Charlotte Motor Speedway Theme Week concludes today here at the CRO Blog. This week we reviewed the recent Charlotte Spring AutoFair, detailed the Richard Petty Driving Experience, the greatest race in Charlotte Motor Speedway history and details on the upcoming Coca-Cola 600. Today we feature the 3 greatest cars to race on the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Home to numerous races including three Sprint Cup races, the NHRA Carolina Nationals and the World of Outlaws finals, the Charlotte Motor Speedway is one of the most popular race facilities in the world. With five tracks and over a half dozen race series competing at the facility, it begs the question: What’s the greatest car to drive there?
The Team Menard IndyCar
Concerns over safety and tire wear have kept speeds in check on the Speedway oval for the past 15 years, which is why the record for a qualifying lap has stood for so long. In 1998, Tony Stewart clocked a time of 24.49 seconds with an average speed over 183 mph in the Team Menard IndyCar, 2.5 seconds faster than the NASCAR record set last year by Kurt Busch. It may be several more years before technology catches up to allow anyone to beat that record.
A Legends Racer
How do you make a small fortune in racing? Start with a large fortune.
That joke is as old as racing itself, which is why the Legends series was formed. It aims at recapturing the amateur aspect of classic NASCAR with inexpensive spec races on Speedways. The cars may have bodies emulating classic racecars, but underneath is a modern tube frame weighing 1,300 lbs. powered by a 1250 cc Yamaha motorcycle engines. With new racecars costing around $13,000, the series makes high speed racing accessible to amateurs.
The first Legends prototype debuted at Charlotte, so it’s only fitting that the series’ championship race, the Legends Big Money 100, takes place here every July.
A NASCAR Sprint Cup Car
Obviously, the ultimate driving experience on the Speedway would be taking on the Coca-Cola 600 in a Sprint Cup car. However, many fans may not know that they too can take a racecar out onto the track. The NASCAR Driving Experience puts fans in real cup cars, and since almost every team does testing at Charlotte, it’s often possible to arrange to drive a car from a specific team. Fans who want the experience the speed of a racecar without having to get behind the wheel of a very expensive machine have a fun option. Ride-alongs allow fans to sit in on test laps with their favorite drivers, reaching speeds up to 165 mph.
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