Charlotte Motor Speedway is celebrating its 60th birthday with a few changes. Speedway Motors president Marcus Smith announced Monday this yearâs program updates, which include extending pit passes to ticket-holders for the NASCAR All-Star Race, featuring Elvisâ car at Aprilâs Pennzoil AutoFair and signing country music singer Chris Janson as a pre-race performer.
Smith was joined by celebrity chef Robert Irvine, a self-described âNASCAR aficionado,â for the kickoff event. Irvine served as the grand-marshal for the Coca-Cola 600 two years ago and has helped create track suite menus.
âYou fit right in with our crew and our fans,â Smith told Irvine, who founded the Robert Irvine Foundation to support military veterans. âSo many veterans in the stands.â
Team Penske drivers Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney, as well as Wood Brothers Racing driver Matt DiBenedetto, were also present for the event.
Hereâs whatâs new this year:
Janson is a platinum-selling country music artist known for his songs âDrunk Girl,â âFix a Drinkâ and âBuy Me a Boat.â In October, his single âGood Vibesâ reached No. 1 on Billboardâs Country Airplay chart. Janson will perform before this yearâs NASCAR All-Star Race on May 16th.
Fans who purchase tickets for the All-Star Race will also have pit access for no additional cost, in addition to the pre-race concert.
A pit pass offers fans âup-close access to drivers and cars.â
âEvery fan who buys a ticket to the race will have a chance to get out on the new synthetic turf, get up close for the concert and enjoy what this day is all about,â said Charlotte Motor Speedway general manager Greg Walter. âWe want this to be the peopleâs race and do something special for the fans.â
Elvis Presleyâs iconic 1955 pink Cadillac will be available to view during the Pennzoil AutoFair. The show runs April 2-5 and October 22-24, but the car will only be on display during the April event. Presley played a NASCAR driver in the 1968 film âSpeedway,â which was filmed at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
April 15th, a wreath will be placed at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery on behalf of Charlotte Motor Speedways. This is an honor typically reserved for dignitaries, medal of honor recipients and heads of state. The track has a longstanding relationship with the military and has partnered with the Department of Defense for events such as the Mission 600.
âItâs amazing that our drivers and our sport truly appreciate what the military does for us,â said Greg Walter.
The Memorial Day weekend race will feature cosmetic updates to the champions lot.
âGreg has just spent a ton of money on upgrading, renovating and delivering a beautiful motorcoach lot for our champions of the Coca-Cola 600,â Smith said.
Speedway officials said they are also putting in a new infield karting track for the race.
A complete schedule of events can be found at: https://www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/events/