Each May, NASCAR takes center stage in Charlotte, and all things involving speed reign supreme. From special events at the NASCAR Hall of Fame to stars, cars and guitars at Coca-Cola Speed Street to adrenaline-pumping races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, there’s something to get everyone revved up this month in Charlotte.
As the spotlight shines on NASCAR, there’s no better time to make a pit stop at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The fun begins with Race Viewing Parties in the High Octane Theater, where fans and their families are invited to experience the thrill of watching a race on the big screen. Fans can enjoy Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 4 and the May Kansas Race at Kansas Speedway on May 10 in the 278-seat theater with high-back rocking seats, 64-foot-wide curved, projection screens with surround sound, and direct-from track, commercial free in-car video feeds of two drivers. It’s the next best thing to being at the track!
Also on May 10 and just in time for Mother’s Day Weekend, NASCAR Hall of Fame guests are invited to The Women Behind the Legends, a moderated Q&A with Judy Allison (Bobby Allison’s wife), Pat Allison (Donnie Allison’s wife), Frances Flock (Tim Flock’s widow), Susan Baker (Buck Baker’s widow), Rebecca Moffitt (Richard Petty’s daughter) and Erin Crocker Evernham (Ray Evernham’s wife and former driver herself). This special event will take place in the Great Hall, where the current special exhibit, “Women in the Winners Circle,” is on display through June. “Women in the Winner’s Circle” celebrates six decades of women in racing from pioneers like Louise Smith, the first woman to compete in NASCAR, to current NASCAR driver Danica Patrick.
For an even deeper look at the past, present and future of NASCAR, fans can sign up for the newly introduced Racing Insiders Tour. This all-access, in-depth tour takes participants on an adventure through Charlotte’s racing community making stops at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, local race shops and other motorsports attractions in the area. Fans can also play a part in NASCAR history this month by submitting a fan vote for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Fans have until noon on May 20 to visit NASCAR.com/halloffame and vote for one of the 20 Class of 2015 nominees. The official Voting Day & Class of 2015 Announcement will take place at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 21 with the fan vote serving as the final ballot.
Stars, Cars & Guitars
The excitement continues when stars, cars and guitars fill Center City for Coca-Cola Speed Street presented by Chevrolet during Memorial Day Weekend May 22-24. Celebrating its 20th year, the free, three-day festival offers live entertainment, access to NASCAR’s brightest stars, interactive displays, food vendors and activities for the whole family.
The 400,000 guests expected to attend Speed Street this year can catch rocking performances by headliners Who’s Bad on Thursday night, Thompson Square on Friday night and .38 Special on Saturday night at the Coca-Cola stage located just outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Attendees will also enjoy appearances by top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and celebrities, dynamic exhibits for all ages, and an amazing assembly of NASCAR show cars and simulators.
Celebrating its 30th year in 2014, the 600 Festival Association is commemorating the May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway with three new free, family-friendly events in addition to Speed Street including Movies on the Campus in Kannapolis featuring Disney’s “Planes” and the 1982 film “Six Pack” on May 9; Haulers on Union in Concord, a hauler parade featuring the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams on May 15; and the Little 600 at GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville on May 20, where NASCAR drivers will compete for the win in go-karts.
May is packed with adrenaline-pumping action on the track with 10 blockbuster days of racing, entertainment and excitement in motorsports at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The festivities begin on May 16 with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NC Education Lottery 200 and the NASCAR Sprint Showdown. Then on May 17, the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will battle it out in the 30th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. With $1 million on the line, sparks will fly at this exciting, non-points event. And before the tire-shredding action begins, country music star Jake Owen will take the stage for a live performance at the All-Star Backyard Experience.
On May 22, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will compete in LiftMaster Pole Day to determine the 43-car lineup for the Coca-Cola 600. On May 24, NASCAR Nationwide Series regulars will battle against various NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers in the History 300. And drivers will compete in racing’s true endurance test during the 55th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 25. But before the drivers hit the pavement for the longest race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Charlotte Motor Speedway will honor the U.S. military with a special tribute and other activities throughout Memorial Day Weekend.
Racing fans and non-fans alike can fuel up on fun this month in Charlotte. Start your engines and get ready for a wild ride in the Queen City all month long.