With Hurricane Irma apparently heading for a direct hit on South Florida over the weekend, the NASCAR community is reacting.
Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway are all opening their campgrounds for evacuees fleeing the path of the devastating storm closing in on Florida.
Some specific information:
“With severe weather forecasted to directly affect numerous states throughout the Southeast in the coming days, Bristol Motor Speedway’s campgrounds are open to evacuees of Hurricane Irma,” track officials said in a statementFriday. “Evacuees may call toll free 866.415.4158 for more information. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those in the path of the hurricane.”
Charlotte will open its Rock City Campground off Bruton Smith Boulevard. Evacuees can enter through Entrance Z and will have access to bathhouse facilities on speedway property. “We are happy to open our doors to help those needing a place to seek shelter during this difficult time,” said Greg Walter, the executive vice president of Charlotte Motor Speedway. “We look forward to showing them the hospitality for which we’re known and they deserve.”
At Atlanta Motor Speedway, those interested in RV or tent camping should enter the facility at Entrance “E” off GA Highway 19/41. The Unreserved Campgrounds will be on the left. From I-75 and GA Highway 20, campers should see signs to AMS and follow Lower Woolsey road to Entrance “H” and the Speedway Credential Building. Make a right into Speedway property and then another immediate right onto Richard Petty Boulevard. Follow Richard Petty Boulevard and turn left into Entrance “G”. The campgrounds will be on the right.
Talladega Superspeedway will offer campground space with hot shower and restroom facilities, as well as water hookups on gravel and grassy areas – free to evacuees seeking temporary refuge.
“Our track is committed to helping our friends in Florida and the surrounding states during this time of need,” Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch said. “We hope to provide a sense of relief by offering a place to stay for no charge for evacuees during this time of adversity. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in the path of the storm.”
For more information, please contact the Talladega Superspeedway guest services department at (256) 761-4709.
Meanwhile, at Richmond Raceway, site of Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, several drivers including Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth are carrying paint schemes dedicated to victims of Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Houston, and the anticipated damage Irma will cause.
“We saw what happened down in the Houston area and the devastation that is there and also looking in the future the next few days of what Florida looks like could possibly happen there,” said Logano. “Obviously we need all hands on deck. If we are able to help out in any little way we should. It is what we should do as contributing members of our society. We should be thinking with our heart at this point. There are a lot of innocent people getting hit hard by these storms lately.”
“We got the Red Cross on there (sponsoring his car), the St. Bernard Project to give money to both of those places, so, yeah, it’s obviously a terrible thing in Texas,” said Kenseth. “Toyota moved their headquarters to Texas here recently, so they’re not real far removed from that. Obviously with another one (hurricane) coming, there’s a lot of people that need a lot of help.”