How to Find Nascar Racing School Locations

January 27, 2012

Finding NASCAR racing school locations can be done online or with a yellow book directory. A NASCAR racing school is a high-performance, defensive driving school that teaches drivers with basic driving skills more advanced driving skills. NASCAR stands for National Assocaition for Stock Car Auto Racing, and is the largest governing entity and sanctioning body of stock car racing in the United States. The skills taught at a NASCAR racing school go beyond just learning how to drive fast around an oval racing track. The schools are designed to instill better driving habits and enhance the basic driving abilities of the attendees.

The locations of these schools may not be in the area you live in. If you are looking to attend a NASCAR racing school, you should be prepared to travel some distance to find a school.

What Are Students Expected to Know to Graduate
Drivers from NASCAR racing schools are expected to know specific technical driving skills that relate directly to stock car racing in order to graduate. Training at a NASCAR-style racing school involves much more than just knowing how to handle speed and drive fast on a closed track. Instruction is heavy on safety education and professional racing techniques--from safety features of car and track, proper operation and controlling of the vehicle, strategy and racecraft, to the driver's mental preparation and self-control.

First and foremost, all students must know how to drive a manual transmission vehicle in order to register for schools offering NASCAR racing instruction. Some schools offer NASCAR "experience" type training, which involves anywhere from a half-day to three day training in which you can learn the basics of stock car racing with little or no experience in driving a stick shift transmission. For most NASCAR racing schools that offer professional racing instruction knowing how to drive a manual transmission and adequate experience with gear shifting is mandatory. Some schools also require that students be coordinated enough and practice utilizing both feet, left on the brake and right for the gas/throttle.

Technical Skills
Drafting, also called slipstreaming, is the practice of positioning the vehicle right behind a leading vehicle (mere inches between bumpers), creating a vacuum as the lead vehicle cuts through the air. The aerodynamics of drafting cause both vehicles to travel faster utilizing less energy, since it reduces drag and wind-resistance. Learning how to draft properly and efficiently is important in learning key passing strategies like slingshot passing and bump drafting.

Drifting is another technique used in motorsports where the driver purposely oversteers into a turn so that the rear wheels slide due to the lack of traction on the road. Students are taught how to feather the gas into the turn, how to power oversteer, gear shift quickly and properly in order to lock the wheels without using the brake and countersteer to exit the turn safely. Learning the art of drifting teaches students about speed, angles of approach, how to control the slide into the corner and how to recover out of the skid to exit the corner.

Safety and Teamwork
Safety and teamwork go hand in hand when it comes to racing. Driver and crew must be in communication constantly while the car is on the track--it can mean the difference between winning a race and losing, and more often, staying safe or crashing. Students are trained on the lingo used to effectively communicate with the pit crew on the technical issues about the race car's performance, as well as physical conditions the driver may experience. The sheer number of laps in NASCAR-style racing often number in the hundreds, coupled with the heat, tests human endurance levels. Safety equipment like firesuits, helmets and HANS devices for the driver, restraints, web netting, and restrictor plates on the vehicle are reviewed in-depth. Graduates are also taught track safety, for example, proper rolling and standing starts and the meaning and use of the various flags used on the track. Additionally, safety features on the track itself, like soft walls (energy absorbing walls, vs. concrete walls) are necessary subjects for drivers to understand.

What Separates NASCAR Racing Schools from Other Racing Schools?

These NASCAR racing schools promise to give the learner a complete NASCAR experience by giving them the real environment of a NASCAR race. This includes providing them training with authentic NASCAR racing cars, no lead follow, no pace cars and some real NASCAR features such as in-car radios that these drivers use. But, more than the features provided, it is the overall NASCAR ambiance that becomes the biggest draw for most people who enroll in these schools.

NASCAR Sponsorship
A racing school may not be a NASCAR sanctioned school, but rather a high performance school that teaches advanced driving skills. Cost can be another factor that separate these schools, as a typically NASCAR racing school charges around $6,000 to $10,000 in registration fees and costs, while a regular racing school may charge between $1,000 and $5,000 to attend.

Former NASCAR Stars
A NASCAR racing school may have the backing of a former circuit racing performer, like Rusty Wallace or Darrell Waltrip, which can add to the marketing appeal of the school. This certainly separates the NASCAR racing school from a regular racing school, and makes it seem above or apart from the skills taught elsewhere. The instructors hired by these schools are usually professional NASCAR drivers themselves, or are at least experienced on other high-profile racetracks.

NASCAR Circuit Tracks
A NASCAR racing school may be conducted on tracks that are used by the NASCAR circuit drivers. A NASCAR racing school might also use junior circuit NASCAR tracks for their driving schools, as a way to simulate the NASCAR driving experience for its students.

Pricing and Eligibility Requirements

There are a variety of NASCAR racing schools that provide racing fans with a chance to drive like their racing idols. The tuition and requirements vary from school to school.

Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure
To participate in this driving school, you must be 18 years of age or older. The racing school day begins with a short meeting where the drivers learn about the cars and the track. After the meeting, you are taken to the track and called to your car. The driving portion provides the driver with about four hours of racing time. The track speed varies depending on the track layout and the driver's skill level. No driver's license or prior racing experience is required to participate. All racing equipment is provided by the school. The race car window opening dimensions are approximately 15 inches by 30 inches. Any driver who wishes to participate at this school must be able to safely fit into the car and the security harness. The school has a variety of packages for performance driving lessons, ranging in price from about $150 to more than $2,500.

Buck Baker Racing School
This racing school has been around for almost three decades. They focus on racing technique more than speed. The cars are able to go in excess of 160 miles per hour. The racing day runs from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. All helmets and fire resistant racing suits are provided by the school. Participants must have a valid driver's license to operate the manual shift cars. Any participant under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian with them. An insurance waiver must also be signed by the parent or guardian. The racing school packages range in price from about $100 to more than $2,700.