NASCAR & Auto Racing

Drag strip coming to Charlotte speedway complex?

Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith confirmed Thursday that he is considering adding a drag-racing facility to the motorsports complex at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

"We are looking at that very hard, yes sir," Smith said.

Smith pointed to success in hosting events sanctioned by the National Hot Rod Association, whose PowerAde Series is the premiere drag racing series in the country, at drag strips that are part of SMI complexes at Bristol Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

"We have had a lot of success and we like what we see in drag racing," Smith said.

Concord and Cabarrus County officials already have begun preliminary discussions about the drag strip.

Smith contacted Concord leaders within the past couple of weeks to let them know he is considering putting a drag strip adjacent to The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway, which sits just across N.C. 29 from the 1.5-mile trioval track that hosts NASCAR's top stock car series.

Concord City Manager Brian Hiatt said Smith also mentioned his tracks near Atlanta and Fort Worth, Texas, as possible sites for new drag strips, but Smith told the Observer that he's looking to do it here.

"He indicated that if he did this, he'd look for top-level events," Hiatt said.