Photo courtesy of Zach Darrow.

UNC Charlotte students – are you stuck with no plans and need something fun to do over Fall Break? Do you need some excitement and exhilaration in your life?

Well Charlotte Motor Speedway has a deal for you.

Forty of NASCAR’s greatest stars are set to return to North Carolina next weekend for the Bank of America 500, the first race in the second round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The racing action all kicks off with practice and qualifying on Thursday night, followed by the XFINITY Series Drive for the Cure 300 on Friday night – all leading up to Saturday night’s main event.

One of the driver’s set to do battle at the 1.5-mile Cabarrus County racetrack is Dawsonville, GA native – Chase Elliott. Elliott is a 20-year old rookie in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series who took over the famed No.24 machine earlier this year after Jeff Gordon retired last season. Elliott, in collaboration with Charlotte Motor Speedway, came up with a great deal for college students looking to come kickback and enjoy some exciting NASCAR racing action.

For only $24, college students with a valid student I.D. can take advantage of one of the most unique ticket packages available in all of sports. Students can spend time hanging out with Elliott in the personalized college pre-race tailgate area, while listening to live music and playing in corn-hole tournaments, all before heading to the watch the race from seats with an “A+ view”.

In an interview with the Niner Times, Elliott talked about how this special package came to fruition and how important it is for college students to be able to come out to the races and have a good time.

“It was just an idea that our group kind of came up with,” said Elliot. “It was something that I felt like would be cool to jump on board with. I have some friends that are in school right now and I get to see a little bit of what their lives entail and what they do, so we thought it might be neat to try and incorporate some of that into what we go do on the weekend’s. We found the opportunity to do that with this program.”

There is no doubt that this is one of the most affordable ticket packages available for any major sporting event in and around the Charlotte area. So for those college students who are looking to attend an awesome sporting event without breaking the bank, Saturday night’s race should be right up their alley. And to add to the list of fun activities that will be available to college students and all fans in attendance on Saturday night – triple platinum, GRAMMY-nominated rock group 3 Doors Down will be performing an hour long pre-race concert.

Pre-race at the 2014 Bank of America 500. Photo by Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Pre-race at the 2014 Bank of America 500. Photo by Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“I’m not begging anybody to come,” Elliott continued in the interview. “I just want to provide something that will allow that college age group to go and have a good time at the races. And that’s the biggest thing for me, just try to make it fun where they can go and enjoy themselves and enjoy the racing… Hopefully we can provide an environment where our folks can go and have a good time, enjoy themselves and enjoy a nice Fall weekend at the racetrack.”

Saturday night’s event is also one of the most important races of the season. Charlotte Motor Speedway is the home track for a wide majority of the NASCAR world, so teams and drivers put a lot of pressure on themselves to go out and perform well in front of their “hometown audience.” The Bank of America 500 also falls towards the middle of NASCAR’s 10-week Chase playoff system. Twelve drivers will still be alive with a shot at winning the championship, which as we have seen in past years, certainly creates for some added drama and intensity during the race.

For $24, pretty much the only thing that college students can’t do on Saturday night is get behind-the-wheel of a Cup car and compete against Elliott and all the other NASCAR stars. But according to Elliott, the students may have a shot at beating him in something else that night.

“My corn-hole game is not very good I’ll be honest with you. I probably should do some practicing I guess, so we will see.”

Fall Break is a weekend that is good for every student because they get to relax and enjoy a couple more days outside of the classroom. But for only $24, students could take this upcoming weekend from good, to amazing – courtesy of NASCAR, Chase Elliott and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

If you are interested in attending the ‘Chase University’ then visit charlottemotorspeedway.com or call 1-800-455-FANS to purchase the package before it’s too late.

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Southern California native who has made the trek across country to North Carolina to chase down my dreams and aspirations in the motorsports industry.

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