What would the world be like without motorsports? Without the excitement of watching cars race, we would be left with mostly dull sports, such as golf or swimming. Thanks to motorsports, we get to watch some of the greatest athletes and cars of all time race against each other to see who can perform the best. In addition, we get to witness the camaraderie of the drivers, spectators, and race participants as they celebrate their victories and commiserate over their losses. The following is a short history of Charlotte Motor Speedway and who owns it. It is one of the most historic sports venues in the world, having started as a small dirt oval in 1926 before expanding to its current state in 1960.
A Brief History of Charlotte Motor Speedway
In the 1920s, several businessmen who were passionate about motorsports decided to pool their money and interest to build a race track in North Carolina. It was first named the Carolina Motor Speedway and was based in Rockingham County, North Carolina. The first race was held in April 1926, with a time trial, a speed trial, and a 300-mile race. The track was a one-of-a-kind racetrack because it was built across the street from the Charlotte train station. The trains were a source of revenue for the track and were a way of bringing in spectators. The trains also helped transport the prize money from the North Carolina Speedway, as it was originally called, back to the track operators. The trains stopped running in 1946, so the track operators had to find other methods of transportation, such as cars or motorcycles, to bring in spectators. Today, the trains still run on a part of the property, but they only run during special events.
The Early Years: The Dirt Ovals
The idea of turning a train station into a racetrack was novel, to say the least. After the trains stopped running, the track operators turned to dirt oval tracks, which are smaller and less expensive to maintain than the long straights typically found at a professional sports arena. They also allow for more maneuverability. This is how Charlotte Motor Speedway started. During the off-season, construction workers would lay down an egg-shaped track in the parking lot of the train station. The track had a seating capacity of around 500 spectators and each weeknight it would host a popular Friday night car show, which continued for many years.
The Golden Years: The King And The Queen
Although the train station tracks were an asset to the track operators, they were not enough to generate enough revenue to make the project profitable. It was during this time that Charlotte Motor Speedway added another element to its collection of racetracks: a permanent dirt oval track. The first year the track was completed was in 1947 and it was officially opened by Elizabeth II, who was the queen at the time. The following year, the King George VI visited the track and was presented with a key to the city. During the late 1940s and the 1950s, Charlotte Motor Speedway was one of the dominant forces in car racing, having won the NASCAR Championship 10 times and the World 600 Championship 5 times. In the late 1950s, a new wave of car manufacturers, most notably from Italy, started appearing and eclipsed the dominance of American cars. This is when Charlotte Motor Speedway started losing its appeal to the American public, as they were no longer satisfied with just racing Ford cars. To combat this, CMC started hosting celebrity golf tournaments and other types of special events, such as fashion shows and dance competitions. In the 60s, Charlotte Motor Speedway started becoming more commercial and it stopped being a haven for car enthusiasts and started catering to families and the general public. This is evident in the way the track is laid out and the amenities it offers. In the 1980s and the early part of the 21st century, Charlotte Motor Speedway started seeing a decline in both fans and revenues. It still hosted races, but only featured asphalt ovals. The mid-1980s especially were a bad time for the track, as it went through a major remodeling project and lost a lot of its former glory, as it now resembles what it looked like in the 1950s and early 1960s.
Modernization And Revival: The Lights, The Track, The Wall
In the 2010s, Charlotte Motor Speedway saw a resurgence in both income and attendance. This was primarily due to the revival of short-track racing and the karting market in general. The track started hosting invitational monster trucks races every Saturday night during the summer, which was a major draw for kids and families. In addition, the track saw a rise in celebrity visitors, as people like Tim Tebow, Kim Kardashian, and Paris Hilton started visiting the track. The renovations the track underwent became evident in the way it looked, as it got a makeover similar to what it looked like in the 1960s and early 1970s. The track also got a new name: the Queen Elizabeth II Raceway. The wall, which used to separate the grandstands from the track, was torn down and several new luxury boxes were built. The seating capacity was increased to around 6,000 and a new video board was installed, resulting in a much more modern and sleek appearance.
Present Day: A Bizarre And Eventful History
Since the 2010s, Charlotte Motor Speedway has continued to see an increase in both attendance and revenues. This can be attributed, in part, to the way the track operators have handled the resurgence of short-track racing and the interest in karting. In addition, the track has become a bit of a Mecca for auto racing fans, as it now features a variety of on-track activities, from daily NASCAR races, to monster trucks, to IndyCar Series events. In the 2018 season, the track saw around 330,000 visitors, which was a 12% increase compared to 2017. The track also generates over $20 million a year in economic activity, as there are a variety of food and beverage vendors, as well as souvenir and novelty buyers, at the track every day.
Who Owns Charlotte Motor Speedway?
It’s interesting how a few rich businessmen could make such a difference in the world of motorsports. Most people associate motorsports with expensive cars, fast driving, and celebrities. However, the truth is that it was all about the quality of the track and the people that operated it. Without CMC, there would be no NASCAR, as the track was the home of the legendary Junior Johnson. In addition, CMC saw the invention of the Monster Truck and gave it its first home. Without CMC, there would be no wall, as the track saw the partnership of Mario Andretti and the late great A.J. Foyt. The list of famous names and personalities that have been associated with CMC goes on and on. The bottom line is that without CMC, the world of motorsports would look very different indeed.