NASCAR Racing: Charlotte Motor Speedway


Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The next couple of weeks NASCAR will be at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. When I first started watching NASCAR, this 1.5 mile track was called CHARLOTTE. That’s right, capital letters. The track is that wonderful. Several years ago, Lowe’s bought Sponsorship rights to the track  and it became known as Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Their contract was over at the end of 2009 and they chose not to renew. So it is now back to Charlotte Motor Speedway. While it was Lowe’s, Jimmie Johnson, who drives the Lowe’s sponsored car, made Lowe’s his Home! “Humpy” Wheeler was the Track president and the Track was very popular. Humpy had a falling out with SMI owner Bruton Smith and is no longer running the track. I don’t know for sure, but this may have had some baring on why Lowe’s did not renew sponsorship.

Charlotte is the hub of NASCAR. Most of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Teams are located in the Charlotte area. So, if you ever go to a NASCAR Track, Charlotte should be on the top of your list. The track is located in Concord, NC. And if you ever go there, there is much to see. The NASCAR Hall of Fame recently opened here and there is much to see about the history of NASCAR. The first class of five will be inducted this weekend.

And every year about this time NASCAR holds it’s All-Star race. All winners from last year and so far this year are eligible to be in the race. Any previous winners of the Sprint/Nextel/Winston All-Star Challenge within ten years are also eligible and past Cup Champions within ten years are also eligible. It is a 100 lap, no holds barred, non-points race for $1 Million.

Another way to get into the race is by winning the Sprint Open, or coming in second. That is the race before the Race. All the current drivers who have not won the previous year and are otherwise ineligible, race each other to get into the All-Star Challenge. And the last way to get in, is to be the fan favorite. Fans can cast their votes for who they want to get into the All-Star Challenge. The driver who has the most votes and did not otherwise get in gets to start the race from the rear of the field. Two years ago, Kasey Kahne was the fan vote, started last, and won the All-Star Challenge! Now he is in for ten years, even if he doesn’t win any races.

Qualifying for this race is different than any other qualifying. Because this race is a Team effort, the drivers eligible must make a pit stop during qualifying. So, not only do they have to run fast around the track, but their pit crew has to be perfect also. It’s a great qualifying to watch. The Sprint All-Star Challenge will be on Saturday evening.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is in Charlotte this weekend. They will be racing Friday evening. Next week, on Sunday before Memorial Day, will be the longest race of the year, the Coca Cola 600. Always a fan favorite. On Thursday NASCAR held the Pit Crew Challenge. The pit crews compete against each other to see who has the best and fastest pit crew. Last year Jeff Burton’s #31 Team won. This year they got all the way to the final round before Denny Hamlin’s #11 Team won it all. Individuals team members also compete to be the best at their positions. Another great event to watch while in the Charlotte area.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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