Speedway Christmas is returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway and the spectacular holiday light show will be even bigger and better in its third year, with a new route, more than three million lights and the unique chance for visitors to drive the track.

Construction has begun on the course, which starts at zMAX Dragway and winds through the 2,000-acre speedway property, into the infield of the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway and onto the track itself.

For the last two years, Speedway Christmas drew thousands from across the state and beyond. This year, one of the nation’s largest holiday light shows, running nightly from Nov. 19-Dec. 30, will offer more holiday excitement for all visitors, says Charlotte Motor Speedway President and General Manager Marcus Smith.

“We’ve got more lights, more displays and more fun, so Speedway Christmas is guaranteed to bring plenty of holiday cheer to all of our guests,” Smith said. “We’re bringing back movie nights and adding some exciting new elements to the Christmas Village that are sure to keep everyone smiling.”

Even before visitors enter Speedway Christmas, they’ll see plenty of festive displays showcased along Bruton Smith Boulevard. The Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CCCVB) and 12 area hotels will decorate Bruton Smith Boulevard and Concord Mills Boulevard with twinkling lights and Christmas decorations.

“Speedway Christmas continues to build on its reputation as a family-friendly event that helps attract thousands of visitors to Cabarrus County during the holiday season,” said Donna Carpenter, President and CEO of the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We have a lot to offer visitors with shopping at Concord Mills and downtown Concord. Speedway Christmas offers visitors the opportunity to view marvelous light displays, a Christmas Village and ice skating rink at the Speedway and zMAX Dragway. All of this enhances Cabarrus County as a fun holiday destination.”

Speedway Christmas will begin with a grand opening at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday, Nov. 19, with a welcome ceremony at 5:30 p.m. The show runs nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. through Dec. 30, excluding Christmas Day. The attraction will feature more than 800 holiday LED light displays along the drive-through course, which includes a cruise around the high-banks of the legendary superspeedway.

On Thursday through Sunday nights, visitors will find even more family entertainment with the Christmas Village in the speedway infield. The village includes marshmallow roasting, a festival of trees, photos with Santa, Bethlehem Village with live actors and animals, and so much more.

New for 2012, visitors can take to the ice on the Coca-Cola Family Ice Rink, a 5,100-square-foot rink constructed with real ice, near the tower of zMAX Dragway. In addition to public skate times, the rink will offer group lessons, private rentals and feature theme nights for added entertainment. The Coca-Cola Family Ice Rink will be open daily from Nov. 16-Jan. 21. Admission is $12, which includes skate rentals.

Admission to Speedway Christmas is $15 per car on nights the village is closed and $20 per car on nights the village is open. Group rates for tour buses and corporate sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or call 1-800-455-FANS (3267).

For daily updates on Speedway Christmas or any speedway activity, connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway by following on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CLTMotorSpdwy or become a Facebook fan at www.facebook.com/charlottemotorspeedway.