Big T's

Big T's

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Tips On Going To A NASCAR Race

Trust me, going to a NASCAR race with your wife in tow is a whole lot different than when you go with some of your friends. You need to plan things out ahead of time, otherwise, you both will suffer. I won't bore you with any details of the suffering involved in order to protect my sorry hide from any further damage. So, therefore, let me just get on with letting you know about a few helpful suggestions.

Should you get tickets ahead of time? Well, that depends. If you are going with your wife, I would definitely suggest that you do so. On the other hand, if you are going with some cheapskate friends, you might be able to save a little money by buying tickets from one of the many scalpers who set up shop close to many of the tracks. You may want to forgo this option if your negotiating skills are not finely honed. Most of those guys selling tickets are experts in their trade and more often than not, their prices do not fall until someone usually starts singing the national anthem. Many of these guys follow the NASCAR series around and you can find the same guys at different tracks. I actually have a card and a phone number from one of them who I kinda sorta respect. Who knows though, you may get into a situation where you spot some regular fans who have an extra ticket or two and they may be willing to part with them for less than face value. For this option, you need to know whether or not tracks allow you sell tickets on their property or not. A few months ago, I had to eat an extra ticket I had that cost around $200 because I didn't want to get in trouble for doing something illegal. That hurt.

While I am discussing tickets, another thing you may want to consider is whether or not to purchase pit passes. They do give you an opportunity to gain access to the action and who knows, you may even be able to get some good, close-up photos of your favorite drivers. Your friends are sure to be envious of you when you post those on Facebook. You can usually find those at the tracks almost always for face value or less.

Once you have your tickets in hand, it would be a wise idea to plan out an agenda. If you buy tickets for multiple day events, because fewer people attend the lesser events, you can use the first day or two to scout out the area and make plans accordingly. Find out where the activities you want to attend are and figure out how you are going to get there and then return to where you are staying.

Having done this a few times myself, I have learned to take advice from others and rather than re-inventing the wheel, I am going to share some of the sites I have visited and obtained some useful information from. Check these out:

Advice For First Time Race Goers (Be sure to read the comments.)

If You Have Never Been To A NASCAR Race...There Are Some Things You Need To Know 

Links To Track Websites (All of these have information specific to each track.)

Atlanta Motor Speedway's First Time Fan's Guide 

I'm sure a lot of you guys can think of other suggestions which ought to be included in this post so I am going to include a Facebook comment section below. Please feel free to add any helpful ideas.

Experience is a great teacher and here are some things I don't plan on doing again:

* I will not purchase a room from Priceline for a room where they also charge a parking fee. Sure, you may get a room at a great price but when you add on a $32 parking fee and an additional $5 in tips, what have you really saved?

* I will not ever attend a race on a hot day without taking my own cooler in. $4 for a bottle of water is way too much to pay especially on those days when you need to consume large quantities of fluids. Be sure to take a light-weight one or even a disposable one. It is usually a long hike back to your vehicle when the race is over and you are probably going to be very tired.

* I will never forget to bring comfortable shoes. This is a big one and I learned it early on. Also, I now always bring along extra socks because it refreshes your tootsies when they really need it.

* I will not attend another race without taking additional smartphone batteries or a battery extender.

* I will never eat beans before I go to a race. Well, it does create problems. (Did I mention that there is a Taco Bell across from Daytona International Speedway?)

* I will never, ever, ever, ever keep my wife out in the hot sun for about six hours going from booth to booth in the fan zone again.