My First NASCAR Race?????

This is a discussion on My First NASCAR Race????? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Let me start off by saying that I have never been to a nascar race. I have never been a racing fan, so I really ...

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Thread: My First NASCAR Race?????

  1. #1
    Member Array Jaystekan's Avatar
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    My First NASCAR Race?????

    Let me start off by saying that I have never been to a nascar race. I have never been a racing fan, so I really don't know much about it. Anyway..... I have tickets to the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowes speedway in Charlotte NC, and I have a few CCW questions.

    We are planning on heading out there the night before, and camping out in a campground that is not affiliated or owned by the speedway. I am bringing my carry gun, thats not in question, my question is:
    We are paying to rent a campsite for the night. NC has the law that says, No carrying in places that charge admission. Would this apply to a campground that we pay to rent the campsite, but has no posted anti-ccw signs? In my opinion, I am not paying to enter the campsite, I am paying to rent the space, thus, I am not entering a place that charges admission. The stickler is, there are no assigned campsites, you pay the people, then enter the property and pick a site, so it is kinda like paying admission, then choosing your spot. I say I am paying to rent a spot, but picking my spot on my own, not paying admission to the campground. This seems to be splitting hairs here, and I was curious as to the opinions of others. I am sure there will be quite a large police presence, and I don't want to cause trouble. From what I have read, the coca-cola 600 is quite a large event in the NASCAR circuit.

    After our camping party adventure, we are driving to the track for a long, long, long, hot, noisy, day of racing. I am not stupid, and I know, no carrying in the track area, etc... but, how is the parking there? Is carrying while parking, then locking my gun up before entering the track and stands, allowed? Or do I need to lock away my gun prior to leaving the campsite and parking at the track?

    I have to admit, I am not really excited or looking forward to going, but, Hey, you never know, it may be fun. My 6 year old son is very excited though. Last question. For those of you who have gone, Are there tailgate parties on race day at the track? Do they get rowdy? Anything I should be aware of?

    Thanks for all your help.
    Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Disclaimer......FL law differs from that of NC.

    The disclaimer aside, I don't see a problem at a campground and have always carried at them. I've always equated it with renting a hotel room, rather than paying admission to, say a sporting event or theme park. In fact, given the lack of physical security involved in camping in general, I'd be very reluctant not to be armed.

    My .02.

    BTW.....I'm not a race fan, but camping and a race with your 6 year old who is excited has got to be a blast. I'll bet you have a great time and that it'll be something that you'll both remember for a looooonnngg time!

  4. #3
    Distinguished Member Array snowdoctor's Avatar
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    I see no problem with having your firearm at the campsite...it is no different than renting a hotel room.
    Have a great time....I am a relatively new fan of nascar...a word of warning...that bug bites as hard as the 1911 bug.
    ----DOC-----

    --people ask why I carry, and I show them this picture. I think it says it all.--

    NRA Certified Instructor--many disciplines

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    Member Array tabraha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaystekan View Post
    I have to admit, I am not really excited or looking forward to going, but, Hey, you never know, it may be fun. My 6 year old son is very excited though. Last question. For those of you who have gone, Are there tailgate parties on race day at the track? Do they get rowdy? Anything I should be aware of?

    Thanks for all your help.
    Don't know the NC carry laws to help you but I can speak as to the environment at that track a bit.

    I've not been to the 600 yet but I've been to the track for several racing events and you will definitely have a good time and your son will have a blast. There will also be folks having too good of a time as with most events everywhere these days but just give them a wide berth and they won't even know you exist. The majority of folks will just be having a good time no differently than at a college football game, just 200,000+ people there instead. Parking and leaving the track are events all in their own. It can be gridlocked for hours or it can go smooth as butter, you won't know till the time comes unfortunately. I'd take some snacks, drinks and reading material just in case. One race my father and I went to was the IRL race there and we sat in the parking lot unable to leave for 3.5 hours. We watched folks get drunk and even sober up by the time they got to leave.

    I'll also add to bring ear protection as $.10 earplugs go for $4 a pair at the track. If you have access to someone who has a racing scanner and headphones it opens up a whole other dimension to the race where the strategy actually plays a part and you can listen to commentary so you don't get lost with who is leading or catching up!
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  6. #5
    Member Array Jaystekan's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the info. I was thinking along the same lines as you are. My only concern was that basically, from my understanding, we pay at the gate to enter the camping area and simply drive around to find a spot, so technically, I guess that could be called a place that charges an entrance fee. I guess like most things, this could be interperted either way, depending on the police officer and d.a., should something happen.


    WOW, Tabraha, 200,000+? Thats a lot of people. Gridlock is never any fun, but I am originally from NYC so I grew up in non-moving traffic, but it's never fun.
    Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

  7. #6
    Member Array realitycramp's Avatar
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    No wisdom to impart on the carry laws but a lot of experience at Nascar events. I have been to the Brickyard 400 many times. One comment was made about gridlock. That is an understatement for the hours directly following the race. What we learned to do was plan to just sit and have a BBQ following the race. Take a nap, play a game and let everyone else sit in traffic for an hour. If you wait for 2 hours after the race it is smooth sailing down the road. Since the 600 has a smaller crowd than the Brickyard waiting an hour might suffice.

    I would also concur with giving the partiers a wide berth. The only time to stand your ground is at your campsite. Politely ask pushy people and vendors to leave you alone.

    +1 on ear protection for you and the child.

    Good luck and have a GREAT time.

    P.S. don't expect much sleep... :-)
    Facts are negotiable, perceptions are not.

  8. #7
    Member Array tabraha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaystekan View Post
    we pay at the gate to enter the camping area and simply drive around to find a spot, so technically, I guess that could be called a place that charges an entrance fee.
    No you are paying for your lodging, not admission, just like at a hotel. The front gate at the campground is no different than the front desk at the Westin in Charlotte (figuratively ). You enjoy all of the gun privileges/restrictions NC offers to those staying in hotels etc.

    Yes, it will be a HUGE crowd. NASCAR attendance for events like the 600 is massive. Technically the track holds 180k including the infield I think but there are over 200k at/around the track easily. (Some go to the race but not into the race. ) There will be tons of vendors/exhibits and things to peruse through once you get up to the track area. It is quite a substantial facility!

    You may want to check this out as well: 600 Festival Association
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  9. #8
    Ex Member Array FN1910's Avatar
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    A couple of things that you may not want to hear. First don't worry about the admission charge thing. Carry your weapon but make sure it is completely concealed. The problems with LEO seeing your gun are going to be small compared to some drunk redneck who sees it and then wants to either play with it or challenge you to a fast draw competition. However you may well need it so don't leave it at home. I have been hearing a lot of comments lately about the number of fights in the parking lots at NASCAR events compared to previous years. In fact they said after the ones last weekend they were wide spread at the track. I am not sure what it causing it but they do seem to be increasing.

    You will need to stay a lot more clear of some people and ignore more than you are used to but that should not be a problem. Just don't get baited into anything. NASCAR races can be great fun if you prepare. There will be plenty of tailgating and lots of people. Most of all I either admire or pity you when you say you are taking your 6 year old.

    I have lived close to the Darlington track all my life and have been to the time trials, the smaller races and even worked vendor sites at that track but have never been to the actual "big" race. Lots of things to see and do but be careful and watch out.

  10. #9
    Member Array Defensive Arms's Avatar
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    I'd definitely lock the gun up before leaving the campground.

    Stay alert, calm and use your head, and you'll be alright. At any NASCAR race of that size, it's possible you might come across an obnoxious jerk who's had one (or two, or three) too many beers, who may talk some trash to you.

    Just ignore any and all verbal insults, even if they're quite crude. Don't respond in kind and "talk tough". Do everything reasonably possible to avoid a physical confrontation. Be the bigger man and walk away if you have to.

    I seriously doubt you'll run into any problems, so enjoy the race with your son. Don't forget to purchase a box of foam ear plugs BEFORE you get to the track!

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array Phillep Harding's Avatar
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    In addition to what others have said: Bring a cheap back pack and a couple of cheap, too large, long sleeve shirts for you and the kid. Add a couple of bandanas and a ball cap each. I thought I had a good sun tan when I went to a dirt track and like to cooked.

    Be sure to have some water in that pack. Sun glasses for both of you, and something for head aches. A couple of those cheap, tripod stools might be a good idea, too, depending on how the track is set up. Feet can get awful tired on hot ground or blacktop.

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    Ex Member Array FN1910's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Defensive Arms View Post
    I'd definitely lock the gun up before leaving the campground.

    Stay alert, calm and use your head, and you'll be alright. At any NASCAR race of that size, it's probable you might come across an obnoxious jerk who's had one (or two, or three) too many beers, who may talk some trash to you.

    Just ignore any and all verbal insults, even if they're quite crude. Don't respond in kind and "talk tough". Do everything reasonably possible to avoid a physical confrontation. Be the bigger man and walk away if you have to.

    I seriously doubt you'll run into any problems, so enjoy the race with your son. Don't forget to purchase a box of foam ear plugs BEFORE you get to the track!

    Fixed that for you. The headset radios work very nicely and DO NOT forget the earplugs.

  13. #12
    Member Array Jaystekan's Avatar
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    WOW, Great advice everyone. This is why I love this forum. I am actually looking forward to the day, not so much the race, but some good family time is gonna be nice. My main concern was ccw and the campground, but thanks to all the advice, I am gonna carry while camping, obviously not at the track.

    Quote Originally Posted by Defensive Arms View Post
    Just ignore any and all verbal insults, even if they're quite crude. Don't respond in kind and "talk tough". Do everything reasonably possible to avoid a physical confrontation. Be the bigger man and walk away if you have to.!
    I am a corrections officer, so insults are nothing new to me. I get insulted numerous times every single day at work, and simply walk away 99% of the time.

    We actually got the tickets to the race for free. It's military appreciation day and since my wife is active duty Army, and getting ready to deploy we got some free tickets. The Army is planning a pre-game show on the infield, eod is going to do something on the infield, military helicopters will be doing a fly-over, and my wife will be marching on the track before the race for some kinda ceremony. We even got free pit-passes. They are even setting up a huge hospitality tent with a free buffet for all military personell and their families before the race. If we weren't given the tickets, then we wouldn't go since we are not racing fans. The only thing costing us money is the campground, which was the main reason for my post asking about carrying there.

    Anyway, thanks again for the as usual great advice.
    Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array TheShadow's Avatar
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    I will be at the speedway also this weekend. My friends and I have an old International school bus converted into an RV and have a reserved campsite in the infield. The party is non stop until about 1:00 am when security walks around asking every RV to shut down there generators. The infield gets quiet and most folks call it a night. As for fights I have seen two to three in the 20+ years going to LMS/CMS. There is a family grandstand on the backstretch that dosen't allow alcohol through the gate.

    Have fun and enjoy!

    BTW if you carry a cooler to large they not let you through the gate to the grandstands. (been there done that)

    No umbrellas of any kind
    No glass bottles
    No strollers (inside grandstand area)
    No bags/Backpacks over 14 x 14 x 14
    No coolers over 14" x 14"
    No pets (unless they are service animals helping guests with disabilities
    No weapons, including, but not limited to, firearms, knives, and impact weapons
    No skateboards, roller skates, or scooters
    No bicycles, mopeds, etc.
    No beach balls, balloons, etc.
    No signs or banners
    No horns, whistles, or other loud items
    No stadium seats with arm rests

  15. #14
    Member Array ncffp163's Avatar
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    Jay,

    As Tab said, you can carry into the campground. But you cannot carry into any type of event that you have to pay admission or into any place that serves alcohol. Here's N.C. Gen. Stat. 14-269.3 :

    North Carolina law prohibits any person carrying a gun, rifle, or pistol into any assembly where a fee has been charged for admission or into any establishment where alcoholic beverages are both sold and consumed. Again, the individuals exempted from carrying concealed weapons cited in paragraph III. A. of this publication are similarly exempted under this law. A concealed handgun permit does not allow a permittee to carry a weapon in these areas.

    Hope this helps. But have fun anyway!!

    Eric
    NC CCH Instructor, NRA Instructor
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    Taurus PT1911

  16. #15
    Member Array Jaystekan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncffp163 View Post
    Jay,

    As Tab said, you can carry into the campground. But you cannot carry into any type of event that you have to pay admission or into any place that serves alcohol. Here's N.C. Gen. Stat. 14-269.3 :



    Eric
    Thanks again. I knew about not carrying at the actual race itself. My main concern was whether the campground was considered a place that charged admission or not. Thanks everyone for your help.
    Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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