CONCORD, N.C. – Chris “Pops” Bowyer sat in a lawn chair wearing a plain white T-shirt and drinking a beer alongside wife Jana and their friends outside of their motorhome a few hundred yards from Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Bowyer knew he wasn't getting into the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday to see his Cup driver son Clint race, but decided to make the trek from Kansas to be close to the action.
“Well, we're here,” said Bowyer, while dog Hank laid on the grass near his feet. “The kid is racing, so we're here.”
Added Clint's mother, Jana: “We don't like it. We'd like to be in there where we could watch, but we can't.”
Jana Bowyer certainly isn't alone in those feelings. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, NASCAR isn't allowing spectators into its races until further notice. The only people to see the race were those working it and those who live in the turn one condominiums at the track.
But the Bowyers came anyway, taking up temporary residence in Jerome Little's Route 29 Pavilion RV campground and entertainment center located just across the street from the speedway. It was dual purpose trip for the Bowyers: they wanted to spend time with an old friend who is suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) and also wanted to be there to support their son.
Because the campground property isn't owned by CMS, Little was allowed to host those in motorhomes while still encouraging social distancing.
In a normal year he hosts approximately 175 motorhomes and two acres of cars on his property. On Sunday there were only a handful of cars in the lot, and those were owned by members of the media. But there were 33 motorhomes on his properties, with race fans traveling from as far away as New York, Texas and Maine.