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Speed Street returns to uptown Charlotte after a year away

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 7:33 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2021 at 8:01 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A big party to celebrate all things racing is back in uptown Charlotte after a year off.

For the next three days, NASCAR fans will come to Romare Bearden Park for Circle K Speed Street, a celebration of the sport ahead of Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400 Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Speed Street was canceled last year, so the wait has been long but there are things people need to know if they’re coming out. The free festival starts Thursday in the park, located at 300 S. Church St., after spending 25 years along Tryon Street. NASCAR vehicles will be on display and drivers will come down to sign autographs.

Concerts are scheduled for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. This year, those are also free. There will be food and one of Charlotte’s newest breweries will be featured at a biergarten. There’s also a yoga class each day at 12 p.m.

One important thing to keep in mind - there will be seven ways to enter the park and bags will be checked. There are also street closures around the park. Those closures started Tuesday and Wednesday. The following roads are impacted:

  • Parking lane on Mint Street between MLK & 3rd closes (lane closest to the park)
  • Parking lane on 3rd Street closes (lane closest to the park)
  • Parking lane/indention on Church (closest to the park)
  • MLK between Church & Mint closes
  • Northbound Lanes of Mint Street between MLK & 3rd
  • 3rd Street between Church & Mint (one lane of 3rd will remain open between Poplar & Church, with access from Poplar)
  • Parking lanes on Poplar between 3rd & 4th
  • Southbound lanes of Mint Street between MLK & 4th
  • Right turn lane of Mint between MLK and entrance to parking garage
A number of roads near Romare Bearden Park will be closed for the Speed Street festival this...
A number of roads near Romare Bearden Park will be closed for the Speed Street festival this weekend.(Source: WBTV)

All streets will reopen to the public on Sunday, Oct. 10.

For more on the festival, click here.

Those who turn out Thursday night for Speed Street will hear from meet Bubba Wallace, who won days ago at Talladega.

The Concord native will greet fans, but he’s also staying true to his mission of diversifying the sport.

Thursday at 8 p.m. on the Coca-Cola stage, Wallace will headline a discussion about diversity and inclusion in motorsports.

It is certainly a topic near and dear to Wallace, who just became the first black driver since 1963 to win a Cup Series race.

Related: Milestone for Bubba Wallace as he earns 1st NASCAR victory

“We look at the demographic of our sport and we want it to change so desperately. We are trending upwards but we still have a lot of work to do,” Wallace said.

The vice president of diversity for NASCAR will join Wallace, along with others in the sport.

It wasn’t too long ago that NASCAR banned the Confederate flag at Wallace’s urging.

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