by Bill and Bonnie Neely, Real Travel Adventures
Rednecks we aren’t, but NASCAR lovers and RVer’s we are! And we were delighted to learn that Charlotte Motor Speedway is set up for all kinds of camping. The race track is located in Cabarrus County, NC, just outside Charlotte and the nearby little towns of Concord and Kannapolis. This is where racing LIVES! The campgrounds near the track are plentiful and all around it, so that you can leave your rig and take a hefty walk to the races. Only one campground has full hookups. Prices vary widely among the camps. Some shuttles run back and forth to the campgrounds also, but actually in the campgrounds you are nearly as close as in the official parking lots for the Speedway. Contact Cabarrus County CVB for help in making reservations and to determine what type of hookups are available in the various places. Of course, on big race weekends it is advisable to have reservations far in advance.
But the real fun would be to camp at the infield, inside the track of Charlotte Motor Speedway, and facilities are truly designed to accommodate you for all the fun you can handle.
You purchase an armband for each person, but these do not entitle you to go into garage or pit or to sit in the stands; each of those is a separate purchase. You’ll find fun camping facilities for RV’s, fifth wheels, and even tents of all sizes and shapes, but there are no hook-ups. If you need any water or re-charging, you must take your camper outside the Speedway to services. Although there are no sewer hook-ups, there are arrangements for a sewer truck to visit your rig when necessary, but no guarantees. On race weekends the campsites are open Wednesday until Monday.
There are large bathrooms with many private stalls for showers and toilets, which are kept very clean.
There are a few eateries and vendors where you can buy most necessities within the infield. There is a lot of partying going on night and day, but the maintenance and security protection are excellent.
When engines start (and sometimes long before) get out your lawn chairs and get comfortable on top of your rig or in front of the chain link fence of the track, grab your snacks and drinks, sun lotion, hat and sunglasses and get ready for some loud and endless fun! Who cares that this is known as Redneck Hill?? It may be the best seat, even if you can’t see the entire track without craning your neck.
On race weekends there are always many things going on at the track to see or participate in. You can walk the track with some of the drivers, hear live music, sometimes enjoy a free BBQ at the track, see military presentations, and even take a ride around the track in the Pace Car! If you are over 18 you can have a REAL race car experience at the Richard Petty Driving Experience (800 237 3889). You can ride along with a trained racing driver in a real NASCAR, or you can actually learn to drive one around the track alone at high speeds, with a professional just ahead of you in the lead. Bill says it is the experience of a lifetime!!! He loved it! And on non-event days you can take the Speedway Tour or the Over the Wall Tour and see many behind-the-scenes places others are not permitted to see (call 704 455 3204).
If you have a big rig and want top notch facilities, you can reserve the more elite campground at the track which has full hook-ups and overlooks the track.
At night and between races you will find entertainment on the gigantic new screen at the track, where evening movies are treats for the campers. In the future they may offer video games to play on screen.
Many exciting plans are being dreamed up for this newest feature of Charlotte Motor Speedway, and if you are camping there you have more time to enjoy it than any other fan.
While you are there to enjoy the races, don’t miss the fantastic NASCAR Hall of Fame in downtown Charlotte, where you’ll learn all about the sport you already enjoy. Kids and adults will find the interactive displays fun and informative, and the films are very well done. It’s a great way to spend the day while you await a race.
Another Must-do is to spend an afternoon at the Concord Mills Mall and stay for dinner and fun night at Dave and Buster’s Bar and Restaurant. The food is really delicious, not what you would expect in a down-home fun time place. The games are terrific fun for all ages. And you’ll come away with some sort of trinket souvenir, which you’ll purchase with your winning tickets. It’s a blast!
Get your reservations early for all camping near the track or in-field through the Charlotte Motor Speedway (704 455 4445) Next big race, Bank of America 500 on October 15th, 7:30 p.m.