Glamping Kentucky is the ultimate way to experience a NASCAR race. PERIOD!

Kyle Busch wins Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway
View of the Quaker State 400 from Fireball Alley at the Kentucky Speedway

When you think about watching a NASCAR race, do you imagine yourself in the middle of a race track, inside of a tent with a queen-sized bed, customized robes, and an endless supply of M&M’s? I certainly didn’t, but after this most recent race experience at the M&M’s Glampground I not only want it, I expect it. Here’s what glamping in Kentucky is all about.

M&M’s Glampground

M&M’s invited me out to the Kentucky Speedway for a fun-filled weekend of racing and glamping. The M&M’s Glampground was a tent city located at turn 4 in the infield of the race track. There, race fans who were lucky enough to score the M&M’s Glampground tickets before they sold out received exclusive access to drivers, special guests, a NASCAR historian, three catered meals each day, and two cold passes to explore the Kentucky Speedway garage on all three race days.

A 3D render of the M&M's Glampground
A 3D render of the M&M’s Glampground

At just $500 per tent, this experience was a steal! It’s no wonder it sold out in less than 5 hours. In addition to the features listed above, here is the rest of what the M&M’s Glampground offered their glamping guests:

  • One 12×14 glamorous camping tent for 2 (choice of one queen bed or two singles)
  • Bathrooms with private showers
  • VIP valet service, including a dedicated shuttle for transportation around the track
  • Activities throughout the weekend, including garage and pit tours, tailgate games, movies and more
  • Events and appearances by M&M’S® Racing team members and other famous racing personalities
  • WiFi and charging stations to keep every moment sharable
  • Two Kentucky Speedway Bluegrass Club weekend tickets
  • One FanVision and two headsets, allowing you to listen to race and driver communication
  • Unlimited colorful fun that only M&M’S® can provide!

Here’s a great walkthrough video of what the M&M’s Glampground tents looked like. This video was captured by our friends at Busted Coverage, who was bunking with our other pal, Paul Eide from i80 Sports Blog. The only difference between their tent and my own was the bed setup. They had two singles, and I had one queen-sized bed.

Getting face time with some NASCAR favorites

One of the coolest things about being part of the glamping experience with M&M’s is the number of Q&A’s they put on for their guests. They had several NASCAR favorites show up to chat, like NASCAR Next/Xfinity drivers Christopher Bell and Brandon Jones, Kyle Petty, Samantha, and Kyle Busch, and Joe Gibbs of Joe Gibbs Racing.

Samantha Busch (Kyle Busch's wife) speaks with us at the Kentucky Speedway
Samantha Busch (Kyle Busch’s wife) speaks with us at the Kentucky Speedway
Kyle Busch talking to the M&M's Glampground during a Q&A session
Kyle Busch talking to the M&M’s Glampground guests during a Q&A session
Joe Gibbs of Joe Gibbs Racing talking in the M&M's Glampground tent
Joe Gibbs of Joe Gibbs Racing talking with us in the M&M’s Glampground

These highly unique opportunities are rare, so I’m sure I can speak for the rest of the glampers when I say how grateful we were for M&M’s to put something like this together for us, and in a private setting.

For those wondering, this won’t be M&M’s last glamping activation. Tickets for their Bristol M&M’s Glampground will go on sale later this summer, and I’m sure it will sell out as quickly as the Kentucky one, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled.

Glamping Kentucky: What you should know

Chances are you found this post by searching Google for “places to glamp in Kentucky” or “Kentucky glamping.” Unfortunately, it’s still a relatively new trend that has yet to catch on everywhere, but thanks to activations like this from M&M’s I think you will start to see more glamping opportunities pop-up, especially in Kentucky.

Glamping tents in Kentucky

Since I’ve never been glamping myself before I didn’t know what to expect outside of what I’ve already seen in some Instagram posts. The best way to describe it is by taking whatever you know about camping and adding a bit of glamour to it. It usually consists of a tent, unlike your traditional camping tent, with a blow-up bed in place of a sleeping bag and a carpet to soften the ground. Of course, there are similar amenities one might have on a typical camping trip, like a battery pack, flashlight, and some bug spray, but glamping still skews in comparison. Take M&M’s Glampground as an example. As you already read about what the glamping experience came with, there were private bathrooms and showers. At the end of a long, hot race day, we were treated to a nice hot shower. This alone was a game-changer.

Kentucky Speedway Charm

The common misconception about a NASCAR race is that you watch cars turn left for a few hours then you go home. That is 110% wrong. In fact, if you talk to any true NASCAR fan, they will tell you that the real event isn’t the race, it’s the tailgating before, during, and after the race.

Turn 2 Tavern

Open from noon until 1:30 am, the Turn 2 Tavern is the hot spot during race day. I would know since I spent most of my afternoons and evenings there. The horseshoe-shaped bar is located directly at, well, turn 2 of the Kentucky Speedway. It was a short 5-minute walk from turn 4 where the M&M’s Glampground was located. Since they aren’t legally allowed to sell alcohol, the bar is donation-based, so be sure to tip the kick-ass bartenders!

Turn 2 Tavern bartenders
Turn 2 Tavern bartenders in order of appearance: Emily, not sure her name, Steinle, and Brittany.

I highly recommend you experience Turn 2 Tavern both during the day and at night. It’s one of those places where you will get to know the NASCAR culture by chatting with fellow tailgaters. Our crew spent the majority of the race at the bar, watching the cars zip by while sipping on a few cold ones — a great way to spend your day.

Joe Kinsey (Busted Coverage) and Paul Eide (i80 Sports Blog) at the Turn 2 Tavern in Kentucky
Joe Kinsey (Busted Coverage) and Paul Eide (i80 Sports Blog) at the Turn 2 Tavern

Fireball Alley

Fireball Alley is known as the Official Trackside Tailgate Area for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 and is one of those things in life that you have to witness yourself to really understand it. This is where all of the characters come out.

NASCAR fan at Fireball Alley
NASCAR fan at Fireball Alley

For $30, the Fireball Alley package includes admission to the Quaker State 400, tailgate activities such as cornhole, giant Jenga, etc., a DJ, low-priced concession offerings (ex: $2 beer), free tailgate/tent camping, and an energetic environment that’s geared towards the 18-27 crowd.

One of the excellent staff from the Glampground drove us up to turn 1 to witness Fireball Alley and all of its glory.

Bonus photos from the Quaker State 400

Per usual, I came away with far too many pictures from my trip. Here are a few of my favorite snaps from the Quaker State 400.

The M&M's car inside the Glampground

Kentucky Speedway track
Photo of the Kentucky Speedway track before we went on a hot lap

NASCAR hair cut - checkered flag hair

Garage tour of Kyle Busch's Camry
Garage tour of Kyle Busch’s #18 Toyota Camry

American Flag skydiver over KY Speedway

The tunnel under the KY Speedway
The tunnel under the KY Speedway

Checking the Goodyear tires at the race

I want to give a huge shout-out to my friends at M&M’s and Ryan Eichler (Weber Shandwick) for inviting us to their first-ever Glampground. This was for sure a bucket list experience I won’t soon forget. Hopefully, we can find a way to do this again soon.