As Hurricane Irma approaches Florida, the race is on to escape her wrath.
Packing winds up to 185 mph, Irma has already left behind catastrophic damage as she circles the Atlantic, with the U.S. mainland appearing to be her finish line.
NASCAR tracks including Atlanta Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway have announced they will open their campgrounds for Hurricane Irma evacuees.
“This is a difficult time for everyone and it’s the neighborly thing to do.”
” We wanted to help.” Atlanta president Ed Clark said.
Atlanta will host weekly Legends Series races on Saturday night, and Clark said all campers will be invited to the show.
The event, which will be free, is being called the Irma 500.
“If anything, maybe we can provide a little entertainment, and maybe a small distraction, at a difficult time.” Clark said.
Talladega has 2,700 acres and one of the most-iconic campgrounds in NASCAR.
“We’re prepared to handle 100,000 campers and everyone is welcome” said Track chairman Grant Lynch
Charlotte will open its doors early Friday.
The speedway expects to get people being evacuated from North Carolina and South Carolina.
Charlotte is scheduled to host NHRA Carolina Nationals drag races next weekend but the track said it will eagerly welcome both hurricane refugees and racing fans
Race tracks have a long history of helping during disasters.
Daytona International Speedway has turned its property over to first responders and repairmen following wildfires and other hurricanes.
Dover International Speedway shipped supplies to the victims in Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey.
For more information, contact the speedways’ web sites – atlantamotorspeedway.com, talladegasuperspeedway.com and charlottemotorspeedway.com.
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