CONCORD, N.C. (WJZY) - Long before the roar of the engines, NASCAR racing in Charlotte brings a big boost to the local economy.
Although there was a brief downpour just after 7:00 Saturday night, people doing business in the area near the speedway say they have a pretty successful day.
NASCAR fans say they came to the track ready to spend money.
For more than 20 year Angela’s Seafood and Catering has setup shop just outside Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“It’s just a tradition basically,” said Shakia Dixon.
It’s a yearly stop that brings in thousands of dollars from race fans. The food stand on average sells more than $400 in funnel cakes per day. That is, if threatening skies from mother nature stay away.
“If it’s not pretty, then people don’t walk around. So if people aren’t walking around then you aren’t selling anything,” said Dixon.
Fans from all 50 states are expected to walk the grounds of Charlotte Motor Speedway over the next week.
The speedway estimates they will bring in a $250 to $275 million boost to the local economy.
The sea of fans entering the track, already spend hundreds of dollars even before getting to their seat.
“I would say about $300 dollars after everything is all said and done,” said one fan visiting from South Carolina.
“Just on souvenirs alone for me, probably between $300 and $500,” said Lisa Woodmore.
Lisa Woodmore and April Armstrong traveled all the way from Nashville. It was their 60th race together.
“We have been to Bristol, Charlotte, Talladega, Atlanta, Daytona,” said Woodmore.
They travel across the country, easily spending thousands of dollars every year on things like merchandise, tickets and food.
They say it’s worth every penny.
“You love the smell and the taste and the people. You just can’t get enough of it,” said Armstrong.
For other fans the pain to the pocketbook forces them to experience a shorter NASCAR season.
“I don’t go to as many as I used to because it does to travel, expenses, you could spend a lot of money,” said Alan Green.
Fans say they start planning for the 10 Days of Thunder at Charlotte nearly a year in advance by purchasing hotel rooms and buying race tickets.