Insider: Five Ideas for Racing-Themed Vacations

Do you arrange your weekends around every televised NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula One or FIA World Endurance Championship race? Is your idea of a fun day out obsessing over every car at the car show or heading out to your local track to watch the drag races?

If you live and breathe cars and racing, then it should also be a no-brainer to theme your next vacation around your passion. Here are five ideas for planning an amazing racing-themed getaway.

1. Get in on the Action

Why watch from the sidelines when you can jump into the fray? Many drag tracks like Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey have a dedicated night each week or month where fans can race their own cars down the drag strip. Spend a night of your vacation racing your ride against amateurs in their family car and professionals testing out new tweaks to their vehicles. Of course, if you’re going to race, you want to do it in style.

For a sports car with world-class performance and power, the Chevy Camaro is a perfect option at a fraction of the price of comparable models. The Camaro was named the Motor Trend 2016 Car of the Year, so it’s a good every day investment that will also hold its own on the track. So get out of the stands, hop into your car, and be part of the action you love watching so much. 

2. Go to School

If you’ve always wanted to learn to drive like a pro, then you’ll actually love spending your vacation going back to school … driving school. All over the country, professional drivers, high-end automakers and racetracks offer hands-on lessons. The driving schools range from a few hour NASCAR driving lesson at the Richard Petty Driving Experience, to a more complete three-day racing program at the Skip Barber Racing school, offered at 11 locations nationwide, including the Atlanta Motorsports Park and Pittsburg International Race Complex.

3. Watch the Big Race In-person

For as much as you love watching racing on television, there is nothing quite like being there in person. The ultimate event for you will depend on your favorite type of racing, but you can’t go wrong with the Indy 500, held every year over Memorial Day weekend. The experience of attending the Indy 500 is intense, after all, it is the largest one-day sports event in the world. Beyond the race, though, there are a plethora of pre-race activities, like concerts and a huge parade, to make it a vacation-worthy experience.

4. Get Cultured

Just like an art enthusiast would love to spend their precious time off wandering around the halls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you’ll enjoy learning about the history of your favorite thing at one of the many excellent car and racing museums around the country. The NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina is a perfect for NASCAR fans, and the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada will thrill lovers of classic and rare models.

5. Test Your Endurance

If you’re lucky enough to have friends who share your enthusiasm for racing and cars, gather a team and spend your vacation preparing and participating in an endurance road race like the 24 Hours of LEMONS. A play on the 24 Hours of Le Mans held every year in France, the 24 Hours of LEMONS is an endurance race for teams of four or more drivers with cars that are bought and track-prepped for under $500. Races are held multiple times a year across the country (and in Australia and New Zealand).

You work hard for your vacation time, so why wouldn’t you spend it doing what you love? Whether, it’s watching a competition, learning from the professionals or getting out on the track yourself, it’s time to start your engine and plan out your next racing-themed vacation.