Top 10 Biggest NASCAR Races

Top 10 Biggest NASCAR Races

The NASCAR Cup Series schedule includes exciting racing all season long, but some races stand above the others! Some events are packed with history and nostalgia, which combine perfectly with exciting on- track racing. Those are the races you want to see or attend live! Here’s a look at the top 10 biggest NASCAR races.

#1 Daytona 500

Where: Daytona, Florida

Track: 2.5-mile tri-oval with up to 31 degrees of banking in the turns.

The Daytona 500 is the season-opening race that kicks off the NASCAR schedule every season. There are a few other warm-up races such as the Clash and the Daytona Qualifying Duels, but the 500 is the first points race and is often termed as being NASCAR’s Super Bowl. It’s also nicknamed the Great American Race. The race is held at Daytona International Speedway and often ends with some of the most exciting laps you’ll see all season. Richard Petty, also known as the King, won the Daytona 500 seven times during his career.

#2 Geico 500

Where: Talladega, Alabama

Track: 2.66-mile tri-oval with up to 33 degrees of banking in the turns.

The Talladega Geico 500 has become the official race of the spring NASCAR schedule and is known for being the race with the biggest wrecks. The wrecks even have their nickname, which is the Big One. That’s because so many cars can be involved in a “Big One” accident. Talladega Superspeedway is the largest high-banked tri-oval track in racing and has 33-degree banking in the turns, which allows for some of the fastest speeds in NASCAR. Bill Elliott set a record at the track by qualifying at over 200 miles per hour. The facility is built on a former military airbase and is known for its party atmosphere with race fans.

#3 Coca-Cola 600

Where: Charlotte, North Carolina

Track: 1.5-mile quad-oval with up to 24 degrees of banking in the turns.

The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race on the NASCAR schedule and is the only endurance-style event with a unique blend of speed and fuel mileage strategy. Drivers and teams have to navigate a long race that can involve periods of green flag racing only to find themselves in a Talladega-style race during the final laps. The Speedway was made famous by Elvis Presley and the movie Speedway used the venue as the location for one of his most popular movies. The facility became the first large track in NASCAR to use lights for night racing in 1992 and the 600 is held annually on Memorial Day weekend.

#4 Goodyear 400

Where: Darlington, North Carolina

Track: 1.336-mile oval with 24/25 degrees of banking

The spring race at Darlington Raceway is the Goodyear 400 and it holds a place in every NASCAR fan’s heart for one reason – the throwback tribute! This venue uses the race weekend as a historic tribute to past eras of racing. Each season a year of racing from the past is selected and teams use replica paint schemes from that time to match. As for the racing – the track is known as being “too tough to tame” due to the outside line that drivers use to get the fastest speed around the track. This often causes cars to hit the outside wall briefly causing a paint-rub known as the Darlington Strip! The layout of the track is that of a banked oval in the shape of an egg which makes it tough for crews to dial a car in due to the differences between the two sets of turns. Darlington is often referred to as the “Lady in Black” and was the first track in NASCAR to be built that was over a mile long.

#5 Bristol Night Race

Where: Bristol, Tennessee

Track: 533-mile oval short track with up to 24 degrees of banking.

The Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway has fallen in and out of favor over the years, but continues to be one of the most sought-after tickets in NASCAR. The track, located in the mountains of Bristol, Tennessee is a short track with high banking, which often leads to rubbed corners, lost paint, crashes and hurt feelings. At one point the facility introduced progressive style banking which initiated side-by- side racing but almost completely took away the bump-and-run maneuver the venue had become known for. The banking was fixed and dumping the car in front of you has returned!

#6 EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix

Where: Austin, Texas

Track: 3.410-mile road course with 20 turns

Circuit of the Americas (COTA) was built in 2010 and has become one of the most popular road courses in North America as well as NASCAR. The EchoPark Automotive Texas Grand Prix race is the opening road-course race on the NASCAR schedule and has been action packed since it was added to the schedule. Chase Elliott won the first NASCAR Cup Series race at the track in 2021. The track has 20 turns with several places where drivers can make a pass. It also has elevation changes and a long finishing straight-away that dumps into a tight turn-one, which always makes for an exciting start and drag race- style finish.

#7 Ambetter Health 400

Where: Atlanta (Hampton), Georgia

Track: 1.5-mile high-banked superspeedway style tri-oval.

Atlanta Motor Speedway was once known as being a boring track for race fans while being one of the most fun for drivers to race on. The worn-out surface and dated banking made for limited passing and long green flag runs. At the same time, drivers loved the slickness of the track which tested their abilities. Sadly the two things did not produce exciting racing and ticket sales dropped. Now Atlanta has been reconfigured into a 1.5-speedway that races like a larger superspeedway. The Ambetter Health 400 has become one of the most exciting events on the spring NASCAR schedule. The new layout allows for pack racing, lead changes, and drafting which fans seem to always enjoy.

#8 NASCAR Championship Race

Where: Phoenix (Avondale), Arizona

Track: 1-mile dogleg oval with 8 to 11-degree banking depending on the turn.

The NASCAR Cup Series Championship race at Phoenix Raceway is the last race of the season following the regular season and playoffs. Four drivers enter the field as the only remaining Championship eligible drivers that can still win the title. This turns the race into two races in one. First, the driver among the four title drivers that finish best becomes the NASCAR Cup Series Champion. That does not mean one of the four eligible drivers has to win the race – one of them just has to finish better than the other three. There is still an entire field of Cup drivers fighting to win the race and play the role of spoiler! This makes the race a shotgun event from the waving of the green flag to the waving of the checkered flag.

#9 Pocono 400

Where: Pocono, Long Pond, Pennsylvania

Track: 2.5-mile Triangle with different banking in the three turns.

The famed Long Pond, Pennsylvania race track plays host to the Pocono 400 every season and it’s the high-speed race that drivers compare to road course racing on a superspeedway. The track, called the “tricky triangle”, only has three turns and each one is different in sweep and banking. All of the turns empty into long straights with the front stretch being the longest. Races seem to be split between events with long green flag racing to events with plenty of lead changes and wipe-outs. Fuel mileage and tire wear always come into play at this track.


Where: Rotating Venues

The NASCAR All-Star Race may not be the biggest event of the year, but drivers seem to love it and NASCAR has leaned into the idea of changing things up every year to keep things fresh. That involves the race being held on different tracks including ones that have been off the schedule. The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race took place at North Wilkesboro Speedway, which fell off the NASCAR schedule following the fall Cup race in 1996. The venue has since been reopened. The All-Star race includes a field of past winners as well as drivers that race their way in during heat races before the main event. Fans seem to like this connection to the format many small local around-the-country tracks use.

These are the top ten biggest NASCAR races on the schedule. The fun thing is that this list can change from season to season and your opinion may be different! Every time that NASCAR changes the race car and every time a track is repaved or reconfigured – then the racing changes.

Learn more about the most important NASCAR statistics to help you with handicapping races.