Skip to main content

Cabarrus Magazine

Cabarrus Magazine's 2018 Race Guide Presented by The 600 Festival & Chez Francois Music Hall

Apr 20, 2018 02:48AM ● By Melanie Heisinger
There are so many things happening this 2018 race season in Charlotte, NC and beyond. Whether you are looking for the Haulers on Union Parade, award-winning musicians or classic NASCAR races, we've got you covered. Presented by the 600 Festival and Chez Francois Music Hall.

600 Festival Events

For over 32 years, the 600 Festival Association has been commemorating the May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway with spectacular family-oriented events. 

Movies on the Campus - start May 04 2018 0630PM

Movies on the Campus - May 4, 2018 6:30PM

It doesn’t get much better than a warm May evening under the stars with your family … unless you throw in an awesome showing of Disney’s Cars 3 for free. That’s what Movies on the Campus ... Read More » 


Zucchini 600 - start May 05 2018 1000AM

Zucchini 600 - May 5, 2018 10:00AM

Drivers start your Zucchinis! It’s not the normal command to begin a race, but that will be the case on Saturday, May 5 in downtown Kannapolis when the second annual Zucchini 600 rolls off.

With a lot of ingenuity and imagination, youngsters construct workable, rolling vehicles out of zucchini for a matchup of Cabarrus County’s young racing talent.

Events start in the Kids’ Zone at Jiggy with the Piggy starting at 10 a.m. Races begin at noon.

Haulers on Union Parade & Fan Fest - May 18, 2017 5:00PM

The haulers that carry the race cars are loads of fun to watch, too. And on Thursday, May 17 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Haulers on Union Parade & Fan Fest presented by Freightliner is going to bring a ton of fun to the streets of Concord. More than 30 MONSTER Energy NASCAR Cup Series car haulers will make their way down Union Street en route to Charlotte Motor Speedway.

It’s more than a parade, though; it’s a huge free party. Find us along Union Street between Cabarrus and Corban Avenues for live beach music from The Tim Clark Band, activities for children, food, giveaways, race cars on display and so much more.

Little 600 - May 22, 2018 5:00PM

The racing excitement gets real on Tuesday, May 22 when the annual Little 600 takes the green flag at the GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville. The cars may be smaller, but the stars and the excitement will be huge. Some of NASCAR’s biggest names will battle each other for bragging rights in GoPro Motorplex’s rental fleet of go-karts.

The action begins at 5 p.m. but come out early and stay until the last flag flies in the free event. And as an added bonus, there will be a race for some of the top spotters in the sport.

Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola

Commemorating the May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway with family-oriented events, the 600 Festival has drummed up Judah & the Lion, Chase Rice, Easton Corbin, Dustin Lynch and Brett Young to perform in uptown Charlotte May 24-26 for the 24th annual Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola.

On the Coca Cola Stage:

May 24th

Kicking off the event will be one of Nashville's most genre-bending bands Judah & the Lion On May 24th they come on at 8:45pm on the Coca Cola stage in Uptown Charlotte. 
Released in March 2017, “Folk Hop N Roll” is the group’s second full-length album featuring a new genre of music dubbed “Folk Hop.” The album features RIAA-certified gold single, "Take It All Back," which topped the Alternative radio charts at No. 1 for three consecutive weeks. Judah & the Lion were recently named iHeart Radio's Best New Alt/Rock Artist at the 2018 iHeart Radio Music Awards.

Charlotte-based bands, Reaves and Jaggermouth, will open for the trio starting at 6:30 p.m.

May 25th
It has been six years since Easton Corbin appeared on the Coca-Cola stage, and he’s been busy since. He has accumulated two No. 1 singles, seven top-10 singles and multiple awards and nominations. Corbin is known for his signature hits, “A Little More Country Than That,” “Roll With It,” “Lovin’ You Is Fun,” and “Baby Be My Love Song” from his No. 1 debut album, “About To Get Real.” His latest top-5 single was “A Girl Like You.”

Co-headlining Friday night will be country music singer and former NASCAR pit crew member, Chase Rice. The Tar Heel native released his sophomore album, “Lambs & Lions,” to critical acclaim late last year. Rice’s first album, “Ignite the Night,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums and No. 3 on the all-genre chart and produced a pair of top-5 hits including the platinum-certified "Ready Set Roll" and “Gonna Wanna Tonight.”

Georgia native and singer-songwriter, Travis Denning will open for the country music stars starting at 6:30 p.m.

May 26th
Headlining Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola on Saturday will be 32-year-old country star, Dustin Lynch. The Tennessee native has been on a steady path toward superstardom with five consecutive No. 1s, three top-5 albums, platinum-level certifications and tours with the biggest names in country music. One of’s Most Anticipated Albums of 2017, his latest album “CURRENT MOOD” features chart-rising single “I’d Be Jealous Too,” No. 1 hit “Seein’ Red” and the record-setting “Small Town Boy,” which reigned the Billboard Country Airplay chart for four straight weeks in 2017, making it the chart’s longest-running leader of the year with the largest single-week audience. It earned Lynch his first iHeartRadio Music Awards nomination for Country Song of the Year.

With his honest lyrics and West Coast-meets-Southern sound, special guest Brett Young will capture the hearts of guests starting at 8 p.m. The newly-named 2018 ACM New Male Vocalist of the Year’s self-titled, gold-certified debut album features three platinum-certified No. 1 singles, “Like I Loved You,” “Sleep Without You,” and “In Case You Didn’t Know.” His current single, “Mercy,” is steadily climbing the charts and quickly hit No. 1 in its second week on the Vevo Top Country chart.

Rising star, Lindsay Ell, will take the stage at 6:30 p.m. performing songs from her debut album, “The Project.”

On the Mello Yello Stage:

May 24th

Appearing on the Mello Yello stage at 7 p.m. will be one of the most gifted vocalists in the post-Marvin Gaye era of pop R&B, Howard Hewett.

As the male vocal lead in Shalamar and later as a solo artist, Hewett’s tenor voice is known for “Second Time Around,” “A Night to Remember,” “For the Lover in You,” “You Can Count On Me,” and “Don’t Get Stopped in Beverly Hills.”

May 25th
Starting at 7 p.m., the Mello Yello stage will serve as a time machine for high-octane 90s music performed by Gump Fiction.

Known as the “Ultimate 90s Experience,” the Charlotte-based band will take you back to the days of dial-up internet, slap bracelets and Tamagotchi pets with unforgettable 90s songs from Nirvana to Britney Spears and everything in between.

May 26th

Wrapping up the three-day entertainment schedule on the Mello Yello stage is one of beach music’s most iconic bands, Chairmen of the Board.

Beginning at 7 p.m., Chairmen of the Board will perform some of their unforgettable songs like "Give Me Just a Little More Time," "Pay to the Piper," "Finders Keepers," "Carolina Girls," and "Everything's Tuesday."

For a complete list of entertainment and live music on both the Coca-Cola and Mello Yello stages, visit

Chez Francois Music Hall Concerts

Take a look at some great concerts at Chez Francois Music Hall!

77th Street Revue - start May 11 2018 0900PM

77th Street Revue - May 11, 2018 9:00PM

Looking for the best in upscale, low-volume entertainment? We've got you covered. 77th Street Revue is a different kind of band - no amplifiers, a tiny footprint, and no loud stacks of sp... Read More » 


Throwback Thursday Party Band - start May 12 2018 0900PM

Throwback Thursday Party Band - May 12, 2018 9:00PM

Throwback Thursday Party Band plays all of your favorite songs from the 60's through today! Bringing a style of upbeat entertainment to any venue, TBT Band is sure to please everyone with... Read More » 


SugarSmax - start May 18 2018 0900PM

SugarSmax - May 18, 2018 9:00PM

What kind of night are you in for when you fuse electrifying personalities with explosive raw talent, erupting with hot grooves from the 70’s, retro pop-culture from the 80’s, a blend of ... Read More » 


Wayward Reason Band - start May 19 2018 0900PM

Wayward Reason Band - May 19, 2018 9:00PM

Wayward Reason is a primarily top 40 country band, that also does classic country and rock. Collectively this bands' member's have done shows with the ZACK BROWN BAND, WAYLON JENNINGS, JA... Read More » 


Groove Machine - start May 25 2018 0900PM

Groove Machine - May 25, 2018 9:00PM

Groove Machine is a rock band that plays everything from classic 70’s to current rock covers and a few of our own. Read More » 


Troublemaker - start May 26 2018 0900PM

Troublemaker - May 26, 2018 9:00PM

Guitar driven classic rock and blues band.


Darrell Harwood - start Jun 01 2018 0900PM

Darrell Harwood - Jun 1, 2018 9:00PM

By far the best and most entertaining local country artist around! Don't miss Darrell Harwood as he makes his debut at Chez Francois Music Hall in downtown Concord! No cover! Read More » 


Action Jaxxon - start Jun 02 2018 0900PM

Action Jaxxon - Jun 2, 2018 9:00PM

High energy cover band with a fun and lively attitude. Here to tickle your fancy. Read More » 


Decarlo - start Jun 08 2018 0900PM

Decarlo - Jun 8, 2018 9:00PM

DECARLO is a power trio from the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Playing songs spanning through the 70's & 80's ranging from classic dance songs to rock and roll anthems. Their style ... Read More » 


Blonde Ambition - start Jun 09 2018 0900PM

Blonde Ambition - Jun 9, 2018 9:00PM

Blond Ambition will bring you rock tunes from the 60's, 70's, and 80's. We cover artists such as ACDC, Deep Purple, White Snake, Guns and Roses, ZZ Top, & KISS...just to name a few! Read More » 


Main Events at the Speedway

Charlotte Motor Speedway gears up (pun intended) each year to prepare for Race Season. Check out the amazing lineup of events they have this year and plan your trip today! 

North Carolina Education Lottery 200 - May 18, 2018 8:30PM

The stars of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series take on the high banks of America's home for Racing, Charlotte Motor Speedway under the lights in 200 miles of exciting, tailgate-flying action. Drivers will also set the field for the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race with white-knuckled, no-speed-limit qualifying that includes a mandatory four-tire pit stop.

Kids 13 & Under Get In Free!

Monster Energy All-Star Race - May 19, 2018 6:20PM

The stars of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will battle under the lights at America's Home for Racing, Charlotte Motor Speedway in what will surely be a night to remember. 

Arrive early on Saturday to catch Platinum-selling singer and songwriter Cole Swindell light up the biggest all-star event in sports with the Pre-race concert. The concert will kick off pre-race festivities for the race on a stage located near the Turn 1 entrance.

Afterwards catch 
The Monster Energy Open that night for a fender-banging, last-chance qualifier to fill out the field for the biggest All-Star event in sports!

Spectrum Pole Night-ARCA General Tire 150 - May 24, 2018 7:10PM

Spectrum Pole Night returns on Thursday, May 24, with three-round knockout qualifying to decide which Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers will “go” and who will “go home” prior to the legendary Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 27.

Alsco 300 - May 26, 2018 1:00PM

NASCAR XFINITY Series regulars will battle against NASCAR Cup Series drivers in the Alsco 300 an afternoon showdown at America's home for Racing, Charlotte Motor Speedway. The NASCAR Xfinity Series is an opportunity for fans to see great racing with tickets starting at just $25.

Coca-Cola 600 - May 27, 2018 6:00PM

Celebrate the 59th running of the legendary Coca-Cola 600 at America's Home for Racing, Charlotte Motor Speedway on Memorial Day Weekend. 

Before the races begin, enjoy a concert put on by the talented Eli Young, as well as a spectacular, patriotic salute to our military heroes!

Drive for the Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina - Sep 29, 2018 3:00PM

The contenders for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship will fight to the finish with Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series regulars in a Saturday-free-for-all at NASCAR’s home track.  Your Drive for the Cure 300 ticket also includes TWO afternoon Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice sessions when your favorite driver is dialing in for Saturday’s race week finale. 

The Fan Zone is open all day and kids’ tickets are FREE for ages 13 and under. Adult tickets start at just $25. Make it a fabulous, fun, family SATURDAY, and wear your pink to raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer!

Bank of America 500 - Sep 30, 2018 2:00PM

 A new chapter at America's Home for Racing, Charlotte Motor Speedway history will be written Sept.30, 2018, when the Bank of America 500 – NASCAR’s homecoming showcase of speed and excitement – roars to life on ROVAL™! The first road course race in NASCAR’s playoffs – and the cutoff race in Round 1 – will see drivers duel door to door in one of the most challenging and dramatic races on the schedule.

Drag Racing Series

There's more than just the main course at Charlotte Motor Speedway -- there's also the Dragway where racers can battle it out in events like the 4-Wide Nationals. Find out more here. 

NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals - Apr 27, 2018 8:00AM


NHRA drag racing returns to ZMax Dragway, the original site for four-wide racing on the NHRA schedule. Be sure to join the fastest accelerating machines on the planet as they tackle the Bellagio of dragstrips during the ninth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Every ticket is a pit pass, so come early to see your favorite drivers and their cars up-close before a quartet of 10,000-horsepower, nitro-burning machines power down the dragstrip simultaneously in one of the greatest spectacles in all of racing.

NHRA Carolina Nationals - Oct 12-14, 2018

As the temperatures cool down, the excitement heats up at the NHRA’s best battle for supremacy at the Bellagio of drag strips during the fourth race of the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship.

Every ticket is a pit pass, giving fans unmatched access to the drivers and crews who drive these 10,000-horsepower machines to their limits!

Other Fun Events at the Speedway

Yes, there are races. However, there are so many other fun things happening in the area! Take a look at other races and events at the Speedway to check out while you're in Charlotte.

Carolina Rebellion - May 4-6, 2018

The Carolina Rebellion is Mid-Atlantic's Biggest Rock Festival on May 4, 5, and 6!

 Rock out with Alice In Chains, Shinedown, Stone Sour, Godsmack, Five Finger Death Punch, Breaking Benjamin, Muse, Queens of the Stone Age, Incubus and more.  

Outlaw Showdown - May 25, 2018 6:00PM

Dirt will fly when the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series takes on The Dirt Track at Charlotte on May 25th for the Outlaw Showdown. Drivers will compete for prize money and prestige in winged, 850-horsepower open-wheel, sprint cars on the lightning-fast, four-tenths-mile clay oval. 

The undercard features the South Eastern Crate Association features regional racers competing in equally powered late model race cars in the series’ biggest event of the year.

Circle K Back-to-School Monster Truck Bash - Aug 11, 2018 6:00PM

Sparks will fly as the metal-mashing machines of the Circle K Back-to-School Monster Truck Bash return to The Dirt Track at Charlotte for a night of high-flying action on the most diabolical outdoor course on the planet.

Pennzoil AutoFair presented by Advance Auto Parts - start Sep 06 2018 0800AM

Pennzoil AutoFair presented by Advance Auto Parts - Sep 6, 2018 8:00AM

Car lovers rejoice! The world’s largest automotive extravaganza, the Pennzoil AutoFair presented by Advance Auto Parts, returns September 6-9, bringing together thousands of hot rods, mus... Read More » 


Bojangles Pole Night - start Sep 28 2018 0800AM

Bojangles' Pole Night - Sep 28, 2018

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup drivers leave it all on the track during knockout qualifying to set the field for the Bank of America 500. The entertainment lineup also features the Better Half... Read More » 

World of Outlaws World Finals - Nov 1-3, 2018

The most prestigious dirt racing event in the country, the Nov. 1-3 World of Outlaws World Finals, returns for three days of heart-pounding, clay-slinging action on the lightning-fast, four-tenths mile oval.

The World of Outlaws World Finals brings together the top series in the sport, the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and the Big-Block Modifieds of the Super DIRTcar Series, for a full weekend of racing culminating in the crowning of all three series champions.

The 2018 Racing Guide was made possible by The 600 Festival!

The 600 Festival Association is a nonprofit that has been commemorating the May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway with spectacular, family-oriented events for more than 32 years. This year’s lineup of events includes Movies on the Campus in conjunction with Jiggy with the Piggy in Kannapolis (May 4); Haulers on Union in Concord (May 17); Little 600 (May 22) and more.

The Chez Francois Music Hall has live music to Downtown Concord, NC every Friday and Saturday in the upstairs ballroom. Live Music every Friday and Saturday evening in downtown Concord, NC. Doors open at 7:00 pm each night with live music from 9:00 - 1:00!

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Cabarrus Magazine's free newsletter to catch every headline