Lowe's Motor Speedway

From Academic Kids

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Lowe's Motor Speedway (formerly Charlotte Motor Speedway) is a superspeedway in Concord, North Carolina, a few miles north of Charlotte. It features a 1.5 mile long quad-oval track that seats 167,000 people, with room for 50,000 more spectators in the infield. Constructed in 1959, it was the first speedway to host nighttime racing (in 1992) and to offer year-round residences (in 1984) with 52 condominiums now available over turn one. It is presently owned by, and is the main facility of, Speedway Motorsports. The speedway is considered the center of NASCAR, with 90% of NASCAR teams being based within 50 miles.

Along with the main oval, the speedway also has a 2.25 mile road course in the infield, an 0.6 mile kart course in the infield, a quarter-mile oval using part of the front stretch and pit road, and an 0.2 mile oval outside turn three. Also, across U.S. Highway 29 from the speedway is the Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway, opened in May 2000.

The facility is considered one of the busiest sports venues in the country, with typically over 380 events a year. Along with many races, the speedway also hosts the Food Lion Auto Fair twice a year, one the nation's largest car shows. Movies and commercials are filmed there, like Days of Thunder, and it is a popular tourist stop and testing grounds.

In February 1999, Lowe's bought the naming rights to the speedway, making it the first race track in the country with a corporate sponsor.

The Indy Racing League (IRL) tried open-wheel racing a few times at Lowe's, but this ended after an accident during the VisionAire 500 on May 1, 1999 that killed three spectators and injured eight others. A car hit the wall, losing a tire, which was then propelled into the stands by another car. Following the accident, a short series of bombings took place in Lowe's home improvement stores in North Carolina, injuring three, and prompting some to think there may be a link with a relative of one of the victims. When George Rocha was arrested for the bombings, he claimed that he was angry about the crash at the speedway, but he later confessed that it was retribution for being caught shoplifting and an attempt at extortion.

During a "Race Week", Concord can balloon by over 200,000 people, temporarily making it the third largest city in North Carolina.

The ARCA ReMax Series races here, and for several years, an ARCA racer died in either a race or practice. The last person to die at Lowe's Motor Speedway was Eric Martin from Hixson, Tennessee, on October 9 2002. Martin lost control of the car and Deborah Renshaw plowed into Martin's car at 160 MPH killing him instantly, as a result of this, spotters must be spotting in all practice sessions.

See also: List of NASCAR race tracks

Current Races


External link

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