Speedway keeping up with weather forecast - | WBTV Charlotte

Speedway keeping up with weather forecast

David Whisenant-WBTV David Whisenant-WBTV
CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) -

Hundreds of campers are already in place at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, and thousands of fans will be coming in over the next few days for the big Bank of America 500 weekend, and many of them are keeping their eyes on the weather radar.

“Last day or two we have been, been kind of watching it, we kind of watched it at home last week and it was showing pretty all week, but you don’t ever know, you take that chance," said Brian Reeder of Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Speedway officials are keeping an eye on the forecast and the approach of Hurricane Matthew, but say they are relieved to see the latest track take the storm to the east.

“Just in case we have a little rain this weekend, we’ve got 14 Air Titans that are already on property," said Scott Cooper of Charlotte Motor Speedway.  "This is a new innovative apparatus that helps us dry the track pretty quickly, it’s kind of got a squeegee type thing that comes out of the back here and helps push the water down the track and in addition we’ve got twelve jet dryers and with all of that equipment we can actually get the track dry in about 90 minutes from totally wet to race ready.”

Cooper also pointed out that the track purchased ten dump truck loads of gravel and two dump truck loads of sawdust to help with any spots that become too wet in the campgrounds and parking lots.

"Assuming the final track of Matthew does hug the Carolina coast on Saturday, which is expected to be a Category 2 Hurricane with winds around 100 mph, the weather conditions across our viewing region will vary from breezy conditions west of Charlotte, to windy conditions around Charlotte, to gusty winds east of Charlotte with scattered power outages," said WBTV meteorologist Al Conklin.  "Rainfall will play out similarly, with little if any rain west of Charlotte, to scattered showers possible around Charlotte, to heavier periods of rain well east of Charlotte.

"Again, I can't emphasize this enough - all these projections are highly dependent on the final track of Matthew and can change drastically," Conklin added.

There are several events planned culminating in the Bank of America 500 Sprint Cup race on Saturday night.

“We’ve been watching the radar and praying that it kind of stays to the east, so we’re hoping that that path continues," said campers Bonnie and Steven McNeil of North Wilkesboro. “We’ve been going to the races a lot of years.  You never can predict the weather, you take it as it comes, gotta do what you gotta do.”

The track is offering weekend passes start at just $99 and Chase University passes for college students cost just $24. Children 13 and under get in FREE to the Oct. 6 Bojangles’ Pole Night and the Oct. 7 Drive for the Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. Kids' tickets for the Bank of America 500 start at just $10.

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