When It Comes To NASCAR Tracks, Each Has Their Own Characteristics

Column By: JESSY MILLER / RPW – DAYTON, OH – Each and every race track is unique. Whether it’s in terms of banking, track shape, track length or the type of track.

There are sixteen intermediate tracks in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series.  All of them are a mix of one-mile, two-miles and 2.5 miles in length.  The tracks that make up this group include:

  • Atlanta
  • Auto Club
  • Charlotte
  • Chicagoland
  • Darlington
  • Dover
  • Homestead
  • Indianapolis
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Las Vegas
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • Phoenix
  • Pocono
  • Texas

There are three short tracks:

  • Bristol
  • Martinsville
  • Richmond

Two restrictor plate tracks:

  • Daytona
  • Talladega

Three road courses:

  • The Charlotte Roval
  • Sonoma
  • Watkins Glen.

The Cup Series tracks come in five different shapes. Quad-Ovals like Atlanta, Charlotte, and Texas. A D-Shaped Oval; this group includes Auto Club, Chicagoland, Kansas, Kentucky, Las Vegas, Michigan, and Richmond. Regular ovals like Bristol, Darlington, Dover, Homestead, Indianapolis, Iowa, Martinsville, and New Hampshire. Tri-Ovals like Daytona, ISM (Phoenix), Pocono, and Talladega. And the Road Courses: Sonoma, Watkins Glen and the Charlotte Roval.

Track length is equally as important to a race as the tracks type and shape. There are three tracks under one mile long, Bristol (.533) Martinsville (.526), and Richmond (.75). The tracks between one and two miles include  Atlanta (1.54) Charlotte (1.5), Chicagoland (1.5) Darlignton (1.37), Dover (1), Homestead (1.5), ISM (1), Kansas (1.5), Kentucky (1.5), Las Vegas (1.5), New Hampshire (1.058), Sonoma (1.99), and Texas( 1.5). And there are seven tracks that are two miles or bigger: Autoclub (2) Daytona( 2.5) Indianapolis (2.5), Michigan (2), Pocono (2.5) Talladega (2.66), and Watkins Glen (2.45).

Banking of the tracks makes just as big of a difference on race day as everything else. Here are the tracks with their highest level of banking. Daytona chalks in at eighteen degrees, Las Vegas at twelve. Atlanta’s highest point is twenty-four degrees, Darlington topping Atlanta with twenty five. Bristol’s highest banking point is thirty degrees, Texas is at twenty-four, Martinsville at twelve.

Talladega has the highest of all the tracks at thirty-three degrees, Auto Club, Pocono and Richmond are at fourteen. Charlotte’s highest spot is twenty-four degrees, Michigan eighteen, and Chicagoland is tied with Dover for twenty-four degrees. Kansas has fifteen degrees as their highest banking, Watkins Glen has ten, Indianapolis has nine and New Hampshire has twelve. ISM has a high of eleven degrees, and we finish off with Homestead at twenty. (Not listed: Sonoma Raceway Sonoma’s banking isn’t listed anywhere I can find.)

So as you can see, each track is unique in it’s own way in many different elements creating different conditions for each race so no two are the same!