With the cost of doing business going up, some local NASCAR teams are teaming up with the competition to save money.
On Wednesday morning, hours before the sun came up and days before the big race, more than 140 people from six different race teams boarded a 737 to Florida for the Daytona 500.
In recent years, competing teams splitting travel expenses has become a common practice even among the bigger names in NASCAR, like Richard Childress Racing.
“We all help share expenses and we get our crews to and from the track in a fast, economical way,” RCR travel manager Leslie Britton said.
The NASCAR season lasts 10 months out of the year and some races are as far away as the West Coast. It was more cost-effective for teams to pool their resources and save on things like fuel costs.
Teams can also fly the day of the race, which means they don't have to pay for hotels or to rent cars for several days.
"The less travel time, the more rested they are," Britton said.
In the past, each team would fly their own, often smaller planes and while many teams, drivers and owners still do, RCR saves roughly $1 million in insurance alone by sharing.
To help accommodate bigger planes, the Concord Regional Airport will be resurfaced. An additional 3 inches of asphalt will be added to runways and taxiways thanks to a $5.4 million federal grant.
The project is ready to move forward, but the city is waiting for final approval from the state to use specific funds to match the grant. If the construction can't be started by May or June, the project will be put on hold until after the DNC.