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Add This To Your Calendar! NASCAR’s Speed SZN is Upon Us And It’s Happening In Atlanta on Feb. 25.

Add This To Your Calendar! NASCAR’s Speed SZN is Upon Us And It’s Happening In Atlanta on Feb. 25.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to restart and revamp your annual social calendars! 

We all have those events that we simply cannot miss each year. Carnival Season, Homecoming Season, Probate Season, or Festival Season –whichever one is your jam, everyone knows you will attend at least one event for the season. Bonus points if it happens to be in the city you call home, allowing you to redirect your travel funds towards turnup funds.

Well, we’ve got a new season for you to add to your list: Speed SZN, a unique tailgating experience that serves as the perfect way to dip your toe into the NASCAR universe. Yes, NASCAR as in racing. Hear us out.

When you think of major races and speedways, you probably don’t think of a very diverse (or even inviting) space–and with good reason. Over the last few years, NASCAR has faced that reputation head on and gone to great lengths to change that perception. (We love a self-aware brand that’s willing to do the work!)

The best way to see NASCAR’s  concerted effort to open up opportunities for people of color both on the track and behind the scenes is to take in an actual race. And Atlanta Motor Speedway is one of the most exciting and accessible tracks on its schedule. Take, for example, Bubba Wallace, who is a graduate of the NASCAR Drive For Diversity program. In 2013, he grabbed the racing world’s attention by becoming the first African-American in 50 years to win a race in one of NASCAR’s top three national touring series. Five years later, he made history again as the only Black full-time driver in NASCAR’s premier Cup Series, but with several young talents behind him, he won’t be the last. And in 2021, when he became the first Black driver to win a race in NASCAR’s premier Cup series since Hall of Famer Wendell Scott did it in 1963; Bubba also took up the cause of getting NASCAR to ban the confederate flag from all venues.

Bubba Wallace, driver of the #23 Columbia Sportswear Company Toyota at the NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway on November 05, 2023
(Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Yeah, it’s definitely a new day at NASCAR. The past few years have seen meaningful partnerships with entities like HBCUs in NASCAR’s various markets and forward thinking brands like Melanated Campout that have always put on for the community to ensure that their efforts are not only well intentioned, but also impactful, organic and well executed. Oh yeah, and the makeup of racing team owners is shifting too: Bubba Wallace, who had the best year of his career in 2023, credits his newfound confidence to Michael Jordan, who happens to be the co-owner of Bubba’s team 23XI Racing. NASCAR also has four active Black owners, including last year’s Daytona 500 winner and former Cleveland Cavaliers great, Brad Daugherty, the first Black principal team owner to win NASCAR’s biggest race. For those counting, that’s more Black owners than any other major sport.

In 2021, NASCAR partnered with Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints, and he became the industry’s first Growth and Engagement Advisor. In his consultant role, he discusses ways to diversify the fan base while also serving as a host of many Speed SZN events, including this one.

This year, NASCAR is bringing Speed SZN to Atlanta. And if you’ve ever been to the A, you know this is likely to be the event that defines all future Speed SZNs to come. Set to take place on February 25th ahead of the Ambetter Health 400 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, this special tailgating event is an opportunity for Black casual racing fans to get familiar with the full NASCAR experience. Because, after all, the experience is just as much about the community built around the track as it is the race themselves.

The event creates a familiar atmosphere with plenty of good music, good vibes and good food, fostering the perfect environment to get acquainted with the one-of-a-kind NASCAR experience. As a bonus, Speed SZN also supports the local economy, bringing in local talent and vendors to enhance the experience across the board.

With its rich cultural and social history, it’s often been said that “Atlanta Influences Everything.” Atlanta’s unique culture is one of the greatest forces to have helped shape Hip-Hop for nearly three decades. Atlanta nightlife in the late 90s created the blueprint for urban nightlife experiences across the globe. And you know nobody turns up like ATLiens: you see it on your timeline time and time again.

While the official Speed SZN tailgate experience is an invite only situation, NASCAR is heading to Atlanta fully prepared to match the city’s energy with tons of other amazing, inclusive activities around Race Day: Clark Atlanta University’s Mighty Marching Panthers will be on deck to perform for the first-time during pre-race ceremonies; and Melanated Campout will be hosting a group of 30 Black campers in the infield at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Plus you never know WHO might pop up! Past race dignitaries and special guests have included Kenan Thompson, Julio Jones, and D’Andre Swift, to name a few.

In other words: if Atlanta was on your travel list for 2024, plan around February 25 to attend the Ambetter Health 400 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. And if you’re already in the A: pull up and set this thing off! 
Click here to purchase tickets and get more information about NASCAR’s Ambetter Health 400.

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