Now that the country has slowly begun opening up, we thought we’d celebrate with a post to get you excited to get back out there and fly. Adrenaline addicts of any type can appreciate the speed, roar and excitement of an auto race. Once the green flag drops and the crowds start to cheer the cars around the course, there’s nothing else quite like it. Whether you’re interested in IndyCar, Formula One, NASCAR or something else, here are the best race tracks to watch drivers compete for the gold. Remember with a private pilot license, you can jet off toward any of these destinations when race day comes around. Just hop in the cockpit, enter your coordinates and you’ll be there in no time!
1) Daytona International Speedway
Nearest Airport: Daytona Beach Airport (KDAB)
While there are several race tracks in the Sunshine State, Daytona International Speedway is by far the most famous. It’s home to the Daytona 500, the most prestigious race in NASCAR, but it’s also been host of a myriad number of championship-level races since the late 1950s. With extensive renovations and additions, spectators can now enjoy wider and more comfortable seats, as well as more restrooms and concession stands.
2) Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Nearest Airport: Indianapolis Regional Airport (KMQJ)
Beyond Daytona, Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the most famous racetrack in the U.S., and maybe even the world for the IndyCar Series. Host of the historical Indianapolis 500, Indy cars compete for one of the top prizes in racing, the Borg-Warner Cup. Featuring the top drivers in the sport, 500,000 fans descend on the city for race weekend to experience festivities, camping, good food and drinks, and some of the best racing in the world.
3) Brainerd International Raceway
Nearest Airport: Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport (KBRD)
Located in the heart of Minnesota, Brainerd International Raceway is a 3.1-mile road course and host to the Can Am. Additionally, spectators can see drag races and the cumulative NHRA Nationals event every year. This track is unique in that it’s considered to have the longest straightaway for a road course in the U.S.
4) Road America
Sheboygan County, WI
Nearest Airport: Sheboygan County Memorial Airport (KSBM)
In the neighboring state of Wisconsin sits Road America, an iconic raceway, known across the country for its tight turns and fast straightaways. Since the 1950s, this course has become a mainstay in professional racing, welcoming many different series, from NASCAR to IndyCar to SportsCar and beyond. Visit this challenging asphalt road course and you’re sure to see a good race.
5) Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Nearest Airport: Salinas Municipal Airport (KSNS)
For those wanting to fly to the west coast for some exciting race-day action, look to Mazda Raceway in Salinas, California. Here, you’ll watch drivers compete on one of the most difficult tracks in the U.S., which is famous for its corkscrew portion of the course. While it isn’t the longest track, coming in at just under 2.3 miles, it’s been host to some of the world’s finest drivers and has earned its reputation among the best racetracks in the country.
6) Circuit of the Americas
Nearest Airport: Austin Executive Airport (KEDC)
Since opening in 2012, the race track has made a strong effort to become the preeminent international racecourse in the U.S. Circuit of the Americas has been host to Formula One, MotoGP and Lone Star Le Mans, making it the place to go if you want to experience international-style racing at its best. So, set your coordinates toward Texas, where everything—including racing—is bigger.
7) Michigan International Speedway
Nearest Airport: Shamrock Field Airport (6G8)
Another midwestern racing gem that’s made our list is the Michigan International Speedway, one of the top tracks on the NASCAR circuit. The two-mile track features wide, high-banking turns, great for spectator viewing. And, if this course feels familiar to some, that’s because it was designed by the same person who engineered Daytona Speedway, Charles Moneypenny.
8) Watkins Glen
Schuyler County, NY
Nearest Airport: Schuyler Airport (NY29)
Since the 1940s, Watkins Glen has been considered the mainstay of American auto racing, even before there was a real racetrack. Drivers used highways and country roads before the community eventually built a legitimate track. If you’re a fan of history, auto racing or both, this place has all you could ever hope for.
Are you ready to see the world’s best auto races?
Then get in touch with Inflight Pilot Training today! We can give you the freedom to fly to these destinations, or any of your other favorites – anywhere in the world. All it takes is a quick call or email to our facilities in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and we can provide you with the information you need to get started with our flight training programs.
For additional information on Inflight training programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.