Your house is festooned with memorabilia. You love the smell of burning rubber. You have extremely strong feelings about the next-generation Cup car. Hell yeah, you’re a NASCAR fan. There’s truly nothing like attending a NASCAR race in person—watching the pack whip by at 200+ mph, feeling that thunderous roar in your chest. Now’s a rare chance to buy a permanent ticket to the action at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Starting in the mid-1980s, the famous 1.5-mile oval complex threw up a series of condominium buildings directly above the grandstands in Turn 1, as you can see in the Google Earth shot below. They may look like skyboxes, and indeed many are owned by NASCAR sponsors or affiliates treating them as such, but they are in fact full one-, two-, and three-bedroom condos that anyone can buy and live in full-time if they wish. And Unit 3B at 4741 Morehead Road—otherwise known as First Turn Towers—is up from grabs on Realtor.com for $575,000.
Okay, so I admit this 1,400-square-foot two-bed, two-bath apartment does really look like a corporate suite that just happens to have a couple spare rooms, with the classic drop ceiling tiles and an eclectic assortment of armchairs and couches in the living room all facing the track through floor-to-ceiling windows. There’s a lot of granite, dark wood, and tile.
It’s not awful, but the decor does feel extremely anonymous, like a very cluttered hotel room. You can’t be too choosy when shopping mid-range trackside condos, though there are a few of these complexes at other NASCAR tracks like Texas Motor Speedway. You also get four parking spots and guaranteed race day tickets at CMS every year if you want to descend from your tower and grab some gut-busting speedway food when the circus comes to town.
These buildings made headlines in May when NASCAR decided to run the iconic Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte without spectators in the early days of the pandemic; since the units are private property, owners were allowed to host or rent out their condos to deep-pocketed superfans in accordance with local health regulations. Still, Unit 3B here has actually been on sale for over a year with a $50,000 price chop in recent months. I have a feeling the right negotiator could get it down to $500K even.
Most NASCAR venues reopened to limited in-person spectators starting in late June, with masks required and stands set up for physical distancing. Doesn’t this sound like a much better time? And hear me out: Charlotte Motor Speedway plays host to far more than NASCAR. You could wake up even on a quiet day, look out the window, throw on some closed-toed shoes and rally-appropriate clothing and join one of the Richard Petty driving experience sessions. Or Ford Performance racing school. Or pluck a Lamborghini Huracan from the selection of Xtreme Xperience. Or check out what’s happening at the complex’s four-wide drag strip.
The Speedway is only about 30 minutes from the airport, so if full-time track life doesn’t suit you for whatever reason, you could fly in for the weekend and soak up all the engine whine you can handle from your condo and decompress. Think it over. And call me when you’re ready for a visit.
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