Our country is known for its oval tracks, but the less obvious truth is that the U.S. is also home to some of the finest road-racing courses in the world. The great circuits featured here generally date back to a time when racetracks were supposed to have elevation changes, blind corners, and distinct personalities. Most of the ones built in the past two decades are relatively similar to each other and essentially drama-free, designed to be safe rather than challenging. In the good old days, danger was an accepted part of the deal, and we think a scintilla of fear makes for a more challenging competition venue. Of course, we aren’t featuring all of them—some stellar circuits, such as Mid-Ohio, didn’t make the ultimate cut, and this will certainly inspire heated arguments. But, hey, isn’t that what the internet is for?
And definitely take time to watch the hugely informative videos embedded on the following pages. Created by our friends at iRacing.com completely within their proprietary simulator software—it powers a highly accurate online racing experience, one used as a training tool by professional drivers like Alex Gurney, Justin Wilson, and Dale, Jr.—the clips feature an in-depth walkthrough of a lap at each of these historic road courses.