17 May Charlotte Motor Speedway – The Mecca of Motorsports
Charlotte Motor Speedway is different than any other race track in the NASCAR circuit. Not only does it hold two Sprint Cup Series races, it is also home to the ever popular All Star Week. In addition to hosting some of NASCAR’s most popular events, majority of the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams call North Carolina and the Charlotte area in particular home. The upcoming week will be a busy one for Charlotte Motor Speedway as NASCAR fans flock to North Carolina for a week of non-stop NASCAR action. As we look forward to the upcoming excitement in the Tar Heel State, let’s take a minute to look back on the history of the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the always popular Sprint All Star Race.
In 1959, Bruton Smith and Curtis Turner, two of stock car racing’s earliest stars, worked together to design and build the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The World 600 was the track’s first race held on June 19, 1960 and that was just the beginning of a long, exciting history at this unique racetrack.
Later, Smith and the new general manager, H.A. Wheeler, started drafting plans to improve and expand the speedway. Smith and Wheeler set incredibly high standards to meet their commitment to customer satisfaction. Thousands of grandstand seats and luxury suites were built, along with the addition of Smith Tower; a 135,000 square foot, 70 story facility that houses the corporate offices, the ticket office, gift shop, and The Speedway Club, an exclusive dining and entertainment facility.
Smith and Wheeler continued to make innovative changes to the Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1984 by adding 40 condominiums above Turn One. Twelve additional condo units were added in 1991, making Charlotte Motor Speedway America’s only sport’s facility to offer year-round living accommodations. A 1,200 fixture lighting system was implemented in 1992 that established Charlotte Motor Speedway as the first modern superspeedway to host night racing. The lights use mirrors to simulate daylight without glare, shadows or obtrusive light poles, so even when it is dark out it appears to be day time to the drivers.
Sprint All Star Race –the Best in NASCAR Make the Trip to Charlotte
The Charlotte Motor Speedway is home to the fan favorite Sprint All Star Race. This race started in 1985 and has been run at Charlotte Motor Speedway every year except 1986. Winners from the previous season and beginning of the current season compete in this prestigious event, along with Sprint All Star Race Cup Series champions from the past decade. Drivers can also qualify for the race by finishing first or second in the Sprint Showdown or by winning the fan vote. The All Star Race is a worry free, just-for-fun race with no points awarded or deducted. In other words, buckle your seat belts and enjoy the ride!
NASCAR fans travel the country to enjoy the upcoming races at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Be sure to cheer on Clint Bowyer in the Sprint All Star race on Saturday, May 19 and for the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 27! There is guaranteed to be some action to keep you on the edge of your seat, otherwise it wouldn’t be called the “Beast of the Southeast!”