At Charlotte Motor Speedway, we were given the “Over the Wall Tour,” and it is something every race and non-race fan should experience. We couldn’t have come to the race track at a better time because the staff was preparing for the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race that is coming up this Saturday night.
While we were at Charlotte Motor Speedway, our tour guide took us around the infield and the track. We were able to experience 24-degree banking at a high rate of speed. Being able to ride around the track was a great experience because you can just imagine what it is like doing that 400 times with 43 cars on the track. Insane.
Riding around the infield was neat as well. One of my favorite moments was being able to experience the media center. The media center is where drivers do interviews all race weekend with radio and print media. While we were at the media center, we were able to go into the auditorium. The significance about this is that only the drivers and their crew chiefs are the ones allowed in the room. Early in the morning or afternoon (depending when the race is) drivers and crew chiefs have to go to a mandatory meeting. The meeting consists of NASCAR officials telling drivers and crew chiefs the rules of the race and any changes that have been made. If a driver fails to make the meeting they are penalized and they will start at the back of the field for the race.
Another thing we were able to experience were the VIP suites at the race track. The three suites we went into were the Coca-Cola, Sprint, and Duke Energy. The VIP suites are where sponsors can watch the race and have a great view of the track. All of their food and beverage is completely free. Well, they paid money to be sponsors, so is it free then? One of the things I thought was interesting about the VIP suites is that there is a certain dress code people have to follow. You have to look professional when you are in one of the suites during a race.
We ended the tour with my favorite spot, and I did not know this was at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Our last visit was to PRN, which is Performance Racing Network. PRN broadcast races from all 8 SMI tracks. Those tracks include Charlotte, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Kentucky, Texas, New Hampshire, Bristol, and Indianapolis. PRN is not a single radio station; they do not have call numbers. It is a syndicated show, and they feed to local radio stations, so listeners can enjoy the broadcast. PRN has commentators and pit road reporters. During a race weekend, they send a crew of about 16 people to broadcast the race. There are weekly shows with guest appearances from the NASCAR drivers themselves.
Overall, I was extremely impressed with the “Over the Wall Tour” at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was definitely an experience that I will always remember and really enjoyed. Both of our tour guides were insightful and entertaining.
–Student Reflection, Emily Spink–Sport Management