Attending any live sporting event is a thrill. Walk into any arena or stadium across the country, and you will already have a good idea of what you’ll experience. They all have the same accommodations and atmosphere, so there isn’t much mystery about what you will need to take with you.

A NASCAR race track, however, is a whole different animal. There’s a laundry list of things to consider before you set foot on the grounds. You could be there for days if you want, not just hours, so preparation is key.

Here are some tips on what to take to a NASCAR race, or any race for that matter, so you can prepare and have a good time.

Head Set and Scanner

There’s nothing quite like the sound of a few dozen cars ripping laps around the oval, but it’s extremely loud! Do yourself a favor, and get a head set with an intercom, so you can save your ears and talk to the people you came with.

Most tracks publish a frequency list so that you can listen to the drivers and their teams on a scanner. Scanners and headset combos let you listen in, so you don’t miss anything.

Seat Cushions

Row after row of bleachers surround most race tracks, and hard metal bleachers with no back can cause you pain. The average race lasts from two-to-four hours, so you’ll probably sit there for a while. Bring a seat cushion or stadium chair with a back on it. Your posterior will thank you.

A Cooler

A racetrack is like every other stadium in that concessions can cost a lot. If the track allows it, bring a cooler with plenty of food, snacks, water, and adult beverages. Most tracks don’t allow glass containers, so stick to plastic bottles and cans.

Sunglasses, Hat, and Sunscreen

The chances are extremely high that the race will take place on a hot and sunny day. Bring along the necessary tools to block that sun, such as a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses.

Sunglasses may seem like a no brainer, but consider why else they’re useful. If you sit close to the action and a crash happens, debris will fly everywhere. Prevent yourself from going blind from that debris and keep your glasses on.

Lots of Cash

As mentioned above, a day at the races is no small affair. If you don’t want to burn through your credit cards, keep plenty of green on you. There are many places you can blow some cash at before you even park your car. At the very least, keep enough cash on you to pay for parking.

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