Speedway ‘chore list’ expands as Coke 600 will allow full capacity

Nation and World News

CONCORD, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Preparations are already underway at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord to prepare for the Coca-Cola 600. The race will be the first in more than a year where capacity will not be limited.

A few thousand fans were able to attend the Bank of America ROVAL 400 last fall, but there are portions of the track that have sat pretty much dormant for the past 18 months.

“It’s just an exciting time here at the speedway,” said Jonathan Coleman from Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Only crews at the speedway could get excited about power washing more than 50,000 seats and cleaning more than 150 bathrooms. Everything is spread out across nearly 2,000 acres.

The list of chores is longer this year, as the Coke 600 is the first race at the track open at full capacity in more than a year.

“When you take time off everything gets a little bit rusty from our playbooks that we use to get prep done, all the way to some of those facilities that we use. It’s taking a little extra time and extra care to make sure everything is perfect for the fans,” said Coleman.

Perfection and a steady hand were needed as crews painted dozens of giant logos in the tri-oval turf last Friday. About 1,700 gallons of paint will be used on the turf and on the track walls.

The painting has changed over the past few years. During a visit in 2014, FOX 46 found crews painting grass. Today the entire front tri-oval is now synthetic turf. It’s just another advancement for the track.

“Now we have big sprayers that spray a gallon and a half a minute. We use GPS equipment to draw images out on the grass,” said one painter.

Following the running of the Coca-Cola 600, the track will use a cleaning device similar to a “Roomba” that will scrub the turf clean of any paint.

The speedway removed all the grass and replaced it with turf along the front area of the track three years ago. Drivers called for the change for safety reasons and it also prevents damage to the cars during a spin. Track officials have also found that the turf is easy to care for compared to real grass.

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