NASCAR has had quite a storied history with America since the very beginning. It started out as a community of outlaws in the practice of making bootleg moonshine. When they were exporting the product to their clientele, they had modified their cars to go extra fast in case the cops caught them and came after them.
After the prohibition was over, they started racing their modified cars, and soon enough a pretty big sport was created. Dirt tracks were made, with seating around the curves, then bigger tracks were made, paved tracks, then raceways and speedways were made, with all kinds of infrastructure and seating for thousands upon thousands of spectators. The cars changed, too, and soon enough they were flying around the circuit at 200 miles an hour and faster. NASCAR quickly took a nation by storm, vastly popular with anyone who loved cars or loved racing or just loved a good spectator sport.
Many people watched for the spectacular crashes, some loved the push and pull that so many exhaustive laps garnered. In any case, it was a huge hit and still is down to this day. With such a successful and massive sport, there are plenty of things that have been forgotten about over its storied history. Racers, cars, blunders, and even tracks. Indeed, as tracks wear out and need maintenance, sometimes it's easier to build a new one, and forget about the old ones. Let's take a look at 20 abandoned racetracks NASCAR wants us to forget about.
20 Abandoned At Sunset
This track has seen much more life in its time than it currently has at this moment at sunset, where empty echoes reverberate off the lanes and stadium seating around the empty oval shell of a NASCAR hub that once was but is no more.
The dusky sunset paints the scene in a glowing but melancholy light, with an empty garage and empty pit stops down below, mere hollow husks of what was once one of the loudest, fastest, and most exciting places to be, especially at race time.
19 Banking Left Into Oblivion
The composition of this photo paired with the exposure and light conditions make for a truly eerie and somber photo of this abandoned NASCAR racetrack that hasn't seen life in years. With clouds, underexposure, and shadows of abandoned memories, it's full of dynamic contrast and richness.
These lanes bank left into oblivion, forever more to resonate with the haunted echoes of racers and cars that no longer run laps. These stands are filled with the vacuum of crowds that once cheered and roared like nothing else, with thunderous cheering and waving.
18 Cracked Pavement At Wilkesboro
North Wilkesboro Speedway was once one of the biggest and first hubs for NASCAR racing, and it was just so for many years on end. Alas, not all good things can last forever, no matter how successful, and this speedway was shut down in 1996.
It was a NASCAR original, too, in operation since the very inception of NASCAR itself, and held many iconic races over the years. Alas, that's no longer true for it, as it has been shut down for over 20 years now, where the infrastructure has rotted away in a sorrow filled silence.
17 Desecrated Rockingham Speedway
Rockingham Speedway is another one of those iconic race tracks from NASCAR that has not survived to our day, despite its huge popularity in the past. The stands are empty, there are no cars, it's overgrown with foliage.
It failed to perform on seat sales, paired with a big amount of issues with ownership and was left to decay in the early 2000s. Since then it has gone up for auction and is apparently being renovated. Even abandoned things have a hope of resurrection sometimes.
16 Everything Falling Apart
This NASCAR speedway race track has never been in such shambles before. Day after day it sees a new level of decay and rot, with signs peeling in the rain and weather, paint coming off, grass pushing cracks wider and wider.
Indeed, it is not a good year, as the mostly gone sign would say, and there hasn't been a good year for many, many in a row. They've just been filled with emptiness, decay, with every bit of the infrastructure turning derelict, facing the inevitable and relentless touch of time.
15 Forgotten Crowds And Empty Lanes
Once these stands were filled with tens of thousands of fans, crowds, and crowds of people passionate about NASCAR, all of them cheering and roaring as the cars passed, as new racers took the lead, even as they crashed.
There was joy, laughing, camaraderie, delicious food and drink, and race cars zooming past at over 200 miles per hour. But, no more is that the case, because all remains empty now, filled with empty space and silent atmosphere, long faded echoes of the races that once roared here.
14 Going In Circles For Eternity
One of my personal issues with NASCAR has to do with the fact that to me it is quite redundant and repetitive, as these races last for hundreds upon hundreds of laps, endlessly going in the same circle for hours on end. Of course, there's more than just that to a race.
But these empty lanes are gyrating around the circuit, going in circles for eternity, without end, until one day it's either torn down or the lanes are completely erased by the elements, foliage, plants, and grass growing in the cracks, ever-widening them until the tarmac is replaced with plants.
13 Hoping For A Hot Dog
If you were hoping for a hot dog, then prepare to be disappointed as this refreshments stand has long been closed, they haven't served a customer in a decade or longer. The decay and abandonment are clear in this photo, with refuse piled up against the stands.
The windows for the stand have been shuttered tight for some time now. The door locked, too. Let's just hope that they didn't forget to get everything out of the fridge and freezer. That could prove to be a pretty bad scenario.
12 Interesting Friend Found
It's not always that everything falls apart in the absence of humans. In fact, it's only the things that we've constructed that fall apart. Everything else, for the most part, thrives and can come back to life. Plants, animals, nature, it all starts to come back in a way that isn't possible with humans.
This dog, for example, seems to have found a new home here. Since he's been domesticated, it might be that he has a hard time finding food. But then again, he seems to have made this abandoned NASCAR track his home.
11 Just One More Turn
Just one more turn, then maybe this NASCAR track won't be completely empty and abandoned, forgotten and left behind, as if it never existed in the first place. NASCAR might want it to be that way, so they can continue to make excessive amounts of money to keep building new tracks.
No matter how many tracks there already are, or have just been deemed "too dated," or "not relevant", they will keep making and building newer and better ones, all in the name of making more money, drawing more fans, justifying higher ticket prices.
10 Knowledge From The Past Fading
These signs once were bright colors, clear whites, and crisp, displaying information to the audience, but in a time that has long since gone away. Nowadays there's just LED screens that display a vast amount of graphics, words, and info that's different every time.
These old signs seem to hold more of meaning after they're abandoned, as these signs give a glimpse into the knowledge of the past, the ways of life, styles, and more. Soon all these kinds of signs will be forgotten, decayed completely.
9 Lap After Ghostly Lap
The dirt has piled up, the paint has faded, the grasses and shrubs have grown tall around the structures, the fence is sagging and rusty, pavement cracked and roofs leaky. The stands are empty, standing as they have for year after year.
Lap after ghostly lap passes by, endlessly without number, as the lap counter doesn't keep track of how many. It hasn't for some time, and the roar of NASCAR engines no longer pushes out the silence. It's all that reigns in this abandoned raceway not many may know of.
8 More And More Cracks Every Year
The vibrant green and blue of this photo, along with the rich oranges of sunset, make for quite a stunning photo. Paired with the allure of an abandoned place like this, and the best of the urban explorers won't get wanderlust to come to this exact location.
For many, exploring abandoned places is their true passion. There's something about the photography opportunities galore, the empty hollow and stories that echo silently through the space, resonating with all that once was, that is truly captivating.
7 No Racing In Sight
This pavilion in the center of the circuit provides an absolutely perfect view of the racing action. If only there was some kind of racing action to get a perfect view of. But, there hasn't been any racing in sight for years, and since then the second story wide-windowed hasn't had a view of anything.
Nothing besides the decaying tarmac, the growing plants, animals taking up roost, and the falling apart of all the structures of this NASCAR raceway that they want us to just forget about.
6 Open Seating For No One
If it's seating that you're worried about when going to a speedway to watch an epic NASCAR race, this place, Saugus Speedway, has got plenty of open seats. Rows and rows of them, in fact, chock full with no one.
Of course, the seating is open because no one wants to go to a race that doesn't exist. This speedway hasn't seen a race in decades now, it closed in 1995. So if you're worried about seats more than seeing an actual show, this is the place to go. Meaning urban explorers, of course.
5 Pieces Falling From Ceiling
The topmost view of the NASCAR races that used to take place here can be seen from the box in the above picture. This is where the commentators would be, so they could see the whole thing happening as clearly as possible, so as to narrate the events of the race factually.
Since it has been abandoned, though, it's clear that time has not been good to this building, with pieces falling from the ceiling, glass broken out, and anything and everything else falling apart in collapse. So is the inevitability of time.
4 Quickest Thing Are The Vines
NASCAR is known for its high speed of racing. Even if it's only an oval circuit, there's still a fantastic amount of excitement knowing that the cars are hurtling around the bends at insane rates of speed. Everyone who watches silently wishes they could see a crash, as they are excited at such high speeds.
Nowadays, at this NASCAR speedway that's been completely forgotten, the fastest thing on the track is the growing vines that have come up over the wall and down onto the tarmac. Not very fast, but at least something is still moving.
3 So Long Texas World Speedway
The Texas World Speedway was a very special kind of race track, considered by NASCAR as a Superspeedway, meaning that it has a track length of over two miles. It's one of only seven, and it recently closed down, too.
Only two years ago did it close, in 2017, and it's already starting to show signs of age and decay, neglect and disarray. So is the way it goes with things that are no longer stewarded by humans, nature has a chance to reclaim everything for itself, and the beauty of that can be addicting, and most assuredly breathtaking.
2 To The Bitter End
This photo is filled with all kinds of parallel endings, both literal and metaphorical, the imagery conveys symbols and yet also talks, in reality, the physical. The entire subject of the photo is about endings, as this is an abandoned and lost NASCAR speedway that's been shut down.
Then there's the parallel imagery with that. This photo was taken at the end of the day, just after sunset. An ending. Then there's the composition of the photo, thoughtfully taken just after the stadium seating ends. Again, another ending. The parallelism throughout this image is quite poetic.
1 Unmaintained Tarmac
This tarmac, while maintained and kept in tip-top shape, was able to allow race cars to drive across the surface, hurtling along at phenomenal speeds, round and round endlessly. But, since the Wilkesboro Speedway has shut down, that tarmac has gone neglected.
The neglect has led to cracks forming, and the cracks in turn growing foliage, and the foliage, in turn, widening the cracks, creating more and more. Now, there's no hope that any car could go safely around this track at two hundred miles per hour, or even at highway speeds.
Sources: Seph Lawless, USA Today & My Fox 8