Sports

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.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame's Pit Crew Challenge

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. For a true behind-the-scenes look, book a guided tour with a NASCAR Hall of Fame curator.

Dale Earnhardt spent plenty of time in victory lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the 1986 NASCAR Cup season. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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.

Insider tip: While you’re in Cabarrus County, stay a while to explore other landmarks like the historic Reed Gold Mine, the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame and Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium.

#CharlottesGotALot

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.

Photo by Kyo H Nam Photography

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.

Photo courtesy of Circle K Speed Street

Circle K Speed Street

If you're in Charlotte for October Race Week, you won't want to miss Circle K Speed Street and 600 Festival, an annual festival of music, food and family-friendly outdoor fun. In addition to three days of musical performances, festival-goers can get a glimpse of some of NASCAR's biggest stars while enjoying racing-themed interactive activities. Events change every year, so be sure to check 600festival.com for the full lineup.