Charlotte Motor Speedway GM talks race-day experience

Charlotte Motor Speedway GM talks race-day experience
(MELISSA KEY/CBJ)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte Motor Speedway GM Greg Walter summed up the race track’s first weekend with NASCAR fans back in the stands by praising the Covid-era crowd management plans. But with a caveat.

Quoting boxer Mike Tyson, Walter told CBJ, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

Content Continues Below

The speedway’s punch landed early in the day last Saturday, when some of the 3,500 fans showed up a half-hour before the gates opened.

“We found ourselves having to adapt the protocols,” Walter said. “We had thought through everything. We had gone through this ‘Journey of the Fan.’ We needed to open up the gates just a little bit early, so we didn’t have that congregating at the beginning, that gathering of folks. So, we got staff out there right away.”

Fans will be back in the stands for October races at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Walter attended the Carolina Panthers' NFL game at Bank of America Stadium on Oct. 4, touring the venue with team executives and gleaning insight on ensuring and enforcing enhanced health precautions.

Read the full story here for his take on the return of fans for NASCAR racing.