Charlotte Motor Speedway

5555 Concord Pkwy S
Concord NC 28027
63 Reviews

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Opening Hours

  • Mon: 11:30am-2pm
  • Tue: 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-9pm
  • Wed: 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-9pm
  • Thu: 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-9pm
  • Fri: 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-9pm
  • Sat: 5:30pm-9pm


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Just northeast of downtown Charlotte past the I-485 beltway lies the 1.5-mile oval Charlotte Motor Speedway. With room for 135,000 people, the track is one of the more famous on the NASCAR circuit, regularly hosting the Coca-Cola 600 and the NASCAR All-State Race. Right in the heart of NASCAR country, the Charlotte Motor Speedway always has a big crowd and an electric atmosphere for big races.

Parking At Charlotte Motor Speedway
For races, parking runs up to $20 for one-day parking, but if you're willing to walk a bit further, free parking in plentiful. Many of the lots are for camping, but there will be tons of signs and traffic regulators to get people to the right places.

Where to Stay Near Charlotte Motor Speedway
In racing history, camping is one of its biggest traditions. Camping is available in many different packages at CMS. It runs anywhere from $100 to $1,000. A mile away at Exit 49 off I-85, there are several chain options from the Embassy Suites to the Suburban Extended Stay to the Hilton Garden Inn. Prices on range from $75 to over $200 but can go up on big race weekends.

Food At Charlotte Motor Speedway
With over 100,000 people for the biggest races, CMS boost too many different types of food to eat, in and out of the track. The food options resemble that of a State Fair with different types of funnel cakes, hot dogs and who knows what. It comes at premium raceday prices at the biggest races, so be prepared for that. You can also bring your own food in an 14 x 14 x 14 cooler.

Beer At Charlotte Motor Speedway
CMS keeps an old tradition alive by allowing fans to bring their own beer into the racetrack under some rules. No glass, nothing illegal, no bigger than a 14 x 14 x 14 cooler. Beer, including an ever-growing list of craft brews, is sold are premium race prices and there are alcohol-free sections for families.

Parking Alternatives at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Besides what's mentioned above, there's not a whole lot of alternatives. With 135,000 seats and adequate parking for every soul, it takes up any alternate options within reasonable distance.

What To Bring To Charlotte Motor Speedway
If you want to save a few bucks, you can bring a cooler (as long as there's no glass inside of it) full of beer and food. Besides that, it's standard stadium rules. No umbrellas, pets or signs. So if it could rain, bring a poncho and a good layer of warm clothes in an extra bag.

Insider Tip For Charlotte Motor Speedway
Get there early. If you get within five miles of CMS close to race time, you'll know it. While there are a couple major highways (I-485 and I-85) within close distance of CMS to help the traffic flow, it's still 100,000-plus people getting into a small area. Also, hold up three fingers on the third lap for Dale Earnhardt. That'll endear you to the regulars.

Author's bio: Thomas Sherrill is a mountain man trying to make his living in Boone, North Carolina.​