Tag Archives: 2012

NASCAR Visits Daytona, Indianapolis and New Hampshire In July

The NASCAR Sprint Cup series visits the two most famous racetracks in the United States in July, with a stop in New England in between.  After 17 races Matt Kenseth is the current points leader in the Cup standings with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. close behind in second place.

On July 7th the series makes its second visit of the year at Daytona International Speedway.  It’ll probably be a bit warmer down in Daytona Beach than it was in February, so drivers may appreciate the fact that the race is 20% shorter – the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola.  David Ragan won his first Sprint Cup race at last year’s event.  The Nationwide Series comes to Daytona the same weekend for the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered by Coca-Cola.  (We assume that the “powered by” refers to some kind of sponsorship, rather than a new type of fuel for the cars.)

The second Cup race of July will be the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire.  Loudon is one of the more remote NASCAR track locations, in the woodlands of New Hampshire about 75 miles north of Boston and 25 miles north of Manchester, NH.  The race is scheduled to start at noon on July 15th.  Ryan Newman won last year.

Sprint Cup drivers get a rare week off the third weekend in July before heading to Indianapolis.  While everybody knows the annual NASCAR race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the “Brickyard 400”, this year the ridiculous official name is “Crown Royal Presents The ‘Your Hero’s Name Here’ 400 at the Brickyard“.  (Okay, we’ll call it the “Brooks Robinson 400 at the Brickyard”.)  Paul Menard was more than a little bit excited when he won his first Sprint Cup race at Indy last year.  The lady and gentlemen will be starting their engines at noon on July 29th.  Nationwide Series drivers get the track on July 28th.

Major Golf Tournament Hotels

The year has barely begun and the 2012 golf season is underway.  The top tournaments every year are the major championships hosted by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Professional Golfers Association (PGA).  TheRealPlaces.com now has a guide to finding hotels near all upcoming major golf tournaments.

In 2012 the world’s best golfers will be visiting classic courses and top modern golfing venues.  The 2012 U.S. Open (for men) will be held at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.  It’ll be interesting to see how golfers respond to changes at Olympic – the speed and contours of the greens got out of control at the last Open held there in 1998.

The 2012 PGA Championship will be held at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, just outside of Charleston.  Golf courses don’t get much more visually interesting than the Ocean Course, a real links style layout right on the Atlantic beachfront.  Downtown Charleston is only about 15 miles away, so there shouldn’t be any problem finding a convenient place to stay if you’re going to the PGA.

It’s an even-numbered year, which means it’s time for another Ryder Cup competition.  The 2012 Ryder Cup matches between the United States and Europe will be conducted at Medinah Country Club in Illinois.  Medinah has previous been the site of three U.S. Opens and two PGA Championships (both won by Tiger Woods).  Medinah is only 25 miles from downtown Chicago.

The 2012 U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship is returning to a “modern classic”: the River Course at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wisconsin.  The ladies also played there for their biggest title in 1998.

National Championship Hotels

They may not be as popular as the major professional sports in the United States – especially in “non-Olympic” years – but there are still a large number of fans of Olympic sports like ice skating, track and field, swimming and gymnastics.  The annual national championships in these sports usually change location from year-to-year, so there’s a chance they’ll be coming near you in the future.  And TheRealPlaces has guides to finding nearby places to stay, wherever they’re being held.

The US Olympic trials for track and field were held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon in 1972, 1976 and 1980 – and they’ll be back on the campus of the University of Oregon again in 2012.  The 2012 Olympic trials will be held from June 22 through July 2, resulting in the selection of the majority of the members of the 2012 Olympic team.  (The marathon trials will be held in Houston on January 14th.)  The 2011 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships will also be held in Eugene (June 23-26, 2011).

Saint Paul, Minnesota is the place to see the U.S. Gymnastic National Championships in 2011.  Xcel Energy Center, home of NHL hockey in the winter, will be overrun with gymnasts, families and fans from August 17-20.

Making the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team isn’t solely based on performance in the national championships, but it plays a large part in the decision-making process.  The 2012 VISA Championships will be held at Chaifetz Arena at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri.  Happening from June 6th-9th, 2012, the U.S. participants in the 2012 London Olympics will be announced soon thereafter.

The 2011 United States national swimming championships (officially the “ConocoPhillips National Swimming Championships”) will happen August 2-6, 2011 in Palo Alto, California.  The Avery Aquatic Center (outdoors!) is on the campus of Stanford University.

The selection of the 2012 U.S. Olympic swimming team will take place at the Olympic trials in Omaha, Nebraska.  The Qwest Center Omaha was also the site of the 2008 Olympic trials.  The 2012 event will be held from June 25th through July 2nd.

The 2011 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships happened last month in Greensboro, North Carolina, but it’s already time to starting thinking about 2012.  Next year the championships will be held at HP Pavilion at San Jose.  Fans of Alissa Czisny, Ryan Bradley, Caitlin Yankowskas, John Coughlin, Meryl Davis and Charlie White (the 2011 champs) can look forward to seeing them defend their titles January 22-29, 2012.