Charlotte Motor Speedway began its historic 60th anniversary season in dynamic style on Monday, with Team Penske drivers Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney joining Wood Brothers Racing’s Matt DiBenedetto and world-class Chef Robert Irvine for a host of announcements and preseason festivities.
Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith and Greg Walter, Charlotte Motor Speedway’s executive vice president and general manager, unveiled an agglomeration of attractions for the upcoming season.
· Elvis Presley’s iconic pink Cadillac at the April 2-5 Pennzoil AutoFair
· Every ticket to the May 16 NASCAR All-Star Race is a pit pass
· Chris Janson’s pre-race concert at the All-Star Race
· Chef Irvine’s exclusive Coca-Cola 600 suite menu
· Details on a Mission 600 visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
“When my dad (Bruton Smith) started to move dirt out here on what was a farm in 1959, I’m not sure he ever imagined it would be this big,” Smith said. “He’s got a great vision for big things, but I think what’s happened (with Charlotte Motor Speedway) in the last six decades is just the start of what we’ll see going forward in the next 60 years.”
Logano, the 2016 NASCAR All-Star Race winner and a past winner of the speedway’s 500-mile Bank of America fall race, believes Charlotte Motor Speedway’s penchant for innovation has made it a trendsetter for six decades and counting.
“The way they don’t have a fear to try something new is what sets (Speedway Motorsports) apart and in general, more Charlotte Motor Speedway,” Logano said. “There’s a lot of great things that came from the ROVAL™. … There’s just something going on here all the time and I think that’s key. You see it at a lot of race tracks today and I think it started here.”
With Team Penske having succeeded at each of Charlotte’s premier races, the challenge placed on Logano, Keselowski and Blaney for 2020 is simple: earn Team Penske’s first Coca-Cola 600 victory since 2010.
“As a Coca-Cola driver, what it means to Coke to have one of us win, I know it’s a big deal because I’ve seen it and I’ve heard about it plenty of times,” Logano said. “It’s one of the iconic races that we have. We look at it as a crown jewel.”
— Charlotte Motor Speedway —