State transportation officials and the N.C. Highway Patrol have some advice for anyone driving near Charlotte Motor Speedway, site of NASCAR races Friday and Saturday nights:
Ignore your intuition.
Oh ... and stay off Interstate 85 around the speedway, if you can.
If youre coming to the races, just follow our directions, says N.C. Highway Patrol Sgt. Glenn Stokes. Well get you home the quickest way possible.
It might not seem right, the way were directing you, but trust us. We know what were doing.
Stokes said troopers who direct traffic after the races might send motorists away from the speedway in a different direction from how they arrived. But eventually, he said, theyll get to where they want to be and probably a lot quicker than if they tried to reverse course.
Otherwise, the advice for people who are coming to the races or just driving on I-85 either Friday or Saturday evenings is to plan on delays and avoid the interstate if possible.
Obviously, many motorists will be using I-85 on Friday evening for their commute home, says Ann Lorscheider, regional engineer for the N.C. Department of Transportation. Those people can expect heavy traffic, with the addition of the race fans.
But she says people headed to Charlotte Motor Speedway can avoid the I-85 congestion, which reaches a peak from I-485 north to Concord. The congestion is worsened by the I-85 widening project, which has caused some lane restrictions.
Those coming from the north should exit at U.S. 29/601 in Concord, she said. And those coming from the south should get off I-85 at either Harris Boulevard or Mallard Creek Church Road, turn right, and eventually get on U.S. 29 North.
(U.S.) 29 is the best way to get here, says Charlotte Motor Speedways Adrian Parker.
Stokes says motorists who arrive at the speedway from the south might be sent north on U.S. 29 after the race. He encourages fans to follow troopers directions, because theyll eventually be directed onto southbound I-85 and avoid the congestion at the Bruton Smith Boulevard interchange.
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