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Charlotte Motor Speedway Bringing Back Afternoon Racing

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In hopes of a better on-track product, Charlotte Motor Speedway announced this year’s Bank of America 500 will be run on Sunday, October 8 in the afternoon. Since 2002, the event has been run on Saturday night. 

“We’ve heard from fans and from several drivers about how much fun it is to race during the daytime at Charlotte Motor Speedway,” said Marcus Smith, speedway president and general manager. “A return to ‘Daylight Racing Time’ also builds on our commitment to being ‘FANS FIRST’ by providing families with affordable, world-class entertainment on a Sunday afternoon. Everyone should set their clocks for ‘Daylight Racing Time,’ because it’s going to be an unforgettable weekend of racing.”

The move has been applauded by drivers, with Jimmie Johnson saying it should be a really exciting event.

“Charlotte’s so tricky, especially when the sun’s out,” Johnson said. “And, the track’s finally aging and getting to a place with a lot of character (so) that a day race will allow us to run so many more lanes and, I think, create such an entertaining and compelling race.”

“You’ve got a better opportunity for a good race during the day,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. “There’s a bit of a science to it – the track surface is hotter, the track is slicker and the groove is wider. You want guys sliding around, having to get out of the gas and able to move around. That’s why I think Charlotte races better during the day. In practice during the day, you see us running against the wall and moving all over the place. That’s what you’d see in the race. I think this is a good move for Charlotte.”

Despite the schedule change, qualifying will remain under the lights, taking place Friday, October 6, with the XFINITY Series race run as an afternoon event on Saturday.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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Ashley McCubbin

Currently the Executive Editor for Popular Speed, Ashley McCubbin also runs Short Track Musings, while handling media relations for OSCAAR. Currently living in Bradford, Ontario, she spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area taking photos.