The top three series in NASCAR will head to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Memorial Day Weekend for a packed schedule. Ahead of the annual races honoring fallen military members, track officials have lifted the capacity restrictions. Charlotte Motor Speedway will welcome a full-capacity crowd.
According to a Friday press release, the move coincides with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s latest executive order. The order states that residents will no longer have to wear masks or socially distance in outdoor environments. Those that have not received the vaccine are “encouraged” to wear a mask.
“We are thrilled with today’s news that will allow fans to return to America’s Home for Racing without limitation,” said Greg Walter, executive vice president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. “From the outset of the pandemic, whether operating a drive-through testing clinic or hosting the state’s first mass vaccination event, this has been the ultimate goal – to get back to filling the grandstands for the biggest, most entertaining events in motorsports.”
The executive order immediately goes into effect
The tripleheader weekend will not be the first time that the Charlotte Motor Speedway features a full-capacity crowd. The executive order also opens up the possibility for fans to flock to the iconic track for NGK NTK NHRA Four-Wide Nationals that start on Friday and run through Sunday. The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series stars are at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the “44,000-horsepower festival of nitro.”
The event sold out prior to Gov. Cooper’s executive order, but more tickets are now available for fans wanting to get up close with some of drag racing’s best drivers. The tickets start at $40. Kids 13 and under can attend the races for free.
Prior to the weekend’s schedule of races, some top drivers tested out the drag strip. Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace, Xfinity Series driver Daniel Hemric, NHRA Nitro Funny Car driver JR Todd, and NHRA driver Shawn Langdon got behind the wheel of four Toyota Supras for a friendly race. Wallace jumped out to an early lead and never relinquished, racing his way to the win.
The lifted restrictions follow a major decision by NASCAR
Prior to Gov. Cooper’s executive order, NASCAR made its own major change to race day policies. The sanctioning body announced on Thursday that drivers and team members will no longer have to wear masks while in the garages or pit areas. The new rules will go into effect at Dover.
The change will not give the teams full rein to roam around tracks without masks. They will still have to wear the coverings inside buildings, haulers, or any other enclosed spaces. They will also have to wear masks in areas where state or local mandates require such use.
Similarly, Atlanta Motor Speedway officials announced in early May that July’s Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart will allow full capacity. The press release at the time cited relaxed restrictions in Georgia, as well as the number of vaccinated people.
The tripleheader weekend at a fully-packed Charlotte Motor Speedway kicks off on May 28 with the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 Camping World Truck Series race. The schedule continues with the Alsco Uniforms 300 Xfinity Series race on May 29. The 62nd running of the Coca-Cola 600 will cap off the weekend on May 30.