Monday, June 3, 2024

Track Night in America 2024


I'm looking forward to driving around the Charlotte Motor Speedway on June 26th at a little event that the SCCA calls Track Night in America.  These events have been going for about 10 years now, and it's set up to be an easy way for almost anyone in any car to get out on track and have fun. While it's not racing, and it's not a competition, it's intended to be an introduction to track driving that you can do in the middle of the week, during an afternoon and early evening. The advantage of this program is that this makes it cheaper and less time consuming than a full blown two day weekend track event. 

Last year I drove one of these events at Carolina Motorsports Park, enjoyed the experience, and now with a chance to drive on the ROVAL (Road course + Oval) on part of the banking and the infield at Charlotte, this will be a new one for me! I've been consulting with the faster half of NMS, because Brian has done this event before, and has shared his video with me. It is always fun to drive on a track that you know, and it's fun to get out there on a new track and learn some new skills too. 

TNiA events take place across the country, so there's likely one near you. For instance, on the same Wednesday as the Charlotte event, there is also a TNiA at High Plains Raceway in Deer Trail Colorado. At least with the Charlotte location, I can have a normal day at school from 8-11, then drive up to the track, and get to drive 3  sessions on track, then head home for dinner! That sounds like a pretty good day to me!

Like any track day, there is an inspection to make sure that the drivers, vehicles, and their gear are ready, but it's on the low key side, with an emphasis on safety. Drivers have to have a current certified helmet, and the car has to have good tires, brakes, and things like seat belts if it doesn't have a racing harness. Probably the most important safety feature of the event is that you can only pass in designated parts of the track, and only when the driver ahead gives you a visual signal that you can pass on the right or left. On the Roval map above, passing zones are in yellow. For passing on the banking, the rule is that you must pass on the RIGHT only, so that makes sense. 

Look for a report on this event and some video shortly after June 26th. If it sounds like fun, why not hop in your car and get out there and drive? Here's the link with more information: 


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