CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Running the Coca Cola 600 without fans is not the way Charlotte Motor Speedway would want things to go down on Sunday but it has to be this way in the times of COVID-19.
“We planned all year to have our fans here,” said Charlotte Motor Speedway executive vice president Greg Walter. “For us, not having them is like having a party without your favorite family members.”
With you, the fan in mind, the speedway is going to do a few things virtually to keep fans engaged.
This is the 60th anniversary season for the speedway and for the first time ever, you can get your souvenir program online.
“They can actually watch the race on television and flip through all the iconic stories of all the history that embody this historic track," said Walter.
For those who like to get their party on before the race, they have something in mind for you as well.
“We are going to do some things with tailgating or quarantine gating or home gating-- what ever you want to call it these days,” said Walter. “Most sports are consumed with your friends and your family and we want to be sure that we have that sense of community as we move forward. So you will see today, tomorrow and moving forward, some more things that we are going to reveal of how fans can still be engaged.”
Of course the speedway will still salute the troops on Sunday as they always do for the Memorial Day weekend event and most of that will be done virtually.
The invocation, National Anthem, and the 21 gun salute will all happen virtually.
For those who will be at the track, they will experience a fly over live and in person, but those who are there will go through the pre race screening for COVID-19 and those screenings will take place across the street at zMax Dragway.
“Over at zMax, you will come in and get screened and then there will be a secure corridor to the track," said Walter. "So if there is an issue, it is happening away from the track and it ensures success. We went through a lot to get the government’s approval. They put a lot of trust in us and we want to make sure we honor that trust and do this the right way.”
The Coke 600 is Sunday at 6.