Food Lion Speed Street opens its three-day run Thursday, but there are plenty of other racing-related activities and news taking place across the Charlotte region today.
That includes the arrival of a World War II-era B-29 Superfortress plane as part of the Commemorative Air Force tour. The B-29 and other planes in the tour are scheduled to fly over Charlotte Motor Speedway prior to the start of Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
Here is some of what’s happening in the area today:
WORLD WAR II PLANES ARRIVE
The B-29 Superfortress, named Fifi, is scheduled to arrive at Concord Regional Airport on Thursday morning. The plane, which is said to be the only B-29 still flying, will be accompanied by a P-51 Mustang; a C-45 Expeditor; and a T-6 Texan.
The planes will be on display through Monday, from 2-6:30 p.m. Thursday; and 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Friday through Monday. Gate admission is $10 a person, or $20 for a family (mother, father and children 17 and younger). Children 10 and younger are admitted free.
Admission gets you a tour of the B-29 cockpit, except when the plane is being flown (9 and 10:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday).
You also can get a ride on these planes. The cost is $65 for the C-45; $595 for the B-29; and $1,895 for a 20-minute ride on the P-51 ($2,795 for a 30-minute ride).
The B-29 is the type of plane which dropped the atomic bomb on Japanese cities at the end of World War II. It replaced the B-17 Flying Fortress and the B-24, providing greater range for use in the Pacific Theatre.
DRIVE AWAY BULLYING
NASCAR driver Alex Bowman will visit students at Sedgefield Middle School on Friday afternoon, speaking on behalf of the “Drive Away Bullying” campaign. He will talk with students after the program.
STORE FOR SPEEDWAY CAMPERS
A Kangaroo Express convenience store is operating this week in the infield at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The store opened operations last weekend for the NASCAR all-star race.
It is the only convenience store on speedway property and is available to all fans in the infield. Speedway officials have signed a three-year agreement with The Pantry Inc., which operates Kangaroo Express stores, to run the facility at the track.
In addition to basic convenience store items, the Kangaroo Express is selling hot dogs, fried chicken and sandwiches.
DMV AT SPEED STREET
The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles has its mobile unit at Food Lion Speed Street, operating in the Third Street parking lot between Tryon and Church streets. It is open from noon-6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
The DMV office will offer safe-driving educational materials; state road maps; driver handbooks; and a chance to order ID cards for children and adults. You also can order duplicate driver licenses, to replace those that are lost or damaged. The cost for ID cards and duplicate licenses is $10.
To get an ID card, you’ll need to bring a Social Security card and proof of residency in North Carolina, plus proof of your full name and date of birth.
SPEED STREET ENTERTAINMENT TODAY
On the Coca-Cola stage:
6 p.m. -- Pradigy GT
7:30 p.m. -- Sol Fusion
8:45 p.m. -- Jon B
9:45 p.m. -- SWV
Autographs will be available at these locations ...
Creative Loafing Display:
1-3 p.m.: Ron Hornaday (Truck Series); Brennan Newberry (Truck Series); Timothy Peters (Truck Series); German Quiroga (Truck Series); Ross Chastain (Truck Series); Jennifer Jo Cobb (Truck Series).
2-3 p.m.: Jeb Burton (Truck Series).
7-9 p.m.: Jeremy Clements (Nationwide Series); Johanna Long (Nationwide Series); Hal Martin (Nationwide Series); Taylor Stricklin (All-American Series); Max Papis (Nationwide Series).
Net 10 Wireless Display:
3:30 p.m. -- German Quiroga (Truck Series).