Between race weekends, NASCAR venues host a wide variety of events. But due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – and subsequent local/state measures to keep the virus in check – they had to get creative in order to keep serving their home regions.
They became sites for blood drives, COVID-19 testing, and food distribution to help those in need.
They hosted graduation ceremonies for thousands of local high school and college students, who, instead of walking across a stage, took a lap around the track in their cars on the way to receiving their diploma.
They also provided some respite from a tough year with socially distanced entertainment, including events like drive-thru Halloween celebrations, and drive-in concerts and movie nights.
This month, many of these venues will continue to host community events, including some helping local charities and organizations.
Bristol Motor Speedway
Now through Jan. 2 – Pinnacle Speedway in Lights powered by TVA
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Now through Jan. 17 (Closed for Christmas Day and other select nights for private events) – Speedway Christmas presented by Count on Me NC
This nearly four-mile course of lights features more than four million lights and takes vehicles onto the Charlotte Motor Speedway oval and “roval.”
Thursday-Sunday nights also include drive-in movies on the track’s big screen.
Now through Jan. 17 (Closed for Christmas Day) – The Rink at Speedway Christmas
New for 2020, this 5,400-square-foot outdoor ice rink features concessions and a DJ. The guest fee of $15/hour includes skate rentals.
Following COVID-19 practices, the number of skaters on the ice at any given time is limited, skates are sanitized after each use, and visitors are required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.
Saturday, Dec. 19, 7 – 10 a.m. ET – Cars & Coffee
Car owners and enthusiasts show off their prized machines in this free monthly gathering.
Daytona International Speedway
Now through Jan. 2 – Magic of Lights
A portion of proceeds will benefit the AdventHealth Foundation in Volusia and Flagler counties.
Dover International Speedway
Wednesday, Dec. 16 – Food distribution event for local families in need
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dover International Speedway has partnered with the Food Bank of Delaware and the Delaware Department of Transportation to host food distribution events at the track.
Food Bank personnel, volunteers and track employees have helped load vehicles with foodstuffs for families in need. Since March, these monthly events have assisted 11,995 area households with more than 1 million pounds of food.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Now through Jan. 10 – Glittering Lights Las Vegas
Michigan International Speedway
Now through Dec. 31 – Nite Lites Christmas Lights display
Saturday, Dec. 5, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET – 12th Annual MIS Cares Charity Track and Toy Drive
Fans who donate a non-perishable food item or a new, unwrapped toy will get to drive five laps around MIS’ 2-mile oval in their personal vehicles.
All food items will be donated to the St. Mary’s Good Counsel in Adrian, Michigan.
The toys will be donated to the U.S. Marines’ Toys for Tots in both Jackson and Lenawee counties.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Now through Jan. 3 – Gift of Lights presented by Eastern Propane & Oil
Ending Today – Virtual Food Drive
The track’s annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, which has taken place virtually since Nov. 2, comes to a close today.
Over the last five weeks, the track’s social media channels have highlighted food banks in the San Francisco Bay Area, and encouraged race fans and community members to donate online.
Since the drive’s inception in 2000, it has distributed more than 40 tons of food.
Now through Dec. 16 – 18th Annual Holiday Toy Drive
All toys collected during the drive will be distributed to youth-serving organizations in the Sonoma Valley, including the Boys and Girls Club of Sonoma Valley and Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance.
New, unwrapped gifts, as well as gift cards for newborns to 12 year olds, are needed.
Friday-Sunday, Dec. 11-13 – Transcendence Theatre Company’s Broadway Holiday at the Drive-In at Sonoma Raceway
Transcendence Theatre Company, an award-winning theatre company based in Sonoma County, presents a collection of performances from the last five years of their annual Broadway Holiday Spectacular.
A portion of proceeds will go to the local chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities to help youth organizations in Sonoma County.
Texas Motor Speedway
Now through Jan. 3 – Gift of Lights at Texas Motor Speedway
A portion of proceeds for this drive-thru display of 2.5-million lights goes to the Texas Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities.
Thursday, Dec. 10, 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. CT – Karting for SCC-Texas
A portion of all sales at on-site Lone Star Kartpark go to SCC-Texas. This event occurs on the second Thursday of each month.
Friday & Saturday, Dec. 11-12 – Texas Women’s University Drive-Thru Commencement
TWU graduates will make a lap around the 1.5-mile oval before stopping near the start/finish line. They will step out of their vehicles to receive diploma covers and later pose for photographs. Participants are allowed up to two carloads of families and friends.
This past spring, Texas Motor Speedway hosted over 30 local high school graduation ceremonies for nearly 14,000 students.
Tuesday, Dec. 15, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. CT – American Red Cross Blood Drive
SCC-Texas is inviting the Red Cross to the Lone Star Condos Clubhouse, which has become a monthly event this year and will continue every other month in 2021. Residents are asked to donate blood or power reds to help the supply in North Texas. They can sign up at https://bit.ly/BloodDrivesTMS.
Friday, Dec. 18, 7 p.m. CT – Drive-In Movie Night featuring “Elf”
Will Ferrell’s modern Christmas classic will be shown on the track’s Big Hoss screen. A portion of proceeds go to SCC-Texas and the CoServ Charitable Foundation.