CONCORD, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Just hours away from the first race of the Coca-Cola 600 weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, fans were getting excited.
For so many in the Charlotte area, the event is a tradition, one that stopped last year, but they’re ready to pick it back up again.
A neighborhood pops up just east of the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Whether you’re near Cathy or sitting around the corner with Phil and Pat, there’s a sense of community around every turn.
“I just love smelling the racing fuel,” one fan told FOX 46. “It gets my adrenaline going!”
Some have been coming to the Coca-Cola 600 for years, while others are just coming in.
“When they all go by at the same time, ‘woosh’! Then about 30 seconds later, you get that ‘woo!’ You can’t get that on TV,” said Phil Carnes, who has been coming to the race for 12 years.
This is the biggest event in Charlotte since COVID and many here say they came prepared.
“I am vaccinated,” Pat Carnes told FOX 46. “I’ve had my two shots, I do wear my mask. I was just looking forward to coming to Charlotte because I love it here.”
“I feel that people are wise enough, they’re using precautions. I’ve got my shot,” said Cathy McCulloch, a 10-year Coca-Cola 600 veteran. “Whether you get the shot or not it’s up to you.”
Many fans agree that they understand the risks, but are ready to watch the races, together.
When it comes to picking the winner though, that’s something they just can’t agree on.
“Kevin Harvick winning!” one fan said.
“Barton’s my guy! Come on 19!” said another.
FOX 46 will have LIVE coverage from the Charlotte Motor Speedway all weekend. Tune in starting at 4:30 p.m. Sunday when the FOX 46 Sports Team will have the latest updates on the big race.