Actor Channing Tatum surprised dozens of NASCAR fans Sunday during a visit to Charlotte Motor Speedway by mingling in the camp sites during the Coca-Cola 600.
Tatum reportedly visited four or five different groups of campers, asking questions about their gear, posing for photos and creating an uproar among some of the younger female fans, witnesses say.
“Crazy, jumping up and down, screaming,” said one witness. “It was impromptu and very well received. They definitely recognized who he was.”
A tweet sent out by the speedway showed Tatum chatting with a fan about her ornate camping trailer and its large murals. Tatum was said to have noticed the trailer while driving into the speedway and wanted to go back and get a better look.
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The unscheduled visits happened after he completed his role as grand marshal, announcing the start of the race. He also attended a prerace driver’s meeting. Tatum’s spirited call of “drivers start your engines” was accompanied with a fist in the air, suggesting he was enjoying himself at the race.
He reportedly asked for no prior announcement of his plan to chat one-on-one with fans, if time permitted, officials said.
The visit to Charlotte was two-fold: To promote his Charlotte-based film “Logan Lucky” and to support the speedway’s planned Memorial Day salute of the military. Thousands of servicemen and women were expected at the speedway. Tatum tweeted out a video last week that applauds the speedway and NASCAR for their support of the military.
The plot of “Logan Lucky” is centered around Charlotte Motor Speedway and brothers Jimmy (Tatum) and Clyde Logan (Adam Driver), who set out to execute an elaborate robbery during the legendary Coca-Cola 600. It is to be released this summer.
“We hope we created something fun and get to show people how cool NASCAR is,” Tatum in a tweet sent out by the speedway.
Tatum’s visit did not involve an overnight stay. He flew in just before the race and was scheduled to leave shortly after, officials said.