CONCORD, N.C. -- Traffic was clogged from late afternoon through the evening Friday as the big weekend of racing began at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord.
Even as the green flag dropped on the Dollar General 300 at 7 p.m., cars were still backed up on Interstate 85 trying to get there.
Overall, the Highway Patrol reported there were no serious accidents or injuries through the early evening.
"There's been a few wrecks on 85 that has it bottle necked and we have some residual effects of it which put more traffic on U.S. 29," said Sgt. Glenn Stokes.
As Stokes was speaking, traffic was moving -- slowly -- on U.S. 29 past the front gate of the track.
Some fans, however, said they thought there was actually less traffic this year.
"I think the economy is hurting NASCAR and the amount of fans that are willing to spend the money to come down here," said race fan Chris Brys, after parking his car and starting the walk to the track.
The Highway Patrol said the best way to get to the track from Charlotte is to take I-85 north to I-485 and take it to Route 49 and follow that up to the track.
And for those who don't want to go to the track but rather just do some shopping at one of the malls nearby, that can be just as difficult.
Michael Conley said he spent 90 minutes getting from the University area to one of the Concord malls.
"I would advise anyone, make sure you got enough gas in your car," Conley said.
Another alternative is CATS. Charlotte Area Transit is running special express buses to the track Saturday from the Transit Center in uptown.
The buses will make the return trip after the race is over.