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Charlotte Motor Speedway is going to the dogs for aquatics competition

Dogs will be put to the test with various dock-diving and jumping challenges at the Charlotte Motor Speedway AutoFair
Dogs will be put to the test with various dock-diving and jumping challenges at the Charlotte Motor Speedway AutoFair

The Charlotte Motor Speedway is going to the dogs. The Speedway announced in August that there will be a furry addition to the popular Charlotte Motor Speedway AutoFair on Sept. 18-21, held yearly in Concord, N.C. The Carolina DockDogs organization, members of the world’s premier canine aquatics competition, will present the 2014 DockDogs Big Air at this year's AutoFair.

Families can enjoy watching dogs compete in various contests, including Big Air, Extreme Vertical and Speed Retrieve during the four-day premiere auto event for N.C. Pet owners can sign up their own pets to compete as well. The competition will be held in the infield and is open to all breeds six months and older and handlers age 7 and older.

“We’re looking forward to being at the AutoFair. It’s a huge event,” said Jay Harris, the founder and president of Carolina DockDogs. “Being at Charlotte Motor Speedway is going to make this contest second to none! We have one goal when we put on a DockDogs competition and that’s to put on the biggest and baddest dock-diving event that we can. We love to have fun and we get loud. If you like dogs, family fun and music, then this is the event for you!”

Big Air is also known as the long jump. Dogs jump from the dock and as far out into the pool as possible. Extreme Vertical is a high jump contest where the dogs jump from the edge of the dock and reach up to grab the bumper hanging high above the pool. In the Speed Retrieve competition, dogs are timed on jumping in and swimming to the opposite end of the pool to grab the designated object hanging above the water.

On Friday, Sept. 19, families and competitors can bring their dogs for an Intro for Beginners course for just $15. There, they can learn the proper techniques of the sport and help their dogs get used to the water. If their dogs are comfortable enough, they can sign up to compete in the actual competition and the $15 can be used towards registration.

“We want to see all the kids come out and bring their pets,” said Harris, who has been competing in the sport with his dogs for nine years. “We’ll try our best to get them in the water. We will work with them on the dock and get them hooked on this sport. I guarantee we’ll see a lot of smiles.”

Fans can watch canines in the Big Air competition compete in waves, starting at 5 p.m. on Friday and at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. Big Air will finish Sunday with the last two waves, followed by the finals at 3 p.m. The Extreme Vertical contest will be held on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. and the Speed Retrieve will take place on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Pre-registration is already open and is just $27 per team for Big Air, Speed Retrieve or Extreme Vertical competition. Teams that pre-register get two free passes to AutoFair each day.On-site registration is $30 per team.

The AutoFair features more than 50 car club displays and more than 10,000 vendor spaces offering an array of automotive parts and memorabilia. More than 1,500 collectible vehicles of all makes and models will be available for sale in the car corral that rings the 1.5-mile superspeedway. In addition, up to 200 cars will be auctioned by Dealer Auctions Inc., and kids can enjoy face-painting, bounce houses, and other games and entertainment in the Play Zone.

Hours for the Sept. 18-21 AutoFair are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday. Ticket prices are $10 per day for adults, and children 13 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Fans who buy three tickets get the fourth day free. Parking for the event is $5. For more information on this family-friendly four-day event, visit

To plan your trip to Concord, N.C. and Cabarrus County, visit

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