Charlotte Motor Speedway: Out To Break Records

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IJanuary 31, 2011

photo credit: Charlotte Motor Speedway
photo credit: Charlotte Motor Speedway

It was not unusual to see construction equipment roll along the back stretch of Charlotte Motor Speedway, after all, they have an unusual construction project underway.

It was surprising to see president and general manager of CMS, Marcus Smith, Jeff Hammond and Mike Joy step from their respective rides wearing hardhats.  They were ready to elaborate on the World's Largest HDTV.

The massive screen will be supported by 12 concrete piers anchored 50 feet into the ground.  The structure will rise 110 feet above the track and measure 200 feet wide by 80 feet tall.

The screen which will have more than nine million LED lights will weigh 165,000 pounds.  Officials equated the weight of the whole project to a fully fueled Boeing 747 aircraft.

Work began to relocate 18,900 cubic yards of dirt and 3,000 cubic yards of concrete.

Smith called the 16,000 square foot screen, "the flat screen to end all flat screens."  He added, "Every time I look out of my office window, I wonder, is it here yet?"

Hammond joked, "My question is, will guys going down the back straight try to look up to see how good they are doing."

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The screen will provide amazing views not only of the race, but replays and important events.  Fans throughout the facility won't miss a thing.

Members of the speedway's Fan Council, whose ideas and suggestions drove the project to reality, were in attendance.

Charlotte Motor Speedway will attempt another record with the "Light Up the Night" event that will take place May 21 during the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.

Thousands of fans will be sporting LED headlights with the help of Energizer.  During pre-race activities, an attempt to break a world record will be monitored by Guinness World Record officials when fans "flash their brights."