Charlotte Motor Speedway Eyes Checkered Flag for Retail Sportsbook

Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts two marquee NASCAR Cup Series events – the Coca-Cola 600 and the Bank of America Roval 400 – as well two NASCAR Xfinity Series races and a handful of NHRA events, including the Four-Wide Nationals. It’s a destination venue for racing fans, and with the state adopting legal sports betting measures, it’s authorized to build out a retail sportsbook.

The June signing of House Bill 347, which legalized online sports betting in North Carolina, included a section permitting eight sports venues to establish retail sportsbooks. With sports betting slated to launch in North Carolina as soon as January, NCSharp is previewing each location and its potential plans to bring a sportsbook into daily operations.

The other venues named in the law are:

  • PNC Arena in Raleigh;
  • North Wilkesboro Speedway;
  • Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte;
  • WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary;
  • Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte;
  • Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro;
  • Spectrum Center in Charlotte.

Charlotte Motor Speedway puts wheels in motion to build sportsbook

NASCAR and stock car racing have led the veritable charge to incorporate betting into the fabric of the sport. As early supporters of the legalization of sports betting after the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, racing organizations wasted no time preparing the league to incorporate betting as a key component. While auto racing does not capture nearly the volume of the country’s major sports, it is increasing its betting markets and looking to capture more bettors as states like North Carolina legalize.

Charlotte Motor Speedway, constructed in 1959 in Concord, is a storied racing facility. It has provided the setting for 11 victories from Dale Earnhardt and the first career victory for Jeff Gordon. Charlotte Motor Speedway is embedded in southern racing DNA, and as host to over 300 events annually, CMS is set to capitalize on its potential as a retail sportsbook.

The track has already inked a sponsorship deal with Betway and the NHRA, laying the groundwork for race enthusiasts and sports betting fans. At the end of the day, it’s all about enhancing the fan experience, and Charlotte Motor Speedway is raring to lead the pack in North Carolina. Greg Walter, executive vice president of Charlotte Motor Speedway and chairman of the board of directors for the North Carolina Motorsports Association, summed it up clearly: “Whenever the state says go, whenever we get the green flag, we’ll be ready.”

New road course in the works; sportsbook to follow?

By signing the state budget, Gov. Roy Cooper allocated $40 million for upgrades to North Carolina’s racing facilities in 2021. While recent upgrades to Charlotte Motor Speedway have included downsizing the seating capacity from 146,000 to 89,000 to maximize the fan experience, by far, the largest change will be adding a new road course.

Walter broke the news earlier in the year, revealing plans for a long circuit course and two shorter ones. Already home to the Roval, CMS shows no signs of slowing down on its efforts to improve the fan experience and offerings at the raceway.

The track is active 140 days a year,” Walter said. “There’s a lot of activity here. The only time I know we’re closed is Christmas morning, because I’m up at Christmas night.”

Walter has been mum on firm plans for Charlotte Motor Speedway to begin work on a retail sportsbook, but with his enthusiasm over the legalization of sports betting in the Tar Heel State, you can bet the venue has its eyes set on hosting bettors for 2024 NASCAR races.

Folks in the state may be able to place legal retail and online wagers on races as soon as January 2024, which coincides nicely with the Sprint Cup Series, traditionally kicking off in February. If sports betting doesn’t launch on its earliest possible date (Jan. 8, 2024), NCSharp has identified a few key launch dates to keep in mind as the launch window opens.

North Carolina is NASCAR Country

Annually ranked as one of the top states for NASCAR fans, North Carolina is in pole position to boost the fan experience and shake up the sports betting landscape in the South.

Charlotte Motor Speedway, along with seven other venues in the state, will be at the vanguard of the sports betting wave that’s sweeping areas previously expected to reject measures that made gambling legal. In a state so passionate about auto racing, you can bet that a retail sportsbook at Charlotte Motor Speedway will prove a rousing success.

About the Author

Carter Breazeale

Carter Breazeale is a freelance journalist with a focus on sports, business and the business of sports. An Atlanta native currently residing in Orlando, Carter graduated from The University of Central Florida.