Charlotte Motor Speedway
Where fans finish first!
Charlotte Motor Speedway Races:
5/21/11 Sprint All-Star Race 7:00PM SPEED
2010 Winner: Kurt Busch
#12 5/29/11 Coca-Cola 600 5:45PM FOX
2010 Winner Kurt Busch
#31 10/15/11 Bank of America 500 7:30PM ABC
2010 Winner Jamie McMurray
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Charlotte Motor Speedway was built in 1959 by its current owner and chairman, O.Bruton Smith, alongside stock car racer Curtis Turner.
The speedway has been thrilling NASCAR fans for half a century.
From the first World 600 in 1960 to its ongoing improvements as a racetrack, Charlotte is one of the elder statesmen in the world of NASCAR racing.
Despite its brush with bankruptcy and reorganization through Chapter 11 just one year after the inaugural World 600 race, the speedway showed the same fighting spirit as its two owners and came back stronger than ever.
Smith saw that the racetrack needed improvement to avoid the same fate again. So he hired General Manager, H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, and the race track began to take shape into its existing layout.
Perhaps the real difference with Charlotte, and one of the reasons the track saw such excellent ticket sales shortly after almost going out of business, is that all the improvements were done to make the experience even better for the fans, and not just as a corporate way to make more money.
A new grandstand and concession stands as well as an increased number of restrooms were the order of the day, and to this day the Charlotte speedway continues to evolve.
Recent Coca-Cola 600 Winners
2010 Kurt Busch
2009 David Reutimann
2008 Kasey Kahne
2007 Casey Mears
2006 Kasey Kahne
Recent Bank of America 500 Winners
2010 Jamie McMurray
2009 Jimmie Johnson
2008 Jeff Burton
2007 Jeff Gordon
2006 Kasey Kahne
Charlotte Motor Speedway – The Track
Although certainly not one of the biggest tracks in the NASCAR Cup Series Calendar, Charlotte Motor Speedway can certainly attest to being one of the most popular.
In fact, on race day itself, the 180,000 attending fans turn the speedway into the 4th largest city in North Carolina, beat only by Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh.
The track itself isn’t the biggest in NASCAR, coming in at more than a mile shorter in length than the
but that doesn’t mean that it's less impressive – far from it. Measuring 1.5 miles in total, the front stretch of the track comes in at 1,980 feet, with an opposing back stretch of exactly 1,500 feet.
The corners at both ends of the track have a banking of 24 degrees, while the front and back straights are banked of 5 degrees, making for a continuously challenging race. The actual road on the inner perimeter is named after Darrell Waltrip, who not only is a three-time Cup Series champion, but has also won the Coca Cola 600 race a total of five times.
Charlotte Motor Speedway – The Difference
Although Charlotte is an excellent racetrack in its own right, it’s the additional things that the owners have built, both in and around the track, that help it stand out.
For example, in 1984 40 condominiums were built above turn one of the racetrack, and this made Charlotte the first racetrack track to offer full, everyday living opportunities all year at a racetrack (12 more condos were built in 1991).
Also a state-of-the-art lighting system was installed a year later in 1992, at a cost of a cool $1.7 million. These lights gave Charlotte the distinction of being the first superspeedway to allow nighttime racing, which offered a whole new experience for both driver and fan.
You can even drive your own car an the track with a $25 donation to the
Speedway Children's Charities
during the Souvenir and Race Ticket Blowout every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Charlotte Motor Speedway – The Racing
Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts the longest race on the NASCAR schedule The Coca Cola 600. Its a 600 mile race that starts during the day and ends at night.
The track changes so much from day to night that unless the crew chiefs keep up with the changes on the track the cars that are good during the daylight are usually junk by the end of the night.
Charlotte continues to draw crowds from the non-racing fraternity due to its willingness to look outside the sport when it comes to entertainment, including hosting the premiere of the movie 'Cars' as well as the stars of the blockbuster movie “Transformers” making an appearance (and by the stars, that’s the cars and NOT the actors!).
By putting the fans first Charlotte Motor Speedway continues to grow, and even if it’s not the biggest or best track in NASCAR racing today, there’s no doubting that it’s one of the most popular, and will continue to innovate when it comes to both racing and entertainment.
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