Thousands collect diplomas at Charlotte Motor Speedway

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  • Principal Vance Fishback presents a diploma to a graduate of the class of 2020 from Cabarrus Early College of Technology at the Charlotte Motor Speedway during a graduation event in Concord, N.C., Friday, June 12, 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic Cabarrus County schools participated in a first-of-its-kind commencement ceremony for students and family. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
  • Graduating senior Xavier Faulkner from Cabarrus Early College of Technology waits in his car to receive his diploma at the Charlotte Motor Speedway during a graduation event in Concord, N.C., Friday, June 12, 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic Cabarrus County schools participated in a first-of-its-kind commencement ceremony for students and family. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
  • Class of 2020 graduates from Cabarrus Early College of Technology drive on the Charlotte Motor Speedway to receive their diplomas from principal Vance Fishback during a graduation event in Concord, N.C., Friday, June 12, 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic Cabarrus County schools participated in a first-of-its-kind commencement ceremony for students and family. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
  • A family member places a makeshift cap of the roof of a vehicle as Class of 2020 graduates from Cabarrus Early College of Technology prepare to drive on the Charlotte Motor Speedway to receive their diplomas during a graduation event in Concord, N.C., Friday, June 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
  • Class of 2020 graduating seniors from Cabarrus Early College of Technology drive across the start-finish line at the Charlotte Motor Speedway to receive their diplomas during a graduation event in Concord, N.C., Friday, June 12, 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic Cabarrus County schools participated in a first-of-its-kind commencement ceremony for it's students and family. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
  • Principal Vance Fishback holds a diploma to presnt to graduates of the class of 2020 from Cabarrus Early College of Technology at the Charlotte Motor Speedway during a graduation event in Concord, N.C., Friday, June 12, 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic Cabarrus County schools participated in a first-of-its-kind commencement ceremony for students and family. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
  • Class of 2020 graduates from Cabarrus Early College of Technology drive on the Charlotte Motor Speedway to receive their diplomas during a graduation event in Concord, N.C., Friday, June 12, 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic Cabarrus County schools participated in a first-of-its-kind commencement ceremony for students and family. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

CONCORD, N.C. — Thousands of graduates in Cabarrus County accepted their diplomas inside their vehicles on the NASCAR track at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

People in decorated cars, trucks and SUVs parked outside the track Friday and watched graduation speeches on the big screen and listened over the radio.

Grace Tucker’s SUV was decked out with a giant print of her senior photo.

When school shut down back in March amid the pandemic, Tucker expected she’d soon be walking the halls of Central Cabarrus High School again.

Tucker said she never thought the pandemic would last through her graduation.

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