There is always a lot going on during the two weeks that Charlotte Motor Speedway is hosting events during the Month of May. Many people (and I used to think the same way) think the Charlotte week means a nice and quiet week to spend at home, assuming that most people know that most of the teams are based in and around the Charlotte area. I don’t mean this in a bad way, but, the people that make these assumptions couldn’t be more wrong.
Although there is a lot of racing on the schedule for these two weeks, racing almost seems like the background activity. I don’t think this is a bad thing. We all know the racing doesn’t really take a back seat to all of the other activities that surround us for these two weeks in Charlotte, NC. It is good to have more time and options for the fans and supporters to get out and make their experience about more than just watching practice, qualifying, and racing.
Over the past two weeks many teams have had their “fan day” events. Many drivers have had their fan club gatherings, the NASCAR Hall of Fame has chosen 5 new entrants for the 2013 induction ceremonies and I have seen on Twitter and Facebook that some of the sponsors have chosen this week to shoot new commercials. There have been numerous charitable events drivers, teams, sponsors, and fans have participated in over the past two weeks...it’s been busy!
It’s also good to see just how much everyone involved with NASCAR racing, recognizes and supports the United States of America and all of the different branches of armed forces that serve and protect us and our freedom. I am one that has seen first hand how many military personnel enjoy being part of NASCAR racing, whether it is through the armed forces that have sponsorship programs, or, just as racing fans. It is one of those situations that no one has to even say a word. When the race fans, team members, and military personnel encounter one another at the race track, there is an instant display of respect across the board. Everyone involved knows we all support one another in our own respective ways.
I think we should all commend everyone that is participating in these events leading up to the Coca-Cola 600. Fans come from many different parts of the United States and other countries to have a chance to meet drivers, see race shops and race teams. Most importantly, they come to see NASCAR’s longest race of the season. All of this creates a lot buzz, not only for the NASCAR community, but for North Carolina and the Charlotte/Concord area in particular.
The schedules get crazy, but it seems like this year, I have noticed a ton of effort being put forth by everyone in the NASCAR circles to create a positive energy around NASCAR racing, and the personalities (past, present, and future). Everyone knows by the time the 600 mile event starts, it will be business as usual, but it is good to see everyone working hard to create memorable experiences for everyone involved.