What are your favorite race tracks? | Column

By Tim Suddard
Sep 30, 2022 | Column | Posted in Columns | From the Oct. 2020 issue | Never miss an article

Photography Credit: David S. Wallens

In our world, rattling off how many tracks you’ve raced at, or at least driven, is a badge of honor. It’s a common bench-racing topic.

Recently, I put another notch in my belt by driving Thompson Speedway in rural northern Connecticut. This wonderfully tight, fun and seemingly very safe track got me thinking again about how many tracks I’ve driven and which ones are my favorites.

I took a look on Wikipedia, and there are more than 80 road race tracks listed in the United States. There are the big, famous tracks, like Daytona and Road Atlanta, and the not-so-famous ones, like Roebling Road, Gingerman and even PBIR.

Of course, some of them, like Riverside and Bridgehampton (two that I luckily did get to drive), are now defunct. And sadly, Miller Motorsports Park’s fate isn’t quite decided. Hopefully someone comes in and saves the day before it gets turned into yet another housing development.

Of these 80-plus tracks, I’ve been blessed to run nearly three-fourths of them, from Lime Rock (underrated, perhaps because of its diminutive size, but actually one of my favorites) to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

What are my top tracks? That’s tough. I’ve mentioned a few already, but VIR needs to be on that list. I also really like the Hutchinson Island course at Savannah; the venue is pretty darned cool and is right next to downtown Savannah, so it makes for an awesome event weekend. Mid-Ohio and Barber are right up there as well. 

As an old autocrosser at heart, I prefer the tighter tracks: Hallett, Thompson and Atlanta Motorsports Park (although this one has a surprisingly long straight). Of course, I also get a kick out of the very fast tracks, like Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta.

Although I live 15 minutes from Daytona International Speedway, I consider Road Atlanta to be my home track. I probably run there more than anywhere else. Still, that downhill through the start/finish line scares the crap out of me every time I go through it. Man, that is a fast track.

And then there are the championship tracks. There is some debate over which tracks are worthy of hosting a championship event. History, top speed and number of passing zones all play into this often bandied-about discussion.

At first, the SCCA Runoffs bounced between Riverside and Daytona every year. In 1971, this event found a seemingly permanent home at Road Atlanta, but then it started moving around again in the ’90s. Its next longtime home at Heartland Park was centrally located, but racers complained that the track wasn’t suited to this level of event. 

I’ve been there, but not to race, so I cannot judge. I can say that when the event started moving to more famous tracks, entries started to go up again.

NASA held their championships first at Mid-Ohio and then at Miller. The Miller events struggled to gain traction, partially because no one had been waiting their whole life to drive Miller and partially because it was too far from both coasts. Now NASA has both East and West Coast championships at more famous tracks, and this system seems to be working.

Tracks with storied histories simply tend to draw more interest, even if driving them can be a punishing experience. Sebring may be the roughest track on earth (a title it must wrestle away from the old Nelson Ledges). But still, everyone wants to say they’ve raced at Sebring. Having run a ChumpCar enduro there at night and in the rain, I can tell you that Sebring is a super cool place to race–for a few minutes. I felt like I knew what it was like to contest the rain-soaked 1965 12-hour race at that legendary track.

So how have I managed to sample so many tracks? One reason is that I’ve been in motorsports since 1982. In more than 30 years, you get around.

Another reason is that a lot of car and tire manufacturers turn journalists loose on race tracks when they want to show off new products. Recently I got to revisit Road America, Las Vegas and Gingerman that way. I can tell you there are worse ways to make a living than driving a new M3 at nearly full tilt at Road America. 

If you’re looking for access, I guess becoming an automotive media person is one way to drive these tracks. Becoming a pro racer or factory test driver is another way. Some guys I know just keep entering events and clicking off tracks as they work their way through their bucket lists.

One of the quickest and most practical ways to hit a whole bunch of tracks is to enter the One Lap of America. If you run this one-week event five years in a row, you’ll hit most of the major and minor tracks in the country–and have a heck of a lot of fun along the way.

So how about you? How many race tracks have you driven? What are your favorites? Send me your thoughts. Heck, if we get enough input, maybe we’ll turn this whole discussion into another feature story on favorite race tracks. If nothing else, you can rest assured I will acknowledge every email, pass it on to my editor, and write you back.

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imgon HalfDork
1/17/21 10:12 a.m.

My list of tracks I've been too is pretty short, only 10 or so but hands down is Watkins Glen  with Wiskey Hill in Palmer  MA and Lime Rock as the next best. My bucket list has VIR hopefully this year or next. The Glen just flows so well and the history of the track make it alot of fun

Purple Frog (Forum Supporter)
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
1/17/21 10:35 a.m.

Road Atlanta my favorite by far.

After that in no special order: (I've had a fortunate life)

Mosport,  Watkins Glen,  Road America, VIR,  Laguna Seca, Lime Rock, Pitt Race, Barber, Mid-Ohio

Each is special in its own way.  Notice I like big tracks with grass on both sides of the pavement. smiley  And areas of the country that are great to visit.  (Food, scenery,History,  museums, etc)

Second tier:

Roebling Road, Sebring, Daytona (afterall I am a SEDIV guy)

Third tier:

CMP, New Jersey, Topeka, Thompson

Didn't get to do Indy...  frown

Since Mrs Frog is always along: It needs to be a "complete experience"...  Dining favorites:

Lime Rock:  Woodland   or   When Pigs fly

Road America:  Siebkins

Laguna Seca: Nepthe Inn

Roebing Road:  Girls - The Pink House   Guys - The Shrimp House

Watkins Glen:  Lunch - Village Marina   Bar -  Seneca Lodge     Dining - Red Newt


jimbbski SuperDork
1/17/21 11:15 a.m.

There's tracks that I've raced at and those that I have only driven so in order of ranking.

Best racing:

Blackhawk Farms - First track I raced at and still my favorite.

Gingerman- Fun, safe track.

Grattan - Roller coaster type track with blind turns and one long straight.

Autobahn - Closest to home.

Road America - Fun in a fast car but can be scary in a slow one due to the fact that you have to keep your foot planted on the "Go Pedal"  at times even when your mind say lift!


Most fun driving:

Road America

Watkins Glen

Mid Ohio

Heartland Park

Indianapolis Raceway Park

Putman Park

Nelson Ledges


L5wolvesf HalfDork
1/17/21 11:16 a.m.

Most fun to drive - Sears Point, Carlsbad (gone now), Hallett, Las Vegas (no under the current Vegas tack), Second Creek (gone now)

Most laps at - Riverside Intl (gone now), Willow Springs

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/17/21 12:36 p.m.

Palmer, Sebring, Road America, Mont-Tremblant 

frenchyd GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/17/21 1:58 p.m.
jimbbski said:

There's tracks that I've raced at and those that I have only driven so in order of ranking.

Best racing:

Blackhawk Farms - First track I raced at and still my favorite.

Gingerman- Fun, safe track.

Grattan - Roller coaster type track with blind turns and one long straight.

Autobahn - Closest to home.

Road America - Fun in a fast car but can be scary in a slow one due to the fact that you have to keep your foot planted on the "Go Pedal"  at times even when your mind say lift!


Most fun driving:

Road America

Watkins Glen

Mid Ohio

Heartland Park

Indianapolis Raceway Park

Putman Park

Nelson Ledges


Elkhart Lake ( Road America) is an absolute blast in a slow car if  and only if  you are with other slow cars.  Group 1 is prewar and MGT series. 
Thundering  down the main straight with the windshield  folded down tonneau stretched tight  and  the driver sliding down in the seat so all 54 horses  will maybe let you reach 75 mph 

Racing in the Bahama's was basically street circuits. The first ran around Ranfurley's circus which always had the thrill of  the overflowing fountain providing a nice little slippery spot  where the water ran across the track. Later track was longish straights followed by tight corners. Chasing Sir Sterling Moss in the Aston Martin DBR2 with my own Black Jack special let me follow the master and understand his brilliance. 
Finishing second to him after a week of racing was my greatest effort in a lifetime of racing. 

Olemiss540 Reader
1/17/21 3:19 p.m.

Road Atlanta by far. Then Mid O second probably. 

Barber is next tier along with NCM, Road America, and Hallett. 

Putnam the tier after that (but still fun and lots of runoff) along with Topeka.

Scraping the bottom is St Louis (Gateway).

Want to try out NOLA and the new track in Lake of the O this year. 


rustomatic Reader
1/17/21 5:07 p.m.

I've done Laguna Seca, Thunderhill, and Sonoma (or Sears Point or Infineon, depending on your decade).  Sonoma was by far the most fun (most like a river road I lived on for eight years before leaving CA), as most geezers who do these tracks usually agree.  I've done the most laps at Thunderhill, which always made whatever car I was in feel slow.  I both fear and look forward to doing Road Atlanta, from which I now live about 60 miles away.  I haven't been on such a high-speed track, so my car's brakes are somewhat in doubt . . .

There is much to look forward to in normal, post-vaccination times.

lotusseven7 (Forum Supporter)
lotusseven7 (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
1/17/21 6:19 p.m.

NHIS, Loudon NH

buzzboy Dork
1/17/21 7:53 p.m.

Sebring was a religious experience. I had played it on Forza for years then on my first lap out I was like "I've been here before!" Forza even got the cadence to the squares of concrete correct around 17 and 17a. It also helps that I took checker with the instructions "drive for a half hour and we've won" which made for an amazing final 1.5 hour stint.

TurnerX19 SuperDork
1/17/21 8:04 p.m.

Best I ever drove was Bridgehampton, lots of wins and always a challenge. The best currently available that I have driven is VIR. Just down from that is Shenandoah, tied with the old Bryar at the site of NHIS, which is now near the bottom rung along with any of the Pocono variants, where I have had good results. I like least of all Lime Rock.

Jay_W SuperDork
1/17/21 8:06 p.m.

I've only driven 2 road courses, once in a gravel prepped rallykar. Which is ridiculous as well as hysterical. Went through the timing gates backwards at PIR, I did. At Pacific Raceways in my old hotrod 510, I had pigdog understeer all the way around the last turn before the straight, and then oiled that straight a bit when the oil pressure line fell off the block. Glad I happened to glance down and see zero on the guage and shut her down before it blew up, but that lil incident didn't endear me to the folks running the joint.

Portland is safer, nice big runoff areas. Pacific Raceways is more exciting, that's for sure. 


amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter)
amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
1/17/21 8:36 p.m.

Bridgehampton (sigh rip)


Laguna Seca

Watkins Glen




BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter)
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
1/17/21 8:58 p.m.

Gingerman is my favorite place to hang out. It’s friendly to drive, paddock is right on the pits, and just a fun place to go racing.

Watkins Glen is a gorgeous environment. I’ve never even actually driven on the track but just pulling in the gate feels significant. Between the history and location it’s a special place.

Favorite place to drive is Waterford Hills. It’s such a great old school club track. Zipping up and over the hill is fun.

frenchyd GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/17/21 9:11 p.m.

In reply to BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) :

I like temporary circuits. They set one up at my Navy Base and used the runways and service roads to set up an interesting and challenging coarse. The advantage of those is nobody has a home court advantage of driving it so much they know all the nuances. 
We all come at it fresh and I just seem to figure things out quickly. Maybe not the perfect lap but one that gets the job done.  Yet I know there will be drivers who with more familiarity will beat me. At least for that weekend I'm as good as anyone. 

Tom1200 SuperDork
1/17/21 9:38 p.m.

I'll go on order of the places I raced at:

Firebird (motorcycle)

Willow Springs (motorcycle and car)

Riverside (motorcycle) happy memories there as my 125 did 130mph. By the time I rode their it was bumpy as hell.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway 3 layouts on the outside road course plus the IMSA inside road course.

Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch (5 layouts) this is my favorite track and not just because it's my local track. It is great to.drove in both horsepower and momentum cars.

Buttonwillow while it is bumpy I like this track especially the cotton corners.

MrFancypants Reader
1/17/21 10:30 p.m.

Road Atlanta

There are no words to describe just how terrifying it is to crest the hill at turn 11 to see the steep descent into turn 12 the first time you do it.  It feels like driving your car off a cliff in a semi-controlled way, because once you crest the hill you're committed and you're not left with many options to reduce your speed.  I imagine the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca has a similar feel to it, but there you can see down the cliff and through the corner before you get on the throttle...  at Road Atlanta your foot is on the floor long before you can see where you're going.

350z247 New Reader
1/18/21 7:13 a.m.

I'm a sucker for any track with big elevation changes. Flat tracks are still fun, but tracks like AMP and Road Atlanta just take it to another level. I can not wait to try Barber this year.

Banked ovals/infield tracks have never been my favorite from a road course perspective, but flying around the banked section like I'm Richard Petty always makes me feel like a little kid.

LopRacer Dork
1/18/21 8:22 a.m.

Road Atlanta is my favorite track followed by Barber probably because of the terrain.

akylekoz SuperDork
1/18/21 8:35 a.m.

Of the tracks I’ve driven or raced on.

Road America is probably my favorite, never raced there but driven a few cars there at speed.

Grattan, my home track.  I find it challenging and with the off camber, jump and toilet bowl features it’s a good suspension and brake workout.

Autobahn, our crapcar just works well here, we usually finish well.  Helps that it’s only a few hours away.   I would love to try an HPDE event there someday.

Gingerman, last on my short list but where I spend the most time.  Only an hour away, Lemons runs there and also great beginner track due to being flat with good sight lines.  


mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/18/21 8:52 a.m.

My favorite tracks are rolling natural terrain tracks. The one big exception to this is Sebring which I enjoyed for the history and for the layout itelf. It was cool to drive. 

Road Atlanta and Road America are fun but the proximity of walls makes them intimidating. Blackhawk is flat but it feels like a nice quick drive trough the woods which is neat. I put High Plains and NCM in a category together for me because I enjoy both but always come away feeling like I did poorly there. Hallet is great and spending the day there is always oddly relaxing. 

Having said all that, the track I enjoy most is the kart track that's 6 miles from my house that I get to ride bikes on over 100 days a year. Both of my kids that ride learned to ride there. I've won races there. I've broken bones there. I've got something like 10k laps around there now and I learned a new thing just this last weekend. My first real kart sessions were there. I helped a friend win a four hour kart endurance race solo against teams. I've become friends with the drifters who completely ruin the surface but are great guys. I'm friends with kart dads and help them lift karts off stands because 5 year olds are no help with that. It's a special place. 

wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/18/21 9:06 a.m.

Favorite track:  High plains raceway!  ALL of the elevation change and so many different types of corners!

Tracks I have driven or raced: (no particular order, I may go back through and revise from most liked to least liked)

1) PittRace old short track - Raced

2) Pittrace current layout - Raced

3) NJMP Lightening - Raced

4) Summit Point Shenandoah - Raced

5) MSR Houston - Raced

6) Laguna Seca - Raced

7) VIR Grand - Raced

8) VIR Full - Raced

9) VIR North - Raced

10) VIR South - Raced

11) Sebring - Raced

12) Roebling Road - Open lapping sessions

13) Barber - Raced

14) Gingerman - Raced

15) Lime Rock - Raced

16) Nelson Ledges (great super fast track that has been repaved and is fairly smooth) - Raced

17) Pueblo Motorsports Park - Raced

18) Charlotte Roval - Raced

19) Monticello - I did not really like this track.  It MAY have been because our car was too pushy. - Raced

20) Indianapolis (roadcourse) - Raced

21) Autobahn - Raced

22) Road America - Raced

23) Mid Ohio. - Raced

24) High Plains Raceway - Raced - AWESOME track as stated above.

25) Watkins Glen

End of 2021 edit!






Cedricn New Reader
1/18/21 9:57 a.m.

Well, Im surprised no one has mentioned the long green track in Germany yet :), its quite hard to beat in many ways, with the plethora of corner types, altitude changes, high speeds etc (though the latter is mostly alack we have here in sweden). Though I have to hold back a little due to my wish to survive or not get broke, so that takes away something that a safer track can provide. 

Duke MegaDork
1/18/21 10:04 a.m.

Never driven any track in real life, but based on watching races on TV and driving them in video games, Sears Point is my favorite track on the planet.

If I ever hit the Powerball I will drive there in real life.


bkwanab New Reader
1/18/21 11:04 a.m.

Can't ignore Britain ...

Brands Hatch - Exciting - Paddock Hill bend in the rain in a 1071 Cooper S especially.

Cadwell Park - Tight, undulating and great fun - Formula Ford Crosley 16.

Silverstone - Bloody fast - Class 4 International Kart.


ascott GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/18/21 11:45 a.m.

My sample is small, but the tracks that have stuck out are few among them:

2. Road America
3. NCM

COTA really was that good. It's challenging, even with the huge straights. The complex that starts after turn one can be insanely frustrating until you finally get it right, then it flows like water. Road America is just history alive, and NCM is, well, NCM. I probably have more laps there than all of the rest combined and I still haven't put together a single mistake-free lap there yet.

The remainder of my list is NJMP (Lightening), NOLA, LVMS, Barber, Putnam Park, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Indy 500 layout, not the road course), and AMP.

I have VIR penciled in for the March SCCA TT Tour event. Don't know if I'll have the Probe done yet, though.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
1/18/21 2:12 p.m.

Of all the tracks I've raced on my favorites are Mid-Ohio and Summit Point with an honorable mention for The Glen because it was the first place I did a track day and the one that I was most nervous/excitied to go w2w racing on - they have made a lot of safety improvements since then but there was a time when it suffered no fools. But... Mosport, Barber, VIR, LRP, NJMP Thunderbolt ... ... hard to choose. I like technical stuff over big big speed and bad transitions so I am never going to pick a roval :).

I 've never been out west but I think I would love to drive Sears Point. There aren't really any tracks I've driven where I'd say they didn't have something compelling about them. Even Nelson Ledges (bathrooms not withstanding) 

MrFancypants Reader
1/18/21 2:23 p.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

Road Atlanta and Road America are fun but the proximity of walls makes them intimidating.

I have a pre track day ritual where I go looking for videos of single car track day incidents on YouTube just before I go out. I guess it's to humble myself a bit and remind myself how quickly things can go wrong.

What's interesting about Road Atlanta is that the spots on the track that are most likely to land you in a wall aren't where you expect. My assumption would be that the pit wall on the front straight after turn 12 would collect the most cars because it's high speed with very little runoff and then turn 2. But it actually seems to be two of the lowest speed corners on the track at turn 3 and turn 7.

At turn 3 the trend seems to be cars with edgier handling like the Lotus Elise and S2000 will get out of shape from grabbing too much curbing, tank slap, then shoot off into the inside wall when it catches grip again. At turn 7 you can see tire marks leading to the inside wall from drivers of high power, rear wheel drive machines getting loose, then hooking up and shooting into the inside wall.

iceracer MegaDork
1/18/21 3:01 p.m.

Watkins Glen,  drives school long time ago

Lime Rock, raced again long time ago.   Many track days.

Pocono two different infield courses a few times

Mosport,  I could have gone faster

Waterford Hills, some interesting sections.   Would make a great Kart track 

Summit Point shenandoah, .  Eh.

 A ,few NE hill climbs and ice racing


1/18/21 9:22 p.m.

My first track experience was Pitt Race North track 5 years ago. This is my home track and I enjoy the full course. Pitt Race has a lot of elevation changes to challenge you. Mid Ohio is another great challenging track. I love the high speed straights at Road America and NCM. Putnam and Gingerman are great tracks to push the limits with a lot of grass run offs if you push it too hard. VIR is one of my bucket list tracks. 


stukndapast Reader
1/18/21 10:29 p.m.

For excitement, Road Atlanta #1, VIR #2, Barber #3.  Having a low HP car, I am WOT at VIR more than anywhere I have ever been and my first couple of laps there made me want to buy a bass boat and get rid of all this racing E36 M3.  But Roebling Road is a great track and would be my choice for a first track if I was starting over.  Flat and lots of run-off space for the most part, maybe except for turn 6, and technical enough to scare you and make you better.  Watkins Glen and Sebring are on the bucket list for sure.  Daytona looks fun but my car might not have enough momentum and roll down the banking winding up in Lake Lloyd. frown

1/19/21 11:56 a.m.


1) TWS (Texas World Speedway) RIP

2) Thunderhill

3) VIR

4) Hallett

5) COTA (mainly due to the novelty of a F1 track and the esses are fun but the rest is just OK)

NickD UltimaDork
1/19/21 2:38 p.m.

I've only driven one, but I still love Pineview Run in Lafayette, NY. It's a private auto club, so getting in can be a little difficult, and it's short, at only 1.1 miles. But it's a very "busy" track. There's only one one "long" straight that is flat and the rest is turns and hills and crests. It reminds me of if someone took a segment of the Tail Of The Dragon and tied the ends together.

sir_mike New Reader
1/19/21 3:47 p.m.

I'm old so i'll start with Marlboro raceway im Maryland.Next Summit Point main circuit..used to host SVRA vintage races...Blue Grey Challange...Pocono for first IMSA races and F5000 races.A few vintage races there also in the past.A friend who raced a GP Sprite in SCCA once said when he would get on the oval part he needed a book to read....

car39 Dork
1/19/21 4:32 p.m.

Lime Rock: have to respect the downhill

Pocono North before they repaved.  The bump turning into the infield showed as an 18 inch altitude change on the in car data system before the worked on it.

racerfink UltraDork
1/19/21 5:26 p.m.

I’ve raced at 18 different tracks, driven at one other, and I’d have to rate Watkins Glen as my favorite.  Great racing, great elevation changes, and a track that really challenges you.  I’ve never been able to decide on 2nd, between VIR and Hallett.  Both race well, and have a section that really require commitment.

Others in my list include Moroso, Sebring (probably over 100hrs here!), Daytona, Roebling Road, Road Atlanta, NCM, Mid-Ohio, Indy GP, Road America, Barber, CotA, MSR-Houston, Texas World Speedway, Harris Hill, and Cabiniss Field (just drove it)

It’s easy to pick out the worst one I’ve been to though...  NOLA.  Absolutely the blandest track I’ve ever been to.

dclafleur Reader
1/19/21 5:41 p.m.

My sampling is small

Road Atlanta

Lime Rock

Laguna Seca

Hallett (I've turned the most laps here)

MSR Houston

Autobahn (I've only done one of the segments and it was great just flat).

I don't think I'd consider any of them bad and given the opportunity I'd drive them all again.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Reader
1/19/21 5:45 p.m.
stukndapast said:

For excitement, Road Atlanta #1, VIR #2, Barber #3.  Having a low HP car, I am WOT at VIR more than anywhere I have ever been and my first couple of laps there made me want to buy a bass boat and get rid of all this racing E36 M3.  But Roebling Road is a great track and would be my choice for a first track if I was starting over.  Flat and lots of run-off space for the most part, maybe except for turn 6, and technical enough to scare you and make you better.  Watkins Glen and Sebring are on the bucket list for sure.  Daytona looks fun but my car might not have enough momentum and roll down the banking winding up in Lake Lloyd. frown

After doing RA, AMP and Barber a bunch of times I went to Roebling for the first time in November and I completely agree. I was prepared to be disappointed but it was completely the opposite. At Roebling you spend more time at the traction limit and do more technical driving at high speed than anywhere else I've been. Above all else it forced me to get a better feel for scrubbing speed with steering instead of just going heavy in the braking zones. The only negative I can think of is that the place eats tires like crazy. Can't wait to go back.

That said, turns 1-4 at Barber are like an amusement park ride and I'll never get tired of it!

Tyler H (Forum Supporter)
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/20/21 10:46 a.m.

Road Atlanta is what I consider my home track.   It's a classic Big Boy track for the Southeast folks.  When you first hit the gate, you're looking directly at the steep downhill between 11 and 12. No simulation accurately conveys elevation like real life.  

I was waiting to get in at a Chumpcar race there a few years ago and couldn't help but smile listening to folks mutter "ho-lee E36 M3" the first time they got a glimpse of the track.  It's pretty awe-inspiring and I did the same thing the first time I saw it.  

Atlanta Motorsports Park opened in '13 and has become one of my favorites.  It's pretty technical and I typically drive lower-power cars, so it's an equalizer.

Barber is gorgeous and a lot of fun.  

Anything with elevation is fun.  

PMRacing GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/20/21 12:40 p.m.

Waterford Hills is 10 min from my house so very convenient. However it's not my favorite. I think I have a tie for my favorite of Grattan Raceway and VIR. Both are tracks just carved into hills and fields. Neither has a traditional turn, all are some kind of compromised line or sight limited, strange camber changes, etc.  I.e. FUN!

I dislike most Alan Wilson designed tracks because they don't flow and feel like insert Left Turn A into Straight B and repeated until you have a track.  Maybe it's because I grew up on the back roads of Delaware and Pennsylvania. 


1/20/21 8:54 p.m.

All of my SCCA racing has been at tracks in the northeast USA.  Here are my favorites:

#1 Watkins Glen
#2 Bridgehampton (rest in peace)
#3 Mid-Ohio
#4 Pocono
#5 Lime Rock
#6 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
#7 Summit Point
#8 Flemington Speedway (rest in peace)

Other all time favorite race tracks I have driven (but not in a race) Nurburgring and Le Mans.

fidelity101 (Forum Supporter)
fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/5/21 2:57 p.m.

I haven't been on many but I can tell you these are my favorites so far: 



In reply to PMRacing :


same here I live near waterford hills raceway and I would have put it on this list (it is a fun track) but the idiots who built their house on the start of the back straight kills it for me, once I figured out the track I got black flagged for sound pretty quickly and its not very fun anymore :( 

motobill New Reader
5/10/21 11:16 p.m.

In order of fun:

Thunderhill (5-mile course has a little bit of everything)

Road America (I guess I just like long tracks, plus I won June Sprints and a few Neon Challenge races there)

Roebling Road (got my first tire sponsorship there--Thanks Jaques; had some great SSC racing vs. Phil Croyle--Neon vs Miata; and got a trophy for Best Drive as voted on by corner workers--best trophy I ever got and the only one I still have)

Summit Point (first track experience and home track for many  years)

Putnam Park (first road race ever)

The Glen (long course, of course)

Lime Rock (surprisingly fast and my home track for a few years)

Sonoma (running Lemons there with more than 120 cars is an experience I do not need to repeat, but will anyhow)

Road Atlanta (fun but never drove well there)

Mosport (fun but never drove well there, either)

Sebring and Moroso (tied; I had so much fun at both the Winter Nationals in the 1990s)

Daytona (lost a race there but learned a lot about drafting)

Laguna Seca (never raced there but did many laps in my Skippy School days)

St. Petersburg Temporary Street Circuit (b/c turn-in, apex, and exit are all next to concrete barriers)

Mid-Ohio (qualified on the pole at the Runoffs one year only to miss a shift at the start; otherwise would be higher on my list, aka sour grapes)

Buttonwillow (my current home track is really growing on me; new track under construction)

Grattan (off camber left hander taught me a lot)

Willow Springs (not crazy about it)

Nelson Ledges (crappy track facilities and surface--really dismal; I hear its better now)

NHIS (meh except for the fish bowl)

Pocono (meh)

Charlotte (meh)

Phoenix (meh)

Been on several other tracks doing ride and drives: LVMS, Cal Speedway, TMS, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Adiada (test track in Spain)...

Bucket list: Barber, VIR, COTA, race at Laguna

trakktapedude New Reader
11/27/21 2:17 p.m.

Riverside is still my favorite. I got to drive in several IMSA races there in the '80s. I live in Palm Springs, less than an hour away, so I drive past that crappy shopping mall all the time. 

Daytona road course

Ontario road course

California Speedway road course

Tampa street course

Palm Springs street courses


Watkins Glen


Willow Springs



Jarama in Spain (in an F40. I know, I know, super lucky)

Sears Point

Laguna Seca

I haven't driven VIR or Road America, but have gone around as a passenger and they both look fabulous. 

Meporsche New Reader
11/27/21 3:34 p.m.

 Watkins Glen is probably the track I like more than any other because it flows so well but the coolest track ever was Bridgehampton (yes' I'm that old).  I ran my very first race there and it was a humbling experience.   So was driving the LIE all night to get there. Moss said it was the most challenging race track in North America and I would have to agree.  Thanks to my Enduro co-driver we managed to finish 1st in class and I can always tell people I went 3 wide under the bridge and into the 90 at Bridgehampton.  Sadly, I only had about 3 years there until they bulldozed it for a golf course (who plays golf, anyway?).

I loved Mid-Ohio but never quite got the rhythm down like I did at other tracks.  Summit Point was pretty cool, especially the roundabout.   I liked the infield at Pocono, the banking not so much.   Lime rock was really cool, I liked Big Bend and the diving turn.  Not my fastest track though.  And I have to say that Loudon/New Hampshire Speedway was a lot of fun too.

Sadly I hung up my silly shoes and silly suit before VIR opened.   I wIsh I could have driven it, that is one bad assed race track and my favorite place to spectate now.  Had I been born wealthy or lucky enough to marry money I would have loved to drive Laguna and Sears Point along with RA.   But that's how it goes.  Still happy I was able to race somewhere though.


Dwight New Reader
11/28/21 7:51 a.m.

In reply to Tim Suddard :

First road course was at a small airport in the south metro of Minneapolis/St Paul. 'south Port airport. Yup, they used snow fencing to keep you off the track. think it was 1966, as I was driving my first MGB. [spectating] Saw  for the first time, a  sports racer. Remember Sprites/Midgets running. Volvo 122's racing against the first Camaro's. Next      was at what is now BIR, called 'Donneybrooke.  Very primitive.. I was thrilled... Took til 1969-70 to make my first trip as crew to Blackhawk Farms. 1974, began a 8 year  stint as crew. Visited/worked at BIR, BHF's, Central Missouri, Gratan, Road America and fall of 1975 Road Atlanta. My driver went to 'Nationals! What a thrill! Road America, because of it's beauty and history is my favorite.. But then, anywhere racing is goin' on, is great... 

Claff HalfDork
11/28/21 7:19 p.m.

I don't have a ton of experience, just eight tracks total. I will say that my rankings changed when I changed cars. VIR in my '90 Miata was just meh but it's a hoot in the NC.

Topping the list is a dead heat between Lime Rock and VIR. LRP gets big nods because I grew up there as my dad raced there when I was a kid. It doesn't hurt that the track is a riot of a roller coaster ride where the usual fast stuff (Camaros, I'm looking at you) don't leave me in the dust like they do elsewheer.

VIR is a very close second. Like I said, I left there thinking "I don't have to go back" after a day in my old car. I took the NC twice this year and it's a different animal. The last session of the second day was a religious experience, and not even in the usual places people talk about there. I was having a blast tossing the car through 2-3-4-5.

I made my first visit to Road Atlanta and that jumped to third on the list. It's a lot like VIR, which helps.

The second tier of tracks I've enjoyed, but have if I don't go back it won't kill me. This includes the home track of Dominion Raceway, NCM, and CMP.

Finally there are the tracks I definitely don't have to go back to, which is Pittrace and Charlotte Motor Speedway. They just didn't click with me.

I hope to add one or two new tracks to my list each year as long as I can get away with it.

11/29/21 9:35 a.m.

I've been lucky and have had the opportunity to drive at a number of tracks around the US.

Ranked, in order, but favorite to least favorite:

1. Laguna Seca: whats not to love. Great location, awesome elevation changes

2. Texas World Speedway - no longer in existence, but a great place to race with both technical and high speed corners, elevation changes

3. Mid Ohio - just a fun track

4. Road Atlanta

5. VIR

6. Barber

7. Hallett


9. Eagles Canyon

10. Road America - love the track, but have just seen too many people hurt there

11. MSR Houston - interesting and technical track

12. NOLA - great town to visit

12. Sebring - don't know why, but just haven't ever enjoyed racing here. 



drock25too Reader
11/29/21 10:25 p.m.

I've only run an two road courses, Hallett and Watkins Glen. The Glen was always my favorite to watch, Nascar, IROC, IMSA. Anything they raced there I wanted to watch, so I always wanted to drive it. About three years ago I ran a Champ Car race there. It was fun and I'm glad I did it but my car was not blazing fast so we weren't very competitive. I actually like driving Hallett better. 10 turns in 1.8 miles, that's fun. 


glyn ellis
glyn ellis New Reader
11/30/21 11:57 a.m.

In reply to Claff :

Which version of PittRace did you drive? The track was lengthened in 2015 with the addition of the South track, and has received rave reviews from most who've been there since. And it has air-condiitoned bathrooms!

Claff HalfDork
11/30/21 8:28 p.m.
glyn ellis said:

In reply to Claff :

Which version of PittRace did you drive? The track was lengthened in 2015 with the addition of the South track, and has received rave reviews from most who've been there since. And it has air-condiitoned bathrooms!

I understand that it's a very popular track. I ran it once in 2020 with my '90 Miata and it was meh, not helped by my running in the advanced group and never getting a clean lap thanks to all the Camaros/Corvettes/Mustangs showing up in my mirrors (see attached video).

I gave it a second try this past summer in my NC and, while I actually got to run laps without dealing with traffic, it still didn't click with me. I tried to explain it away by saying that the fast parts aren't fast enough, and the slow parts aren't slow enough. At most tracks I've gone to, there were some slow bits where I could hang with the V8s, at least for a couple corners, but at Pitt the faster cars are faster Everywhere. And since I drive a car that's usually in the bottom 5 or so in speed relative to everyone else sharing the track, that's not fun.


Bmsluite New Reader
3/8/22 1:54 p.m.

In reply to jimbbski

You must live by me.  Blackhawk Farms is so much fun and autobahn is great because its 45 minutes away and super swanky (for a race track).  Hopfully I will get to hit Road America this year.  Very expensive but everyone says its worth it.

9/30/22 3:12 p.m.

Top 5:

1.  Road America

2. Watkins Glen

3.  Road Atlanta


Turnandburn New Reader
9/30/22 3:12 p.m.

I have driven most of the tracks in the US and raced on about a third of them, but have not been to VIR.

My top 5:

1.  Road America

2. Watkins Glen

3.  Road Atlanta

4.  Laguna Seca

5.  Ozarks International Raceway (was MID-O until I got to experience the MO-Ring)

Bottom 5:

1. Autobahn

2. Gateway

3. Blackhawk Farms

4.  Gingerman

5.  NCM

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