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Feature: Preview of the Drive for the Cure 300 and the Bank of America 500

An Image of Cars race through Turn 1 during a rare Sunday Bank of America 500/Drive for the Cure 300 doubleheader at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS/HHP photo)


Next weekend’s Fall NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be a little bit different as compared to previous years.
It won’t be a night race as this year’s Bank of America 500 will return to its original afternoon starting time at 2pm on Sunday for the first time since 2002.

1. Why is it a great time for Charlotte Motor Speedway to run a daytime race which we haven’t seen in over a decade?

Our last two Bank of America 500 races have actually been run on Sunday afternoon due to weather postponements. At those events we saw great on-track action. We heard a lot of feedback from drivers and fans alike that the show was better when the track was a little more slippery in the early October sun, and that helped us make the decision to move the race back to its traditional Sunday afternoon timeslot.
2.  Other than the scheduling change, what’s in stall as a typical race fan especially either living in and outside Charlotte to look forward to over the next three days?
The races are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to event weekends here at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Friday’s Bojangles’ Pole Night includes the Better Half Dash, where wives and girlfriends of popular NASCAR personalities take to the track in a charity Bandolero race, and the Southern Slam 150 modified race. 

Saturday night, anyone with a Bank of America 500 race ticket will get free entry into a Brad Paisley concert at zMAX Dragway that’s part of Dale Earnhardt Jr’s #Appreci88ion tour to thank the fans for their support over the years. 

Sunday (and all weekend long), fans can enjoy pre-race fun in the 10-acre Fan Zone right outside the speedway, taking in the interactive games and displays, vendor booths, souvenir haulers and a huge Monster Energy footprint with motocross stunts, Monster girls and more. 

We’ll also see the return of Trackside Live, a “College Game Day”-like stage in the infield with live music, driver appearances and other fan fun. Our hope is that fans come to the speedway early and realize the full value of a race ticket even before the green flag falls on the race itself.
3. Why do you think Brad Paisley and Tim Dugger will be a must-see build-up to the Bank of America 500 raceday on Sunday?
NASCAR and country music go hand-in-hand, and there’s no bigger name in country music than Brad Paisley. What better way to get revved up for an afternoon of racing than with a rockin’ performance by one of the biggest music acts on the planet? The concert is also a way for the speedway and Dale Jr. to say “thanks” to all of the fans who have supported the sport through the years as part of Jr’s #Appreci88ion tour. 

We’ve always hosted major concerts as part of race day, and with the schedule change this year, a Saturday night show is seemed like the perfect way to continue that tradition and add to the fun-filled weekend that is in store for fans.
4. Any discounts being held so far or sold out for next weekend yet?
Still great seats available. Full weekend passes (to all three days) starting at just $79. We’ve got a Whisky River package for Sunday’s Bank of America 500 that starts at $59 and includes a $10 food voucher and unlimited bull rides in the Whisky River bar (set up on the concourse near Turn 1). 

We’ve got a special $29 ticket for college students that includes a dedicated tailgate zone and a general admission ticket to the Turn 4 Sun Deck. Kids get in FREE with a paying adult on Friday and Saturday and for just $10 on Sunday.
5. In the build up towards the 3 day weekend, there was a Better Half Dash followed by the Pit Wall Pink to preview the Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
We hosted several press events (and have several things coming down the pipe next week, ahead of the weekend). We’ve had two Better Half Dash practices (and we’ll qualify those cars on Monday evening), and a huge paint the pit wall pink event (with nine Cup and XFINITY drivers) earlier this week.
6. How did the fans give feedback in regarding the Auto Fair event that occurred last weekend?

We get lots of feedback from fans, both on-site during the event and post-event via email. Most of what we heard this weekend was very positive – great cars, great weather, great family fun. We’re always looking for ways to improve each and every one of our events to help our visitors create lasting memories, and hearing from our fans what works and what doesn’t is always appreciated as we strive to be better.
7. After the Bank of America 500, do you have any hints/new features of what Local and Even Overseas Charlotteans like myself are looking forward to re-visit the Speedway for the rest of the year and into next year?
Goodguys Southeastern Nationals (similar to AutoFair, it’s a national car show) – Oct. 20-22
World of Outlaws World Finals (premiere dirt track racing event for the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars and Late Models)—Nov. 2-4
Speedway Christmas/Egg Nog Jog – Nov. 19-Dec. 31
Fans can keep up with all of the excitement coming up at the speedway online at http://www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/tickets/
8. Based on event feedback when we watched the All-Star Race and the Coca Cola 600, why or why not Stage Racing as well as the new roval course for Fall next year will help attract new businesses and new race fans attend a major event like NASCAR at this track?
I think a lot of the feedback that NASCAR received before moving to the stage format was that fans wanted to see more racing that they felt “mattered.” With stage racing, drivers have more incentive to race hard from green to checkered to earn valuable points for the playoffs. The stage racing has – by most all accounts – provided that this season. 

Similarly, fans have been asking to mix things up in terms of track in the playoffs for several years. Moving to the Roval in 2018 gives fans a new twist as Charlotte Motor Speedway continues to innovate and find new ways to bring excitement to the sport.
9. Whose your winner for next weekend’s Drive for the Cure 300 and the Bank of America 500 and your message for all the playoff drivers trying to advance into the next round in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series?
If I could pick a winner, I’d be a very rich man… I think there are a lot of great storylines heading into the Bank of America 500 race weekend, from Dale Earnhardt Jr. seeking his first points paying win at his home track to any of the 12 drivers who will be competing to lock in their spot in the Round of 8 with a win – and that’s just the Cup Series. 

The XFINITY Series race has always provided a high level of competition and excitement as well, with up-and-coming drivers looking to make a name for themselves at NASCAR’s home track.
Thank you for your time on The Overseas Charlottean today, Jonathan Coleman, Spokesperson/Director of PR Relations at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Make sure you stay updated on the Speedway’s Social Media pages on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Also it’s recommended that you download the Charlotte Motor Speedway App on your compatible iOS and Android devices to stay updated on any last minute changes before/during the Bank of America 500 weekend.

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