Attending the #Cars3Bloggers event in Charlotte in September was one of the highlights of my year. I got to cross a few things off my Bucket List that I honestly didn’t even realize were on there. I became a member of the PIT crew and was able to learn some good teamwork with my fellow journalists. The fun didn’t stop there though. I was also lucky enough to go around the Charlotte Motor Speedway in a GENUINE NASCAR vehicle doing Hot Laps at 170 MPH. It was a pretty epic few days.
Charlotte Motor Speedway
For more than 50 years, Charlotte Motor Speedway has set the standard for motorsports entertainment and evolved into “The Greatest Place to See the Race.” Nestled in the heart of NASCAR country, the Mecca of Motorsports is the only race vacation destination where fans can immerse themselves in the sport by taking in an event at the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway and visit race team shops and the NASCAR Hall of Fame in the same weekend. Generating a regional economic impact of approximately $451 million annually, the speedway hosts three premiere NASCAR events each year – the NASCAR All-Star Race, the Coca-Cola 600 and the Bank of America 500 – as well as more than three dozen other events for automotive and motorsports enthusiasts of all ages. Charlotte Motor Speedway’s basic philosophy is to always put “Fans First” and create memories that last a lifetime for all that pass through the gates.
Fun Facts About The Speedway
- The land Charlotte Motor Speedway now occupies was the site of a working plantation during the Civil War.
- President George Washington ate lunch and rested in a house that once served as the speedway’s offices.
- During a typical race weekend, fans consume more than 34,000 slices of pizza, 9,500 gallons of soda and water, 13,500 feet of hot dogs and 309,000 pounds of ice.
- Charlotte Motor Speedway became the first modern superspeedway to host night racing in 1992.
- In 2011, Charlotte Motor Speedway set a Guinness World Record with the debut of the world’s largest HDTV at a sports venue, spanning nearly 16,000 square feet of viewing pleasure for fans.
Even just walking into the Charlotte Motor Speedway was a treat. It’s just so massive. I honestly didn’t think it was that big. Even though I come from the south and many members of my family love NASCAR I didn’t realize how cool it actually was. Even just getting in the car was cool. The feeling of going 170 MPH? That’s something you can’t describe. No wonder these guys love this sport so much. Here’s a video of me taking the ride around the track and asking my driver to “Go Fast, but please don’t kill me.”
Next, we headed to the Performance Instruction & Training (PIT), which is a one of a kind training center where I learned how hard it is to be a member of these Pit Crews. The first thing they drilled into us was “Go Slow to Go Fast.” I know that seems like an oxymoron, but there is so much truth in that saying. Another saying that held a lot of meaning to me after was “Teamwork makes the Dream Work.” Working on a PIT Crew requires you to listen to your parnters and help each other. You are all working on the same goal. To get your race car back out on the road.
At Pit Crew U I learned how long it takes for normal pit stop. To change all 4 tires, fuel up, and get your vehicle back out on the road normally takes only 12 seconds. Yes, you read that right. Only 12 seconds people. My crew and I weren’t the best of the day, but we came in a close second. Our crew came in at 33.5 seconds and I’m super proud of us. I was the “tire changer” which mean I out on the tires with the gun and took them off. I have such admiration for the guys who do this and do it well.
Disney and Pixar present CARS 3, a fast-paced new tale of Lightning McQueen, his classic CARS friends and a new spirited trainer Cruz Ramirez! Lighting finds himself pushed out of racing by a new generation of faster and younger cars and goes on a journey to discover where he belongs in this new type of high-octane competition. CARS 3- the third film in the now-iconic CARS film franchise—will cruise home Digitally in HD on Tuesday, Oct. 24!
***Disclosure: I attended the #Cars3Bloggers Event My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney All opinions are 100% mine. ***