- Give it a try — As I said before, even if you don’t like racing it is something you should try once and with the special deal we’ve worked out above, there is no better time than now. I was amazed by how it tickles all the senses including smell with nitro fuels wafting through the air and feel as a shockwave of sound and vibration flows over the crowd as these machines go from 0 to 300 mph in seconds!
- Bring your sharpies — Every ticket to U. S. Nationals doubles as a pit pass providing unequaled access to the drivers and their teams compared to any other major professional auto racing event. Be sure to buy a special souvenir hat or photo and get autographs from your favorite drivers. Some people even walk away with actual tires and other gear that the race teams sometimes give away.
- Smell the Nitro — That access also allows you to see the teams work on these impressive machines between their blasts down the track. The pure excitement on my then 4-year-old’s face when one of the race cars was towed right past him was priceless!
- Bring your family — Over the years, this event has become as family friendly as they come. In addition to the unlimited access, children also love Nitro Alley on the east side of the drag strip in front of the professional pit area. Nitro Alley includes games, displays, race gear and other interactive experiences that every member of the family will enjoy. Kids 12 and under can even get in for free!
- Pack accordingly — Earplugs are a must for every member of the family. The souvenir shops sell them at the track if you come unprepared. You might even want to bring full, ear-muff protection for the youngsters. Don't forget to wear comfortable shoes and bring sunscreen, hats and other protection from the sun.
- What about coolers? — They are permitted though they can’t be any larger than 14X14X14. But don’t let that preclude you from trying food from vendors at the track. Be sure to check out the ‘Nitro Hog’ and their special style of barbecue cooked in an old Top Fuel dragster.
- What you can’t bring — Glass bottles of any kind and alcohol are not permitted.
Visit local race shops — It is worth the trip to come a little early to see all the race shops, located within a short drive of the track along Northfield Drive and Southpoint Circle in Brownsburg. Don Schumacher Racing will even host an open house on Aug. 30. John Force's annual summer car show and open house has been cancelled this year, however.
- Attend church services — Racers for Christ offers non-denominational church services scheduled for 7:15 and 8 a.m. Sept. 1. This service is free at the track and is usually held in one of the team tents and hosted by the racers. The public is welcome to attend.
- Be social — Follow @HendricksCounty, @LucasOilRaceway and #NHRA on Twitter to get up-to-the-minute updates on all the happenings at the track throughout the six-day event.
Top 10: U.S. Nationals Insider Tips
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 12:29 PM by Josh Duke