5 Ways to Fuel Your Need for Speed in Charlotte
Charlotte is the perfect place to get in on the fast-paced action at some of the greatest NASCAR attractions in the nation.
by Torie Robinette Jan 16, 2018
In the Queen City, NASCAR is king. Home to an outstanding mix of racing-related shops, tracks and attractions, Charlotte is the perfect place to get in on the fast-paced action at some of the greatest NASCAR attractions in the nation. Here’s a quick guide to help you plot your course.
NASCAR Hall of Fame
The NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. More than 50 interactive exhibits, like the realistic racing simulators and pit crew challenge, invite guests to engage with the sights and sounds of the sport, while unexpected memorabilia and stock cars, like those that fill Glory Road, chronicle NASCAR’s beginnings to present day. If you’ve got a day to devote to the Hall, it’s worth it. Check out the Racing Insiders Tour, an all-access, in-depth tour that hits every nook and cranny of Charlotte’s racing community. Choose from two different itineraries—the Interstate 77 or the Interstate 85.
Insider tip: Champ the Cheetah is the NASCAR Hall of Fame mascot. You can book him for an appearance at your next party or attend the NASCAR Hall’s Easter Egg 400 (March 31) or Not-Too-Spooky Haunted Hall (Oct. 27) to get a photo with the fastest cheetah on the track.
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Just a short drive south of Kannapolis or north of Uptown Charlotte, Charlotte Motor Speedway draws fans and non-fans alike to major motorsports events and behind-the-scenes tours year-round. Book a speedway tour for an up-close look at the restricted areas of the 1.5-mile superspeedway, The Dirt Track and zMax Dragway, along with a glimpse of one of the world’s largest HDTV screens and a ride on the 24-degree banking of the track, will leave everyone feeling the need for speed.
Insider tip: If you’d prefer to go through the track at your own pace, the Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts many car shows and various 5K runs throughout the year too. A holiday favorite is the Speedway Christmas, which includes a full light display and drive-in movies.
Victory Lane Karting
The 1/3-mile indoor road course at Victory Lane Indoor Karting is reported to be the fastest in the Carolinas and one of the fastest in the nation. Sodi Honda top-of-the-line racing karts challenge any driver with top speeds of 45 mph at 2 inches off of the ground. While you’re there, be sure to stop by Pit Road Bar & Grill, which has been featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” for its famous MoonPie burger—an 8-ounce seasoned burger patty topped with RC Cola-candied bacon and sandwiched between a MoonPie.
Insider tip: Victory Lane Karting is also a unique place to host your next party, corporate team build, car club or reunion. The venue has 100,000 square feet of space to give your guests experience the thrill of real racing.
The Dale Trail
Blaze your own trail through “The Intimidator’s” hometown of Kannapolis, North Carolina, on the country’s first motorsports heritage trail. The Dale Trail is a self-guided tour that begins at Dale Earnhardt Boulevard and winds through landmarks related to the life of the legendary NASCAR driver.
Approximately 85 percent of NASCAR’s race shops are located in Charlotte, including Hendrick Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Penske Racing and more. Dozens of them offer behind-the-scenes views of their teams working on cars and practicing for pit stops as well as stores to purchase race gear.
Insider tip: If you’re only in town for a short time, you can also pick up a NASCAR souvenir from the newly renovated NASCAR Hall of Fame Gear Shop. There’s a section of Charlotte merchandise too.
Top 12 Events in 2018
- Friday, Jan. 19 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 Induction Ceremony (NASCAR Hall of Fame), televised live on NBC Sports Network
- Saturday, Jan. 20 NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day (NASCAR Hall of Fame)
- Sunday, Feb. 18 Daytona 500 Race Viewing Party (NASCAR Hall of Fame), first race of the 2018 season
- Saturday, March 31 Easter Egg 400 (NASCAR Hall of Fame)
- Month of May 600 Festival and Speed Street (Uptown Charlotte)
- Saturday, May 19 NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race (Charlotte Motor Speedway)
- Sunday, May 27 Coca-Cola 600 (Charlotte Motor Speedway)
- Sunday, Sept. 2 Bojangles’ Southern 500 (Darlington Raceway)
- Sunday, Sept. 30 Bank of America 500 (Charlotte Motor Speedway)
- Saturday, Oct. 27 Not-Too-Spooky Haunted Hall (NASCAR Hall of Fame)
- Sunday, Nov. 18 Ford EcoBoost 400 in Homestead-Miami Race Viewing Party (NASCAR Hall of Fame), final race of the 2018 season
- November/December Holidays at the Hall (NASCAR Hall of Fame) Speedway Christmas (Charlotte Motor Speedway)
Written by Torie Robinette | Updates by Chelsea Galusky