Unless they're planning to attend races, locals are stocking up on earplugs or making plans to get out of town on a couple of May weekends.
It can only mean one thing: Racing season is coming.
But for local business - everything from race shops to gas stations - the onset of racing season means an influx of thousands of people and dollars that they hope will boost their profits in tough economic times.
The speedway's spring season kicked off recently with events that will draw fans from across the country. The speedway has worked to keep prices low to keep fans coming, offering ticket packages such as the Race Fan Stimulus Plan for the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30.
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"It's become a more difficult sale," said John Cox, CEO of Cabarrus Economic Development and the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce. "But people who love the sport love the sport."
The racing business has not been immune to the throes of the economy.
Lowe's Home Improvement ended its 11-year deal with the speedway last year, prompting the renaming of Lowe's Motor Speedway back to the track's original moniker. The deal was estimated to be worth about $3.5 million a year.
Challenging economic times have made speedway officials focus more on ensuring that race fans enjoy themselves at Charlotte Motor Speedway, said speedway spokesman Scott Cooper.
Lodging is one of the most expensive costs for race fans looking to spend time in the area, Cooper said.
Cox said he suspected that local hotels have taken the biggest hit in profits as race fans stay less days in town.
"And the less amount of time fans spend here, the less money they're spending," Cox said.
The past year and a half has been the worst time for the hotel industry in 20 years, said Terry Crawford, general manager of the Embassy Suites Charlotte-Concord Golf Resort & Spa off Bruton Smith Boulevard in Concord.
But race season is always a busy time of year regardless of economic conditions, he said. The hotel's rooms fill up during the major racing events but at a slower pace than they did before the recession began, Crawford said. Rather than selling out six months in advance, hotel rooms sell out the week of the race.
Speedway officials worked with more than 50 area hotels that have agreed to reduce room rates by 15 percent and waive minimum stay requirements during race weeks.
The influx of people into the Concord area will also be felt by retailers.
"The races do nothing but help us," said Holly Roberson, director of mall marketing at Concord Mills mall.
Roberson said many of the people visiting the mall during racing season are those who camp out for several days or weeks before races. The speedway benefits from having the mall, she said, because it provides activities for race fans and entices people to stay in the area longer.
"Everyone benefits from each other," Roberson said of local businesses.
In 2007, speedway owner Bruton Smith threatened to move the track after a disagreement with the Concord City Council over the construction of the zMAX Dragway. The drag strip was completed in 2008 after city officials signed a contract with Smith that guaranteed him $80 million worth of incentives.
"We can't afford to lose any more industry," Cox said, pointing to the loss of textiles and tobacco. "It didn't take the business community long to realize they wanted to avert that situation."
Cox said local nonprofits, which are coping with a decrease in donations, also benefit from the speedway. The speedway allows organizations to earn money by having members check tickets and direct fans to their seats, and the Speedway Children's Charity passes out millions every year to local charities.
Cox said he thinks this year's racing season will be more "Charlotte-centric" because of the speedway's name change and the May opening of NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.
"It's important for us as we continue to grow to connect the museum to the speedway," Cox said. "I think it's going to be a great race season."