The Complete NASCAR Tailgating Checklist

There's nothing like the revving of the engines, the dramatics of a tight race, and tens of thousands of people cheering in the stands as the cars drive past on a NASCAR race day. But there may be one thing that is just as good (if not better): tailgating.

NASCAR races have become weekend-long mega-events for those in the fan community, as the truck series and Xfinity series racetracks line up with the Sprint Cup's schedule. Unlike football or baseball tailgates, racing tailgates can truly turn into a marathon party. And bonus: Many tracks allow you to bring your own coolers (and beer) into the stands, so you can really keep the party going.

Another thing that makes the NASCAR tailgating unique is the ability to camp out on the premises (or, at the worst, there's a camping field within walking distance). This aspect blends together two great American past times: auto racing and camping. You'll need to be prepared accordingly.

If you're getting ready to pack up and tailgate for the weekend at a NASCAR race, we've got you covered with a comprehensive checklist for everything you need (and more).

Tailgating Essentials:

  • Tins and Sternos
  • Tupperware
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Grill
  • Grilling utensils
  • Gas or charcoal for the grill
  • Matches/lighters
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Oven mitts
  • Bottle opener/corkscrew
  • Can opener
  • Coolers
  • Ice
  • First-aid kit
  • Batteries

For Surviving the Infield/Camping:

  • Camper or RV
  • Tents/canopies
  • Ponchos for inclement weather
  • Plastic tarp
  • Generators
  • Power strips
  • Extension cords
  • Jumper cables
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Aloe gel
  • Changes of clothes
  • Fan gear (clothing, flags, signs, etc.)

For Dining:

  • Lawn chairs and seat cushions
  • Folding tables for serving and eating
  • Paper plates
  • Disposable silverware
  • Solo Cups
  • Drink koozies
  • Straws
  • Napkins
  • Trash bags

For Entertainment:

  • Radio
  • Portable TV
  • Cornhole set
  • Ladder ball
  • Deck of cards

To Eat and Drink:

  • Food (ideally with a Southern twist)
  • Condiments
  • Salt and pepper
  • Water
  • Soda
  • Beer