Diehard NASCAR fans not too concerned about rain, track talks safety

CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - The forecast doesn't sound promising for the events going on tonight through Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord.  Thousands of hearty race fans will still be in the stands and the track is working to make sure they are safe.

They've been dodging showers all week at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and track officials have two responsibilities; to keep fans safe and to try and keep the track dry.

To those ends the track now has its own meteorologist.

"They're constantly monitoring the weather patterns and talking with Cabarrus County Emergency management officials so that when we see that lightning may start to get a little close, we immediately notify our fans through social media, we put up announcements through the public-address system and also on our giant speedway TV," said Scott Cooper of Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Fans in the grandstands are told when to leave their seats and seek shelter in the concourse.

"Yeah, they did last year, we had to go to the concourse because of the rain…the lightning was striking,  and we had to go upstairs and get away," said Cheerie and Chris Gravitt.

The couple from Georgia got married at the track at the zMAX Dragway last year.

"We come every year and we knew we could celebrate our anniversary at the track," Cheerie added.

And they say, what better anniversary gift than action on the racetrack.  In the event of rain the fleet of Air Titans will roll, and in ideal conditions they can dry the track in 90 minutes.

"That's the goal, is to always get the race in, on behalf of us, on behalf of NASCAR, on the day that it's originally scheduled so that it's as convenient as possible for our race fans that have traveled  so far," Cooper added.

Fans from 50 states and two dozen foreign countries will be attending events at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend.

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