About Cabarrus County, North Carolina
Welcome to Cabarrus County [KUH-BEAR-US]!
Where small town charm meets big city adventure. Where the simple life and the need for speed come together for a not-so-average Saturday night. Where you can kick back or kick it in high gear!
Racing is the essence of adventure in Cabarrus County. NASCAR began during the Prohibition Era when "moonshine runners" delivered illegal whiskey with supped up cars and reputations for outsmarting and outdriving the law. Now the official state sport of North Carolina, the storied history of stock car racing continues to grow within our county lines.
Known as "Where Racing Lives," Cabarrus County is home to an unequaled concentration of motorsports attractions making this destination unlike any other in the world. Nicknamed Speed City USA, Concord is home to Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMAX Dragway, The Dirt Track and many NASCAR team shops. The legendary 1.5 mile superspeedway hosts major NASCAR series races in May and October as well as The Summer Shootout Series beginning in June. In addition to a full program of Legend Car and Bandolero racing, this series includes special attractions such as school bus races and fireworks.
zMAX Dragway, or the "Bellagio of Drag Strips," is the only all-concrete four-lane drag strip in the world. In April and September each year, engines roar and the grandstands rumble when the best drag racers in the world compete for all the glory. At The Dirt Track, visitors can witness the World of Outlaws battle at the World Finals in November or catch the Monster Truck Bash in August. Typically 11-feet tall and weighing in at nearly five tons, these giants put on one powerful show!
Did you know that 90% of NASCAR race shops are located in Cabarrus County and the surrounding area? Stop by to observe team members hard at work and witness live pit crew practice in fan viewing areas. Then, explore history and pick up souvenirs inside museums and teams stores. Chip-Ganassi Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, and Stewart-Hass Racing are all located within minutes of Charlotte Motor Speedway and are free of charge. Visiting race shops allows fans to get a behind the scenes look into how the teams prepare for race day.
Your chance to get behind the wheel and on the track exists here in Cabarrus County. Whether you prefer the split-second adrenaline rush of a dragster or whipping through the banked corners of a superspeedway in a stock car, the opportunity to drive or ride along is yours. Check out our website to explore all the options including the Richard Petty Driving Experience, NASCAR Racing Experience, Roy Hills Drag Racing School, Pure Speed Drag Racing Experience and more!
Your time in Cabarrus County may begin with motorsports but it won't end there. Unwind at 160 miles per hour then, stroll Downtown and experience the energy. Pick up that perfect find, get lost in the Carolina countryside and get together for a home cooked meal. When the checkered flag drops, we'll be ready to welcome you back.
Location & Climate
Cabarrus County is located in North Carolina's southern piedmont with the pristine Outer Banks to the east and grand Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to the west. The region is within an hour and a half flight or just a short drive away from more than 60 percent of the US population. Cabarrus County runs along Interstate 85 providing easy access to hotels, restaurants and attractions. Interstate 77 is 15 miles east and Interstate 40 is just a 30 minute drive north.
Two hours from Raleigh, three from Asheville and minutes north of Charlotte, great location is just the beginning. Friendly faces, attractions with attractions and the kind of weather that keeps you outdoors combine with motorsports excitement you'll only find in the heart of racing country. The area enjoys four distinct seasons, mild temperatures year-around and sunshine for about 214 days a year.
The area which became Cabarrus was a part of Mecklenburg County, which was formed in 1762. Many began to seek the formation of a separate county and after years of effort, the Assembly was persuaded to form a new county from northeastern Mecklenburg on December 29, 1792. It was named Cabarrus, in honor of the popular Speaker of the House of Representatives, Stephen Cabarrus of Chowan County. The City of Concord was founded four years later and became the county seat.
With a population of over 196,000 today, Cabarrus County is more than just a motorsports mecca.
Tour underground tunnels and pan for gold at Reed Gold Mine, the site of the first gold discovery in America made in 1799. Stroll through Historic Downtown Concord and find the stately 19th century Cabarrus County Courthouse, neighborhoods with Italianate, Queen Anne and Colonial Revival homes under a massive tree canopy, and Memorial Garden—a beautifully restored three-acre garden dating back to 1804. From cotton to chromosomes, the region's textile heritage is focused in the city of Kannapolis, now home to the North Carolina Research Campus. The town began as the famous Cannon Mills, one of the first plants to process and sell cotton in the south, which later became the world's largest producer of fine towels and linens. Today, the city is a hub of nutrition focused on life sciences and remains a cornerstone of The Dale Trail as Dale Earnhardt's hometown.
10 Local Favorite Things to Do
When you live "Where Racing Lives," it's easy to spend free time fueling a love for motorsports. It's the pulse of our community, and it's a heart-pounding one. Add local cuisine, craft beer, family fun attractions and historic sites to those high-speed past times, and you're left with our idea of a good time. Click here for 10 Local Favorite Things to Do.
Racing is certainly a staple of life in Cabarrus County. But when it comes to music, nothing compares to an Avett tune. Much like their mother, Susie and father, Jim, the duo behind Grammy-nominated folk rock band The Avett Brothers have their roots planted firmly in the ground of rural Concord. While Seth and Scott continue along a road of success, this community continues to be a significant chapter in their story. From the lyrics created at their homestead studio in the Cabarrus countryside to hearing Jim and his daughter Bonnie harmonize during a performance inside the historic downtown Davis Theatre, the Avetts personify our area's authenticity. After the rubber settles and the stands have emptied, save time to flip the cap off a glass bottle of Sun Drop or Cheerwine, find a seat along Union Street and savor a bluegrass melody. This is Cabarrus County at its finest. Honest and exhilarating. A place where you feel right at home.
Eighty-eight years ago, Ralph Earnhardt was born in Kannapolis. In 1949, Ralph began racing on local Carolina dirt tracks. Ever since, the Earnhardt family has played a significant role in shaping this community. Every hometown has a hero. In Cabarrus County, that hero is also a champion. Ralph's son and seven-time NASCAR Champion, Dale Earnhardt, Sr. is considered one of the greatest drivers of all time and was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame's inaugural class in 2010. Today, Earnhardt's legacy lives on. In Downtown Kannapolis, Dale Earnhardt Plaza stands as a memorial to "The Intimidator," where fans often visit to remember him including his biggest fan—his mother Martha. Also a Kannapolis native, Dale Jr. is drover of the No 88 with Hendrick Motorsports, has been NASCAR's most popular driver since 2003 and co-owns JR Motorsports with his sister, Kelley. Other Earnhardt family members remain rooted in the area and the sport, we take great pride in sharing their legacy. While exploring area landmarks, we hope you are inspired by and continue to share the stories that bring our community's racing heritage to life.