●●● Watch a race at the Central Texas Speedway
Okay, I must admit, I had never been to a car race before. I've never even watched a car race before. So when our family pulled up into the grass field to park, I had no idea what to expect.
Central Texas Speedway, located about 25 miles south of Austin right off I-35, offers stock car races, go-cart riding and concerts. Today they were hosting the Bobcat Showdown.
When we arrived, the boys were starving (of course, they're teenagers, right?), so we picked up some barbecue and sausage wraps in the concession area.
Due to timing, the races were at intermission when we found a seat in the stands. During intermission, all of the cars that race that day pull onto the track and spectators are allowed to get onto the track to meet the racers, and even climb into a few of the cars! The racers ranged in age from ten years old (no joke!) to middle aged.
We then climbed back into the stands to watch our first race. As the cars lined up around the track for their first loop, engines roaring and accelerating, my youngest son couldn't keep from screaming "This is AWESOME!!"
And screaming was necessary. We were surprised when we arrived that the stands were pretty full, but there were still front row seat available. Cool - we thought! And then quickly moved backwards after the races started due to the noise. :o)
There is something very primal about watching the cars roar around the track - cheering on the winner! I knew my kids would get a kick out of the race, but I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. It was a lot of fun! And fortunately, the race announcer was very good at explaining what all of the flags meant and what was going on!
We stayed to watch two races, with each race being around a half an hour. Knowing nothing about cars, we'd pick a favorite to win, and watch them scoot around the track. We watched the wipeouts, the jockeying for position, and the winners! It really was a blast.
Tips and Thoughts
● The races are loud ... really loud. We saw lots of children and adults wearing ear protection. If we had had any, we would have gladly worn it.
● We had general admission tickets on the bleachers. These provided a great view of the race, but were hard metal seats with no back support. We saw many people bring their own comfy camp chairs to set up in the bleachers - and it looked a lot more comfortable that way!
● Not knowing anything about races, I couldn't really figure out when to get there. The tickets say 4pm as the start. When we pulled up at 6pm, I was hoping we weren't too late. Nope. The opening ceremony was at 4pm, with the first race shortly thereafter. Races contiued until 7pm, when there was a half hour intermission and chance to meet the drivers and see the cars up close, followed by races continuing from 7:30 until around 9:30pm. So, you can come anytime in between 4pm and 9pm. As the sun went down, the day cooled, and the evening was beautiful!