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Why you Should Visit Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tennessee

Updated: Mar 4

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Smoky Mountain Speedway

If you're the type to fully engulf in the culture while on vacation, you'll want to catch a race at a dirt track while you're in the Smoky Mountains. Located about an hour from Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Smoky Mountain Speedway is a special events track that's integrated into the hearts of nearby southerners. For those who don't know, dirt track racing takes place on a circle track packed with red clay mud. Smoky Mountain Speedway runs dirt late model cars most often, but if you're in town at the right time, you might catch a motorcycle or sprint car race.

Many of those who visit have a long-standing appreciation for dirt racing, either because they're local or frequent a track back home. Whether you're an avid fan who travels across the United States, or a rookie who's not yet learned the basics, here are some tips to help you plan your trip to Smoky Mountain Speedway.

Dress Accordingly

Safety glasses

Races at Smoky Mountain Speedway are typically scheduled from March to October, leaving the potential for various weather conditions. Tennessee is known to be hot in the summer, but in the evenings, the temperature tends to drop. This fluctuation along with wind chill from the cars will leave the unprepared wishing they brought a light jacket. There's also a good chance dirt will fling into your eye if you aren't equipped with safety googles.

It's important to remember why it's called a dirt track in the first place. If there's been a recent storm, the dirt will turn into mud that cakes to the bottom of your shoes. Instead of flip-flops or your everyday kicks, make sure to wear boots or tennis shoes that you don't mind getting dirty. Also, prepare for it to get loud by packing some earplugs.

Stay Close by

Hotel bedroom

It's common for races to last until midnight or later, and traffic can be pretty awful when everyone leaves at once. If you're exhausted and in need of a place to crash, the closest hotel to Smoky Mountain Speedway is the Hilton Knoxville Airport hotel. If you book here and enter the corporate number 3129469, you'll receive your room at a discounted rate. This hotel is connected to McGhee Tyson Airport and 15 minutes from the racetrack.

Check the Schedule

Smoky Mountain Speedway schedule

To state the obvious, you should always check the schedule before showing up to any racetrack. In the case of inclement weather, keep an eye out on the track's Facebook page for updates.

Learn the Importance

Smoky Mountain Speedway Wall
  1. Smoky Mountain Speedway has underwent many renovations in its more than 60-year-life. The most recent change was in 2023, when the track was shortened from 4/10 to 3/8 of a mile. The track was paved from 1967 to 1978, and during this time, it saw likes of NASCAR legends Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, and David Pearson. A lot has changed since then, but its roots remain strong and deep. Today, the track hosts world famous series such as Lucas Oil, Schaeffer's Oil, and Southern All Stars.

  2. A family operation, the track owners and event organizers are genuinely good people. When you support Smoky Mountain Speedway, you're supporting a locally owned business instead of a large corporation. The owner Roger Sellers is a humble, self-made businessman, while event organizer Casey Moses is highly respected as one of the hardest workers in the sport.

  3. Unlike at many public events, the concession stands' food is actually good. Rather than being generic and unsatisfying, it serves up barbecue sandwiches, mozzarella cheese sticks, chicken tenders, and various classics.

  4. There are three ways to enjoy Smoky Mountain Speedway: the grandstands, the pits, and tier parking.

  5. The track serves alcohol in the grandstands, and as you may know, nothing pairs better with racing than beer.

You could visit any racetrack in the world, but there's nothing quite as southern and authentic as one at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains. Make sure to read up on the top things to do in Pigeon Forge if you're looking to expand your vacation.

Smoky Mountain Speedway Dustin Dunlap


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