One of the biggest names in motorsport is the Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is home to the NASCAR Cup Series, and it has been a popular venue for motor racing for 90 years. The current Charlotte Motor Speedway is actually the 2nd iteration of the speedway; it was previously named the Charlotte Fairmont Speedway back in 1926 and then briefly changed its name to the Charlotte Railyard before reverting back to the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The first speedway opened in 1924 and originally ran weekly Saturday night speedster events along with the more traditional Sunday afternoon events. Since that time, things have changed quite a bit. Nowadays, the speedway is one of the most luxurious sports and entertainment venues in North Carolina and it is open all year round.
The Charlotte Motor Speedway is a fantastic place to watch a motorsport race. It is actually housed in a massive sports complex that also includes the Blumenthal Museum of Car Culture and the Motorcycle Hall of Fame. There is plenty of room to soak up the action whether you are in the grandstands or in the seats lined up along the speedway’s inside walls. It really is one of the most beautiful venues in all of motor sport. There are also a lot of fantastic restaurants and bars inside the complex, which is a major bonus for all race fans!
History Of The Speedway
The history of the Charlotte Motor Speedway is rich and storied. It all started with a man named Charles Blumenthal, who in 1919 purchased a parcel of land that was previously a part of the Eno River Railroad. The land was then donated to the city of Charlotte to build a sports and music venue. Blumenthal chose to name the new sports and entertainment center after his late father, Melton, who was also a prominent businessman and horse owner. The first speedway opened its doors in 1924 and was designed by the renowned sports architect, Arthur Hills. Since its opening, the Charlotte Motor Speedway has welcomed some of the greatest racing drivers of all time, including Jackie Robinson, Bill Cummings, and more recently, Richard Petty.
Future Of The Speedway
The future of the Charlotte Motor Speedway looks incredibly bright. In fact, the venue recently opened a brand new $16 million dollar, 28,500 square foot exhibition center to host even more motorsport activities. The new facility, dubbed the Blumenthal Experience Center, opened its doors to the public in March of 2018 and it will continue to expand both its visitor and participant bases.
Along with the new exhibition center, the Charlotte Motor Speedway also has a 24-acre sports complex that includes 2 outdoor batting cages, a football/soccer field, and a sand volleyball court. The complex also features the Carolina RailHawks – the United soccer team’s North Carolina franchise – an indoor soccer facility, and the Charlotte Hornets’ NBA franchise. The complex also has a 10,000 square foot restaurant and bar called the Maximo Café that was designed by the renowned restaurant group, Top Chef.
Over the past 10 years, the Charlotte Motor Speedway has attracted some of the biggest names in motorsport. In 2018, the speedway held its first-ever NASCAR Whelen All-American Concert. It featured country music superstars, Toby Keith and Lee Brice, along with NASCAR drivers, Justin Allgaier and Ryan Mathew. The event drew in a huge crowd and it established the speedway as a premier destination for traditional and popular culture alike.