Campers rolling into Charlotte Motor Speedway for race week

Campers rolling into Charlotte Motor Speedway for race week

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by RAD BERKY / NBC Charlotte Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @RadBerkywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 11:55 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 10 at 6:01 AM

CONCORD, N.C. -- On a chilly Tuesday night the campgrounds around the Charlotte Motor Speedway were already filling up.

The Petries of Pennsylvania are among those who are setting up big, lavish mobile homes near the track.

They even brought their own lighted palm tree.

"Palm trees bring warmth," said Kathy Petrie. She had also set up a picnic table with mums and pumpkins.

Next door was Mary Shapiro, from Delaware, who was hanging Halloween lights and decorations around their fancy flat screen TV.

"Actually, it's warmer today than it has been, so this is good. I can do this," Shapiro said.

The big draw comes this weekend with the race Saturday night but there are those who believe NASCAR is not the draw it once was.

The speedway never gives specific attendance figures but spokesperson Scott Cooper told NBC Charlotte, "There are still a lot of challenges with the economy but we are expecting a big crowd that will be comparable to last year's."

Mary Shapiro and her family have been to a number of tracks so far this season.

"You know, the economy has definitely made a difference but you still get more people at a NASCAR race than you do at most football games," she said.

Those who do come and camp days ahead of the race are in many cases older retirees with some disposable income.

People like Jack Rutherford who was taking a spin in his golf cart with his dog "Tater" sitting on the seat beside him.

"We are just riding around meeting people and greeting people," said Rutherford, who added that that's a large part of the fun of race week.

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