Spend Black Friday doing a few laps on Charlotte Motor Speedway

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If you’re in the Charlotte area Friday and get tired of fighting the Black Friday crowds, especially at the nearby Concord Mills shopping center, here’s the perfect respite: do a few laps around Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The Speedway will once again let fans take three laps in their personal car/truck around the 1.5-mile high-banked track.

But there’s a catch – which really isn’t too bad, really.

Drivers must spend $50 on souvenirs, pit passes or race tickets – or donate $25 to Speedway Children’s Charities to get the green flag to take to the track.

If you think you’re going to break the track speed record, forget it. You’ll be driving under VERY controlled conditions, with track vehicles setting the pace – a very slow pace in all likelihood.

Still, you can tell your family, friends and neighbors that you were on the same track that Kevin Harvick and all of the other Sprint Cup regulars were on for three races this past season (including the Sprint All-Star Race).

This is at least the 10th year Speedway officials have allowed drivers to motor around the fabled facility.

Marcia Ramsey of Monroe, N.C., took part in her first Black Friday Blowout (BFB) at CMS last year when she and her husband took their brand new Audi A4 for a spin after making a donation to Speedway Children’s Charities.

“It was great,” Ramsey said in a speedway media release. “It was exciting being on the same track as the NASCAR drivers. It is just amazing what those guys can do. I was driving about 65 mph and was nervous because it was a new car.

“If it was my old car, I would have put the pedal to the metal.”

Added Stuart Fox of Biltmore Lake, N.C., a Tony Stewart fan who has been coming to BFB for 10 years, “I get my tickets early to get the best seats each year for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. … The most exciting part about driving on the track is staying high above the turns.”

In addition to track merchandise for sale, you can also pick up some great Christmas gifts for your favorite NASCAR fan from merchandise trailers of several of today’s stars, including new Sprint Cup champ Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, as well as Duck Commander, Ford Racing, zMAX and others.

BFB will run from 8 am to 5 pm ET. For more information, call the CMS gift shop at (704) 455-3202 or go to CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com.

At 6 pm, one of the Charlotte area’s big traditions, Speedway Christmas, opens with photos with Santa, a petting zoo, a replica Bethlehem village, marshmallow roasting and a screening of “Elf” on the track’s 16,000-square-foot HDTV.

Tickets for Speedway Christmas are $20 per car. Fans who bring a Coca-Cola product will save $3 off admission.

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Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”