Headed off to Richmond for Friday's full day of action. It's always a track I look forward to, so I figured I'd make a goofy list of my fave tracks to attend and a few reasons why. Your mileage may vary.
1.) Richmond -- Nightmare traffic can hamper the experience, but there is absolutely no better racing at any other track on the circuit. Side-by-side action lap-after-lap. A short track that races like a superspeedway. Plus, they race at night, so watch the cars glitter, the pipes belch flames and the brakes glow cherry-red. A great atmosphere - and it's really about the racing.
2.) Bristol -- Not as much of a crashfest as the days of the black #3, but there is no other track where the 160,000 people loom over the track and make as much noise as the race cars. This is a vote for atmosphere and electricity in the air. Bring your earplugs.
3.) Atlanta -- Of all the cookie-cutter tracks, Atlanta almost always produces the most entertaining side-by-side racing and exciting finishes. The facility is nothing to crow-about, though they recovered splendidly from a tornado a few years back. New highway additions have also improved their severe traffic issues - which would have kept the track off this list previously.
Others with high marks in certain areas: Talladega: the most nail-biting tension. A nice place to visit but I wouldn't wanna live there. Las Vegas: their new garage/media complex sets the bar high, plus... it's Vegas, Charlotte: for always being the first to many innovations, Kansas: perhaps home-state bias, but beautifully designed for fans and competitors, and location, location, location as it's adjacent to two major interstates.
Maybe I'll do the worst tracks sometime soon, but you can go ahead and mark "Pocono" at the top of that list in permanent Sharpie.
GOOD NEWS: The pig has been found!