Long-Time Fan Witnessed Historic First-Time Wins
For long-time racing fan Jeff Allman, coming to Charlotte Motor Speedway isn’t just another visit to another track on the circuit. It’s a time to remember all of his visits to the superspeedway, which date back to 1968.
Allman, a resident of Roanoke, Va., was just 13 years old when he attended his first National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. That day, Charlie Glotzbach, driving the No. 6 for Cotton Owens, took home his first win in NASCAR. It was the first of many first-time winners Allman would witness.
After going to several races at Martinsville, Bristol and Rockingham, Allman was finally treated to the experience of a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Allman remembers all of the details, including the seats.
“Back then, we sat on concrete – no ‘stadium-style’ seats or aluminum bench seats,” he recalled.
Two years later, in 1970, Allman went to his first World 600.
“My dad and I slept in our car outside the track behind the beginning of the frontstrech grandstands, back when you could overnight park that close,” Allman shared.
Since then, he has only missed five of the spring races – ’71, ’73, ’74, ’82 and ’83 – and watched as Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Matt Kenseth and Casey Mears all took the checkered flag for the first time at Charlotte Motor Speedway. On the other end of the spectrum, Allman was also present when Cale Yarborough won for the last time in 1985 at the National (now Bank of America) 500.
Allman can recall the “winged Plymouth Superbirds and Dodge Daytonas” and watching his then-favorite driver, Fred Lorenzen, take the lead in the 1970 World 600, before wrecking in turn three after another driver blew an engine and spilled oil on the track.
Decades later, this long-time fan became a first-time fan again at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., recently when he attended the Auto Club 400, where the 2003 Bank of America 500 winner Tony Stewart took the rain-shortened win.
“Charlotte Motor Speedway is my favorite superspeedway, and I’ve been to them all except Kansas (and I’ll be going there in April),” Allman said.
Allman is part of the long-time fan program at Charlotte Motor Speedway as a Bronze member, which means everyone can see his name on the speedway’s website, in the souvenir program and on the biggest HDTV in the world at race time. He will also receive a lanyard and a hard card and a special decal for his car.
The long-time fan program benefits fans who have been coming to the track for more than five years. Depending on the amount of years the fan has been attending races, benefits can range from a special lanyard to a plaque hanging on the walls of the speedway. The program is free to those who have been attending races for 25 years or more.
Tickets start at just $39 for the May 19 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, $49 for the May 27 Coca-Cola 600 and $99 for a three-day pass for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, April 13-15.
Tickets and camping can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
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