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Lowe's Motor Speedway (formerly Charlotte Motor Speedway) is a speedway in Concord, North Carolinamarker, north of Charlottemarker. It features a long quad-oval track that seats 167,000 people, with room for 50,000 more spectators in the infield. Constructed in 1959, it was the first speedway to host nighttime superspeedway racing (in 1992) in the "modern era," the first being the now defunct Raleigh Speedway in 1958, and to offer year-round residences (in 1984) with 52 condominium available over turn one. It is owned by Speedway Motorsports, which has its corporate headquarters on the same property. The speedway is considered the home base of NASCAR, with 90% of NASCAR teams being based within . In February 1999, Lowe's bought the naming rights to the speedway, making it the first race track in the country with a corporate sponsor. Lowe's chose not to renew its naming rights after the 2009 NASCAR season.

Along with the main oval, the speedway also has a road course in the infield, a kart course in the infield, a quarter-mile oval using part of the front stretch and pit road, and an oval outside turn three. Also, across U.S. Highway 29 from the speedway, is a dirt track that opened in May 2000. The oval located between the frontstretch and pit road was constructed in 1991 for a legends race which was part of the Winston weekend. It was designed after Bowman-Gray Stadiummarker.

In 2005, the surface of the circuit had started to wear from its last paving in mid-1994, resulting in the track's treatment in a diamond-grinding process to smooth out bumps. This process, known as levigation, caused major tire problems during both NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series (now Sprint Cup Series) events there, with a record 22 cautions at the showcase Coca-Cola 600, which is considered one of the top five annual NASCAR races. It was the first Sprint Cup Series event to go more than five hours (excluding red flags) in 25 years. Speed increases were also a result of the levigation. After the problem with the tires, the speedway was repaved in 2006. Speeedway President H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler retired following the Coca-Cola 600 on May 25, 2008 and was replaced by Marcus Smith.

Events

ARCA

The ARCA RE/MAX Series raced there until 2004. In 2001 and 2002, Blaise Alexander and Eric Martin were killed in accidents.

NASCAR Cup Series stats

NASCAR records

As of 10/17/09

NASCAR Cup Series race winners

*Rain Shortened
UC=Under Caution
Season Date Winning Driver Car # Sponsor Make Distance Avg Speed Margin of Victory
1960 June 19 Joe Lee Johnson 89 Chevrolet 4 laps
1960 October 16 Speedy Thompson 21 Wood Brothers Ford 1 lap
1961 May 21 Richard Petty 43 Petty Enterprises Plymouth 8 sec
1961 May 21 Joe Weatherly 8 Bud Moore Pontiac 6 cl
1961 May 28 David Pearson 3 Daytona Kennel Pontiac 2 laps
1961 October 15 Joe Weatherly 8 Bud Moore Pontiac 1.5 cl
1962 May 27 Nelson Stacy 29 Holman-Moody Ford 32.35 sec
1962 October 14 Junior Johnson 3 Ray Fox Pontiac 2 laps
1963 June 2 Fred Lorenzen 28 LaFayette Ford 35 sec
1963 October 13 Junior Johnson 3 Holly Farms Chevrolet 12 sec
1964 May 24 Jim Paschal 41 Petty Enterprises Plymouth 4 laps
1964 October 18 Fred Lorenzen 28 LaFayette Ford 1 lap
1965 May 23 Fred Lorenzen 28 Holman-Moody Ford 6.4 sec
1965 October 17 Fred Lorenzen 28 Holman-Moody Ford 3 cl
1966 May 22 Marvin Panch 42 Petty Enterprises Plymouth 2 laps
1966 October 16 LeeRoy Yarbrough 12 Jon Thorne Dodge 18 sec
1967 May 28 Jim Paschal 14 Friedkin Enterprises Plymouth 5 sec
1967 October 15 Buddy Baker 3 Ray Fox Dodge 1 lap
1968 May 26 Buddy Baker 3 Ray Fox Dodge 382.5* mi UC
1968 October 20 Charlie Glotzbach 6 Cotton Owens Dodge 7 sec
1969 May 25 LeeRoy Yarbrough 98 Junior Johnson Mercury 2 laps
1969 October 12 Donnie Allison 27 Banjo Matthews Ford 16 sec
1970 May 24 Donnie Allison 27 Banjo Matthews Ford 2 laps
1970 October 11 Lee Roy Yarbrough 98 Junior Johnson Mercury UC
1971 May 30 Bobby Allison 12 Holman-Moody Mercury 33.9 sec
1971 October 10 Bobby Allison 12 Holman-Moody Mercury 5 sec
1972 May 28 Buddy Baker 11 Petty Enterprises Dodge 23.7 sec
1972 October 8 Bobby Allison 12 Richard Howard Chevrolet 2 cl
1973 May 27 Buddy Baker 71 K&K Ins Dodge 1.8 sec
1973 October 7 Cale Yarborough 11 Kar-Kare Chevrolet 1.4 sec
1974 May 26 David Pearson 21 Purolator Mercury 0.6 sec
1974 October 11 David Pearson 21 Purolator Mercury 1.4 sec
1975 May 25 Richard Petty 43 STP Dodge 1 lap
1975 October 5 Richard Petty 43 STP Dodge 0.26 sec
1976 May 30 David Pearson 21 Purolator Mercury UC
1976 October 10 Donnie Allison 1 Ellington Insulation Chevrolet 12.2 sec
1977 May 29 Richard Petty 43 STP Dodge 30.8 sec
1977 October 9 Benny Parsons 72 1st National City Chevrolet 19.2 sec
1978 May 28 Darrell Waltrip 88 Gatorade Chevrolet 2 sec
1978 October 8 Bobby Allison 15 Norris Industries Ford 30.2 sec
1979 May 27 Darrell Waltrip 88 Gatorade Chevrolet 5.6 sec
1979 October 7 Cale Yarborough 11 Busch Chevrolet 1 lap
1980 May 25 Benny Parsons 27 Melling Tool Chevrolet 0.5 cl
1980 October 5 Dale Earnhardt 2 Mike Curb Chevrolet 1.83 sec
1981 May 24 Bobby Allison 28 Hardees Buick 8.2 sec
1981 October 11 Darrell Waltrip 11 Mountain Dew Buick 31.8 sec
1982 May 30 Neil Bonnett 21 Warner Hodgdon Ford 2 cl
1982 October 10 Harry Gant 33 7-Eleven/Skoal Bandit Buick 2.93 sec
1983 May 29 Neil Bonnett 75 Hodgdon Chevrolet 0.8 sec
1983 October 9 Richard Petty 43 STP Pontiac 3.1 sec
1984 May 27 Bobby Allison 22 Miller High Life Buick 17 sec
1984 October 7 Bill Elliott 9 Coors Ford Thunderbird 14.5 sec
1985 May 26 Darrell Waltrip 11 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo 14.64 sec
1985 October 6 Cale Yarborough 28 Hardees Ford Thunderbird 1 sec
1986 May 25 Dale Earnhardt 3 Wrangler Jeans Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1.59 sec
1986 October 5 Dale Earnhardt 3 Wrangler Jeans Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1.9 sec
1987 May 24 Kyle Petty 21 Citgo Ford Thunderbird 1 lap
1987 October 11 Bill Elliott 9 Coors Ford Thunderbird 2.22 sec
1988 May 29 Darrell Waltrip 17 Tide Chevrolet Monte Carlo 0.24 sec
1988 October 9 Rusty Wallace 27 Kodiak Pontiac Grand Prix 1 cl
1989 May 28 Darrell Waltrip 17 Tide Chevrolet Lumina 0.99 sec
1989 October 8 Ken Schrader 25 Folgers Chevrolet Lumina 3.75 sec
1990 May 27 Rusty Wallace 27 Miller Genuine Draft Pontiac Grand Prix 0.17 sec
1990 October 7 Davey Allison 28 Havoline Ford Thunderbird 2.59 sec
1991 May 26 Davey Allison 28 Havoline Ford Thunderbird 1.28 sec
1991 October 6 Geoffrey Bodine 11 Budweiser Ford Thunderbird 1 cl
1992 May 24 Dale Earnhardt 3 Goodwrench Chevrolet Lumina 0.41 sec
1992 October 11 Mark Martin 6 Valvoline Ford Thunderbird 1.88 sec
1993 May 30 Dale Earnhardt 3 Goodwrench Chevrolet Lumina 3.73 sec
1993 October 10 Ernie Irvan 28 Havoline Ford Thunderbird 1.83 sec
1994 May 29 Jeff Gordon 24 DuPont Chevrolet Lumina 3.91 sec
1994 October 9 Dale Jarrett 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet Lumina UC
1995 May 28 Bobby Labonte 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet Monte Carlo 6.28 sec
1995 October 8 Mark Martin 6 Valvoline Ford Thunderbird 0.97 sec
1996 May 26 Dale Jarrett 88 Quality Care/Ford Credit Ford Thunderbird 11.982 sec
1996 October 6 Terry Labonte 5 Kellogg's Corn Flakes Chevrolet Monte Carlo 3.84 sec
1997 May 25 Jeff Gordon 24 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo 499.5* mi 0.468 sec
1997 October 5 Dale Jarrett 88 Quality Care/Ford Credit Ford Thunderbird 4.142 sec
1998 May 24 Jeff Gordon 24 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo 0.41 sec
1998 October 4 Mark Martin 6 Valvoline/Cummins Ford Taurus 1.11 sec
1999 May 30 Jeff Burton 99 Exide Batteries Ford Taurus 0.574 sec
1999 October 11 Jeff Gordon 24 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo 0.851 sec
2000 May 28 Matt Kenseth 17 DeWalt Tools Ford Taurus 0.573 sec
2000 October 8 Bobby Labonte 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac Grand Prix 1.166 sec
2001 May 27 Jeff Burton 99 Citgo Ford Taurus 3.190 sec
2001 October 7 Sterling Marlin 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid 6.002 sec
2002 May 26 Mark Martin 6 Viagra Ford Taurus 0.468 sec
2002 October 13 Jamie McMurray 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid 0.350 sec
2003 May 25 Jimmie Johnson 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo 414* mi UC
2003 October 11 Tony Stewart 20 Home Depot Chevrolet Monte Carlo 0.608 sec
2004 May 30 Jimmie Johnson 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo UC
2004 October 16 Jimmie Johnson 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1.727 sec
2005 May 29 Jimmie Johnson 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo 0.027 sec
2005 October 15 Jimmie Johnson 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo 0.309 sec
2006 May 28 Kasey Kahne 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge Charger 2.114 sec
2006 October 14 Kasey Kahne 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge Charger 1.624 sec
2007 May 27 Casey Mears 25 National Guard/GMAC Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS 9.561 sec
2007 October 13 Jeff Gordon 24 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS 505.5* mi 0.597 sec
2008 May 17 Kasey Kahne 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger R/T 1.2 sec
2008 October 11 Jeff Burton 31 AT&T Chevrolet Impala .582 sec
2009 May 25 David Reutimann 00 Aaron's Toyota Camry * UC
2009 October 17 Jimmie Johnson 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Impala 2.303 sec


Indy Racing League history

Indy Racing League races were held at the circuit in 1997 and 1998, with Buddy Lazier and Kenny Bräck winning the mid-summer Saturday night 500k (208 lap) races on the circuit. In 1999, the race was moved to the first weekend in May, the last race before the Indianapolis 500marker. On the 61st lap, a crash led to a car losing a tire, which was then propelled into the stands by another car. Three spectators were killed and eight others were injured in the incident.

As reported by IRL announcer Mike King, grandstands in the apex of Turn 1 was closed, but seats in Turns 1 and 2 past the apex were open. Seats outside of Turn 4 were also closed. When attendance grew beyond the 50,000 expected for the race, extra sections of stands were opened, and one of them was the section of track where the debris flew in Turn 4. Buddy Lazier was leading the race at the time of the caution for the Lap 62 crash. After pit stops, Greg Ray was leading the race when the race was abandoned. The race was cancelled after 79 laps, and the IRL did not return.

That incident, and a previous incident in July 1998 in a Champ Car race at Michiganmarker which also killed three spectators (that race was run to its finish), led to new rules requiring cars to have tethers attached to wheel hubs in an effort to prevent such incidents from happening again. New catch fencing was also invented, curved so debris could not sail as easily into the grandstands.

Following the accident, a short series of bombings took place in Lowe's stores in North Carolina, injuring three, and prompting some to think there may be a link with a relative of one of the victims. When George Rocha was arrested for the bombings, he claimed that he was angry about the crash at the speedway, but he later confessed that it was retribution for being caught shoplifting and an attempt at extortion. [69366]

Results

Season Date Race Name Winning Driver Chassis Engine Team
1997 July 26 VisionAire 500k Buddy Lazier Dallara Oldsmobile Hemelgarn Racing
1998 July 25 VisionAire 500k Kenny Bräck Dallara Oldsmobile A.J. Foyt Enterprises
1999 May 1 VisionAire 500k Race abandoned after 79 laps (spectators killed)


Additional uses

1.15 MB
The facility is considered one of the busiest sports venues in the country, with typically over 380 events a year. Along with many races, the speedway also hosts the Food Lion Auto Fair twice a year, one of the nation's largest car shows. Movies and commercials have been filmed there, notably Days of Thunder, and it is a popular tourist stop and testing grounds.

On May 26 2006, the Pixar movie Cars premiered at the speedway, on several monster screens.

The feature of the April 2005 Spring Food Lion Auto Fair at the speedway was a popular sculpture exhibition, Jim Gary's Twentieth Century Dinosaurs. It is a menagerie of Garysauruses, all life-sized, and constructed of automobile parts. A special tent housed the heavily attended exhibition and a huge Gary sculpture, over forty feet long, was displayed at the entrance to the raceway during the entire fair. H. A. "Humpy" Wheeler and the speedway then sponsored the funding for the traveling sculpture exhibition to be featured by Belk College of Businessmarker on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlottemarker where a self-guided tour of the campus-wide display was extended to the end of July.[69367]

During a typical race week, Concordmarker can balloon by over 200,000 people, temporarily making it the third largest city in North Carolinamarker as fans and tourists visit the events at the speedway.

The speedway became home to the first season of Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race in 2007.

In the summer, they host the Summer Shootout Series which is also on SPEED Channel in the Winter months.



Closure threat controversy

In October 2007 a controversy erupted following a Concord city council decision to rezone Speedway land to prevent a dragstrip from being built. Track owner Bruton Smith had already begun grading land for the dragstrip prior to the ruling. The decision came in large part because of concerns from people living in a recently built subdivision that sits around from where the strip would be built.

Threat

Following the decision Bruton Smith threatened to close Lowe's Motor Speedway and build a track elsewhere in Metrolina. When asked if he would go through with the threat Smith replied "I'm deadly serious".

On November 21, 2007, a Speedway spokesperson announced that Smith would not close Lowe's Motor Speedway.[69368]

Dragstrip

In late December 2007, Bruton Smith announced plans for a new dragstrip to be built near the speedway.
 The dragstrip, called the zMax Dragway, was built on a piece of land right across from Highway 29. It is in its first full year of operation. Its events include those from all four of the NHRA's categories, and recently hosted a weekend of Pinks.


The track is unique in that there are records in Pro Stock (car), Pro Stock Motorcycle, but not in Top Fuel or Funny Car. The track opened in September 2008, after the NHRA declared no records would be allowed in Top Fuel or Funny Car because they run to an unofficial 1,000 foot distance, which is the distance of those two classes because of rule changes imposed in July 2008.

Current race records (all series)

Record Year Date Driver Car Make Time Average Speed
(mph)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Qualifying 2005 October 13 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 28.070 192.376
Race (600 miles) 1995 May 29 Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 3:56:55 151.952
Race (500 miles) 1999 October 10 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 3:07:31 160.306
NASCAR Nationwide Series
Qualifying 2005   Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 29.277
Race (300 miles) 1996 May 25 Mark Martin Ford 1:55:23 155.996
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Qualifying 2005 May 20 Mike Skinner Toyota 29.500 183.051
Race (200 miles) 2003 May 16 Ted Musgrave Dodge 1:45:05 114.768


NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Records

Record Year Date Driver Vehicle Time Terminal Velocity
(mph)
Pro Stock Car 2008 Sept. 13 Kurt Johnson Cobalt 6.680 206.95
Pro Stock Motorcycle 2008 Sept. 13 Matt Smith Buell 6.952 192.08


NOTE: NHRA does not keep records for Top Fuel or Funny Car because of the 1,000 foot distance used in those two classes when the track opened.

See also



References

External links




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