Big weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, track officials prepared for possible rain

CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - Lots of activities are planned for this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord and officials and fans are hoping that rain won't put a damper on the fun.

A big crowd is expected for several events, including a concert with country music star Brad Paisley on Saturday night at zMAX Dragway, and the Bank of America 500 on Sunday.

The race is notable for several reasons: it will be the final race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and it will be the final fall race run on the track's mile and half course.  Beginning next year the race will be run on the new "roval" which features road course touches that take cars through the infield.

With the possibility of rain in the forecast, speedway officials are relying on "time tested plans" to deal with any inclement weather.

"Beautiful weather on Friday and Saturday," Jonathan Coleman of Charlotte Motor Speedway says, "It gets a little bit more dicey on Sunday but that's nothing that we haven't prepared for."

Coleman says plans are in place to make sure fans know exactly what to expect, and how to get to safety if that need arises.

"In this day and age that's social media, the web site, through our giant HDTV for fans who are here and in the infield, so we have a lot of mechanisms in place to get that message out there."

As far as the competition on the track, there are jet dryers and Air Titans that can dry the racing surface much more quickly than in the past.  Coleman says there is equipment from other race tracks available to help with any track drying.

Also this weekend, there will be moments of silence preceding the national anthems for both Saturday and Sunday races in recognition of the Las Vegas shooting.

There will also be recognition during the pre-race ceremonies for Sunday's race on the recent passing of NASCAR Hall of Fame team owner and engine builder Robert Yates.

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