CONCORD, N.C. (May 16, 2011) – In preparation for May Race Weeks, Charlotte Motor Speedway officials are making sure race fans and area residents are fully equipped to handle race day traffic by providing safe and efficient travel routes and information.
With help from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), Charlotte Motor Speedway is working to ease travel for fans heading to and from the races. Here are tips from Charlotte
Motor Speedway and NCDOT:
Best Routes Interstate 85 to Exit 49, Bruton Smith Boulevard, is the heaviest-traveled route to Charlotte Motor Speedway during May Race Weeks. The two suggested roads from which to enter the speedway are North Carolina Highway 29 and North Carolina Highway 49. These two roads can be easily accessed by taking Interstate 485.
Best Travel Times on Race Days – It is best to arrive at Charlotte Motor Speedway before 5 p.m. for the N.C. Education Lottery 200 on Friday, May 20, and Thursday, May 26, for Windstream Pole Night, to avoid commuter traffic. – The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 and Coca-Cola 600 on May 29 are both evening races, but fans are encouraged to arrive earlier to avoid Concord Mills Mall congestion. Parking is free and lots open at 7:00 a.m. – The Top Gear 300 starts at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. It is best to arrive as early as possible. Parking lots will open at 7:00 a.m.
Post-Race Traffic Patterns for All-Star, Coca-Cola 600
NCDOT will utilize counter flow patterns after the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 and Coca-Cola 600 on May 29, meaning that all lanes of traffic will flow outward from Charlotte Motor Speedway. – Traffic exiting from Entrance P onto Morehead Road will counter flow with three eastbound lanes being utilized until Highway 49 in Harrisburg, N.C. – Those exiting from Entrance O onto Morehead Road will counter flow four lanes westbound out until Highway 29. All lanes will be directed to turn left towards Charlotte. – Bruton Smith Boulevard will counter flow using three lanes from Entrance Y until Interstate 85. – Highway 29 will counter flow using three lanes until Pitt School Road in Concord. – West Morehead Road/Mallard Creek Church Road will counter flow until Salem Church Road.
Post -Race Traffic Patterns for Top Gear 300
NCDOT will only utilize the counter flow patterns for the Top Gear 300 on May 28 if needed. Traffic leaving Concord Mills Mall around 5:00 p.m. will not be able to connect to hotels, restaurants and businesses to the East of the Interstate 85 bridge.
Public Transportation Option
The Charlotte Area Transit System offers an express shuttle for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600. It will leave from the downtown terminal and costs $7 for a round trip ticket. For more information visit www.ridetransit.org or call (866) 799-2287.
During each race, NCDOT uses nearly 3,500 cones and barrels. There are around 40 static flip signs that are used to inform the traveling public about any changes to the original traffic patterns. All of these are utilized to make traffic as efficient as possible, so that race fans and area residents may have the best experience possible when dealing with race day traffic.
For constant traffic updates, call 511 or follow CMSTraffic, NCDOT or Charlotte Motor Speedway on Twitter. Fans can also sign up for Charlotte Motor Speedway traffic alerts by texting CMS to 69050.
Traffic maps are posted on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s web site at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/fans/maps/.
Tickets are still available for all May race events at Charlotte Motor Speedway and can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Frontstretch tickets with the best views of the world’s largest HD video board, start at just $49 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21. Fans can also purchase two frontstretch tickets for just $99 to the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29.