Despite wet weather, NASCAR fans begin camping outside Charlotte Motor Speedway ahead of Coca-Cola 600
Thousands are expected to attend the Coca-Cola 600 race this Sunday.
CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - Despite the wet weather, several race fans have already set up their campsites in the campgrounds surrounding Charlotte Motor Speedway in Cabarrus County.
Thousands are expected to attend the Coca-Cola 600 race this Sunday. Race-related festivities will be held throughout Memorial Day Weekend.
Harry Wiley, a diehard race fan from Johnson City, Tennessee, said he has been traveling to Charlotte Motor Speedway for races since 1978. He explained that he looks forward to meeting and reuniting with race fans from all over the country.
“I raced all my life. This is what we enjoy doing, fellowship with the people. It’s grown into a family. It’s homecoming,” said Wiley.
He explained that dealing with wacky weather is part of the race week experience. Heavy rain fell throughout the Charlotte area Monday.
“You just gotta go with the flow – ain’t nothing you can do about it. I’ve seen us here get sunburned. We freeze to death. And drown all in the same week,” said Wiley.
Chris Kapicka, a race fan from Idaho, said she and her husband have been traveling to Charlotte Motor Speedway every year since 2008. She too said the weather is just something race fans have to tolerate.
“You’ve had today more rain than we almost get in a year in Idaho. It’s a little overwhelming, but we love it,” explained Kapicka.
Jonathan Coleman, senior director of communications at Charlotte Motor Speedway, said he understands the dedication of the diehard fans willing to spend their entire week outside of the speedway.
“It’s vacation. I got to the beach in the summer. I go to the mountains in the winter. Whatever the case may be. For so many fans this is vacation. It’s where they’re coming to spend that quality time,” noted Coleman.
Wiley plans to cherish his time at the speedway.
“I’m 75. I know I don’t have a lot more years to be able to do this, but I’m gonna do it as long as the lord will let me,” he said.
Official race-related activities will begin Friday. Several races and live music performances will be held throughout the weekend culminating in the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday evening.
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