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Topic: Watkins Glen Or Pocono Raceway?

Posted By: longislandcamper on 03/13/12 07:13pm

My brother and I would like to take our Dad to a race this summer. None of us have ever been so it will be a first for all of us. We live on Long Island so I figure the closest tracks are Pocono or Watkins Glen.

For what it's worth, we just bought our first camper last September and took it out about 4 times before packing it in for the winter. It's an 18' hybrid.

Any recommendations on which track to choose and why? Then within each track, which field should we be looking at? Ideally we'd like hookups of course if possible. Thanks!

Posted By: BoarderExman on 03/13/12 08:24pm

Watkins Glen would be my choice. I find the road course races much more interesting. Having said that I've never actually been there, however I have been to Pocono and didn't really care for it. Hey its a party either way I am sure you would have fun at both venues.

Wife and 2 kids(daughters)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 32V

Posted By: Eyegor on 03/13/12 08:45pm

If you stay at either track, neither will have hook-ups. Unless WG changed. I haven't been there in several years. I have been to both tracks and enjoy both. Although I like the road courses the "tricky triangle" of Pocono would be better for 1st timers. Pay for seats in the grandstands and you will be able to watch the entire track. You can never do that at the Glen or any road course really.

For Pocono, if you decide to get seats in the grandstand, then I would stay in the camper outside Turn 3. If you want hookups Pocono has a campground with FHU and some amenities 1 mile away. I have not stayed there but am exploring that option for the August race. Good Luck and maybe we'll see you there.

87 Mallard Sprinter 24' Class C Ford E350 w/460 gas "The Runny Duck"
Shiny side up, Rubber side down.

Posted By: bgum on 03/14/12 04:40pm

First went to the Glen and Pocono in 1969 or 1970. The Glen had been open for a while whereas Pocono was new. I like the Glen the best but for seeing the entire race Pocono can't be beat. Try to camp in the infield at the Glen. No hookups.

Posted By: Salty Dog on 03/14/12 06:57pm

We have camped at Watkins the last several years and have attended several races at Pocono but not camped there. We live about 45 minutes from Watkins Glen.

For Watkins, plan on dry camping - no elec or water hookups, although water spigots are positioned around the camping area. Honey wagons to pump tanks and water truck are available for a fee.

Buy seats in one of the grandsatnds where a Jumbotron is visible. Watkins Glen Speedway's web site shows the Jumbotrons and seating. Being a road course, you will not be able to see the entire track - thats why the Jumbotrons are important. The website also shows camping areas and pricing. The terrain is rolling hills, so bring some blocking just in case. The hills are not severe.

We enjoy Watkins and take advantage of general admission seating for the Grand Am and Nationwide races on Saturday. We also wander around during practice for different vantage points.

We stay in the Gate 7 area - it is first come, first choice of spots. The line starts forming days before the gates open. Gate 2 is also first come and is a bit wilder. Reserved spots were available last year almost up to race time - not sure about this year.

Pocono would probably be closer to you, but as I mentioned, we have not camped there. Watching the race can be a challenge, depending on your seat location - it is a long ways from the front stretch seating to turn 2, but the entire track is visible.

Good luck and enjoy whichever race you attend. Maybe we'll see you there, Mike

Wife, kids, somebody else's kids, dog, kitchen sink

Cleverly disguised as an adult.

Posted By: longislandcamper on 03/14/12 08:44pm

Thanks for the help so far. Personally, I think Pocono is a better fit race wise. Even though I've never been to a race I would have thought Pocono would be a better place to view everything.

How is it to actually enjoy and follow the race from the stands? Should I look into getting the radio broadcast or something to keep up with everything?

Posted By: EMPIRE LI on 03/15/12 03:20am

We also live on LI and are NASCAR fans. Another track close by and very fan friendly is Dover this would be my pick for a first time race. The camping is great though no hook ups lot ten is cheap and plenty to see and do. Drive time is about five hours from eastern LI PM me if I can help. To add we always stay in lot ten there is a free shuttle to the track I don't dump my tanks on monday at the track the line is way too long after you go over the Delaware Mem Bridge get on 295 north the first rest stop has a free dump station stay on 295 north till you see signs for NJP this will also save some toll money. This track is a mile oval seating is great,and imho is closer than WG,Pocano is nice also but the camping is not as nice.Have fun Rich

* This post was edited 03/15/12 09:34am by EMPIRE LI *

2004 Chevy Tahoe lt 2009 29bhs Coachman
Reese wd
Honda 3000

Posted By: paulcardoza on 03/15/12 06:01am

X2 for Dover. Terrific choice, especially for someone's first race experience!

Paul & Sandra
Plymouth, MA
2014 Heartland Cyclone 4100 King

Posted By: PackerBacker on 03/15/12 07:30am

I would go to Dover as my first choice from Long Island.

We've been to The Glen a few times (used to race there ourselves) and it is really a fun place to be with lots of infield things to do and see. This year we have a trackside spot at the August Pocono race.

There are no hook-ups at any races we go. if I were you, I'd plan on having a generator and fill you fresh water tank before you leave if you are camping at the track. All tracks have water delivery but it is very expensive as is the pump truck for cleaning your tanks.

Have fun, it's a great time!

2014 Enterra 314RES (Cruiser RV) TT, Equal-i-zer 12K, Honda 2000 Genny
2022 Ford F-150 Sport 4X4

Posted By: maxtay on 03/23/12 03:01am

Another vote for Dover. Pocono was really hard to see, even when cars where on front stretch. Position of seats makes most people stand to see, making it even harder to see. Curious though, where is
turn four at pocono?

Posted By: PackerBacker on 03/23/12 06:55am

maxtay wrote:

................. Curious though, where is turn four at pocono?

They forgot to install it! [emoticon] [emoticon]


Posted By: bdlaise on 03/17/12 09:05pm

Dover wouldn't be a bad trip from LI. There is plenty of camping area around the track (no services). There are some regular campground around. The only drawback I noticed from a trip we took to Mass was traveling across the GWB. For some unknown reason the road (I-95) going through NYC to NJ seens extremely narrow and bumpy. Never been to Watklins Glen, Visited Pocono along back in the 90's.

Posted By: anaro on 03/17/12 10:13pm

another vote for Dover. DH says you really can't see alot of the race at pocono. He was kinda disappointed by it. We had a great time both times we went to Dover. We always stayed friday through monday. Friday beats out alot of traffic. Mon skips some traffic but also has you there if the race gets postponed. We didn't have a TT but camped w/ a friend that had a 5er and a genny. We stayed in one of the nearby fields and just walked to the track. It was a blast. Be ready for one big party and camping set ups of every shape and size. Have fun.

2014 Silverado 3500 Duramax, SRW, Crew Cab, 4WD
2014 Palomino Sabre 34REQS -
2011 Crossroads Zinger ZT26BL - sold in 2014

Posted By: PackerBacker on 03/18/12 06:05am


Posted By: njdirt on 03/16/12 06:53pm

Agree with other posters on Dover.You will be better off there 1st time if get seats on front stretch higher then row 15 or anywhere in the turns will be able to see whole track. As said before at the Glen you can see only part of the track. Pocono unless you get seats high up you cant see the whole track and the tunnel turn is so far away its hard to see the action from any seat. At all you will be dry camping so a generator is a must to run the AC and charge the batteries as it gets HOT at times.

Bob/Marlene and Crystal(Golden Retriever)and sometimes Grandkids....
37' Alllego Bay
dirts for racing/asphalt's for getting there

Posted By: Salty Dog on 03/16/12 08:48pm

Dover is on our next to attend list as we have not been there yet. Our list of tracks attended so far is: Watkins Glen(many times), Pocono (2X), Martinsville, Bristol, Michigan, Daytona (3X), Charlotte (3x), and Las Vegas.

Scanners are a great way to stay abreast of the action. You can use the scanner to listen to any or all drivers and spotters, or as my wife likes, listen to the radio broadcast on MRN. Scanners can be rented at the track but can be a little pricey - the Fan View is cool to watch as it includes in car cameras and such.

Check out nascarcamping forum for additional info...

Good luck, Mike

Posted By: bobsallyh on 03/16/12 09:49pm

Well having been to all three mentioned here many times, my choice especially for his first race in person would be Dover. You can see just about everything from most places. And the last 150 laps are hard racing. Watkins Glen is a road course as many have mentioned. You see very, very little live action and to watch it on the Jumbotron, well just sit on the porch in LI. Pocono is a poor superspeedway. You sit high, you can see 1,2, backstretch, 3,and 4 and not much on the front stretch other than the pits. Sit low and for the most part you only see what is in front of you. And since Doc Mattioli just passed away, operation of this facility could leave a lot to be desired. Weather at Pocono rears it's ugly head quite frequently also.

Posted By: Mike& Rose on 03/15/12 09:21am

WT Family Campground
If you need full hook ups, this campground is right down the road from Pocono Raceway. We have stayed there in the off season (April). Book early when races are scheduled. Rates will probably increase too.

See you on the road!

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