The early years of Charlotte Motor Speedway were fraught with challenges like flagging sales and changing ownership. The Speedway's core principle of always putting the customer first would be essential to its success. Since 1960 it has had multiple multimillion dollar innovations, transforming the humble speedway into 20,000-acre area outfitted with plenty of opportunities for tailgating, camping, and race events for the whole family.
Camping is done on one of the many fully stocked lots, with both RV and tent areas available. Containing event halls, racing schools, and a smaller track for dirt bikes means there is always something going on at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Even before a race starts, there is the opportunity for people to crowd around and tailgate, ride one of the arrays of attractions in the Fan Zone and even listen to amazing music. Food options range from deep-fried goodness to buffets and luxury meals.
Charlotte Motor Speedway has plenty of packages and seating options that will vary somewhat for different races. Tickets for basic seats can start below $15 while more premier ones can go for over $50. The best weekend pass is a package deal that starts at around $180 and includes multiple tickets to numerous events over the course of a weekend. Special rates may apply for children and for some events a ticket may not be required for certain ages.
There are also numerous options available for the campgrounds with general admission starting at around $125, with multiple upgrades ranging anywhere from $250 to over a $1000. If you are interested in a specific event or package its best to check online for availability and pricing.
Charlotte Motor Speedway is easy to find on US 29 (Concord Pkwy. S.), located several miles east of the I-85 and I-485 connection. Because of the size of the speedway, there are multiple roads surrounding it with entrances located along Bruton Smith Blvd. and all along US 29. The roads are accustomed to carrying large vehicles in this area but may be somewhat congested during an event.
There are multiple parking options with different price points. Free parking is located in the North-West section across US-29, near the dirt track. On the other side of Brand-Smith Blvd., there is more parking that requires anywhere upwards of $20 to stay for the day. Trailers may be limited to 40 feet, while RVs can only be as large as the designated spots at 50 feet. Most of the RV camping and parking is east of the Speedway.
Basic transportation around Charlotte Motor Speedway can be expected but not necessarily relied upon for every event. Specific events on the grounds will use certain bus services, with many starting operation the day of and continuing upwards to the event. Guests will want to check for bus and light rail schedules for the days of a desired race or activity.
Charlotte Motor Speedway has many camping opportunities on site, which are tailored depending on what you need. The southern infield allows tent camping only, with RVs prohibited, while the north infield is the other way around. RV hookups include electricity, water, and sewer hookups. Laundry facilities, bathrooms, and a playground are also located on the grounds. Camping options also may vary based on what event you plan to attend.
In the rare event that the camping at Charlotte Motor Speedway is completely packed, there are multiple facilities in the area. Some of these options are located a few minutes driving distances from the edge of the grounds and are usually stocked with all the amenities. Getting from a nearby campground to the speedway may take a twenty-minute drive or less.
The size and scope of the Speedway can be a bit overwhelming. At 2,000 acres you can even get lost in its expanse. The speedway itself stands at the center, but only makes up approximately a fifth of the total area. Motorized vehicles such as golf carts are admitted as long as they are driven by a licensed person. While traditional bikes are okay, motorized variants are not.
Since the weather in North Carolina can be varied, you'll need to pack for the season. With most events running year around you'll need to consider what time of the year it will be when you plan to attend. The temperate climate means summers can be extremely hot while winters exceptionally frigid and everything else in between.
Typical gear for a campground should be brought including sunscreen, bug spray, cooking implements, fold-up chairs, and family activities for relaxing at your campsite. Campfires and grilling are not permitted on the site. Pets must be on a leash unless in the designated free-roam area. Don't forget garb for your favorite drivers and participants.
While there are multiple first-aid stations, bathing houses, and restrooms on site, a few basic supplies suited for you are still needed. This might include a first-aid kit, shampoo, sunscreen, toilet paper, and bug spray. If you take prescription drugs or need anything else specific, that should be packed up as well.
Cooking is only permitted inside RVs, with grills prohibited and campfires only in designated spots. At the Speedway, there are multiple food options synonymous with race tracks like pizza, soda, and hot dogs. More prestigious options like soup, salad, and entrees are available onsite as well. Over the top food such as jumbo-burgers and bacon lollipops aren't unheard of either.
Speedway Club is an onsite restaurant that offers great food year round. While a bit higher priced than normal race fair, it does offer entrees and the occasional buffet. Just northwest of the grounds travelers will find a plethora of choices offering everything from good barbecue, delicious Italian meals, and excellent Mexican food.
Aside from the food options on the grounds, there is also a slew of vendor choices, all of which is determined by the event. The gift shop is open year round and is chock full of memorabilia. Credit cards are accepted at most locations, but cash is recommended for some of the smaller vendors.
While there are security and safety personnel around the campsite and the track, use good sense. Never leave anything out that can be easily whisked away from your possession. Keep your vehicle, RV, and tent carefully locked up at all times. Bags and small coolers are allowed into the stands but will probably be subject to a bag check.
The weather in Charlotte can vary dramatically over the course of the year. Getting into the 90s in the peak of summer and then often sliding below freezing in the middle of winter means what precautions you take should be tailored for the time of the year. Make sure to bring plenty of water and cool clothing in the summer and stay bundled up during the height of winter.
In the past Charlotte Motor Speedway has been awarded by NASCAR for safety and security. They are outfitted with plenty of onsite police and EMS personnel in case something goes awry. There are several choices offsite as well, such as the Carolinas ContinueCARE hospital that is less than 15 minutes away.