NASCAR is making its first stop at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend for the New Hampshire 301. If you’ve never been to Loudon, you might feel a little lost in the big parking lots and bigger action. Fear not, here are our five Fast Facts to make your race weekend as easy as possible.
1. Firstly, be aware of race day traffic regulations
Some 100,000 people can pack New Hampshire on race Sunday. As a result, track management has enacted very specific traffic flow rules on that day (and that day only). Simply put, if you’re a general guest (not holding a specific parking pass) and arrive from the south, you’ll only be able to enter and exit from the South Entrance; and if you arrive from the north, you’ll likewise be confined to using the North Entrance. Keep that in mind when coming to Loudon.
2. Consider developing a taste for lobster
One part of the NASCAR fan experience is sampling the food options at each track. In the case of Loudon, the Miller Lite Lobster Lounge is exactly what it says on the tin: a place where you can try a number of lobster dishes (and, of course, Miller/Coors products), as well as take in some live entertainment. If you have extra time after your tailgate or want to try a little bit of New Hampshire, you should pop into this unique venue located in the P2 Display Lot.
3. If you’re camping, note the strict firewood rules
Loudon has some particular regulations when it comes to cooking fires and the firewood you can use in them. Camping fires are only permitted only when conditions are deemed safe, and out-of-state firewood is strictly prohibited, as a quarantine against untreated out-of-state wood has been established by the state of New Hampshire. If you’re caught burning anything other than clean wood, you’ll be banned from renewing your race tickets and subject to a fine. So it might be easier just to pick up some on your way to the track.
4. Take advantage of the track’s appreciation for coolers
While Loudon might be tough on traffic and firewood, it actively encourages fans to make good use of their coolers. As long as your cooler is 14 inches or under in all dimensions, you can pack in as much of your own food and beverages as you like. So bring those tailgate leftovers with you; just don’t put anything in glass containers, which are still prohibited in the grandstand area.
5. Don’t miss the Fan Zone
Once you’ve gotten through the gates, be sure to leave time to visit Loudon’s Fan Zone, located off of Turn 2. We mention this because it’s free and doesn’t require a separate wristband, unlike the similar setups at some other tracks. Opening at 8 a.m. on race Sunday, the Fan Zone will include sponsors like Coca-Cola, Toyota and Xfinity; why not enjoy it here rather than having to pay to get in someplace else? You’ll need something to do anyway, since you won’t have to stop for snacks thanks to that cooler you’ll be bringing.
The New Hampshire 301 takes place at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this Sunday, July 19 at 1:30 p.m. ET.