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What to Take to Watch a Car Race

Updated on June 20, 2013

NASCAR is a popular sport. Millions of fans attend races on an annual basis, and new fans show up each year. It is hard for many people to know what to take to a NASCAR race to make sure the experience is as positive as possible. Here are five tips on what to take to your first automobile race.

Take Sunscreen

All officially sanctioned NASCAR races will take place outdoors. Most will take place during the day. Even those that are considered night races will have fans showing up throughout the day to enjoy the entire experience. Because the races take place outside in the sun, sunscreen is a must.

Anyone who has been to a NASCAR race has seen people who have been at the track all weekend and have not followed this advice. The result is a really, really bad sunburn that looks very painful. Additionally, doctors are pretty sure that extensive sunburn can be a factor that leads to skin cancers. Therefore, lathering on the sunscreen is a must for any NASCAR race.

Take Your Own Drinks and Food

Most NASCAR tracks allow people to take their own coolers in. This is pretty unique among sporting events, but those who choose to take advantage can save lots of money. A soft drink or adult beverage at a track can cost close to $5. A slice of pizza can go for close to the same. $5 footlongs from Subway are not likely at the track.

The coolers that people can take to a race can be pretty large, and a family can keep hydrated and nourished quite easily over the course of a race by bringing in a cooler. It is important to check the specific allowances each track has, and no track will allow glass bottles, so plastic is the name of the game.

Watching a Race Is a Great Experience

Race cars (or trucks) will look like a blur as they blow past fans.
Race cars (or trucks) will look like a blur as they blow past fans. | Source

Take Earplugs

One of the most important articles to take to a car race is a set of earplugs. Decibel levels can range from about 90 to around 119. The amount of sound depends upon the size and configuration of the track. Those going to Daytona International Speedway will not have massive sound levels.

Those who attend a race at Bristol Motor Speedway can expect one of the loudest races on the circuit. The track is very small and seats ring the entire circuit. Hearing loss can happen pretty quickly. I've personally not had earplugs for a race at Martinsville Speedway, another short track, and my ears rang for three days after the event. It's pretty easy to see that earplugs are a necessity.

Take a Scanner

This is optional, but the use of a scanner can greatly enhance the racing experience. A good scanner can pick up radio stations that broadcast the race. They can also pick up the communication that is going on between the drivers and their crews.

Each race will offer a program for sale that will list all sorts of information regarding the race and track records. The program will have an insert that lists the starting grid and will also list the particular channel that the drivers will be using during the race for communication. Some fans will follow their favorite driver. Others will follow whoever happens to be in the lead. Scanners can usually be rented at the track for those who do not own one.

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Take Race Apparel

Those who do not wear a shirt or hat related to a specific driver are in the minority at NASCAR races. Fans of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmie Johnson, or Tony Stewart are not hard to find because they wear clothes associated with their driver.

Those who do not have clothing that they normally wear that is related to NASCAR are not out of luck. Each race team will have a trailer that is filled with both die-cast cars and all sorts of apparel related to the team's driver.

Watching a race in person is much different that sitting and watching in the comfort of one's own living room. The noise and the smells associated with the race are really unique. Even the color on the cars is more impressive in person. Every race fan that goes to one race will likely be hooked.

Knowing what to take before the fact is an important aspect of going to a race. These five tips will make those who are going to their first race look like they are long-time veterans of attending NASCAR events.


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