CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - From Charlotte Motor Speedway: The historic 60th running of the Coca-Cola 600 is less than a week from roaring to life at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Before NASCAR’s toughest test of man and machine gets underway, here’s a look at some things fans can’t afford to miss when taking in the sensory overload that is the most patriotic race weekend of the year at America’s Home for Racing:
Cheap Trick Pre-Race Concert Charlotte’s power-packed Pit Party features a concert with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Cheap Trick presented by Advance Auto Parts Speed Perks. The 60-minute concert headlines a fan-friendly spectacle featuring appearances by past and present members of the Coca-Cola Racing Family, including Coca-Cola 600 winners Jeff Burton and Kyle Petty.
Known for world-renowned hits including “I Want You To Want Me,” “Dream Police,” “Surrender,” and the Billboard chart-topping “The Flame,” Cheap Trick will wow the crowd on the frontstretch before the stars of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will take on the Coca-Cola 600.
Spectacular Pre-Race Salute to the Troops Charlotte Motor Speedway will incorporate all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces in an unprecedented, spectacular pre-race Salute to the Troops. This year’s edition of the Memorial Day weekend celebration will feature special guests, military vehicles and awe-inspiring displays from the U.S. Army, the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Coast Guard. Fans and drivers will also get to #KnowYourMil through interactions with service members.
Patriotism with a Side of Dirt Racing Racing action isn’t limited to the 1.5-mile superspeedway. New this year, the two-day Patriot Nationals brings the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Cars to The Dirt Track at Charlotte for a dirt-flying slugfest of high-speed winged sprint cars. NASCAR luminaries including Tony Stewart, Kyle Larson, Kasey Kahne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. own Outlaw sprint car teams that will compete in the event. Larson, the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race winner, will also take part as a driver. Look for dirt late model undercards on Friday and Saturday as well as special patriotic displays and a winner’s trophy a true patriot will love.
Pit Stop Pier If Charlotte Motor Speedway is your home away from home, the new Pit Stop Pier can be the beach at your home away from home. This sandy, island-inspired oasis near Turn 1 gives fans a chance to cool off in a tropic atmosphere that’s close to the action. If you’re feeling particularly festive, grab a “Sea Whiskey” cocktail, pick up some nachos at the nacho bar and kick back in a Petty blue boat to complete the beach-at-the-speedway experience.
Grab a Souvenir Race Program Souvenir programs remain one of the longest traditions – and most collectible items – fans can find at America’s Home for Racing. This year’s 60th Coca-Cola 600 souvenir program cover highlights historic moments from NASCAR’s first 600-mile event. Additionally, fans will find a special poster commemorating the many works of the late Sam Bass, NASCAR’s first officially licensed artist, who designed the speedway’s Coca-Cola 600 program cover from 1985-2018.
Join the Ultimate Race Day Pit Party Want to get even closer to the action? Purchase a Coca-Cola 600 track pass – which is also good for driver introductions access – and join in at the Pit Party. The Race Day Pit Party lets fans rub elbows with the stars of the sport before they engage in wheel-to-wheel action on Charlotte’s iconic 1.5-mile superspeedway. Fans will have the opportunity to take part in Q&A sessions with NASCAR personalities, jam out to live music and take in the festivities before NASCAR’s biggest stars hit the track.
Run with the Bull(fighters) Bullfighters Only, the world’s top freestyle bullfighters, will wave the red before the green gets waved in the flagstand on Sunday. Head to the speedway’s Fan Zone to witness one of four thrilling bullfighting shows at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Witness NASCAR’s Future Stars on the TrackThe May 25 Alsco 300 puts the rising stars of the NASCAR Xfinity Series in the spotlight for a sun-lit spectacle of speed. Watch future Cup Series drivers like Christopher Bell, Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick and Noah Gragson as they lock horns in search of the trophy for the series’ most star-studded 300-mile event. Additionally, North Carolina basketball legend Phil Ford will serve as grand marshal for the event.
Pole Night with a Dose of ARCA The ARCA Menards Series returns to America’s Home for Racing on May 23, following Spectrum Pole Night. The General Tire 150 will see some of stock car racing’s up-and-comers like Harrison Burton, Michael Self and Riley Herbst battle it out under the lights after single-car qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600.
Ride a Ferris Wheel at the Turn 4 Sun Deck What’s better than riding a giant Ferris wheel during the Coca-Cola 600? Check out the speedway’s expansive Turn 4 Sun Deck for an excellent view of the action – but if you’re not afraid of heights, take a Ferris wheel ride. And after the checkered flag falls on Sunday, don’t forget to grab your tickets for the second running of the Sept. 27-29 Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s innovative ROVAL™ road course oval.
Practice Driving in the Infield Check out an interactive Topgolf display in the speedway’s infield this weekend, featuring the ultimate mobile Topgolf experience. Before NASCAR’s big names go for a 600-mile Sunday drive like no other, practice tee shots and drives in a new location – America’s Home for Racing.
The Hottest Wheels of All Visit the Fan Zone on Sunday to see Hot Wheels cars in all their life-size glory. This race day-only display is sure to amp up fans’ excitement, as some of the most iconic Hot Wheels machines show up as 1/1-scale cars instead of their more common 1/64-scale counterparts.
Rev Up at Speed Street 600 Festival’s Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola runs Thursday to Sunday in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, with attractions including vendor displays, driver appearances and rocking concerts featuring the likes of Corey Smith, the Brothers Osborne and Styx. Visit www.600festival.com for more information.
TICKETS: Tickets, camping and upgrades for every Coca-Cola 600 weekend event are available at the gates, by visiting charlottemotorspeedway.com/tickets or calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267).