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Where to Sit for a NASCAR Race

Published Feb 17, 2023 / by Zach Larson

The NASCAR Cup Series racing at Talladega Superspeedway
The NASCAR Cup Series racing at Talladega Superspeedway (photo credit: actionsports/

Over the past few years, there's been a resurgence in racing popularity in the United States. At one point, a NASCAR race was the only thing sports fans could watch if they wanted to see live sports during the pandemic. Now that fans are allowed back at events, many are finding themselves at the track for the first time ever. 

Whether you're a brand new fan going to your first race, or someone who's been going for years, where you sit can make or break your race day experience. We've put this comprehensive blog together to help you find the best seats at your next NASCAR race.

One thing to keep in mind is that - while each race track on the schedule is different - the seating options for most of them remain the same. Fans can expect grandstand seating near the front stretch and turns, as well as unique options like garage passes and general admission tickets.

Frontstretch Seats Near The Start/Finish Line

The most sought-after seats for NASCAR fans are in the upper half of the frontstretch grandstands near the start/finish line. With their elevated sight lines, these seats provide the best overall view of the track, and keep fans near the start/finish line for the race start, restarts, finish, and celebration. 

From these seats, it's easy to keep your eyes on everything going on around the track and on pit road. Since these are the most popular seats, they'll also be the most expensive grandstand tickets for most races.

Denny Hamlin does a burnout after winning at Richmond International Raceway
Sitting near the start/finish line will give fans a good view of the post-race celebration. (photo credit: actionsports/

Frontstretch Seats Near The Turns

At most tracks, the frontstretch grandstand runs down towards the turns as well. Sitting in the upper half of these sections will continue to give fans the much-desired elevated sight lines of the track, and can also provide some unique benefits of their own for less money than seats near the finish line.

Sitting in a section near the entrance of turn one will allow fans to see the cars at one of their fastest points on the track. During races on a larger track like Michigan International Speedway, the cars are running nearly 200mph into the corner - seeing them fly by at this speed can be exhilarating!

These seats can also get fans a better view of the exit of pit road, which can be a fun battle to watch all on its own. If a late caution is thrown and everyone decides to pit, winning the race could come down to who wins on pit road.

Higher Grandstand Seats vs. Lower Grandstand Seats

As you can probably tell, we tend to prefer higher grandstand seats over lower grandstand seats since they provide better overall views of the entire race - but that doesn't mean lower grandstand seats should be completely dismissed.

Sitting in the lower half of the grandstands is a great way to get close to the action. There's nothing like seeing these cars go by as you're sitting right near the catch fence - if you sit close enough, you'll feel it in your chest!

These seats are also good for budget-conscious fans since they'll be cheaper than the higher grandstand seats. The slightly obstructed view of the track tends to come with a cheaper price tag.

Garage Passes

One of the most unique things about going to a NASCAR race is the opportunity to buy a garage pass, often known as a hot pass. If you don't want to sit in the grandstands next to a bunch of other people, a garage pass can be a great alternative. 

With one of these passes, fans can check out the garage area as teams prep their cars before the race, hang out near pit road or other infield hospitality areas during the race, and get an up-close glimpse of the winner in Victory Lane after the race.

It is important to note that fans who buy a garage pass are almost always required to purchase a grandstand ticket as well, even though you can spend the entire day hanging out in the infield if you choose.

NASCAR fans watch on as teams prepare their cars at Talladega Superspeedway
Garage passes give fans the opportunity to watch teams prep their cars before the race. (photo credit: Talladega Superspeedway)

General Admission Tickets

General admission tickets are a very popular choice for fans at road course races. Since these tracks are typically much larger than a traditional oval, it can be hard, sometimes impossible, to see the entire race happening at once.

Tracks like Circuit of the Americas allow fans to buy a general admission pass which gives access to a variety of viewing areas around the track. These passes are a great option since they're typically the cheapest ticket and allow fans to change their view of the race throughout the day.

2023 NASCAR Schedule Highlights

Now that you have a few different recommendations for seats, it's time to head out to the track! Here's a look at some of our most-anticipated races of the season:

2/19/23 - Daytona 500 - Daytona International Speedway

2/26/23 - Pala Casino 400 - Auto Club Speedway

4/23/23 - Geico 500 - Talladega Superspeedway

5/21/23 - NASCAR All-Star Race - North Wilkesboro Speedway

9/3/23 - Cookout Southern 500 - Darlington Raceway

9/16/23 - Bass Pro Shops Night Race - Bristol Motor Speedway

11/5/23 - NASCAR Cup Series Championship - Phoenix Raceway