Charlotte Motor Speedway is ready to roll with a full house. That will be the case this weekend for NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600, where the stands will be packed to the tune of 50,000 fans.
You read that right — 50,000.
Per the Charlotte Observer, that will make the NASCAR event North Carolina’s largest gathering since the pandemic began more than a year ago.
This is all quite a leap from the original plan of just 30% capacity for the Memorial Day weekend race. But that was before North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper lifted gathering and social distancing restrictions, as well as mask mandates, on May 14.
“We were almost at the threshold of not being able to sell anymore tickets given the six-foot distancing,” Charlotte Motor Speedway president Greg Walter told The Observer. “All of the sudden, it’s been amazing the amount of interest and excitement people have had about the race.”
Or as driver Joey Logano said of the Charlotte race, “I feel like America’s back this week.”
Also, per The Observer: “Celebrities such as talk-show host Jay Leno and The Tonight Show musical director Kevin Eubanks will be involved in the fanfare as co-grand marshals for the race, along with Carolina Panthers All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey, who will drive the pace car before the green flag for the 600-mile crown jewel event aimed at honoring military service members. Panthers safety Jeremy Chinn is also expected to attend.”
The Coke 600 is scheduled for Sunday at 6 p.m. EST and will be broadcast on FOX.
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