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How to Buy NASCAR Tickets

Updated on January 29, 2013

Several years ago, just about every NASCAR race seemed sold out. The stands were full. People would pay a premium to go to some of the more popular tracks like Bristol. The Dale Earnhardt died, and the drivers seemed to get more vanilla. Then the Car of Tomorrow and the Chase for the Championship changed the traditional setup. Then the Great Recession hit. To make a long story short, it is way easier to get tickets to just about any NASCAR race today than it was 10 years ago. Below, find some tips on how to score tickets.

Buy Directly from the Track

There are two methods that you can use to get tickets from the track.

  1. Calling
  2. Using the Website

The first method will probably require using the website to find the number, unless you see the ad for tickets on a race broadcast, so it's probably just best to visit the website of the track that you want to visit. All of the major tracks will have a slick website that will give you the track's schedule for the year and the cost of tickets for the various grandstands and rows. Tickets for NASCAR races will be start around $30 and then go up from there. Some tracks will be more. For example, the cheapest tickets for the 2013 Daytona 500 are $65.

When buying from the track online or over the phone, you will need to have a credit or debit card ready to use. This makes sure that you get the seats that you want immediately. The agents or the website can verify your seats for you before paying. This makes sure that there are no areas of confusion.

Cars go into the corner at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Cars go into the corner at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. | Source

Buy Tickets at the Track on Race Day

Another method of getting NASCAR tickets is to go directly to the ticket office on the day of the race. Some tracks, like Martinsville have traditionally had a few seats that are only sold on the day of the race.

However, it should be pointed out that there is no guarantee that you will be able to get the tickets you want for the race. The only seats that may be left are the worse seats at the track. Also, if the race is sold out, there is the possibility that you may not get a seat from the track at all.

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Buy Tickets from an Online Broker

Another popular option that is becoming more popular by the year is the use of online ticket brokers. Sites like Stubhub offer tons of opportunities for people to find tickets to all sorts of concert and sporting events around the country. They serve the purpose that newspaper classifieds used to occupy before the advent of the internet.

It is important to understand that most of the tickets that are up for sale on Stubhub will command a bit of a premium. This means that the best option to get the exact seats you want is still getting it directly from the track if possible.

Buy from an "Independent Broker"

There are tons of "independent brokers" (AKA scalpers) who hang around every NASCAR track. They love to stand with signs that say "I need tickets" in one hand while simultaneously holding about 15 tickets in the other. They get their tickets through a variety of methods, but you can buy them.

If you choose to buy from a scalper, there are a couple of things that need to be remembered.

  1. It is technically illegal to scalp tickets for more than the actual cost.
  2. The tickets may be counterfeit, and you will not get into the race if you wind up with counterfeited tickets.

You can get some good deals when buying from "independent brokers", however. The closer you wait to the green flag, the more anxious these brokers get to dump their tickets, so you can save quite a bit off of the face value if you haggle well. Of course, it is important to proceed with caution in this instance.

What Seats Are the Best at a NASCAR Race?

Those who are NASCAR newbies may wonder what seats are the best. Obviously, a seat with a good view of the start-finish line and pit lane is much better than a seat on the backstretch that has a poor view of the pits. However, my recommendation for seats may surprise those who have not been to a race before.

When you go to a baseball game, you want to sit on the front row on the baseline. When you go to a basketball game, you want a courtside seat. When you go to a boxing or wrestling match, you want a ringside seat.

You do not want to be in the first row at a NASCAR race. It is true that you will be able to experience the racing up close and personal. You may even get some dirt and rubber in your mouth. You will not, however, be able to see the race well.

The retaining wall will obscure some of your view if you are in the front row. More importantly, all of the stuff that the race teams keep in the infield and on pit row and the campers that people use to camp out in the infield at larger tracks will keep you from seeing more than what is right in front of you.

The trick is to get the seats that are just high enough to see the whole track while not getting too far away from the action. I had tickets to Bristol for several years that I gave up when I moved to the Midwest. They were in row 13 one section toward Turn 1 from the start-finish line. They were just about perfect. I also had tickets in row 7 at Martinsville Speedway once. I could only see the frontstretch and part of the turns. I also had tickets in row 22 at Martinsville. These were great seats.

There are some tracks that will not have any perfect seats. I went to the Daytona 500 several years ago and went to the top of the backstretch to see if the seats were better than my row 14 seats. They were not. The track was still obscured. Indianapolis Motor Speedway has a huge grandstand in the infield on the frontstretch. This blocks any seat on the track from seeing the entire track.


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