From the smooth tarmac to the sweeping views of the blue-hued mountains, the Smokies are a driver’s paradise. For the second year, Road & Track is heading to Tennessee and Kentucky for Smoky 600 taking place May 7-10, 2024. It will be an invigorating 600-mile adventure set against the awe-inspiring backdrop of the Smoky Mountains. For four days, we’ll be enjoying the best roads, eats, sips, and pit stops this charming region has to offer. Our editors have curated the very best drives through Appalachia and will be leading the group drives every step of the way.
We’re kicking the trip off with a bang: a track day at NCM Motorsports Park. This expansive track boasts a 3.15-mile Grand Course, consisting of 23 turns, two high-speed straightaways, and multiple elevation changes. Attendees will get the chance to track their vehicles and push their cars during lead-follow sessions, as well as hop in the passenger’s seat for exhilarating ride-alongs with editors and special guests. Plus, guests have the chance to compete in a timed autocross challenge for the chance to take home the Smoky 600 “Fastest Driver” award (and, of course, bragging rights).
Throughout the trip, we’ll be making thrilling pit stops including a guided tour of the National Corvette Museum and an authentic southern barbecue lunch at Durham’s Pit BBQ. We will also hit up some of Bourbon country's best distilleries including Buffalo Trace, Woodford Reserve, Castle & Key, and dark horse favorite PostModern Spirits.
It’s not only about the thrills, though. Smoky 600 guests will unwind with relaxing stays at The Oliver in Knoxville and 21cMuseum Hotel in Lexington. Attendees will also savor delectable culinary experiences featuring luxurious cuisine paired with inspired cocktails, wines, and spirits.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to the Smokies without an early-morning drive on Tail of the Dragon. After conquering the Dragon and her legendary 318 curves, bends, and hairpin turns, we’ll celebrate with one final lunch at Tapoco Tavern, overlooking the Cheoah River. But we’re not done just yet. Editors will be leading an optional final drive along the Cherohala Skyway—an equally magical drive.
It will be a rally to remember; chock-full of bucket-list drives, unforgettable excursions, and countless opportunities to connect with Road & Track editors and fellow enthusiasts. If you’re still not convinced, take a look back at our first annual Smoky 600. Applications are open; apply now as spots are limited. Buckle up, because it’s going to be the trip of a lifetime.
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