Icons of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s past, present and future were on display in a special event on Thursday at the speedway’s avenue of flags.
In honor of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s 60th season, speedway officials unveiled a commemorative historical marker that will stay beside the avenue of flags. Additionally, officials revealed a 1960 Buick Invicta car like the one used for promotional purposes entering the inaugural Coca-Cola 600 in 1960 – and Richard Childress Racing, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year – showed off one of its most spectacular paint schemes.
RCR Chairman and CEO Richard Childress joined drivers Austin Dillon and Daniel Hemric as well as Speedway Motorsports, Inc. President and CEO Marcus Smith and Charlotte Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Greg Walter in the festivities. Dillon and Childress revealed the striking, red-and-black No. 3 Coke Zero Sugar car that Dillon will drive in the 60th Coca-Cola 600 on May 26.
“One of the things that I tell people I learned from my dad (founder O. Bruton Smith) is that the vision he had for Charlotte Motor Speedway is far beyond what I or most NASCAR people thought Charlotte Motor Speedway could be,” Smith said. “That vision which started in 1959 and emerged into what it is today – it’s certainly pretty cool and very impressive.”
Childress, who first visited the speedway in 1967, has celebrated six Coca-Cola 600 wins with Dale Earnhardt, Kevin Harvick and Dillon, his oldest grandson.
“Charlotte Motor Speedway has meant so much to this area and all over the world,” Childress said. “For us to win (the Coca-Cola 600) six times has been great, but the thing they’ve done here at Charlotte is bring NASCAR to a whole new level with the racing, the fans and the things they’ve brought. There’s always something special here at Charlotte.”
Dillon’s victory in the 2017 Coca-Cola 600 – his first premier-series win – ranks No. 1 on his and Childress’ list.
“Winning the Coke 600, there was nothing like it,” Dillon said. “Being tied with Coca-Cola since the beginning of my Cup Series career and getting to represent them with a full Coke Zero sugar paint-out on our car is special. … I can’t wait for the 600. It’s my favorite weekend of the year.”
Coca-Cola 600 tickets, camping and upgrades are available at the gates, by visiting charlottemotorspeedway.com/tickets or calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267).