Where Is The Charlotte Motor Speedway? [Facts!]

One of the most popular NASCAR (National Association of Speed Sports) tracks is located in North Carolina. The track is well-known for its steep, long, and winding hills. In 2007, NASCAR had its headquarters on the property and it continues to use the track for practices and other activities. Today, the track is owned by the Speedway Motorsports Incorporated (SMI).

The track was originally known as the ‘SprintSpeedway’ and it was established in 1937. In 1947, the track’s name was changed to the ‘Hallettsville Speedway’ and it was again renamed to the Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1953. In 1960, the track became a joint-stock company called the ‘Charlotte Motor Speedway, Inc’. In 1977, the company became a subsidiary of SMI.

How Do I Get To The Track?

The Charlotte Motor Speedway is located in the city of Huntersville, North Carolina and it is accessible from Interstate 485. From Exit 13, take the NC 485/Walt Whitman Lee Road exit and follow the signs to the track. The entrance is clearly marked and it is about a 20-minute drive from Exit 13.

The track is open all year round and it hosts NASCAR events every Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Some of the more popular NASCAR drivers that have raced at the track include Jeff Gordon, Bill Elliott, Richard Petty, and David Pearson. In 1960, the track held its first ‘Grand National’ auto race and it has since become an annual event.

What Is The Capacity At The Track?

The track has a seating capacity of around 82,000 and it frequently hosts events that are sold out. According to the SMI website, there are a few different packages available that include different seats and the general admission is $40. In 2007, the average ticket price was $78. In 2014, the track sold tickets for the Budweiser Unlimited Series event for $80 with premiums ranging from $10 to $60.

What Are The Nascar Rules?

NASCAR is a racing league that was founded in 1949 and it is sanctioned by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC). The objective of the league is to promote auto racing and spectator sports. The rules for NASCAR are mostly based on other racing leagues and they aim to make the sport more ‘family-friendly’. In other words, they don’t want to see kids crying because their parents are talking too loudly during the race. The rules also try to reduce the number of accidents as a result of them preventing drivers from pushing too hard. The speeds at which cars are traveling also have to be controlled to ensure driver safety.

In the most basic of terms, NASCAR is a big-booming-sport. Teams of two to four drivers will typically race each other on a weekly basis in a series of speed events that usually run from early spring to late fall. The main events are usually held in the summer and they feature three types of racing:

  • The Sprint Cup Series (also known as the ‘Championship Series’) which is the highest level of competition and the flagship race of the season is the Daytona 500
  • The Nextel Cup Series (formerly known as the ‘Winston Cup Series’) which is the middle level of competition and it is the longest-running sports league in the world
  • The Budweiser Unlimited Series which serves as the bottom level of competition and it is open to professional drivers aged 25 and older.

Each driver usually starts at the back of the grid and they work their way up through the field while racing against the clock. Along the way, they will attempt to pass other cars as efficiently as possible to rack up the most amount of ‘heat ticks’ (the measuring device used to determine the finishing order) before the checkered flag waves. Overtaking is not allowed and penalties–including fines and points deductions–are doled out to those who violate the rules.

Organized Vs. Amateurs

As a general rule, NASCAR restricts its competitions to professional drivers. However, there are a few exceptions for members of the media and other individuals involved in the sport. The main reason behind the ‘organization’ policy is to ensure that the competition is ‘level-playing field’.

In practice, it would be very difficult for amateurs to consistently out-perform the professionals who have dedicated their whole life to preparing for these events. In other words, the sport would be deprived of its charm if it were to become all about how fast you can jump through the gears. The professionals also have the benefit of more training and they are able to go faster. There are also separate divisions for amateur and professional drivers. If you’re looking for a challenge, the pros will happily pit you against themselves.

Why Do They Call It The ‘Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’?

In the summer of 2014, NASCAR introduced a new television show called ‘What Happens Next?’ In the show, professional race car drivers are pitted against each other in an elaborate competition where the goal is to out-perform the other driver as much as possible. The winner is decided by the audience via online voting and the drivers with the highest scores will win the competition. The show is hosted by Julie Stoffer, who also co-produces the ‘NASCAR Now’ podcast alongside Rusty Wallace.

During one episode of the show, Wallace–who is one of the most popular broadcasters in NASCAR–was asked how he would describe the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. ‘To be honest, I haven’t given it much thought’, replied Wallace. Stoffer then jumped in and said, ‘I think it’s important to point out that this is not the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is a Monster Cup. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series celebrates the fact that you are drinking Monster Energy drinks. This is the NFL of NASCAR. It’s the Super Bowl, World Series, and the Stanley Cup rolled into one.’

Why Is The Nascar Grand Prix Called The ‘Great American Race’?

The race is known as the Great American Race because the first ‘Grand Prix’ of American automobile racing was held in New York City in 1914. The first race was also held inside a stadium and it drew a crowd of over 100,000 people. After a hiatus of many years, the Grand Prix was revived in 1950 and it was first held in Milwaukee. Since then, it has been held annually in Boston, Chicago, and Toronto. This year’s edition of the race will be held on September 14 and it will span five hours.

What Is The Longest Car Race In History?

Depending on how you define ‘race’, the New York Times reports that the longest road race in history was either the 24-hour, 362 mile race held in 1951 or the 774.8 mile race held in 1952. (In both cases, there were several breaks for food and rest.) However, the longest uninterrupted car race in history was the 1,107.8 mile, 12-hour ‘Bisque Green Mountain Transcontinental’ in 1999. Several other races that are held around the world each have a length of at least 1,000 miles. This year’s edition of the race will be held in the early hours of Saturday morning and it will cover a distance of 1,600 miles. The organizers are calling it the ‘Great Race of Freedom’ and it will be the 82nd running of the event.

Do I Need A NASCAR Pass To See The Races?

If you’re going to attend any NASCAR race, you’ll need a ticket. However, there is an option for people who want to see the races for free. The grandstands at the track are open to the public and you don’t need a ticket to enter them. You can also choose to sit outside the grandstands on the ‘chase row’ which is a reserved section for club and group memberships. (The section is located behind the track’s Finish Line, the area where the drivers park after their races.) Those who attend the races in the grandstands will need a ticket to obtain access to the seating area though. Club and group memberships for those who live in the area are available and for the grandstands, it’s $40 for a single day or $80 for a week. Children under two years of age are free.

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