10 Awesome Race Tracks You'll Only Find In California

California holds some of the world's greatest race tracks, with these ten courses covering everything, from NASCAR to drag racing.

When you have a nice car, it's very tempting to open it up and really see just how far it can go. However, this is obviously illegal on public roads, not to mention dangerous. Along with this, several States have certain rules and regulations regarding sports cars, especially California.

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If you happen to find yourself in the sunny state of California and are severely lacking any motorsports exposure, why not go to the race track. After all, California (regardless of its laws) still has countless raceways all around the state. These tracks can suit just about anyone's preferences, be it dirt, asphalt, and so on. To illustrate the variety of options, here are ten awesome race tracks you can only find in California...

10 Sacramento Raceway

First up is a slightly limited race track. Nonetheless, it's still readily accessible to the public and provides some spectacular showings. To add to this, it's near the center of the state in Sacramento. Of course, this is the Sacramento Raceway.

The biggest venue offered at the Sacramento Raceway is their long drag strip. Here, they hold professional competitions along with welcoming amateurs who wanna see what their car can do. Whether driving or watching, you'll probably have a good time

9 Chuckwalla Valley Raceway

To be a great race track, you don't need huge grandstands, thousands of sponsors, or a huge podium for the winners. Rather, what's really important is the track's overall quality and location. The perfect example of just this principle can be seen with the Chuckwalla Valley Raceway.

The Chuckwalla Valley circuit was first constructed back in 2010 (in the aptly named Desert Center, California) with the explicit purpose of vehicle and motorcycle racing, with motorcycles taking priority. The track is very open, with lots of room for error and opportunities for fun racing.

This track is better for those who drive than those who watch (due to the lack of seating options), but can still be fun for everyone involved.

8 Thunderhill Raceway Park

Just about every state has some aspect of motorsports history buried deep down in the culture. The same can be said for California, as they have multiple examples of their love of racing. One of these is the Thunderhill Raceway Park: One of the longest circuits in the whole United States.

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Located in Glenn County, California, the Thunderhill Raceway Park has been around for a couple of decades. With it has come outstanding wheel-to-wheel racing and some serious fun. The real cherry on top, though, is the S.C.C.A.'s (Sports Car Club of America's) involvement at the circuit. In fact, according to Thunderhill's website, "Thunderhill is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the San Francisco Region of the Sports Car Club Of America." This means that, if you want to, drivers can easily get their licenses, classes, and experience all in one place: Thunderhill.

7 Auto Club Speedway

California isn't just a haven for circuit drivers and road course enthusiasts, but also ovals and NASCAR too. Thankfully for those who like the American oval, California has several choices, including the Auto Club Speedway.

The Auto Club Speedway can be found in Fontana, California inside San Bernardino County. The course itself is a standard oval shape, but it still makes for some good races. Since the '80s, NASCAR and various other racing series have been going to Auto Club.

6 Grangé Motor Circuit

Everything changes over time. It could be yourself, society, preferences, feelings, and even sports. An example of this can be seen with the evolution of drifting; increasing n popularity around the globe. As such, businesses have stepped up to the plate to provide just the place for their antics. It's called the Grangé Motor Circuit in San Bernardino.

Grangé isn't your average race track. Upon first glance, you may think that the Grangé Motor Circuit is a Go-Kart track. You would be partially correct in this assumption since they do race karts there, but the primary purpose is for drifting. Believe it or not, there's a track specific to drifting and "hooning" around before anything else. It seems heaven really is a place on Earth, after all.

5 Buttonwillow Raceway Park

Located snuggly in Kern Country, California, just outside of the moderately-sized town of Buttonwillow is a gem of California's love of racing. Obviously, this is the Buttonwillow Raceway Park.

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After being built over two decades ago, the Buttonwillow circuit has been a fantastic place for S.C.C.A. racing. Also, like Thunderhill, the Sports Car Club of America is a big part of the Buttonwillow circuit's management and venues offered there. And, just like Thunderhill, Buttonwillow became an outstanding location to get licensed and drive fast.

4 Long Beach Grand Prix

Unlike the other circuits/tracks on this list, this one isn't actually up for 365 days a year/24-hours a day. Sadly, the Long Beach Grand Prix functions similar to Monaco, where the circuit is only constructed before crucial races.

Since the Long Beach Grand Prix is located in the midst of a large city and popular area, streets need to be closed and preparations made. As a result, the Long Beach Grand Prix is only open for a short time and to a limited selection of people. Either way, though, it's a great place to watch an entertaining race for professional series, especially IMSA and IndyCar.

3 Sonoma Raceway

Of all the states in the union, California has it pretty good in terms of automobiles and racing. Even though there are strict regulations and heavy tax burdens at times, the great state still has a few well-known motor sporting venues. One of these coveted places is the Sonoma Raceway.

Before it was called Sonoma, it was named the "Sears Point" during the '60s to '90s and "Infineon" in the 2000s. As the owners changed, so too did the layout of the course. Now, Sonoma is a difficult, tight, and elevated course that challenges anyone brave enough to go full blast. For those more interested in drag racing, don't be worried, they have one of those too.

2 Willow Springs International Raceway

Some places have either drag racing and drifting or road courses and other varieties. Not every track manages to have all the venues, but the ones who do become a haven for car enthusiasts and racers of every breed. California has its own version of this in the Willow Springs International Raceway.

The track first opened in 1953 in (wait for it) Willow Springs, California. Since their inception, Willow Springs, like many classic courses, has undergone facelifts, changes, and renovations. Thankfully, these changes have mainly improved the track.

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Nowadays, if you're in California and want to scratch your racing itch, one of the best places to go is Willow. It's hard to argue against a place that has just about everything.

1 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

If you were to ask someone about race tracks in the state of California, they would probably name at least one: Laguna Seca. Compared to all the other tracks in the state, Laguna Seca is easily one of its most famous, beloved, and classic circuit.

Before too long ago, Laguna Seca was known as the Mazda Raceway, rather than WeatherTech. However, owners exchange hands frequently in real-estate. Luckily, nobody plans on changing anything yet, and how could you? Many believe Laguna Seca to be one of the best tracks in North America with its complex build, elevation changes, and the notorious corkscrew corner.

Of all the tracks in California, make sure to visit Laguna Seca at least once. It's amazing to see in person, especially from behind the wheel.

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