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Race fans expected to give much needed economic boost

Cabarrus County bars and restaurants are hoping for a boost from Charlotte Motor Speedway fans this weekend.

CONCORD, N.C. — NASCAR fans are being welcomed back to the Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend for the Bank of America Roval 400. 

The race is likely to bring a positive economic impact for business in the area, most of which have suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

"We hope to see an uptick," Managing Partner for Cabarrus Brewing Company Steve Steinbacher told WCNC Charlotte's Lexi Wilson Friday. 

At Cabarrus Brewing Company, they benefit from visitors. They hope fans at the speedway will make up for some lost revenue. 

"That to us just gives us hope that were all starting to progress a little bit, and it's just a great emotion boost, if you will for businesses like ours," Steinbacher said. 

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According to a report by Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau, in 2019 visitors to and within Cabarrus County spent around $480 million. Since the start of the pandemic, over $24 million dollars in hotel revenue has been lost. 

"These are jobs, these are real life individuals that are feeling this," The City of Concord Mayor Bill Dusch.

Dusch says coronavirus has done damage to the areas economy especially since they rely on business from the Speedway.

"This was going to be their 60th year, everything was going to happen, then 2020 came," Dusch said.

Fewer fans means less money than usual. But as people venture in, there's hope to one day get back to driving full throttle.

"This is a racing community," Dusch said.

This weekends event will be at 7 percent capacity with safety measures in place. 

Rainy race forecast

Despite a chance of rain this weekend, according to WCNC Charlotte's weather app, fans should be optimistic about seeing the Bank of America ROVAL 400 from start to finish on WCNC Charlotte.

Goodyear will equip teams with "wet weather" tires for the race, which will run regardless of rain except for extreme rainfall and if there is standing water.

According to NBC Sports, there have only been three times in Cup series history that rain tires have been used: 1995 testing at Watkins Glen, practice/qualifying for Suzuka in 1997, and practice at Watkins Glen in 2000.

This will be the first time rain tires could be used in a race.

The Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina broadcasts on WCNC Charlotte Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

The Bank of America ROVAL 400 will be broadcast on WCNC Charlotte at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

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