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Racing events are exciting whether you're watching stock cars from the greatest grandstands in the world or dirt bikes over a homemade hill track. The roar, the rev, and the risk all add to the energy, and a great circuit really kicks the whole experience into fifth gear, creating once-in-a-lifetime racing moments.
Many such moments have taken place at iconic locations across the United States, from California, to Indiana, to Georgia where expertly crafted cars and equally expert drivers have been put to the test on hair-raisingly challenging tracks. To witness them for yourself, take a trip to these American tracks—some of the greatest in car history.
Jerry brings you the details from Goodwood Road and Racing.
Sonoma Raceway, California
The Sonoma Raceway isn't just a circuit, it traverses the complex multi-terrain Sonoma region of California. This craggy route features incredible turns and some breathtaking changes in elevation that we wouldn't miss for the world.
Watch your favorite cars snake and plunge through the hillsides, hurtling to the twisting floor of the valley. If you're a fan of tough tracks and seeing vehicles tested to their absolute limits, the Sonoma Raceway is a must-see.
Besides the beautiful track, gorgeous California scenes, and agreeable weather, the best thing about the Sonoma Raceway is the variety. With multiple layouts to accommodate stock cars and single-seaters, there’s something for everyone.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Racing circuit of legend, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) is without a doubt the most iconic of the bunch. The Speedway features one wide oval track for a flat-out race between opponents while the inner track offers a daring set of curves to challenge the agility and maneuverability of vehicles and their drivers.
The track and accompanying facilities can be seen mapped out on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway website.
Before the circuit became known as “The Brickyard” due to its famous brick surfacing, the track was originally made of stone chips. These were prone to breakage and caused accidents, which sadly proved to be fatal for some early race car drivers.
Now the surface has been replaced with tarmac that earns the Speedway a spot among the world’s fastest. However, the original bricks still reside at the start line, where winners kiss them as part of a tradition started by Dale Jarrett in 1996 after the NASCAR Brickyard 400, according to The Indianapolis Star.
The IMS hosts a number of races, but the most revered is the Indy 500. Started in 1911, it is one of the world’s longest-running motor races, according to Goodwood Road and Racing. Today, qualifiers for the race often hit breakneck speeds upwards of 230 mph.
A celebration of engineering expertise, you can also catch the Indy Autonomous Challenge to see super fast self-driving cars compete on the legendary circuit.
The IMS is a true hub for racing fans, welcoming more than 200,000 to each 500 race. Visiting this iconic facility just once is an experience of a lifetime, and is surely on the bucket list of every racing enthusiast.
Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia
Road Atlanta is about the furthest you can get from a flat track. This track is recognized as one of the world's best, and we couldn't agree more.
From the first corner, Road Atlanta takes drivers and audiences alike on a paved roller coaster experience of steep peaks, dramatic drops, and incredible swerving esses.
You'll hold your breath one minute and find yourself standing to cheer the next as cars crest the next corner or hill. Clearly, this track is made for thrills.
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