Dale Earnhardt Jr. took theworld's largest high definition television for a spin earlier today at Charlotte Motor Speedway by taking virtual laps around the legendary1.5-mile track using an iRacing simulation.
Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte MotorSpeedway, invited Earnhardt Jr., an avid video gamer, to show off his skills on the giant HDTV.
For its operational debut, Smith and Earnhardt Jr. used an oversized remote to power on the 200 foot-wide, 80 foot-tall HDTV, created by Panasonic, to reveal a highlight video of past racing action
at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
"Charlotte sets the standard for the rest of the tracks," said Earnhardt Jr. "They always do things first and do things the biggest and look, here we are today with another first from them. Charlotte holds a special place in a lot of drivers' hearts, mine included and the big TV makes this place even more special.
"The Coca-Cola 600 is one of the best events we have all year long. Now fans can get a ticket to the race and have the experience of the live event with the comfort of their own TV at home with this big TV," Earnhardt Jr. continued. "This place just keeps getting better."
"This giant Panasonic HDTV will be a game changer for our fans on race day," said Smith. "It will give them a whole new way to experience a NASCAR event at Charlotte Motor Speedway."
Today's event signaled the completion of the Panasonic HDTV project, which took up to 57 workers a day, working more than 11,000 man hours, more than four months to construct. The 332-and-a-half-ton structure is the largest HDTV in the world. The 158 panels that make up the face of the television's screen will be illuminated by nine million LED lamps during select events at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Sam Bass, the official artist of Charlotte Motor Speedway, was also on hand to unveil the souvenir race program covers for the 27th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and 52nd running of the Coca-Cola 600 on the gigantic screen.