Pit Note No. 5: Hurricane Evacuees Find Refuge at Charlotte Motor Speedway
For Justin Singletary and Kasey Gay from Savannah, Georgia, an order to evacuate their town from Hurricane Matthew led to a memorable getaway at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The two began preparations on Thursday to protect their new home from the hurricane. After preparing for the storm, Singletary and Gay opted to take their brand-new camper to a safer location. They settled on camping in Charlotte Motor Speedway's infield and attending the Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race - the couple's first at the speedway.
"We initially planned on staying in Savannah," Singletary said. "At the last minute we decided to do the really smart thing and evacuate, since it was a mandatory evacuation. We were trying to find out where some good evacuation cities would be. I was speaking to my dad, who is a big NASCAR fan, and we started looking at Charlotte. We thought, 'Let's go watch a NASCAR race and park in the infield with the new camper.' We were pretty excited about that. Now we're here.
"We wanted to make light of the situation," Singletary continued. "We just didn't want to go somewhere. We wanted to make this a good trip and for us to go and have a good time. We'll deal with the problems when we get back. There's nothing we can do right now, anyway."
The two began the four-hour drive from Savannah at 9 p.m. Thursday night. They arrived Friday morning after spending part of the night at an RV-friendly restaurant parking lot.
"Everyone at Charlotte has been so hospitable since we arrived," Gay said. "It's been way more than we could have thought. We knew we were going to have fun but as soon as we got here, it was overwhelming. Everyone is so nice. It's been great. I haven't thought about our house."
The couple plans a return trip - one Singletary hopes will be completely stress-free.
"Charlotte will see us again," Singletary said. "This is our first time here and in the area but we'll definitely come back."
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