Charlotte Speedway

The Charlotte Speedway, or the Charlotte Motor Speedway, as it is more officially known, is one of the country’s great motor sports complexes. Completed in 1959, its main feature is a 1.5 mile quad-oval track that annually plays host to two of the biggest NASCAR races. These races are the Coca Cola 600 and the Sprint All-Star Race. The Coca Cola 600 takes place on Memorial Day weekend and is the longest of NASCAR’s sanctioned races. The Sprint All-Star Race is held in May and sees NASCAR’s best drivers competing in an excitingly unique format.

The 1.5 mile quad-oval track at the Charlotte Speedway doesn’t just host big time NASCAR races. Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series races are also held on the track. Other races that are held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway utilize the speedway’s additional facilities, which include a quarter-mile oval track, a 0.4 mile dirt track, and a state-of-the-art drag strip. It’s not all about the races, however. The Charlotte Motor Speedway actually hosts more than 300 events a year, with an example being two car shows that are among the country’s largest.

Tourists often pay visits to the Charlotte Motor Speedway, and the complex hosts several driving schools throughout the year. The driving schools allow visitors to get out on the track and take a race car for a spin. Also of particular interest is the speedway’s numerous roles in movies and commercials. The most notable movie to be filmed there was Days of Thunder. No wonder the Charlotte Motor Speedway is regarded as one of the country’s busiest sports venues.

The Charlotte Speedway can be found in Concord, North Carolina at 5555 Concord Parkway South. That puts it approximately 12 miles from Charlotte proper. Also taking up residence in Concord are numerous NASCAR team headquarters and a NASCAR Speedpark, so the city is a mecca of sorts for NASCAR fans. The NASCAR Speedpark is one of four such amusement parks that can be found in the country. The other three are found in Sevierville (Tennessee), Myrtle Beach, and St. Louis. Should Concord visitors wish to take a break from the NASCAR side of things, they can find numerous other things to do. Shopping at the Concord Mills Mall and exploring the city’s Historic Districts are just two options. Also, with Charlotte so close, side trips to the Queen City are certainly easy to arrange.

As for places to stay near the Charlotte Speedway, many people choose Charlotte hotels. In Concord, the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord is arguably one of the most alluring choices. This lodge not only offers tasteful accommodations, but a fun water park as well. Other lodging establishments that are very close to the Charlotte Motor Speedway include the Residence Inn Charlotte-Concord, the Embassy Suites Charlotte-Concord, the Hampton Inn & Suites Concord/Charlotte, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Charlotte-Concord, the Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte-Concord, the Wingate by Wyndham Concord, the Comfort Suites Concord, and the Sleep Inn & Suites Concord.

As a side note, while the Charlotte Motor Speedway is often referred to more simply as the Charlotte Speedway, it should not be confused with the original Charlotte Speedway. The original Charlotte Speedway was a three-quarter mile dirt track in Daytona Beach, Florida that was used to host the first of NASCAR’s "Strictly Stock" series races in 1949. That essentially means that it hosted the very first NASCAR race. The track was subsequently closed in 1956.

Top image: HHP

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