Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick will answer questions. The band responsible for the theme song to “Rocky III” will perform. The world’s largest smoker and outdoor grill is in town. And you can still catch a ride on a World War II bomber.
All of that is available Saturday in the Charlotte region, with many different racing-related events on tap.
Don’t let this morning’s record-low temperatures fool you. Forecasters expect a beautiful day, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures climbing into the upper 70s. It will be a great day to be outdoors.
Here’s what you can expect today:
The History Cross-Country Cookout comes to the area today and Sunday, with a truck pulling the 80-foot smoker and barbecue grill arriving at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
History (formerly the History Channel) is sponsor of today’s History 300 Nationwide Series race at the track. Renowned chef Trace “Rib Whisperer” Arnold, of Frisco, Texas, will give cooking demonstrations at the grill, which can smoke 2,000 pounds of meat and grill 1,000 hot dog, 500 hamburgers or 200 16-ounce steaks at one time.
Arnold and the grill will be in operation from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. today and from 1-6 p.m. Sunday outside the track.
WORLD WAR II AIRCRAFT
A reminder that Fifi, thought to be the only B-29 Superfortress still flying, is at Concord Regional Airport through Monday, along with other aircraft from the Commemorative Air Force.
The B-29 was developed in the early 1940s to carry bomb loads for long distances and was heavily used in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. Also visiting with the B-29 is a P-51 Mustang fighter and other aircraft.
The exhibit is open from 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. daily through Monday. Admission is $10 a person, or $20 for a family (mother, father, children 17 and younger). You can take a flight in the B-29 for $595, and there also are flights available in the C-45 cargo plane or even the P-51.
By the way, those aircraft are scheduled to be part of the fly-over prior to the start of Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at the speedway.
SPEED STREET ENTERTAINMENT
The live entertainment at Food Lion Speed Street starts early Saturday, with Chris Sanchez taking the stage at 2:30 p.m. He’ll be followed by Hair Nation at 4 p.m.; “Race to Stardom” winner Blu Avenue at 5:30 p.m.; Chelsea Bain at 6:30 p.m.; Sister Hazel at 8:15 p.m.; and Survivor at 9:45 p.m.
It was Survivor that recorded “Eye of the Tiger,” the theme song to “Rocky III.”
SPEED STREET AUTOGRAPHS, APPEARANCES
The highlight, probably, is at 7 p.m., when Sprint Cup drivers (and former Indy car drivers) Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick take part in a question-and-answer session.
Creative Loafing Display
Noon-1 p.m., Ernie Irvan (retired driver); Jared Irvan (Midget Racing Series); Doug Herbert (Top Fuel Series).
8-9 p.m., Charlotte Roller Girls.
1-2 p.m., Sir Purr.
6-7 p.m., Top Cats (Panthers cheerleaders).
4-4:30 p.m., Casey Mears (Sprint Cup driver).
7-7:45 p.m., Sprint Cup drivers Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick in a question-and-answer session.
EXTRA TRAIN SERVICE
A reminder that Charlotte Area Transit System is running extra trains from 2 p.m. today until 1:30 a.m. Sunday. Trains will run every 10 minutes.
Fans attending Speed Street are reminded that they can avoid parking hassles by taking the train instead.
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