The operators at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be able to cut back on the electric bill later this fall, as the track’s October race, the Bank of America 500, will be run during the daytime.
The race was originally set on the schedule for Saturday night of Oct. 8, but now it will be ran on Sunday, Oct. 9 with a 2 p.m. start time.
“Daylight Racing Time” is what CMS labeled it as in its press release on Thursday, April 20.
The track’s fall race has not been run under daytime conditions since 2002. That event was delayed over three hours for a rain delay, causing it to be finished after sunset with surprise winner Jamie McMurray in Victory Lane. NBC received a ratings boost towards the end of the broadcast, which caused the track to move the event to Saturday night for future years.
The race was a Sunday afternoon affair from 1960, the first fall race at the track, to 2002.
According to CMS, the move is designed to create better racing on the track, as well as make it more of a family atmosphere.
“We’ve heard from fans and from several drivers about how much fun it is to race during the daytime at Charlotte Motor Speedway,” Marcus Smith, CMS president and general manager, said. “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.”
Many of the drivers seemed to support the move.
“Charlotte’s so tricky, especially when the sun’s out,” seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie 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 … I’m really excited for a hot, slick, day race.”
“I like racing in the day, especially here at Charlotte because it seems like the cars move around more and it’s harder to get a hold of your car,” Kevin Harvick said.
Qualifying for the Bank of America 500 will remain on Friday, Oct. 6, but the XFINITY Series race, the Drive for the Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, is moving to Saturday, Oct. 7 at 3 p.m. to match the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series “Daytime” themed weekend.
All times are subject to change.