From Tailgate To Trackside: NASCAR Is Comin' Home to Charlotte

Kara MartinSenior Analyst IOctober 16, 2009

After a brief hiatus, I am pleased to announce the return of "From Tailgate to Trackside!"

With just six to go before we crown a new champion, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series comes home this weekend to North Carolina’s Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

The running of the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America means we’re halfway there and for some Chase drivers, they are indeed living on a prayer. So take my hand and we’ll make it I swear as we go from tailgate to trackside in NASCAR’s hometown of Charlotte.

Lowe’s Motor Speedway was designed and built in 1959 by O. Bruton Smith and one of NASCAR’s first drivers, Curtis Turner. The 1.5-mile super speedway hosted its first race, the World 600 on Jun. 19, 1960 where Joe Lee Johnson took the checkered flag for only the second and final time in his short racing career.

The following year the track fell into Chapter 11. After much needed reorganization it emerged a success. Smith chose to pursue other business ventures and left the speedway behind in 1962, only to regain control of its day-today operations in 1975 and hired H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler as the speedway’s general manager.

The pair, committed to the ultimate in customer satisfaction worked tirelessly to build a state of the art venue. In 1984, LMS became the first sporting facility in America to offer condos that overlook the speedway.

In the early 90's, Smith and Wheeler added a $1.7 million permanent reflective lighting system, making LMS the first modern superspeedway to host night racing. "The revolutionary lighting process uses mirrors to simulate daylight without glare, shadows, or obtrusive light poles.”

Class Dismissed, Mama We're Comin' Home!

LMS offers a wide array of camping to fit every budget. The infield accommodates down and dirty, bring your own tent style camping all the way up to the modern hookups and conveniences for motor homes of every size.

Have no fear, tents are separate from the motor homes for your safety because of the carbon monoxide they produce.

Standard camping is also located around the outside perimeter of the track as well as near by with shuttle service available.

As an added bonus, the Thomas Johnson Campground Pavilion will be featuring the Redneck Olympics this weekend, so come prepared to catch a greased pig. Which leads us into our next segment.

What the Fans Be Grillin?

We are in North Carolina y’all so naturally the first thing that comes to mind is barbecue. It would be considered a sin not to indulge in one of Carolina’s most recognized and sought after delicacies while attending a race.

Serve it up with some coleslaw, a side of baked beans, sweet potatoes, hushpuppies, grits (yes, I said grits!), swallow it down with some local moonshine and you've got yourself a real southern feast.

North Carolina is also the home of Pepsi and Krispy Kreme donuts, so eat up; I can't think of a better combination than that!

*For the record I do not condone the ingestion of most home made 'shine; please drink responsibly and at your own risk!

"Badly-produced moonshine can be contaminated with toxin, mainly from materials used in construction of the still. Stills employing used automotive radiators as a condenser are particularly dangerous; in some cases, glycol products from antifreeze lead at the connections to the plumbing. Both glycol and lead are poisonous and potentially deadly."

Making the Most of Your Race Day Experience

With Charlotte being NASCAR’s very own ground zero, you can bet the weekend on and around the track will be chock full of things to do! There are many scheduled autograph sessions, fan fests, cornhole tournaments, and every thing else in between to make your race weekend a great success.

With the unseasonably cool weather this weekend, fans will need to find creative ways to keep warm. Head inside for a race shop tour , get active on the track for the NASCAR Foundation's Track Walk , take in a few hot laps around the track with the NASCAR Racing Experience , or just get lit at the Coors Light Tailgate Zone .

Whatever you chose, it is sure to be an exciting weekend. Check out the Fan Guide to Fun and other events at .

For more news and notes, be sure to check out Bleacher Report's own David Yeazell as he reports trackside from LMS this weekend.