Charlotte Motor Speedway says plans are in place for severe weather

by: Sarah Rosario Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Lightning struck outside a NASCAR race in Lake Pond, Penn., killing a fan and injuring nine others Sunday at the Ponoco Speedway.

Now, officials at the Charlotte Motor Speedway are looking at their safety measures to make sure their fans are safe.

There were 85,000 people at the Ponoco Speedway for the race, which was called off for the storm. The track announcer warned fans to take cover from a thunderstorm.

At any major race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, more than 130,000 fans pack the stadium, which is why officials here are taking a closer look at their safety measures.

“It's always one of those circumstances that makes you stop and take another look at what we're doing,” said Speedway spokesman Scott Cooper.

With a majority of the bleachers made of metal, Cooper said they work hard to update fans about weather conditions through their social media sites and also on their website. They take every measure to make sure fans can take cover.

"We open every structural facility that we have in property and invite those fans to come inside for shelter," he said.

Pennsylvania natives Jim and Cathy Bollendorf called the Pocono Speedway their home track for more than 40 years. They now live in Virginia but have been at a speedway during a storm and said they had plenty of warning. 

"We left and went to our car and sat in our car," Cathy said.

Eyewitness News looked back to find out the last time the Charlotte speedway was evacuated to find out it most recently happened in June. Once the evacuation order is given, the grandstands are evacuated first. Ushers then come through to comb the aisles to make sure every fan makes it out safely.

Racing fans say they will continue to come out, rain or shine.