Charlotte Motor Speedway's Fall Season of Speed commenced with one of the speedway's most family-friendly events on Wednesday, Aug. 14 when NASCAR stars Ryan Newman and Chase Briscoe headlined the Parade of Power from zMAX Dragway, down Bruton Smith Boulevard to pit road.
Race fans from as far as Wisconsin witnessed the parade, which included - for the first time - the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile featuring Newman riding shotgun with race fans. An assortment of powerful machinery joined the Weinermobile in its parade: a Roush Fenway NASCAR car, a Top Fuel dragster, a dirt late model, a 1940 Ford, a Legend Car and a monster truck lining up with numerous classic cars and the speedway's Toyota Camry pace cars.
"Parade of Power is always a blast," said Greg Walter, the speedway's executive vice president and general manager. "When you add the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile as kind of a non-sequitur, it's so much fun. The cadence we have in the fall between the Monster Truck Bash, the ROVAL weekend, NHRA, AutoFair, World of Outlaws and Speedway Christmas, it embodies the fact we have representation of all sorts of motorsports. Parade of Power ties that all together."
Following their stylish entrances, Newman and Briscoe took part in a fan Q&A and an autograph session.
"That Weinermobile was slow but I think it's because we were being led by a pace car," Newman said. "I love being in it even though they won't let me drive it. I bet I could drive it around the ROVAL in two and a half minutes."
The Parade of Power also previewed the second running of the Bank of America ROVAL 400 on Sept. 29, the cutoff race in the first round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. The race weekend begins with Bojangles' Qualifying on Sept. 27, followed by the NASCAR Xfinity Series Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.
Briscoe enters the Xfinity Series' lone ROVAL race as its defending winner.
"It's definitely a bit of a challenge," Briscoe said. "You have to try and study a lot and pick up time in qualifying. The race track is really fun. It's technical and slow in some areas, but in other areas you really have to get up on the wheel. It's a really good balance. I think the new backstretch chicane is going to add a new passing opportunity for us. I'm curious to see how the place changes and how the weather changes it."
Prior to the Bank of America ROVAL 400 race weekend in September, Charlotte's action-packed slate of events continues with Saturday's Circle K Back-to-School Monster Truck Bash at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Race fans can get in at 4 p.m. with opening ceremonies set for 6:45 p.m. Fans who bring in school supplies to the front gate can enter The Dirt Track at 3:30 p.m. and enjoy the Pit Party, which features an autograph session, fun games and monster truck rides.
The Oct. 11-13 NHRA NTK Carolina Nationals - the NHRA's only Countdown to the Championship event in the Southeast - brings the action to zMAX Dragway before the Pennzoil AutoFair roars into Charlotte Motor Speedway Oct. 17-19.
The Dirt Track at Charlotte cranks up the volume in November, with the Nov. 7-9 Can-Am World Finals bringing the stars of the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Cars, the World of Outlaws Morton Builders Late Models and the Super DIRTcar big-block modifieds to America's Home for Racing.
Speedway Christmas' four-million-light holiday spectacular concludes the speedway's 2019 schedule with its unrivaled yuletide entertainment beginning on Nov. 22.