When you’re sitting in the stands at a NASCAR track, it’s easy to take your surroundings for granted. After all, you’re pretty much laser-focused on the cars zooming around the track. But if you look around, you’ll notice that the natural scenery at some NASCAR tracks is spectacular.

In advance of the 2016 season for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series (which starts its engines Feb. 13), LawnStarter scrutinized photos of the 23 tracks hosting NASCAR Sprint Cup races to determine which ones boast the best natural scenery (mountains, trees and so forth). We concentrated on scenery that a NASCAR fan could easily spot from the stands.

After sifting through the photos, we settled on nine NASCAR tracks that belong in the winner’s circle when it comes to natural scenery. Taking our checkered flag is Phoenix International Raceway.

Phoenix International Raceway

Phoenix International Raceway seats about 67,000 fans.
Photo: Phoenix International Raceway

‘Awesome Sight’

According to iRacing.com, the Phoenix raceway is a “desert flower.”

When the Phoenix track was carved out of the foothills of the Estrella Mountains in 1964, “it was intended to be a new jewel in the crown of American open-wheel racing,” NascarCamping.com says. Today, of course, the track hosts more than open-wheel races.

phoenix-international-raceway-2

Fans watch a race from the hillside at Phoenix International Speedway.
Photo: Phoenix International Raceway

“What a beautiful place to put a racetrack!” one reviewer wrote on TripAdvisor. “The view of the mountains around the track make it such [an] awesome sight to see as you watch the great racing around the … track.”

Based on what we’ve seen, we couldn’t agree more.

Top Tracks

Now, we’ll put you in the driver’s seat as we reveal the 9 NASCAR Tracks With the Most Awesome Natural Scenery. We hope you enjoy the ride.

1. Phoenix International Raceway
Avondale, AZ

Phoenix-International-Raceway

Photo: Fandeavor.com

2. Auto Club Speedway
Fontana, CA

Auto Club Speedway

Photo: NASCAR.com

3. Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Photo: U.S. Air Force/Chief Master Sgt. Gary Emery

4. Pocono Raceway
Long Pond, PA

Pocono Raceway

Photo: Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau

5. Michigan International Speedway
Brooklyn, MI

Michigan International Speedway

Photo: Stadium Journey

6. Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol, TN

Bristol speedway

 Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

7. Sonoma Raceway
Sonoma, CA

Sonoma Raceway

Photo: Sonoma Raceway

8. New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Loudon, NH

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Photo: Sporting News

9. Watkins Glen International
Watkins Glen, NY

Watkins Glen International

Photo: racing-forums.com

Top photo: NTS Motorsports

Join our newsletter for more cool stuff like this

Join our newsletter for more cool stuff like this

Thanks! We'll be in touch.