Best NASCAR races to attend

Sylvia Cochran
Yahoo! Contributor Network
Best NASCAR races to attend
NASCAR Sprint Cup UAW Dodge 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Did you know that National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) actually runs three independent series of races? There are the Nationwide Series, the Sprint Cup Series and the Camping World Truck Series. Each has a loyal following that faithfully travels to various event venues for tailgating and cheering on their favorite racers. Ten NASCAR races stand out for fans traveling from near and far.

1. Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Tent Camping at a Historic Venue

Officially located at 4790 West 16th Street in Indianapolis, Indiana, the asphalt and brick surface of the oval course routinely welcomes the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The event is the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a locale that draws national and international crowds for the 160 laps of the race. This is the place to bring the RV or plan on tent camping in Lots 1 A and B as well as 2 through 4.

2. Daytona International Speedway: Excellent Fan Zone Events

The Coke Zero 400 at the Daytona International Speedway has the distinction of having one of the most elaborate fan zones of all the events. Located at 1801 West International Speedway Boulevard in Daytona Beach, Florida, the tri-oval makeup of the course requires stock car drivers to navigate straights and turns in quick succession. The fan zone offers driver question and answer sessions, garage windows that are perfect for autograph hunters and the permission to sign the start and finish line prior to the race.

3. Talladega Superspeedway: Infield Camping

Find the Talladega Superspeedway at 3366 Speedway Boulevard in Lincoln, Alabama. It is the venue of choice for the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500, which features 188 laps. Talladega is the course associated with infield camping for those in RVs, tents or automobiles. Who knows which racing greats you run across while setting up your rig?

4. Martinsville Speedway: Luxury Tailgating

The Martinsville Speedway is situated at 340 Speedway Road in Ridgeway, Virginia. Seating only about 65,000, it is a markedly smaller venue. Just so, the Tums Fast Relief 500 is a huge draw, as are the fan luxury suites that give tailgating a completely new spin. Food and beverages are included; access to the pits is a given. What is there not to love?

5. Chicagoland Speedway: Party Atmosphere

The Chicagoland Speedway is located at 500 Speedway Boulevard in Joliet, Illinois. It hosts the GEICO 400, which is much more than just a race. Tailgaters know that this is a whole weekend of fun, food, meet and greets as well as practice sessions. This is one venue where the fans actually come just to watch the racers practice. The atmosphere is upbeat and fun. By the end of the weekend, you will have made new friends you plan to see next year.

6. Texas Motor Speedway: Family Vacation Destination

Attend the AAA Texas 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. The 1.5-mile oval is set in Forth Worth, Texas. There are additional races scheduled, such as the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge (part of the Nationwide Series) and the WinStar World Casino 350k (Camping World Truck Series). For hardcore stock car racing fans, this is a family vacation destination. The venue opens VIP and outside camping as early as a week prior to the first event. Almost two weeks of intense tailgating converts fair-weather fans to hardcore NASCAR devotees.

7. Homestead-Miami Speedway: Meet Juan Pablo Montoya

Visit 1 Speedway Boulevard in Homestead, Florida, for the Ford EcoBoost 400. The Homestead-Miami Speedway is home to Juan Pablo Montoya, who is racing for the Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing Team in car 42. His accessibility to fans is a huge draw for attendees.

8. New Hampshire Motor Speedway: Fan Fest

The New Hampshire Motor Speedway is situated at 1122 Route 106 North in Loudon, New Hampshire. Stock car race fans visit there for the Hampshire Sylvania 300. Although a smaller venue, there is nothing small about the festivities planned for race attendees. A fan fest, a hauler parade, charity rides and multiple autograph sessions are just some of the items on the fan guide calendar. This is the place to get up close and personal with the drivers.

9. Bristol Motor Speedway: Pet-friendly Camping Sites

Find the Bristol Motor Speedway at 51 Speedway Boulevard in Bristol, Tennessee. The event to attend is the Irwin Tools Night Race. A closer look at the campgrounds located on the track property itself shows that four-legged attendees are indeed welcomed. The ultimate luxury on race day is the Medallion Motorcoach Community, which features golf cart shuttles.

10. Las Vegas Motor Speedway: Neon Garage

At 7000 Las Vegas Boulevard North in Las Vegas, Nevada, you find the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Fans go there for the Kobalt Tools 400 but the real draw is the Neon Garage. The visitor who always dreamed of seeing teams in action and getting nearly unfettered access to drivers and crews simply has to make it a point to visit this venue at least once. The party atmosphere here is underscored by big-name bands and celebs mingling with the crowd.