Monday, February 03, 2020
Spartanburg earned the moniker of The Hub City for its railroad connections, but for many years, Spartanburg could’ve been described as a hub for NASCAR racing, with top-level teams calling the county home during the 1950s and 1960s. Four NASCAR Hall of Famers – David Pearson, Bud Moore, Rex White and Cotton Owens – called Spartanburg home.
From 1953 to 1966, Spartanburg hosted NASCAR’s Grand National, the sport’s then-top series, at the Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds on a half-mile dirt track that was a favorite stop among drivers of the era.
Spartanburg was going to be the initial home of the giant, 2.66-mile track now in Talladega, Alabama – the famed Talladega Superspeedway.
While Spartanburg doesn’t have a NASCAR track, it does have a couple of ways for residents and visitors to hit the track and put the petal to the metal.
LeMans Indoor Kart Racing in Duncan tests the metal of drivers of any skill level on their tracks, especially the MegaTrack. The huge raceway is 2,000 feet long with 23 turns that are sure to give any go-karter some trouble as they speed around the track.
LeMans offers several races and a time attack, letting drivers go for the fastest lap they can around the winding indoor track. Staff at their facility are trained in safety precautions, so the full karting experience is just as safe for experienced drivers as it is for a children’s birthday party.
Along with various racing lengths and times, LeMans Karting has a large game room, can host parties with food and drinks, and hosts full winners ceremonies for races, complete with photos of the top-three finishers.
Just outside of Downtown Spartanburg, Speed Factory Indoor Racing, brings a vibrant, graffiti aesthetic to its races, with numerous lap or time options for your treks around the track.
Packages of 10-minute races or a track rental for three hours or more are available, as is the Arrive and Drive session, with 15-25 road course laps depending on your skill, or 45-55 laps on the circle track over a 12-minute session.
A $5 membership is required to drive at Speed Factory, but no additional licenses or fees are required after that. Party rentals including races, games like Cornhole, food and drinks are available, and Speed Factory staff is equipped to handle all safety precautions.
Last but not least is the massive and expansive BMW Performance Driving Center, not far from the German automaker’s massive upstate manufacturing plant.
The BMW Performance Center offers an array of programs teaching everything from basic car control and braking for teens to advanced techniques used by well-seasoned drivers. The facility is truly one-of-a-kind for BMW, and with an impressive global presence, that’s saying something.
Classes are offered in one or two-day blocks by picking the class you want, reserving your spot and waiting until the next class is offered. Pricing for BMW Performance Center one-and two-day classes can be found here.
BMW has built unique tracks with turns designed to teach drifting, car control, hard braking, and more. There’s a stretch featuring a slalom, designed to teach more controlled steering, and of course, a straightway that lets you show off what the Ultimate Driving Machine can really do.
Specialty classes feature treks to the wet skid pad, which teachers drivers how to recover control of a hydroplaning car, and more advanced behind-the-wheel options.
Spartanburg definitely has the need for speed. The only question is when are you going to take the wheel?