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Jul
22

Eight Must Do Things At Next Weekend’s Charlotte Half Mile

Posted by Vicki Smith on July 22nd, 2016 at 12:56 pm

 

Vicki Smith Photo

Vicki Smith Photo

Two Words – Come. Early.

American Flat Track racing, a 90 year old sport often described as the first “extreme sport” is coming to the Charlotte Motor Speedway complex next weekend to The Dirt Track at Charlotte and it’s not going to look like any flat track race you have ever seen.

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Johnny Lewis (#10) come up thru the pack (Vicki Smith Photo)

AFT events, the brand new in-house event promotion company of AMA Pro Racing is coming out of the box swinging with the intention of seriously raising the bar on what this brand of racing looks like and how a fan spends their day at the races.

Here are eight must do things at next weekend’s races:

Take a new Harley Davidson for a spin. The Carolina Harley Davidson Dealer Association is the title sponsor and on Friday and Saturday from 10am – 4pm anyone 18 or older with a desire to check out this iconic brand can sign up and take a ride.  Don’t know how to ride?  Talk to them anyway, they have a new rider program that is available Friday and Saturday as well. (free, no ticket required)

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Drive a real race simulator and try and beat the lap time of the International Motor Sports Association’s championship leading team driver, Dane Cameron. This isn’t some video game, these are the big bucks’ simulators actually used by the world’s top race drivers, but this weekend they are going to let mere mortals take a spin.  Even if you don’t win the time challenge, just getting to try out a piece of equipment of this caliber makes you the winner.  While you are there, take advantage of the unusual close up fan access and make sure you get a good look at the Action Express Racing Team – again, not something many people can normally do. (free, no ticket required)

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Enjoy some live music. And not some local garage band either – the CHDDA Charlotte Half-Mile has lined up a North Carolina favorite. Burlington’s Drew Foust & the Slim Pickins. If you have an ear for Blues, Folk, Roots-Rock or Americana they put on a memorable show.  (free, no ticket required)   Prefer a hopping DJ mix?  No problem. In addition to the concert, top sporting event DJ Scott Beaty will be playing music inside the stadium beginning at 2:00 p.m. Beaty has performed at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the last 25 years, as well as other major sporting events such as the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four, NBA All-Star Weekend and several others. (ticket required) Like we said, there’s a LOT going on.charlotte schedule

Picnic! Take a stroll and check out the food choices. If you are looking for a paper thin burger with a stale bun you are going to be disappointed. This event has foodies on staff and they aren’t serving anything they wouldn’t line up to eat themselves. Housemade ice cream, Wonuts (you NEED to try this, it’s a fried waffle with donut toppings and it’s the latest foodie craze), BBQ, Veggie grilled cheese sammies, there’s even a Nathan’s hot dog stand in the Kid’s Zone. Maybe two more words – Come. Hungry. (Food trucks are located both inside and outside the venue so access to some of these requires an admission ticket, these are $29 at the door but can be found discounted 2 for 1 at Speedway Harley Davidson this weekend while supplies last)

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Fans Zone/Kids Zone – So much is going on in the Fan Zone and the Kids Zone within it that it’s more than we can list here (and it’s all free). For adults Indian Motorcycles is coming with it’s impressive lineup, Greenville’s Dudley High School’s national award winning AVT Team will be on hand to display it’s Shell Eco-Marathon winning alternative fuel vehicles, there are minimotos and scooters, more motorcycle displays and the full range of the new AFT apparel line which debuts at the Charlotte Half Mile. The Kids Zone has an inflatable slide, rock climbing wall, and an obstacle course.  Kid’s 13 and under are free into the race with an accompanying adult.

Andrea Wilson Photo

Andrea Wilson Photo

Dunlop Fan Walk – Ever seen a Flat Track bike up close? Handbuilt frames, no front brakes, and every team has it’s own ideas how to make the magic happen for the rider.  These machines are hard to be fast on, riding them well is a special skill that takes years to master. And the riders are to motorcycle racing like the Special Ops guys are in the military.  Everybody, even the big bucks GP riders know these guys are fearless and skilled on a different level.  (access requires an event ticket)

Kenny Coolbeth Jr. on the Zanotti Harley-Davidson (Vicki Smith Photo)

Stunt Show! BMW factory Rider (and champion freestyler) Chris “Teach” McNeil, fresh off an appearance at World Superbike at Laguna Seca in California will be at the Charlotte Half Mile wowing the crowds with his impressive array of gravity defying stunts. He also teaches Latin. Really. “Ipse est Infigo!” (That’s “He is impressive” in Latin)

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Chris “Teach” McNeil

The Racing – American Flat Track racing is the original extreme sport. It’s been around over 90 years and right now it’s hotter than ever. Rapidly gaining worldwide popularity, it’s a pure test of man and machine. The Charlotte Half-Mile on The Dirt Track at Charlotte is well known for producing close contests and great racing. And, there’s not a bad seat in the house, so last minute or well in advance, as long as there are still seats you can catch some of the wildest racing you will ever see regardless of the number of wheels. (Tickets start at $29 and are available at the gate)

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The Dirt Track at Charlotte is located at 5555 Concord Parkway South in Concord, NC in the Charlotte Motor Speedway Complex.  Tickets can be purchased on site in front of the Dirt Track

Tickets are available on line here: http://www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/ama_pro_flat_track_charlotte_half_mile/   IMG_3914