I was born and raised in Mooresville, NC, infamously nicknamed Race City USA. NASCAR was just second nature to anyone that grew up here. I went to school with their children and as I became an adult myself, my friends began to date and marry some of the up and coming drivers. You see them out grabbing dinner or something from the store and you do not really bat an eye. I wonder if that is how locals in Los Angeles feel?
Although I grew up in a town surrounded by NASCAR and racing, it wasn’t until recently that I really began to watch. Don’t get me wrong, it was usually on each Sunday while we were together as a family and having our Sunday meal, but we weren’t really watching it.
This past weekend, I ventured out to the Sprint All Star Race. Once we arrived, we took our time to walk around all the vendors. There was so much to do while there. Chevrolet was there and you were able to get a close look to their vehicle line up. There was a mini beer tasting set up, but honestly with an 80 beer line up, there wasn’t anything ‘mini’ about it. Toyota had a mini ferris wheel where you could ride and there was a kid zone for the little ones to release their excitement. Finally, you could venture to your favorite driver or team and invest in all the fan gear you need.
We were lucky to have tickets that had access to the Speedway Club. After we found our seats at the start/finish line, we ventured up to see what it had to offer. There was a large selection of drinks, food and sweets with a nice dining room with plenty of seating with televisions to not miss a thing. During the race, I was still dreaming of a soft pretzel with cheese so we watched the third segment from the dining room without missing a beat.
The All Star race is different than a normal weekend of racing. There were only 20 cars running and a total of five segments instead of a normal set number of laps with 43 drivers. Also, the race is for a cash prize of a cool $1,000,000.00! There were no points, no gain but the cash prize at the end. Everyone is fighting for the same goal to end up in winners circle.
If you call Charlotte home, you need to experience a NASCAR race at least once. My favorite will always be the All Star race because of the dynamics but any race in Charlotte is always intense. Many of the racers now call our little portion of the Piedmont as home and love competing on their home track.
This weekend, Sunday May 24th, is the Coca-Cola 600. Go out and enjoy the heart of Carolina and the 1.5 mile track accurately called "The Beast of the Southeast."