Charlotte, NC – Charlotte Motor Speedway will kick off its busiest Thanksgiving week ever on Monday with the grand opening of Speedway Christmas, including special appearances by NASCAR Hall of Famer and five-time Coca-Cola 600 champion Darrell Waltrip and his brother, 1996 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winner and NASCAR team owner Michael Waltrip.
The Waltrip brothers will make a special announcement regarding the speedway’s Season of Giving before helping Charlotte Motor Speedway President and General Manager Marcus Smith turn on the show’s more than 3 million lights and lead the way through opening night at the 3.5-mile holiday extravaganza.
In addition to the Speedway Christmas light show, visitors at opening night will also enjoy the Christmas village, featuring a living Nativity, Festival of Trees, photos with Santa, marshmallow roasting and so much more. The Coca-Cola Family Ice Rink, a 5,100-square-foot outdoor rink located near zMAX Dragway will be open from 4 to 10 p.m.
But that’s just the beginning of a busy Thanksgiving week at the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway. On Thursday, officials will host a public viewing of the Capitol Christmas Tree. The 73-foot Engelmann Spruce, as well as a second tractor trailer filled with decorations for the tree, will stop at zMAX Dragway from 2 to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day en route to Washington D.C. Representatives from the U.S. Forest Service and the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau will be on hand to welcome visitors and share more information about the tree.
And on Friday, shoppers looking for the most unique Black Friday shopping experience around need look no further than the annual Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out at Charlotte Motor Speedway. NASCAR haulers from some of the most popular drivers in motorsports, including Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Danica Patrick, Tony Stewart and more, will offer deeply discounted merchandise to fans. Discounted items will sell for as little as $1, with hats and t-shirts starting as low as $3.
Fans who spend at least $50 on tickets and merchandise or donate at least $25 to Speedway Children’s Charities can drive their personal vehicles around the 24-degree-banked turns of the 1.5-mile superspeedway. In addition, the first 100 who spend at least $100 on NASCAR or NHRA tickets, camping or pit passes will receive a free gift.
“Whether you’re looking to start new holiday traditions with your family at Speedway Christmas or you want to get a head start on holiday shopping for the NASCAR fans on your list, Charlotte Motor Speedway is the place to be next week,” said Smith. “From ice skating and Christmas lights to the Capitol Christmas tree and unbeatable souvenir deals, there really is something here to put a smile on everyone’s face.”
Operating hours for Speedway Christmas will be 6 to 10 p.m., Nov. 19 through Dec. 30, excluding Christmas Day. Tickets are available online or at the gate nightly during event hours for drive-up traffic. Admission is just $15 per car on nights the Christmas village is closed and $20 per car on nights the village is open. Group packages are available.
The Coca-Cola Family Ice Rink, sponsored by New Life 91.9FM will be open daily from Nov. 16-Jan. 21, excluding Christmas Day. Admission is $12, which includes skate rentals. For information about group lessons or private events at the rink, call Extreme Ice Center at 704-882-1830.
For more information about events, camping or tickets, call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com. For daily updates from The Greatest Place to See The Race, connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CLTMotorSpdwy or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/charlottemotorspeedway.