In preparation for the 10 Greatest Day in Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway May 17-26, speedway officials are making sure race fans and area residents are fully equipped to handle race day traffic by providing safe and efficient travel routes and information.
With help from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and the City of Concord, Charlotte Motor Speedway is working to ease travel for fans heading to and from the races. Here are tips from Charlotte Motor Speedway and NCDOT:
For motorists traveling from South Carolina:
Take I-77 North to the I-485 outer loop (Exit 1B) to U.S. 29 North (Exit 32) or N.C. 49 North (Exit 33).
For motorists traveling from west of Charlotte:
Take I-85 North to I-485 (Exit 48) to U.S. 29 North (Exit 32) or N.C. 49 (Exit 33). An alternate route is I-85 North to Poplar Tent Road (Exit 52) to Pitts School Road to U.S. 29 South. Through traffic should remain in the left two lanes of I-85 North to avoid delays near Exit 49.
For motorists traveling from east of Charlotte:
Take the I-485 outer loop to U.S. 29 North (Exit 32) or N.C. 49 North (Exit 33).
For motorists traveling from north of Charlotte:
Take I-85 South to Poplar Tent Road (Exit 52) to Pitts School Road to U.S. 29 South.
Officials recommend motorists take the I-485 outer loop to N.C. 49 North, which is usually less congested than other suggested routes.
Commuters that use I-85 can expect delays beginning on Friday afternoon, May 17, and continuing Saturday May 18 as fans make their way to the speedway for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The following week, increased traffic is expected around the speedway May 23-26. Commuters should plan to adjust driving time, if possible, or use an alternate route.
Best Travel Times on Race Days
– It is best to arrive at Charlotte Motor Speedway before 5 p.m. on May 17 for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 and again by 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 23 during LiftMaster Pole Night to avoid commuter traffic.
– The Sprint All-Star Race on May 18 and Coca-Cola 600 on May 26 are both evening races, but fans are encouraged to arrive early to avoid Concord Mills mall congestion. Parking lots open at 7 a.m.
Post-Race Traffic Patterns for the Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600
NCDOT will utilize counter flow patterns after the Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600.
– Traffic exiting from Entrance P onto Morehead Road will counter flow with three eastbound lanes being utilized until Highway 49 in Harrisburg, N.C.
– Those exiting from Entrance O onto Morehead Road will counter flow four lanes westbound out until Highway 29. All lanes will be directed to turn left towards Charlotte.
– Bruton Smith Boulevard will counter flow using three lanes from Entrance Y until Interstate 85.
– Highway 29 will counter flow using three lanes until Pitt School Road in Concord.
– West Morehead Road/Mallard Creek Church Road will counter flow until Salem Church Road.
Post-Race Traffic Patterns for HISTORY 300
NCDOT will only utilize the counter flow patterns for the HISTORY 300 on May 25 if needed. Traffic leaving Concord Mills mall around 5 p.m. may not be able to connect to hotels, restaurants and businesses to the East of the Interstate 85 bridge.
NCDOT will utilize overhead message signs and portable message signs to alert motorists of problem areas and suggested alternate routes around incidents and congestion. The Department advises motorists to check for real time traffic information by calling 511 or by signing up for updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ncdot_charlotte.
Traffic maps are posted on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s website at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/fans/maps/.