Photos by Chris Green, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14
New Smyrna Speedway 3939 Florida 44 New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168
Year Opened: 1964
A NASCAR Home Track in Florida
New Smyrna Speedway may not be a household name in motorsports, but for diehard NASCAR junkies and locals, it is a storied facility that has seen some of racing’s best young talent come through its gates. Nestled south of Daytona just inland from the coast, this raceway is a gem of short track asphalt racing. With updated grandstand seating and plenty of parking, this small high-banked raceway in Central Florida is a must visit for anyone looking to see some of racing’s future stars every night.
New Smyrna Speedway operates much like most local short tracks, with weekly racing and track championships, while also hosting the likes of NASCAR’s K&N Pro East Series. It is also a popular destination for testing purposes, and features the Governor’s Cup race weekend in the late fall.
Food & Beverage 3
The food and beverage options at New Smyrna Speedway are limited but not inherently disappointing. All beverages, from various sodas to coffee and water, cost no more than $3, with food options including hot dogs ($5), cheeseburgers ($5.50), BBQ pork sandwiches ($6), popcorn ($3), nachos ($4.50), fries ($3.50 or $4 with chili or cheese), and the popular chicken and fries basket ($7.50).
The track’s concessions stands also offer seasonal favorites like pork tenderloin, Chesapeake wings, and sausage with peppers and onions – kids meals with hot dogs or chicken nuggets are also available for $6. For fans with pit passes, there is also a concessions stand in the infield by the tech inspection building.
New Smyrna Speedway has the feel of a historic local short track – its high banks make for great racing action no matter if you’re watching pro-stocks, NASCAR stock cars, or modifieds. Fans can look forward to a great product on track, and with victory lane located right on the front stretch, you are certain to feel like you’re right there celebrating with the winners.
Another aspect that makes the track comfortable is the renovated seats in the main grandstand – the seating here mirrors that of most major racetracks, with metal bleacher-style seats and stairs. In addition, there is also another grandstand located above turn 3, where fans can sit on older wooden bleachers for a different view of the race action. The PA system is also top notch, meaning you get to hear the announcers quite well even during the race action.
There isn’t really much near New Smyrna Speedway itself, aside from the gas station across the street. The facility is located in a rather secluded location, so anyone wanting food, shopping, or lodging will have to drive to the coast, a minimum of 10 minutes east on Route 44.
Once at the coast, however, you can find the Hampton Inn New Smyrna Beach, the official hotel of the New Smyrna Speedway (the hotel is located 13 miles from the track). Another option fans choose is the Best Western New Smyrna Beach, while for food, Yellow Dog Eats Kitchen & Bar is a popular stop in New Smyrna Beach, as is Amalfi’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria.
For tourists, driving up to Daytona International Speedway and taking the speedway tour is a must. You can also drive south to the Cape Canaveral National Seashore and Kennedy Space Center.
The fans show up week after week, through cold nights in the fall and winter to hot muggy evenings in the summer. The locals love their short track racing, and some of the biggest names in NASCAR come to watch the future stars get a shot. Names like Burton, Wallace, Gillilland, and McReynolds race here on a regular basis, but it is the children of their famous parents who are the stars. Expect a packed crowd of both locals and racing diehards when you arrive, and fans who love a good show on track.
Getting to New Smyrna Speedway is pretty simple, but it involves some driving. Located equidistant from both I-4 and I-95 along Route 44, the track is not hard to find on the map. From the east, I-95 exit 249 will take you to Route 44, and from there it is a straight shot west to the track; from the west, I-4 exit 118 will drop you off at Route 44. Parking is also plentiful on site, meaning you won’t have a hard time finding a space.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets range from event to event, as bigger races like NASCAR’s K&N Pro East Series are higher profile than the nightly short track racing. Generally, tickets tend to run $15 for general admission for adults, but rise for bigger events – this is relatively low compared to other tracks in Florida, and the low cost of parking and concessions adds to the affordability. Children 11 and under are free, and the track offers both military and senior discounts.
New Smyrna Speedway invites fans onto the front stretch before feature races to get an up-close view of the track, cars, and the drivers – this is a perfect opportunity to get photos and autographs with the drivers. In addition, there is also a NASCAR cup series car on display under the main grandstand – this is another great place for fans to get a photo standing next to a former Jeff Gordon race car.
The facility at New Smyrna Speedway feels like Florida…there are palm trees around the track, it gets pretty hot in the summer, and the fun is plentiful. Also, the track itself is historic, and a favorite among diehards in short track racing, and the updated speedway style seating is a big plus – this is a must-visit track on the list for race fans in Florida and beyond.