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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Charlotte Motor Speedway shows fans enhanced safety measures ahead of ROVAL races

Fans were shown their socially-distanced seats inside the track and more

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Before it hosts fans for the first time in 2020, Charlotte Motor Speedway invited a small select group of spectators to walk through some of the enhanced safety measures in place for this weekend's races.

On Friday, about two dozen fans saw how everything from intake, to conessions, to seating will work at NASCAR's ROVAL races on Saturday and Sunday.

"We're event people, this is what we do," said the track's Executive Vice President Greg Walter. "When we knew that the Governor was going to allow this it was like Christmas."

The speedway was unable to host fans for the Coca-Cola 600 in May, but with the state's move to Phase 3 of Safer at Home, large, outdoor venues are allowed to operate with 7 percent capacity in the building.

For the speedway, that means just under 7,000 fans in the approximately 100,000-seat track.

The fans on Friday's walk through wore face coverings, were administered temperature checks, and experienced mobile ticketing.

In addition, they saw that lines for merchandise would be socially distanced, and food would be served 'grab-and-go,' and all will be cashless.

Over fifty new sanitizing stations have also been installed at the venue.

"I do feel safe," said fan Jacob Lippard from Winston-Salem. "I feel like they've taken the necessary precautions to make sure fans are first."

The best part of the walk-through was the sit down. Fans got to come in to the track and be seated -- socially distanced of course -- in the grandstand just like they will be this weekend.

 "We realized for every four seats sold, it eliminated 16 seats," Walter said. "So it's a bit of a rubix cube by the time you lay it all out." 

And for fans like Brandon Gagnon of Pineville -- who's been attending races for 15 years -- it's great to be back.

"We get to be here, hear the cars and maybe feel some rain," said Gagnon. "It'll be a good time."

The Drive for the Cure 250 (XFinity at 3:30, Saturday) and Bank of America ROVAL 400 (Cup Series at 2:30, Sunday) will air on WCNC Charlotte as the playoffs continue.

Limited tickets are still available for Saturday's XFinity and IMSA races.