CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - This story was written by Jonathan Coleman of Charlotte Motor Speedway. We posted here because it's really a pretty good look at some of the unique things that go on at and around the track during the Coca Cola 600 week. Enjoy!
First-time race fans have no fear, with the 10 Day- Blockbuster of Racing at full throttle, there is more than just on-track action on the schedule as the biggest Memorial Day Weekend celebration in the country kicks off, starting Thursday, May 22 with LiftMaster Pole Night. From special performances to exclusive parties with fun the whole family can enjoy, first-time fans are sure to have the ultimate race experience here at Charlotte Motor Speedway. With so much to see and do, here are the top 10 must-see activities to do this weekend at the legendary speedway.
Brantley Gilbert To Rock Coca-Cola 600 Pre-Race
Leading the way for the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race celebration on May 25 will be chart-topping country music star Brantley Gilbert as he performs a crowd-pumping, 45-minute concert presented by Coca-Cola and USO. Fans won't want to miss it as he performs some of his newest hit songs like "Bottoms Up," "Country Must Be Country Wide" and more. Located on the frontstretch, the concert is free with the purchase of a Coca-Cola 600 ticket.
Enjoy Games, Interactive Displays and More in the Fan Zone
The Fan Zone will be the central location where families can find all the fun and specials events that will be taking place during the Memorial Day Weekend festivities, including special contests and driver appearances. Located at the main entrance of Charlotte Motor Speedway, this gigantic 10-acre piece of racing heaven houses family favorites like the Play Zone, the Sprint Experience, Kangaroo Express Fan Van, race car displays and much more! The Fan Zone is open Thursday 3-7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Get Close to the Stars with Driver Introduction Passes
With the driver introduction pass, fans can now have the ultimate front row access to the Coca-Cola 600 driver introductions. Fans can be loud and proud as they cheer on their favorite driver as they walk out onto the stage. Driver introduction passes can be purchased for just $150 online at charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267).
Find Your Seats Early for Spectacular Military Pre-Race Tributes
A unique helicopter flyover, a vintage air parade and military demonstrations are just the beginning of Charlotte Motor Speedway's pre-race salute to the troops. Acclaimed musician Lee Greenwood will perform "God Bless the USA," fans will welcome up to 2,000 troops taking part in the speedway's Patriot Partners program and the 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus will perform the national anthem. There will be military vehicle displays, aerial stunt team demonstrations and more as part of the country's largest Memorial Day Weekend celebration.
Get the Full Experience When You Rent a Scanner
Can't make it into the pits? Listen in on all the excitement of racing with a race scanner! Fans can stay connected to all the action while listening to their favorite drivers from the start of the race until they cross the finish line. Rentals last all weekend and fans can get a 20 percent discount by purchasing in advance. Rent one scanner and get the second one free! To order visitwww.charlottemotorspeedway.com/racescanners or call 1-800-455-FANS (3267).
Take a Trackside Tram Tour
Fans can learn about the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway like never before with the trackside tram tour. On race day, fans can see first-hand the pre-race preparations on the track, pit road and in the garages all while learning about the rich history of Charlotte Motor Speedway and its races. Fans will also get the opportunity to walk the 24-degree banking of the speedway. Seats are limited so don't miss out! Tickets are just $20 for adults and $10 for kids 10 and under. Tickets can be purchased online at charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267).
Check Out the Pits and Enjoy Exclusive Pit Party with a Pit Pass
Fans are sure to make the most of their race day experience with the purchase of a pit pass. Pit passes allow full access to the Pit Party located at the start of pit road near Turn 1 beginning at 12:30 p.m. The pit pass allows fans to get up close with the stars of NASCAR with the opportunity for Q&A sessions with their favorite drivers including Sprint Showdown winner Clint Bowyer, rookie favorites Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon, as well as NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winner Jamie McMurray. Fans can also enjoy live music from Austin Webb, plus special guest appearances, games and prizes. Pit passes are available for purchase online or by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Adult Pit Passes are $100 while kids ages 14-18 are $50 and kids 13 & under are free.
Dirt Will Fly at the Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track
Race fans can take a break from the asphalt oval and head over to The Dirt Track to see the best dirt-racing drivers come together and battle it out at the Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown on Friday, May 23. Make plans to be there early as the first 1,000 fans will receive a free Outlaw Showdown poster. Fans who arrive prior to the show can also take part in the pre- race autograph session with their favorite dirt drivers from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. Tickets are just $30 for adults and $10 for kids 13 and under. Don't forget to visit Heintz Performance in Concord, N.C. for a $5 discount coupon.
Treat Yourself to Some Tasty Treats
Hungry? Fan cans choose from a variety of food options available throughout the Speedway to find something to fill their stomachs. Those looking for more than just the usual race favorites can dare to try something different with the one-of-a-kind Funnel Bacakonator, a funnel cake layered with chocolate sauce, powdered sugar and of course, bacon. Or try the Krispy Kreme Doughnut hamburger. Wanting something healthier? Stop by the Danica Patrick Fit Fuel Stand and try some Latin-flavored cuisine, including carnitas and fish tacos inspired by celebrity chef Lorena Garcia. From pizza to chicken to fries and nachos, be sure to try it all!
Walk the Legendary Speedway at Coca-Cola Family Track Walk
The Coca-Cola Racing Family invites fans to join them in a walk around the 1.5-mile superspeedway to promote healthy lifestyles all while supporting a good cause. The Coca-Cola Family Track Walk will be held on Friday, May 23 and starts at 2:30 p.m. The event will include high-energy music from country music artist Chase Rice, Coca-Cola refreshments and appearances from Coca-Cola Racing Family members Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick, Elliott Sadler and Darrell Wallace Jr. A Coca-Cola 600 ticket or $20 donation to Speedway Children's Charities is required for admission. For more information visit charlottemotorspeedway.com.
The $99 Coca-Cola 600 weekend package includes tickets to see the stars of NASCAR hit the track to lay down the fastest lap during the LiftMaster Pole Night on Thursday, May 22; a Saturday afternoon showdown as the NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers battle it out in the HISTORY 300 on May 24; and culminates with the historic 55th running of one of NASCAR's most prestigious events, the Coca-Cola 600, complete with a Brantley Gilbert pre-race concert on Sunday, May 25.