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Where to Sit for a NASCAR Race

Updated Apr 18, 2024 / by Zach Larson
Originally Published Feb 17, 2023

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.

2024 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:

5/26/24 - Coca Cola 600 - Charlotte Motor Speedway

7/21/24 - Brickyard 400 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway

9/1/24 - Cook Out Southern 500 - Darlington Raceway

9/21/24 - Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race - Bristol Motor Speedway

11/10/24 - NASCAR Cup Series Championship - Phoenix Raceway

Frequently Asked Questions About Attending a NASCAR Race

- Do I need to purchase tickets in advance? 

While most races do not entirely sell out, it is always recommended to purchase tickets in advance. This makes your race day experience less stressful, and allows you to find an enjoyable seat before you ever get to the track.

What can I bring into the track? 

Each track has their own unique set of guidelines for items allowed in. In most cases, a small bag is allowed which can hold some important items like sunscreen, ear plugs, sunglasses, and unopened bottles of water. If your seat is on a metal bleacher, we also recommend bringing a cushion to sit on, as the bleacher may be hot and uncomfortable throughout the race.

 - What are the parking options at the track? 

Parking accommodations also vary by track, but you can expect parking lots within close proximity. Typically, tracks have free options and premium, paid options that can be reserved in advance. Most tracks will also have ADA parking closer to the gates.

 - What time do the gates open? 

Gates typically open early in the morning, especially for races happening during the day. Some tracks will open their gates as early as 7 a.m. which allows fans to get in and start tailgating well before the race starts. We recommend checking the track site for specific times of the race you're attending.

 - How long does a NASCAR race last? 

On average, a NASCAR race is around 400 miles, which takes about 3 hours to complete. If the race you're attending is longer than 400 miles, of course this number may go up. Additionally, if the race you attend has any weather delays or a lot of cautions, this time can increase as well.

 - What should I wear to a NASCAR race? 

One of the coolest parts about attending a NASCAR race is seeing all of the different racing merch fans are wearing. This is the best way for fans to show their allegiance to their favorite driver, even if they haven't been in the sport for quite some time. So, find a t-shirt for your favorite driver (new or old) to keep cool, as well as a hat that keeps your neck shaded and out of the sun.

 - What are some tips for first-time NASCAR fans? 

For fans attending their first race, we recommend bringing ear plugs, sunscreen, plenty of cold drinks, and a seat cushion inside the track. Outside the track, first time fans should take in all of the other activities the race day experience has to offer, like browsing the merch tents, tailgating with friends, family, and other fans, attending driver meet and greets, and taking a stroll through the garage area if you can find some hot passes!

-  How can I watch NASCAR races on TV?

NASCAR races can be found on FOX, NBC, NBC Sports, USA, and Peacock. The first half of the season is broadcasted with FOX, while the second half of the season is broadcasted through NBC and their partners. 

In 2025, NASCAR will begin a new, seven-year broadcasting deal that expands these networks to include the likes of The CW, Amazon Prime, and Warner Bros.