For years fans have found Charlotte Motor Speedway's Summer Shootout to be an evening full of affordable family fun. The weekly racing extravaganza provides spectators great entertainment without putting a strain on their wallets.

The Summer Shootout Series features drivers from 8-year-old youngsters to Social Security recipients. NASCAR stars Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, David Ragan, Reed Sorenson and Joey Logano are among those who honed their skills in the 10-week series that runs every Tuesday night through August 11.

With adult tickets just $7, children 6-12 only $3 and kids under 6 free, it's no wonder families visit the speedway's frontstretch quarter-mile to enjoy an exciting night of racing competition.

Tory Johns of Mooresville, N.C., has been bringing her two children to the event for the past four years.

"It's a cheap night out at the races and we get to watch good racing," explained Johns. The Johns family paid only $17 for the cost of admission, which is less than an evening at the movies.

Along with Legends Car and Bandolero racing, fans receive an added bonus when wacky school bus racing takes over the track multiple times throughout the season. The 13-ton behemoths often race three-wide into the corners of the quarter-mile oval.

Brightly painted CRASHCars also add motorized mayhem to the schedule, as all bets are off when these machines inspired by "CARS" movie creator John Lasseter, beat and bang to make it to the checkered flag first.

"We like getting to see CRASHcars, school buses and Legends Cars race. Everything about it is great for the kids," said Davidson, N.C., native Nate Kepley, who brings his son with him to all the races.

In addition to the racing action, fans have the opportunity to play a game and win prizes at a tent set up by Dave and Busters of Concord Mills. Children can also visit Nannabelle the Clown and her sidekick Joy to get their faces painted with their favorite designs.

"They're fan friendly and have family things like face painting, which makes it very comfortable for families to come out. I just like Summer Shootout nights all around," said Traci Puckett, a vacationer from Pennsylvania.

A Tuesday night of racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway for two adults and two kids ages 6-12 only costs $20, while admission to a local Single-A baseball game is $30 for a family of four.

"I like this little Summer Shootout on Tuesday nights with the family," said Puckett. "It's not a big pinch on the budget."

Fans can also enjoy the usual sporting concessions such as jumbo hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, Coca-Cola products, freshly squeezed lemonades, and for those who have a sweet tooth, Bruster's Ice Cream stand offers delicious summer treats.

For the entertainment of both adults and children, popular music radiates from the speedway's speaker system and gives spectators the opportunity to do the "hokey-pokey," the "chicken dance" and numerous other popular dances.

"It's great," said Michelle Jenkins, a first-time Summer Shootout spectator from Jackson, Miss. "We were extremely surprised. We want to come back for a NASCAR race!"

Next Tuesday, July 28, the fur is sure to fly when several area mascots compete in racing's version of "The Fast and the Furriest" during round seven of the Summer Shootout Series.

Lug Nut, the World's Fastest Mascot, will look to defend his home turf as he and his friends go head-to-head in a go-kart race.

In addition to Mascot Mania, it is also Kid's Poster Night. Children who bring a poster they have designed will be judged, and the winner of the competition will receive two tickets to the Circle K Back-to-School Monster Truck Bash on Aug 15. and a trophy. A photo of the winning poster will be placed on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Web site as well.

The night will also feature a full slate of Legends Car and Bandolero racing. Gates open at 5 p.m. with preliminary action beginning at 5:25 p.m. and opening ceremonies at 7:30 p.m.

The 10-week Summer Shootout Series runs each Tuesday night through Aug. 11. Tickets are available in advance at the speedway ticket office and at Gates 4 and 5 on race nights. Parking is free. Admission is just $7 for adults. Children 6-12 are admitted for $3 and kids under 6 are free.

Contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS for information or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.