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NASCAR 101: Your Guide to Race Week in Charlotte

posted by Ryan Wixted May 12, 2017

Race Week in Charlotte is always an exciting event. From the All-Star Race to Speed Street and the Coca-Cola 600 — there is always something fun for fans to enjoy. Here’s a complete look at the events happening during this year’s Race Week.

All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Race Week starts with the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 20. NASCAR and the Charlotte Motor Speedway announced the format for the 2017 All-Star Race, one that rewards winning and incorporates a fascinating strategy component.

The race format is as follows:

  • The race will feature four stages (20 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps, 10 laps), totaling 70 laps, an ode to the 1992 edition of the same distance.
  • The goal for all competitors: Earn a spot in the final 10-lap, 10-car stage.
  • The winner of each of the first three stages locks up a spot in the final stage, as long as they remain on the lead lap after the third stage.
  • The cars with the best average finish in the first three stages makes up the remaining spots needed to fill the 10-car final stage.
  • The remaining 10 cars are lined up by average finish of the first three stages and given the option to pit. Exit off pit road determines starting order for final stage.
  • The winner is awarded $1,000,000.

The @MonsterEnergy #AllStarRace is HERE on May 20! Don't miss your chance to see your favorite driver up close at driver intros!

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There are 15 drivers who have already qualified for the All-Star Race based on a points race win in 2016 or 2017, being a past winner of the All-Star Race or former Monster Energy Series champion.

Drivers who have already clinched an All-Star spot: Chris Buescher, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.

Voting is now open for the Monster Energy All-Star Race and there are 22 eligible drivers who haven’t qualified for the event yet.
Fans can vote here or by joining the conversation on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtags #AllStarRace and #FanVote.

Events at the NASCAR Hall of Fame

Several events will be taking place at the NASCAR Hall of Fame during Race Week.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame plays host to several Racing Insiders Tour, including a tour that heads to Randleman, North Carolina, for a special visit to both the Petty Museum and Victory Junction. This tour features a special appearance by Kyle Petty, who will share stories about his family.

Members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame have access to several exclusive events happening during Race Week. Not a NASCAR Hall of Fame member or need to upgrade your membership level? Click here to learn more about becoming a member or upgrading today.

All NASCAR fans are invited to help pick the legends that will be enshrined in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Voting is open April 5 through May 22. Fans can vote up to 50 times per day. The five nominees who receive the most votes will count as one of the 54 votes cast by the Voting Panel on NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Day on May 24.

On Wednesday, May 24, five nominees for the class of 2018 are announced by the NBC Sports Network. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is hosting an announcement event at the Great Hall.

For complete NASCAR Hall of Fame event info during Race Week checkout their calendar.

Circle K Speed Street Presented by Coca-Cola

Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola is May 25-27 (Thursday – Saturday) with live entertainment and access to racing’s brightest stars and giveaways.

Each day the festival opens at noon on Tryon Street in Uptown Charlotte to enjoy vendor displays, kid’s activities, racing-related fun and more until 8 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for Friday and Saturday night headliners and $10 for Thursday night entertainment. All other activities are free.

Country music stars Jake Owen and Billy Currington; hip hop and R&B disc jockey DJ Jazzy Jeff; and funk band, Lakeside, as headliners for the three-day festival.

Thursday, May 25

Appearing on the Mello Yello stage at 7 p.m. for a free concert, Lakeside showcases many of its hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s including “Fantastic Voyage,” “It’s All The Way Live,” and a remake of The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

Commanding the Coca-Cola stage Thursday night is DJ Jazzy Jeff. Buy tickets here.

Friday, May 26

Billy Currington is joined on the Coca-Cola stage Friday night by chart-topping artist, Granger Smith, featuring Earl Dibbles Jr. Tickets are just $15 with a limited amount of VIP reserved tickets for $25. Buy tickets here.

Saturday, May 27

Saturday night’s concert on the Coca-Cola stage features Jake Owen.

The ACA and ACM award winner is joined by special guests Maggie Rose at 6:30 p.m. and The Cadillac Three starting at 7:45 p.m. Tickets are $15 for Saturday’s trio of performances.

The Speed Street concerts takes place in Romare Bearden Park all three nights. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here. Access to the DJ night on the Coca-Cola stage are $10 while tickets for Friday and Saturday night’s performances are only $15 or $25 per night.

Concert gates open each night at 6 p.m.

‘Cars 3’ event at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar’s “Cars 3: Road to the Races” nationwide tour makes a pit stop noon to 5 p.m. Friday, May 19, and Saturday, May 20, for a free fan event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The Charlotte event is part of a nationwide tour to promote “Cars 3,” the newest film in the smash-hit franchise. Life-size, character lookalikes of five-time Piston-Cup champion Lightening McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson), tech-savvy Cruz Ramirez (voiced by Cristela Alonzo), and the sleek next-gen racer Jackson Storm (voiced by Armie Hammer) roll into the Charlotte Motor Speedway to celebrate the new movie, which opens in theaters nationwide June 16.


Fans have the opportunity to:

  • Take photos with the “stars” of the movie – Lightning McQueen, Cruz Ramirez and Jackson Strong
  • Participate in a host of family-friendly activities
  • Race pit crew tire-changing simulation
  • Sample high-octane smoothies
  • Interactive play area featuring locations from the movie
  • Get a first look of the new movie in the Cinetransformer Mobile Movie Theater.

Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway

The 58th running of the legendary Coca-Cola 600 will closeout Race Week in Charlotte.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band Lynyrd Skynyrd performs for the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race concert at the track.

The 2006 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees performs hits including the Southern rock anthems “Free Bird” and “Sweet Home Alabama” for fans on the Pit Party stage on pit road.

The Pit Party also includes driver appearances and the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert featured on the giant Speedway TV.

Buy a weekend pass that includes access to pit road during the concert and access to several other racing events.

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