STORY/PHOTOS: Charlotte Motor Speedway Spreads Christmas Cheer With Speedway Christmasby Hunter Thomas December 7, 2020 0 comments
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, so if you’re searching for a destination to view more than 4 million lights, then look no further than Charlotte Motor Speedway’s spectacular Speedway Christmas Presented By Count On Me NC.
I’m not surprised that the event is already breaking record attendance this year, because the light show is outstanding. Speedway Christmas is tabbed as the Southeast’s largest drive-thru light show, and already during its 11th consecutive season, Charlotte Motor Speedway has seen its attendance skyrocket by 60% in the first 10 nights.
“Every night so far has been a record night as compared to the same night in years past,” said Charlotte Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Greg Walter. “People are looking for family fun during the Christmas season and there is no more COVID-safe holiday attraction than something you can enjoy from the safety and comfort of your own car.”
Many of the displays are synced to music, so be sure to tune your radio in to 101.3 FM to enjoy the light show that illuminates to the beat of Christmas music. When attendees enter through the backstretch, right at the chicane of the ROVAL, they will continue into Turns 2 and 1 of the traditional track configuration. Once inside of the infield, attendees will navigate through the ROVAL and access roads to view the spectacular light show.
One of the most convenient aspects to the experience is that the track is wide enough so that you can slowly take your time or pull over and watch any of the displays at your own pace. Don’t get out of the vehicle though, because attendees are asked to navigate through the tour without their headlights on. Attendees are guided through the event by following what seems like an endless path of Christmas lights. It’s like you’re driving through the roads of the North Pole.
About a third of the way through, there’s an area where you can park your vehicle and watch Christmas movies on the 16,000 square-foot HDTV. Attendees will depart the ROVAL and enter pit road on the fronstretch, before rounding Turns 4 and 3 and entering the infield once again. Just when you drive through the Gate 26 tunnel, you think that your night is over, but wait, there’s more. Much more! The Speedway Christmas route takes you around the concourse underneath the grandstands that is filled with an array of Christmas light displays.
Speedway Christmas got underway back in November, and it will run through January 17, 2021.
Purchase Express Lane Tickets
Ticket prices vary throughout the week, but I highly suggest that if you are attending Speedway Christmas between Thursday and Sunday, then you need to purchase the Express Lane tickets. This ticket does cost more, but it will allow you to enter the gate more quickly, and that is a huge deal when your vehicle is filled with eager passengers, and the wait to enter is more than an hour long.
Visit https://www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/events/speedway-christmas/ for more information on Speedway Christmas ticket pricing.
When my girlfriend and I arrived at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, it was around 4 p.m. We were the first vehicle lined up in the Express Lane, but the general admission lane already had a handful of cars. By the time we entered the gate to drive onto the track around 5:30 p.m., the entire property was packed with guests, so I highly suggest arriving at the track as early as possible and just enjoy listening to the Christmas music in your car for an hour or so.
Make it a Family Night
There is an area in front of the 16,000 square-foot HDTV to park your car and watch Christmas movies by tuning in to the radio. Take advantage of this and make memories! Pack a dinner or enjoy food from a vendor and make it a family night by enjoying the festive atmosphere and watching popular Christmas movies. I promise you; your family will not forget this experience.
Take Your Time
Although it’s a racetrack, there’s no payout for completing the tour first. The field of cars isn’t paced by a pace car. Attendees choose their own pace, so don’t rush through the displays. Attendees are asked to turn their headlights off so that everyone can see the Christmas lights, so be aware of where you are driving, and if you are going to drive really slowly or come to a stop, then please follow the posted directions and stay out of the main groove of the tour.
Not everyone will want to stop and watch Christmas movies, so once you complete the Speedway Christmas tour, drive down the street and enjoy the restaurants, Concord Mills Mall and other destinations Concord has to offer. Make it a date night. Make it a laid-back fun night. Maybe even before you make your way to Charlotte Motor Speedway, you can stop by some of the race shops.
Check out the photos below that I captured at Charlotte Motor Speedway during Speedway Christmas on Saturday. Please note that the photos don’t do justice due to most displays changing colors as they are synced to Christmas music.