Charlotte, NC – This past weekend marked another year for a Memorial Day weekend tradition for hundreds of thousands of people from all over the US, and Inside Tailgating was there to witness the entire celebration. Year after year, the Coca Cola 600 is the finale to a week long celebration of racing, concerts, parties, and tailgating!
The Coca Cola 600 is a common attraction for people with campers and RVs. We had the Inside Tailgating RV parked right there with the best of them at Lot U at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. What’s awesome about Race Week in Charlotte is that weeks out from the race, you’ll see people pulling in, firing up the grills, setting up their fold up chairs, propping their feet up on their coolers, and crackin’ a cold one. The week kicked off with the 2011 Sprint All-Star Race and concluded the Sunday before Memorial Day with the Coca Cola 600.
Leading up to the weekend of the Coca Cola 600, Inside Tailgating parked the RV and rolled out all of our tailgating games and the TG4 Challenge to give race fans their shot at winning $10K for a perfect score. We had over 1,000 fans give their best shot at the grand prize for the TG4 Challenge. Way to go NASCAR fans!! Joining us were Fetha Stix fishing rods and BassMaster Elite Series angler Andy Montgomery, the Mountain Khakis crew were even there dishing out free khaki shorts and pants, and we had the Porta-Party gang heating up the scene. Did you guys get to check out the luxury Varsity Motor Coach parked with us? It’s the ultimate tailgating RV!
The most active tailgating area around the Charlotte Motor Speedway is hands down the Rock City Campground. Hundreds of groups of people flocked to this area to park their RVs for a week long tailgating extravaganza. Right as we cruised into the area with our golf carts we found nothing other than a full-on wrestling ring (probably should’ve anticipated that one). Moving on and passing hundreds of cars and RV’s, we came to the very back corner of Rock City and found a gentleman with a newly painted A-Team themed RV, banquet tents, hot tub, trampoline, 2 projection screen tvs, and homemade stage with a shiny (ahem…) pole in the middle.
The daily parking lots were also throbbing with race fans. On Sunday, seas of cars flooded the open fields right outside of Charlotte Motor Speedway. If attendees weren’t walking through the concessions and give-away promo booths, they were flooding the lots, playing games, grilling out, crackin’ jokes, and enjoying some ice cold beverages.
As the hot Carolina sun beat down on the Inside Tailgating gang, we hit the lots with our video crew by to talk with tons of other tailgaters coming from all over the country. Tailgaters flocked from as far as California and Maine to the Charlotte Motor Speedway and they weren’t disappointed by the action. On the final lap, the leader, Dale Earnhardt, Jr ran out of gas in plain sight of the checkered flag allowing Kevin Harvick, who hadn’t been a threat for 600 miles, to pass and take the checkered flag. The loss added one more race to Jr.’s 104 race losing streak.
If you are a rabid NASCAR fan or have never been to a race, the 600 is one you should definitely come out to see. If not for the racing, definitely come out for tailgating. If you have time, come a week or two early. That’s when the party starts! See you guys there next year. Be sure to check out our pictures to see the NASCAR tailgating scene in action HERE.