a regular race track: dirt! The surface is loose and great for sliding around and creating a lot of speed. Plus, there are always some special events that take place there, such as the Monster Mile (a 1.25-mile short track), which is a completely separate entity from the larger track. The name comes from the fact that it features 14 turns (including a main straightaway) and drops down to one lane. The track is used for auto racing, but it also holds weekly stock car races that are open to the public. Finally, the grandstands at Lancaster Speedway are classic and a real piece of American auto racing history. They were designed by the famous Frank Lloyd Wright and constructed in the shape of a flying saucer, which definitely makes for a unique and memorable experience!
The gates at Lancaster Speedway open at 4 p.m. on Friday and close at 11 p.m. on Sunday. Weekdays are similar to Sundays with the exception of closing time, which is 3 p.m. On most nights, you will need to arrive at the track early in order to find a parking spot. However, there is also a parking lot adjacent to the track, which makes it much easier to find a space. Make sure to bring your ID, as well as credit card, in case you run into trouble purchasing a drink or food at the track. You’ll also need cash for the dragway, as it is not likely that you will find an ATM near the track. The credit card machines are located inside the gate and do not take cash. Also, at night, be sure to bring a flashlight and a pair of sunglasses in case you get lost walking to your car (it happens more than you’d think!).
There are several events and activities that take place at Lancaster Speedway throughout the year. Some of the more popular events include:
- Friday Night Fights – Every Friday night, the track hosts a small battle of sorts where the goal is to see who can beat the other guy with the least amount of paint slicked on. It’s kind of like a cross between an old-school hockey brawl and a demolition derby. (takes place at 7:30 p.m.)
- Lancaster Auto Mall Pothole – On the first Friday of every month, kids and adults alike get the chance to help repair the damage done by Mother Nature (and sometimes even Father Time) in the form of a giant pothole. Teams of two get their hands dirty and work together to remove debris, fill in potholes, and smooth out rough spots on the track. Children under 12 are allowed to participate in this event, but it’s recommended that they be in the company of an adult. (takes place at 8 p.m.)
- Monster Mile – When the temperatures start to rise, it’s time for the Monster Mile. Between 4 and 7 p.m. on a Sunday in the height of summer, the temperature is likely to hit more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In that case, everyone gets to enjoy a cool respite as the track is opened up for a 1.25-mile short track. (takes place at 3 p.m.)
- Steel Curtain Festival – During the summer, the track hosts one of the largest food festivals in the country. It’s named after the legendary Steel Curtain, which is a wall that surrounded much of Lancaster County back in the day. In order to celebrate this wall, there is an entire weekend dedicated to it with two categories of food and games for visitors to enjoy. (takes place throughout the summer)
- Stock Car Races – Since its opening in 1925, the track has hosted numerous stock car races. These races have been a regular occurrence and have become a way of life for anyone that has ever been to the track. There are usually two types of races that take place at the track: short-track (which is what the wall is named after) and feature (which is usually for cars over 21 years of age). The short-track races feature either seven turns or fourteen turns, with the latter being the most popular. (takes place throughout the year)
To find more information about any of the above, you can consult the track’s official website or call the speedway directly at 717-772-6722.
Parking And Transportation
Since this article is about going to the track, let’s discuss parking and transportation. Like most other speedways, parking at Lancaster Speedway is inexpensive and convenient. You’ll find a lot of free spaces in the nearby streets, as well as the parking lot adjacent to the site. Just make sure to arrive early in the day and leave early in the evening, or you’ll be spending a pretty penny!
As for the transportation options, they are almost as plentiful as the parking spots. You’ll find taxis and car services waiting at the nearby airports and train stations. If you don’t want to drive, the Pittsburgh International Airport is only 30 minutes away and offers direct connections to the major cities of the East Coast. In addition, there are daily flights from Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC to Lancaster. So, if you’re looking to get to the track, then there are plenty of options!
Obviously, the cost of going to the track is quite low, considering it’s a quarter of the price of a standard parking spot and the admission is free. You also don’t need to travel far, as the track is only 30 minutes from downtown Lancaster. But, if you’re looking for an expensive night out in the city, then you might want to consider other options.
Going to the track is a unique and exciting experience. It’s pretty close to downtown and offers a lot of perks, such as cheap parking and transportation options. In addition, the cost is quite low and it’s open pretty much all year long, so you don’t have to worry about it closing down for inclement weather. If you’re planning on going, then make sure to check out the track’s website or call the speedway directly to confirm open dates before you make any plans. All in all, it’s a unique opportunity not to be missed!