NASCAR drivers and crews are seemingly on the road 24/7. Since traveling miles back home just to sleep isn’t a viable option, NASCAR teams stay overnight wherever the rest of their team is. You may be wondering where exactly NASCAR drivers and crews sleep both at and away from the track.
NASCAR drivers and their crews sleep in different places on race weekends. Drivers will sleep in a motorhome at the track while crew members often stay at a team hotel, much like most professional sports teams. Between race weekends, many drivers and crews will stay at their homes.
Below, we will explore where NASCAR drivers sleep on race weekends and in between races. We will then discuss where NASCAR crews sleep both when they are at and away from the track. We will also talk about sleeping arrangements at Daytona in particular.
Where Do NASCAR Drivers Sleep During Race Weekends?
Many NASCAR drivers sleep in motorhomes at the track during race weekends. NASCAR drivers travel so much that they don’t seem to have time to sleep. But sleep is crucial for NASCAR drivers since they operate heavy machinery for 36 points-paying events per season.
When you look at other sports, life is not nearly as grueling. Although the NHL, NBA, and MLB players play just as long as drivers race in a calendar year, counting the preseason and playoffs, they are playing at home half the time. Many NASCAR drivers living in North Carolina get to race at their home track only twice per year, once during the Coca-Cola 600, and again at the Charlotte Roval.
Therefore, drivers are not waking up on a Sunday morning at home and heading to the site of their next race. Instead, they need to make prior sleeping arrangements. You may think that they sleep in hotel rooms like other professional sports teams do when they are on the road. But the answer is no. Instead, NASCAR drivers sleep in motorhomes.
The motorhomes and RVs are the NASCAR drivers’ own, personal private space. They don’t share the RVs with anyone except invited guests, which are often relatives. Further, if you drive into a nearby RV park, the recreational vehicles you see parked there look nothing like those that NASCAR drivers own. You may say these vehicles are luxurious, but that is an understatement.
KEY FACT: Many of the top NASCAR drivers have motorhomes that cost between $800,000 and $2 million
Many of these homes come from Marathon Motorcoaches and they require 1,000 hours of preparation before they are delivered to drivers. Think about that for a second: 1,000 hours divided by 24 hours (1 day) is 42.6 full days of preparation before delivery.
These RVs are also durable, with Marathon estimating each will easily cross the 1 million-mile mark. Best yet, literally nothing is off the table when Marathon Motorcoaches designs these RVs. Some even have ventilated closets and treadmills, complete with flat-screen televisions.
Hauling The RV
Although NASCAR drivers and their families will frequent the RV 3 to 4 days per week, the driver is not in control of the RV while it travels to its destination. Often, drivers and their families fly to the track while they hire a driver to haul the RV to its destination.
The RV driver, much like the transport driver who hauls the cars around the country, is also responsible for the RV’s setup. So, once they reach the track, they will ensure everything is set for the driver’s and their family’s comfort level.
Where Do NASCAR Drivers Stay Between Race Weekends?
NASCAR drivers typically stay at their team’s headquarters between race weekends, or at home. The location of this varies per team, but it is usually somewhere in North Carolina. NASCAR drivers also spend some time traveling for sponsors and attending events between race weekends.
NASCAR drivers are on the road from Thursday or Friday through Sunday for 38 weekends per season, which includes 36 points-paying and 2 non-points-paying weekends. When you do the math, they spend between 114 and 144 days per year traveling for races alone. And that doesn’t include special appearances, sponsorship, and team commitments.
When a NASCAR driver does have downtime, they do have a home base. Between race weekends, you may find many of them in Lake Norman, North Carolina. Lake Norman is close to Charlotte, which most consider to be NASCAR’s capital. It is also close to Mooresville, where many NASCAR teams are located.
Not Always Home
Just because a NASCAR driver is in the middle of their season, it does not mean that they are always hanging out in Lake Norman when they are not doing NASCAR-related work. They may be making appearances on behalf of their sponsors during the week, attending charities, golf outings, and other events.
So, between race weekends, when you cannot find them in Lake Norman or living around team headquarters, they are spending time in hotels. Now, the vast majority of a driver getting involved in endorsements, outings, and other works will occur outside the NASCAR season. But every now and again you will see them engaging in activities between February and November.
Grueling Reality Of Being A NASCAR Driver
For NASCAR drivers, racing itself is just one part of a much larger job. Drivers are the face of their respective teams and that requires more travel.
NASCAR drivers are practically sponsored athletes. And when you think of some of the largest companies in the world, its sponsored driver wearing the logo and colors of that sponsor may come to mind. Even if you weren’t a NASCAR fan at one time, you may have likened Jeff Gordon with DuPont, Jimmie Johnson with Lowe’s, and Kyle Busch with M&Ms.
Since these drivers must also be the face of their sponsors, there may be times when they might not even make it home on Sunday night or Monday morning because of other commitments.
Where Do NASCAR Drivers Stay In Daytona?
Many NASCAR drivers stay in their motorhomes when they’re in Daytona. Just as with any other race weekend, drivers will stay right at their motorcoach during Speedweeks since these homes are designed with them in mind personally, and they can keep them very close to the track.
When you follow NASCAR, you will notice something: They do things differently at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Daytona 500 when mid-February rolls around. Speedweeks kicks off in January, and many drivers are present in Daytona throughout the festivities. This is something you see at no other track on the NASCAR circuit.
Even the event itself is different. Qualifying merely sets the front row for the event while the rest of the field must race its way into the Daytona 500, although exceptions are made for charters, who get a guaranteed starting spot.
KEY POINTS• NASCAR drivers will often stay at home or their team headquarters between race weekends
• During the weekend, many will stay in their own specially designed motorhomes while others will stay in hotels
• For the Daytona 500, most drivers stay in motorhomes at the track
Where Do NASCAR Crew Members Sleep On Race Weekends?
NASCAR crew members and nearly everyone involved with the team will sleep at a nearby hotel on race weekends. Crew members will tend to stay close together, and close to the track, as this makes it much easier to meet and of course get to the track on race day.
While the drivers themselves have such a busy schedule they barely sleep, you may not realize that NASCAR crew members are every bit as busy as their drivers. But while the driver is out making appearances on behalf of the fans and sponsors at the track, the pit crew has its unique set of tasks on each race weekend.
That said, it is rare to see the NASCAR driver and crew members together outside of practice, qualifying, and exchanging general feedback about the car. Since the driver must fulfill their media obligations, they are often left to their own devices when it comes to a weekend home base.
However, there are some cases where the owner will bring an RV and some crew members will sleep in it, but this often occurs in races that are close to team headquarters. For many teams, this will be the case at races like Bristol, Martinsville, or Richmond.
Where NASCAR Crews Stay Between Races
NASCAR crews may stay at home, in hotels, or in motorhomes between races. When they are not travelling to faraway races, pit crew members and other members of the NASCAR team may stay at a home base. That home base is usually in the same area as the NASCAR tracks in North Carolina.
The NASCAR pit crew, like their driver, faces a grueling life on the road. When they are not changing tires, refueling the car, and doing their best to keep their driver from losing track position, they are often at team headquarters, training, choreographing, and perfecting their pit stops for the upcoming race.
Where Crew Members Live
Since NASCAR crew members need to show just as much commitment to their respective team as the driver, they will also live near their team headquarters, usually in North Carolina. Like drivers, crew members may also play the role of a parent and spouse. And while they do not earn as much money as their drivers, they do earn a living decent enough to live in higher-end homes the area offers.
You will often find crew members at home four days per week, from Monday until Thursday, when they take a flight to the site of the next race.
KEY POINTS• NASCAR crews will often stay at hotels during race weekends
• Being a NASCAR crew member involves a lot of traveling throughout the year
• They may stay at home or at a special home base between race weekends, depending on where they’re racing
NASCAR drivers and their crews sleep in different places when they are at the race track. Crew members will often stay at the nearest hotel while drivers usually stay at the track in motorhomes. Between races, drivers and crews may go home depending on where they are racing.