Taking Kids to a NASCAR Race

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Have you thought about taking kids to a NASCAR Race? Here are my top tips for having a great time!

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taking kids to a nascar race
Before the race started!

I don’t fit the “stereotype” when it comes to NASCAR fans but since moving to Virginia and being within a two-three hours of a couple of tracks PLUS having a son who’s obsessed with Lightning McQueen, we’ve gone a few times and enjoy it every single time.

It’s a lot of fun for kids and parents! If you’re taking kids, you’ll need to prepare a little bit to have a great time but it’s doable and exciting.

Some people might turn their noses up at kids at a NASCAR race but as long as your children are into cars and you follow my tips you’ll have a great time.

Why You Should Take Your Kids to a NASCAR Race

Here are 3 reasons you should take your kids to a NASCAR Race!

It Can Be Inexpensive

Tickets for a NASCAR Race can be pretty pricey but one amazing thing about attending a race is the ability to bring in soft coolers with drinks and food to feed your family.

A NASCAR Xfinity race offers free admission to kids! Xfinity races typically happen on a Saturday during early afternoon.

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If you attend other sporting events you know the concessions can be killer on your wallet. It’s so awesome that we can bring our sandwiches and waters into a race. There are concession stands if a cooler isn’t your thing!

There Are A Lot of Pre-Race Activities

From outside the track to the infield (which is where the garages are), there is so much to do at a NASCAR race.

We’ve gone to two races this year: Richmond and Dover. The Dover experience included a complete rain out and we had to go back the next day for the actual race. In the rain, we walked around the outside of the track, purchased our merchandise and got our picture in the rain with the Miles the Monster.

Dover did a really great job of keeping the fun going during the rain. The merch trucks were open and most of the fun things outside the track were also open.

At Richmond this year, we went to the DC Solar Fangrounds for an additional fee and it was amazing.

Here are a few of the things we did at the DC Solar Fangrounds:

We were able to see all of the cars in the garage as the crew worked on them. Not just from far away. We were IN the garage.

Many crew members gave my son a few lugnuts as they walked from the garage to pit road. We were in the Fangrounds during inspection and we watched all of the cars come back from inspection.

Lugnuts at Richmond Raceway
Lugnuts at Richmond Raceway

We were also part of the driver introductions and my son got a Toyota hat!

Because it rained, we unfortunately weren’t able to walk on pit road but the experience on the infield alone was so worth it for us and for my kids.

#43 Bubba Wallace
#43 Bubba Wallace in the garage

We also watched the start of the race from the infield which was really loud and really awesome! We would have been able to go to Victory Lane too but we did leave before the race finished. It was a night race that started at 7pm and with kids we just did what we could and left before the wheels fell off.

20 Erik Jones
#20 Erik Jones
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The Drivers and Cars are Accessible

Like I mentioned in my last paragraph, we were in the garage looking at the cars my son watches every single week. Some kids know dinosaurs, some kids know bugs. My son knows the race car numbers, the drivers and their sponsors. We can’t pass a NAPA Auto Parts store without my son bringing up Chase Elliott.

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If you spend a little extra to see the infield, you’ll be able to catch interviews with drivers past and present. We were fortunate enough to see Kyle Busch, my son’s favorite driver. He did an interview and signed something for us as he went back to the garage. How close can you get to any other sport’s biggest star?

Richmond Raceway Victory Lane Taking Kids to a NASCAR Race
Taking Kids to a NASCAR Race #9 Chase Elliott
#9 Chase Elliott
#48 Jimmie Johnson Taking Kids to a NASCAR Race
#48 Jimmie Johnson

Items You’ll Need When Taking Kids to a NASCAR Race

You’ll want to prepare before heading to a race with kids. Here are the things you’ll need when taking kids to a NASCAR race:

  • Ear Protection. My daughter HATED the ear protection at first but I did my absolute best to wrestle it on. It’s entirely too loud to let a child go without it. I did have to wear her in my Ergo and basically cut her arms off from her face but they stayed on. We keep our ear protection in the car ready to go at all times!
  • Sunscreen. We sat inside for Dover which was great for both ear protection and sun exposure but at Richmond it’s full on sun until dusk. Bring plenty of sunscreen. Reapply often as directed!
  • Snacks and Drinks. Load up the cooler before you head into the track. I always bring snacks with me even if we make a plan to buy from concessions.
  • Entertainment. If you’re looking to stay the entire race or know your child can’t sit for too long without getting fidgety, plan on bringing a few toys to keep your child entertained. We did bring Kindle Fires but thankfully didn’t have to break them out! I just do my best with food, toys, drink, rinse repeat and they responded so well both times.

What Else Should I Bring to a NASCAR Race

If you don’t have one, a radio or scanner is an awesome thing to rent while you’re at the track. Pick a driver and follow along with their radio feed. You can hear what’s going on in their car and hear what they say about other drivers. Might not be the best idea for kids as some drivers use explicit language. We did let my son listen to the radio and he thought he was talking to the drivers during the silence. At one point he told Kyle Larson who spun out and ended his night early that he did a great job and he can try again next time.

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A cushion would be helpful if you don’t want to sit on the medal grandstands.

Definitely check the forecast before heading to the track and dress appropriately! I’ve been to hotter than Hades races and cold wet races. You can bring a poncho for rain but no umbrellas!

For larger tracks, binoculars would be a great idea to keep an eye on cars.

Additional Tips for Bringing Kids to a NASCAR Race

Here are some additional tips for bringing young kids to a NASCAR Race.

Find the Family Section when Searching for Tickets

The family sections for our races are alcohol free and usually filled with other parents just trying to make some cool memories with their car obsessed kids. It’s a section filled with people just trying to survive and maybe catch a few laps with their little ones.

At Dover International Speedway, the family section is INSIDE.

No one around us gave us any grief about bringing our kids to the race. In fact, they helped or asked us questions about taking our young kids because they thought about bringing their young kids.

Have an Exit Plan

My husband and I basically agree beforehand when we would be happy leaving and what the plan is when the wheels inevitably fall off. We do our best to make it to the agreed upon time and then every minute after is a blessing.

IT’S LOUD

Remember, IT’S LOUD. Not like the playground on a 75 degree sunny day loud. Loud like you’ve never heard in your life loud. If you know your child has an issue with noise, a NASCAR race might not be the place for you. And that’s okay! It’s still fun to watch on TV if your child is into cars!

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Look for Shorter Races

An XFinity race is much shorter than a Cup Series race and would be a great trial run before spending the money on the big race.

Don’t Take a Kid who Isn’t Interested in Cars

If your child isn’t into cars it’s going to make it that much harder on you! Races can be long and if it’s not a thing that will keep your child entertained, it’s okay to wait until they’re older or catch it on TV for awhile before heading to a track!

Have you thought about taking kids to a NASCAR race? What sporting events have you taken your children to?

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