There is a misconception out there that tailgating before a game is the sole property of football, both professional and collegiate. They do go hand in hand, for sure. Autumn mornings are filled with the smell of lit barbecues, the sound of music in the air, and a festive vibe all across the country. Every Saturday and Sunday from August until January, football fans hit the streets jockeying for a good spot at the tailgate. Once football is over, though, a different breed of tailgater takes their turn: NASCAR fans. Tailgating in the parking lot before a race is as natural and as old as the Daytona 500. NASCAR fans are legendary for tailgating; they just don’t get the publicity that football fans do. Their tailgating goes high tech with scanners, two-way radios for finding the good food, and mobilized racing coolers. Their ingenuity cannot be denied. Submitted for your approval and debate, here are the top NASCAR tracks for tailgating.
Bristol Motor Speedway
The Blue Ridge Mountains of eastern Tennessee are home to Bristol Motor Speedway and a legendary tailgate. They host a fan fest and hauler parade that even the top drivers are aware of. Kenny Wallace is a notable fan of Bristol and the varied loyalty of the race fans. They all root for a different driver, making the pregame celebration passionate, to say the least. The track hold over 165,000 fans, and every one of them tailgates long before the green flag drops.
The Talladega Superspeedway was famous long before the fictional Ricky-Bobby took a few laps on it. Lincoln, Alabama, is home to Mardi Gras meets NASCAR and the nonstop party. You won’t find barbecue sauce wrestling and Jell-O crawls anywhere else. The party starts the night before and rages on all race day long.
Daytona International Raceway
When your track kicks off the racing season, you had better come correct. Daytona is the most prestigious and oldest race in NASCAR, and the fans know it. The infield is the place to be on race day with the improved views. Some claim things are tame compared to the old days, but we’ll let you decide.
“The Track Too Tough to Tame” has an epic tailgate. Locals near the track offer up their front lawns for camping and shenanigans during the Labor Day weekend event. The party grew so large that the track started offering 20×20 tailgating spaces for fans at $50 a pop with no limitations on how many people could be at your spot.