What to Pack for a NASCAR Race

Part of the NASCAR For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Going to a NASCAR race is a lot of fun, but if you haven't been to a race before, here's a handy list of what to bring with you and what to leave at home:

  • Do bring binoculars to a race, no matter where you're sitting. Even if you have the best seats in the house, it's difficult to see the teams, cars, and drivers up close, especially at a big track.

  • Do bring a camera with a telephoto lens (which brings the action closer to you) if you want a good picture of the cars on the track.

  • Do bring earplugs, especially for children. NASCAR races are loud, with decibel levels that can rival the roar of an airplane engine. The best kinds of noise deterrents are headsets that actually muffle the sound. If you're the macho type who doesn't want to wear earplugs, your ears may ring, and your head may hurt the next day.

  • Do bring a raincoat. Umbrellas aren't allowed in the grandstands because they get in the way of other fans' views of the track.

  • Do dress for the weather. It can be steamy and sweltering at races held in the summer but cold, damp, and windy at races in the spring or fall. Be prepared, and check the weather forecast before you leave for a race.

  • Do wear sunscreen. You're a perfect candidate for sunburn when you watch a race. You sit in aluminum grandstands for four hours in the middle of the day. Sunscreen can prevent an uncomfortable ride home, not to mention skin cancer.

  • Do bring a seat cushion if you want a more comfortable perch in the stands.

  • Do bring a radio or scanner if you want to keep track of what's going on during a race. Wear headphones, though, so you can hear the conversations without the huge distraction of the engine noise.

  • Do bring lots of liquids so you can stay hydrated on hot days. Just like drivers and crew members, fans need to drink plenty of liquids to keep themselves from dehydrating. You wouldn't believe the number of fans who are taken to the hospital with heat stroke or exhaustion on a hot Sunday race day.

  • Do pack food if you don't want to spend money on concessions.

  • Don't bring any glass containers into the grandstands.

  • Don't bring any coolers that are bigger than 14x14x14 inches.

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