The 15 Best Race Tracks in America

Want to see the best racing in America, or drive on track yourself? These are the best places to do it.

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Getty ImagesJonathan Ferrey

Yesterday we asked for your favorite race track in America. While there were a variety of answers, there were a few tracks that popped up over and over again. Here are your favorite circuits.

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DW Burnett / PUPPYKNUCKLES
Lime Rock Park

Lime Rock isn't the most technical track on this list (it features just one left turn—the rest are right-handers), but there's a reason so many racing pros love it. It's one of those tracks that looks easy, but takes years to master.

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MOTORSPORTMEDIA I JAKE GALSTAD I 2015
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Mid-Ohio isn't world-famous, but it certainly rings a bell for club racers across the US. Full of challenging turns and stunning scenery, it's a must-go if you're a car enthusiast in America.

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Thunderhill Raceway
Thunderhill Raceway

Thunderhill is located in Northern California, just two hours North of San Francisco. It's biggest configuration is over five miles long, featuring rolling hills and flat-out corners.

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Barber Motorsports Park - Day 1
Getty ImagesBrian Cleary
Barber Motorsports Park

Barber Motorsports Park is one of the newest tracks on this list, having opened in 2003. It's home to the IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama, and features some interesting sculptures, one of which can be seen above. The fast turns and wonderful changes in elevation make it a fun place for drivers of any skill level.

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New Jersey Motorsports Park
New Jersey Motorsports Park

As the name suggests, NJMP isn't just a single track—it's a collection of different tracks, including two road racing circuits (Thunderbolt and Lightning), as well as a karting track.

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Car and Driver/Sports Car Illustrated
Virginia International Raceway

VIR is famous for being one of the most challenging tracks in America. The fast turns and blind crests mean years of practice before you'll be able to set a perfect lap.

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Nestled in the hills of Northern California's wine country are 16 sweeping turns across two and a half miles, many of which are off-camber, making for a hell of a challenge. Drivers of NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series take it on every year. And when you connect the turns and get the rhythm right, it is a beautiful thing.
Brian Cleary/Getty Images
Sonoma Raceway

Though Sonoma Raceway (formerly Sears Point Raceway and Infineon Raceway) might not be as famous as some of the other tracks on this list, there's no denying its status as one of the most challenging, fun tracks in America.

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23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Heart of Racing GTD Porsche 911 GT America 
Ian James / Phoenix, AZ 
Mario Farnbacher / Ansbach, Germany
Alex Riberas / Barcelona, Spain

© Marshall Pruett 2015,
Marshall Pruett
Sebring International Raceway

Spectators and racers come from ends of the Earth to be a part of the legendary event that is the 12 Hours of Sebring. The endurance race has been run since 1950, always filled with cool cars and endlessly entertaining racing. And the track itself is so grueling that Le Mans teams use it as a torture test to prepare for the 24 hour race.

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DW Burnett/Puppyknuckles
Daytona International Speedway

Though Daytona is best known for NASCAR's most famous event, the Daytona 500, we love it for its endurance race, the Rolex 24 Hours. Every year there's no shortage of action-packed battles and last-hour surprises.

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<p>This may just be one of America's fastest racetracks. There are few experiences as exhilarating as navigating the downhill esses with perfect visibility and a perfect line. Connect the dots, come up the hill to the fast left-hander, and let the gentle elevation guide you up the back straight. Careful, though: that downhill stretch has witnessed some spectacular race car backflips. </p>
Brian Cleary/Getty Images
Road Atlanta

Aside from Road Atlanta's rich history and awesomely fun layout, above all, it's just a really cool place to be. The scenery is fantastic, and the people there are all nice. Plus the track has a mile-long straight and a daunting, blind downhill right hander right by pit in. This is not a track for cowards.

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Wikimedia Commons/Pstark1
Watkins Glen International

Though it doesn't host Formula 1 anymore, Watkins Glen remains one of the most important tracks in North America. Nestled deep in upstate New York in the Finger Lakes region, the circuit features tons of fast corners and big, wide open sections perfect for high-horsepower cars.

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Kevin McCauley
Circuit of the Americas

Circuit of the Americas (or COTA, for short) is current host to America's Formula 1 race. Like any other modern F1 circuit, it's full of high speed corners and lots of runoff. In a car with downforce, the speeds are incredibly quick. A highlight is the signature blind uphill first turn.

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Getty ImagesBrian Cleary
Road America

Some people still call Road America the center of road racing in North America. It also has everything that makes up a great track, like elevation change, long straights, a variety of corner types, and amazing scenery.

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Getty ImagesDaniel Shirey
Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Yes, it's an oval, but The Brickyard is the world's greatest oval and home of the world's greatest race, the Indianapolis 500. People come from all over the world to compete here; Fernando Alonso skipped the Monaco Grand Prix for a chance to win the 500 last year.

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Marshall Pruett
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

The fantastic layout and stark elevation changes are just a fraction of what make Laguna Seca so great. If you say Corkscrew, car people will think of Laguna Seca before they think of wine. The rich history full of famous events of people make this track a must-visit for drivers and spectators alike.

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