7 things you should know about the Bank of America 500
Posted on 30 Sep 2014 by Joe Restivo
Charlotte is the home of NASCAR, and one of the biggest nights in racing comes to our backyard every October. The Bank of America 500 attracts NASCAR fans from across the country.
While Charlotte residents could never escape the hype and fanfare of this racing event, a lot of us take it for granted without even being fully aware of what we are witnessing. To get you up-to-speed this year, here are several things all Charlotteans should know about the Bank of America 500.
1. It’s a Chase race. So what exactly does that mean? The Chase is basically NASCAR’s version of the playoffs, and they have even revamped things to make it even more exciting this year. After every three races, four drivers will be eliminated from the Chase. The emphasis has been placed on winning, so things are sure to heat up as the drivers try to clench their spot in the next round.
2. It’s the only Saturday night race in the Chase. All sporting events seem even more exciting when they take place under the lights, and a NASCAR race is no exception. So grab a couple drinks, your favorite NASCAR t-shirt and get ready for an eventful evening.
3. The fun (and tailgating) will last all weekend. One of the great things about NASCAR events is that they are a whole weekend affair – it’s not just about the actual race. Fans will start pouring in days before the race. The campgrounds around Charlotte Motor Speedway and the infield at the track will be full of enthusiastic tailgaters. Gather your friends, a couple tents and join in on the tailgating atmosphere.
4. Race teams will have meet and greets with drivers. For the avid NASCAR fan, watching your favorite driver on the track isn’t always enough. Fortunately, many of the local teams make it easy to get up close and personal to your favorite drivers prior to the festivities at the track. During the week before the race, a lot of the race shops in and around Charlotte will host special meet and greets for fans. Check out their individual websites for more information and schedules.
5. Everyone in the sport always looks forward to Charlotte. The drivers love racing at home, and it’s well known that Charlotte is one of the best at planning a weekend packed with festivities. Thursday evening is the Bojangles’ Pole Night, and fans will randomly be selected to wave the green flag as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers qualify for the race on Saturday. Friday night features the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Then, Saturday evening is the main event!
6. It’s easier than you think to get close to your favorite drivers at the track. By purchasing a Pit Pass or a Driver Intro Pass, you can be right in the middle of all of the action on race day. The view doesn’t get any better than from here!
7. Traffic, traffic, traffic. If you are attending any of the weekend activities at Charlotte Motor Speedway, make sure you leave early because traffic on Bruton Smith Boulevard will be a doozie! If you aren’t heading to the racetrack, avoid this area like the plague. Even people living in uptown Charlotte can feel the effects of race weekend when they try to drive around certain pockets of the Queen City. Nonetheless, Charlotteans love their NASCAR, and are OK with a few extra minutes of traffic in order to have such a large, important race in town.
Now, it’s time for the most important question: Will you be at the Bank of America 500?