5555 Concord Pkwy. South
Concord, NC 28027
Phone: (704) 455-3200, (704) 455-3204
Phone for tickets: 800-455-FANS
Superspeedway: 1.5-mile quad oval
Banking: turns: 24 degrees; straights: 5 degrees
Straights: Frontstretch - 1952.8 feet; Backstretch - 1360 feet
Grandstand Seating: 146,000
Coca-Cola thru 2015 for the May 600 mile race
Bank of America thru 2013 for the October 500 mile race
Was Lowes Motor Speedway from 2000 to 2009
2013 May Race Winner: #29-Kevin Harvick, 130.521mph, started 15th
2013 October Race Winner: #2-Brad Keselowski, 158.308mph, started 23rd
Track Race Record 500 miles: Jeff Gordon, Oct 1999, 160.306mph
Track Race Record 600 miles: Kasey Kahne, May 2012, 155.687mph
Slowest Race Record: Junior Johnson, 107.752mph, 1960
Worst Starting Spot to Win: Jimmie Johnson, May 2003, started 37th
Oldest Winner: Cale Yarborough, 46 years, 6 months, 9 days, 10/6/1985
Youngest Winner: Jeff Gordon, 22 years, 9 months, 25 days, 5/29/1994
2013 May Pole Sitter: #11-Denny Hamlin, 195.624mph, finished 4th
2013 October Pole Sitter: #24-Jeff Gordon, 194.308mph, finished 7th
Track Qualifying Record: Denny Hamlin, May 2013, 195.624mph
Coke 600 Qualifying Record: Denny Hamlin, May 2013, 195.624mph
500 mile Qualifying Record: Jeff Gordon, Oct 2013, 194.308mph
Youngest Pole Winner: Jeff Gordon, 22 years, 2 months, 6 days, 10/10/1993
Oldest Pole Winner: Bobby Allison, 49 years, 10 months, 8 days, 10/11/1987
Most Wins: 6 - Darrell Waltrip, Bobby Allison, Jimmie Johnson; 5, Jeff Gordon
Most Poles: 14 - David Pearson; Current driver: 9, Ryan Newman & Jeff Gordon
Most Top 5s: 23 - Bobby Allison, Richard Petty
Most Top 10s: 31 - Richard Petty
Most Laps Led [500 mile race]: 328, Ernie Irvan, 10/10/1993
Most Laps Led [600 mile race]: 335, Jim Paschal, 5/28/1967
Most Laps Led by a Race Winner: 335, Jim Paschal, 5/28/1967
Fewest Laps Led by a Race Winner: 2, Kevin Harvick, 5/29/2011
Most Leaders: 21, 5/29/2005
Most Lead Changes: 59 - 5/27/1979
Fewest Leaders: 3, 5/21/1961
Fewest Lead Changes: 2 - 5/21/1961
Most Cautions: 22, 5/29/2005
Most Caution Laps: 113, 5/25/1980
Fewest Cautions: 0 - 5/21/1961
Fewest Caution Laps: 0, 5/21/1961
Most Finishers on a lead lap: 25, 10/15/2005
Most Finishers on a lead lap: 26, 5/25/2009 [227 of 400 laps completed]
Most Running at the Finish: 39, 10/11/2003 & 10/17/2009
Most Running at the Finish: 42 [of 43], 5/25/2009 [227 of 400 laps completed]
Fewest Running at the Finish: 10 - 5/21/1961
Most Wins by Manufacturer: 41 - Chevy
Races won from starting pos 1: 14
Back to Back winners of the Coca-Cola 600:
Jimmie Johnson (3 in a row), 2003-2005
Jeff Gordon, 1997-1998
Dale Earnhardt, 1992-1993
Darrell Waltrip, 1988-1989
Neil Bonnett, 1982-1983
Darrell Waltrip, 1978-1979
Buddy Baker, 1972-1973
Winners of both the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600:
2010-Kurt Busch - 11th in the Sprint Cup Championship
2008-Kasey Kahne - 15th in the Sprint Cup Championship
2003-Jimmie Johnson - 2nd in the Sprint Cup Championship
1997-Jeff Gordon - won the Sprint Cup Championship
1993-Dale Earnhardt - won the Sprint Cup Championship
1991-Davey Allison - came in 3rd in Drivers points
1985-Darrell Waltrip - won the Cup Championship [first year of all-star race]
Winners of the Coca-Cola 600, All-Star Race and Fall 500 Race in same season:
Triple at Charlotte? Never done:
No driver has won the Coca-Cola 600, All-Star race & the fall race at Charlotte:
2010-Kurt Busch - finished 30th
2008-Kasey Kahne - 2nd
2003-Jimmie Johnson - 3rd
1997-Jeff Gordon - 5th
1993-Dale Earnhardt - 3rd
1991-Davey Allison - 2nd
1985-Darrell Waltrip - 4th
Drivers who led at 500-mile mark, and won the Coca-Cola 600:
Most laps led in 600-mile race win at Charlotte (modern era)
" Jimmie Johnson, 2004 -- 334
" Richard Petty, 1977 -- 311
" Rusty Wallace, 1990 -- 306
" Davey Allison, 1991 -- 263
" Kurt Busch, 2010 -- 252
Hot Dog Eating Championship qualifying to include NASCAR locations: Nathan's Famous, Inc. has unveiled the official list of sites that will host hot dog eating contests to qualify competitive eaters who will participate in the annual Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Nathan's Famous on Brooklyn's Coney Island. The Nathan's Famous qualifying tour stops in four new cities this year. It's also premiering at NASCAR events, including the annual Speed Street celebration in Charlotte, NC; Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA; and Sonoma Raceway in northern California. Nathan's Famous will host its first-ever qualifier at Busch Stadium prior to a St. Louis Cardinals game in May. This year's circuit begins on April 26th in Las Vegas and stops at 12 other cities before the final event takes place on July 4, 2014 at the Nathan's Famous flagship in Coney Island. The top male and top female finishers from each qualifier will earn a spot to compete in the ESPN-televised finals at the original Nathan's Famous, a holiday tradition since 1916.(Nathan's Famous)(3-21-2014)
Sprint Media Tour Jan 27-30th: After a week of industry news and media opportunities with teams, tracks, sponsors and drivers, the Sprint Media Tour Hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway culminates with NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France's State of the Sport on Thursday in the Great Hall of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "This four-day event provides media outlets across the country and around the world with newsworthy content as fans gear up for the 2014 NASCAR season," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "It takes a lot of support and cooperation from Sprint, the race teams and NASCAR to make it possible, and we've been proud to produce this preseason kickoff for more than 30 years. I'm always as excited as our fans to hear what the drivers and owners have to say about the upcoming season." The schedule is:
Monday, Jan 27: Press conferences by Stewart-Haas Racing [1:15pm/et], Leavine Family Racing and JTG Daugherty Racing [3:15pm/et].
Tuesday, Jan 28: Press conferences by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates [8:30am/et], Richard Childress Racing [10:30am/et], Furniture Row Racing [3:15pm/et] and Hendrick Motorsports [5:00pm/et]
Wednesday, Jan 29: Press conferences by Roush Fenway Racing [8:30am/et], Richard Petty Motorsports [10:30am/et], Front Row Motorsports [1:00pm/et], Wood Brothers Racing [1:00pm/et] and Team Penske [3:00pm/et]. That evening is the NASCAR Hall of Fame post-induction ceremony
Thursday, Jan 30: Press conferences by Michael Waltrip Racing [8:30am/et] and Joe Gibbs Racing [10:30am/et], followed by NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France's State of the Sport [1:00pm/et].(NASCAR.com), Events will be streamed live at NASCAR.com.(1-27/28-2014)
Charlotte Motor Speedway honors employees: Kannapolis, N.C., resident, Jamie Johnson was named the 2013 Ticket Office Salesperson of the Year during a banquet recognizing sales representatives for their hard work and exceptional results in the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office. "Year after year, Jamie has worked hard to hone her skills and has been making fantastic advancements in her sales," said Tim Schuldt, vice president of consumer sales and marketing at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "This year was just exceptional with tremendous results in all the ways we measure success: calls, close ratios, transaction size and up-selling. She was amazing at all of them. We're proud to call her our Salesperson of 2013."
Johnson has been with the ticket office since 2008 and is an account executive for ticket sales. Her duties include establishing relationships with fans and helping them purchase tickets, camping and multiple entertainment upgrades to various Charlotte Motor Speedway and zMAX Dragway events. Her hard work was recognized in previous years when she received the "Workhorse" award for having the most outbound calls in 2012 and won the "Most Upsells" Award in 2011. "It's really an honor to win this award," Johnson said. "I love getting to interact with fans on a daily basis and help them have a great time when they come to The Greatest Place to See the Race." As part of her award, Johnson received a trophy, a monetary prize and a week's vacation for two to the location of her choice.
Johnson was not the only member of the ticket office honored at Wednesday's banquet. Six other employees were recognized for their 2013 accomplishments.
Matt Bunn, a Raleigh, N.C., native, was named the Ticket Operations Employee of the Year. Bunn is currently the ticket reporting manager and has been with the ticket office for two years. "The different honors awarded at the ticket banquet really validate all the hard work that we do every year," Bunn said. "Being named the Ticket Operations Employee of the Year was a shock, but it gives me the motivation to do even better next year."
Ashley England, of Kannapolis, N.C., received the "Camping Salesperson of the Year" Award. England is an account executive in ticket and camping sales and has worked with the camping office for seven years.
Ashley Helms won the award for Most Outbound Calls and is an account executive in ticket sales. Helms, of Monroe, N.C., has been with the ticket office for more than six years.
Lee Ann Villanueva, of Kannapolis, N.C., received the "Most Part-Time Upsell Dollars" Award for 2013. Villanueva, an account executive for ticket sales, has worked in the ticket office since March 2012. Upsells include race-day experience upgrades such as pit passes, hospitality packages, driver introduction passes and more.
Jenni Bowden, of Concord, N.C., won the award for the "Most Full-Time Upsell Dollars" at this year's ceremony. Bowden is an account executive for Speedway Club ticket sales. Bowden has been with the ticket office since 1993 and was the 2011 Ticket Office Salesperson of the Year.
Also recognized was Monica Ellerbrock, of Charlotte, N.C., who was named Marketing Employee of the Year. Ellerbrock is the Marketing Coordinator of Ticketing and Affinity Programs at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(CMS)(12-15-2013)
Charlotte testing finishes up: On Wednesday, fans watched 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers take to the track in the sixth-generation car test at Charlotte Motor Speedway from the enclosed Clubhouse seating of The Speedway Club. NASCAR ran five different mock races, as well as several tuning sessions with cars completing single-car runs. The test session was intended to finalize rules packages for the 2014 season. "We did an initial test here in October," said Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR Vice President, Innovation and Racing Development. "We got some information. We've been very fortunate that we've actually had a huge participation. We have 30 cars out there. We're trying to exercise all this in a real?world environment."
"It is different when you have 30 cars, or 25 cars, versus the six (from October)," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR VP of Competition and Racing Development. "It was important that we come back with a field of cars like we did. It gave us a little bit of a different view of some of the answers and has put us in some different directions that we will continue to work on."
The stars of NASCAR return to Charlotte Motor Speedway during the 10 greatest days in racing, highlighted by the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600. Fans can catch all the action, including reserved seats with the best views of pit road and the world's largest HDTV with weekend packages starting at just $99. After testing concluded, fans were invited to enjoy Speedway Christmas, the region's largest holiday light show, which runs through Dec. 30. The 3.1-mile course allows families to experience more than 3 million lights and 800 holiday displays. The show is open from 6 to 10 p.m. and admission is only $15 per car on Monday through Wednesday when the infield Christmas Village is closed, and $20 per car Thursday through Sunday when the Christmas Village is open. Ticket information for all Charlotte Motor Speedway events can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)
See 'results' of the five different mock races at (pdfs):
Charlotte Configuration Race 1 Results page
Charlotte Configuration Race 2 Results page
Charlotte Configuration Race 3 Results page
Charlotte Configuration Race 4 Results page
Charlotte Configuration Race 5 Results page.(12-11-2013)
Charlotte test scheduled for Monday; rain could be an issue: Travel included, the time gap between standing on the stage at Wynn Las Vegas and sitting behind the wheel of a car at Charlotte Motor Speedway will amount to less than 60 hours. With the crowning of six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson still looming large in the rear-view mirror, roughly 25 drivers will assemble Monday at CMS to validate potential changes to the Gen-6 race car for 2014, changes designed to make intermediate speedway racing closer and more competitive.
The test follows an initial gathering of data in October, also at Charlotte.
"We had the test in October, we had six cars, and we learned quite a bit," said Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development. "We were generally looking at aerodynamic and chassis changes. I think we've got some very good insight, and now we've determined that we've got to bring a bigger pool of cars together. We think right now we're going to have about 25 cars participate, so we'll have a bigger field to validate some of the changes we're anticipating for 2014."
As Stefanyshyn said, most of the changes will deal with aero packages, but NASCAR also will test tapered spacers on the NASCAR Sprint Cup cars to measure the effects of reduced horsepower. The NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series both use tapered spacers as part of their engine packages. NASCAR has reviewed potential configurations and provided test plans to the teams, including detailed CAD drawings of parts that needed to be created or fabricated.
During the eight-hour test, NASCAR plans to run four different configurations in an attempt to arrive at a 2014 package that will reduce the aerodynamic disadvantage of trailing cars.(NASCAR Wire Service)
AND Ryan Newman will be one of several drivers with new teams at the test. Newman will drive for Richard Childress Racing next season after spending five years at Stewart-Haas Racing. Other drivers who will test for new organizations include Kevin Harvick (SHR), Kurt Busch (SHR) and Martin Truex Jr. (Furniture Row Racing). Rookies Austin Dillon (Richard Childress Racing), Kyle Larson (Earnhardt Ganassi Racing) and Michael Annett (Tommy Baldwin Racing) are expected to test. Some top-tier drivers won't attend but will instead rely on teammates' information. Among those not attending will be defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Danica Patrick, Stewart and Paul Menard. Regan Smith, often used by Hendrick Motorsports to test, will test for the HMS team of Jeff Gordon. Jeff Burton will test the car for Michael Waltrip Racing's Brian Vickers, who was sidelined in October because of blood clots but is expected back in the car in February.(Sporting News
AND Fans are invited to watch NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing free of charge on Monday, Dec. 9 at Charlotte Motor Speedway from The Speedway Club's enclosed Clubhouse seating. The open test will help define rules packages for the 2014 season and more than 20 teams are expected to participate. Testing will run from 9:00am-5:00pm/et on Monday. Speedway Club Clubhouse seating will open at 9:00am for the public to enjoy the test session. Fans should park at the main entrance to the speedway, enter through the main ticket office on the second floor of Smith Tower and take the elevator to Clubhouse seating on the fifth floor. Refreshments will be available for purchase in the Clubhouse seating area. Fans are invited to take advantage of The Speedway Club Lounge area to purchase lunch or dinner from 11:00am-9:00pm, or to make lunch or dinner reservations in The Speedway Club dining room by calling 704-455-3216.(CMS)
AND Teams are scheduled be on track from 9:00am-5:00pm/et. In the event of rain, the test will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 10. The forecast for Monday is cloudy with a 60% chance of rain and a high of 59 degrees. If testing is rained out Monday, it NASCAR will try to hold it Tuesday, where the forecast calls for a 70% chance of rain.(12-9-2013)
Catch holiday movies at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Round the family up and get ready for the holiday season because Charlotte Motor Speedway will once again feature drive-in movie nights throughout Speedway Christmas. If millions of lights and a Christmas Village are not enough, families can enjoy a movie during the spectacular light show every Friday and Saturday night until Dec. 28. There is a movie for everyone, from the classic "A Christmas Story" and comedies like "Christmas Vacation" and "Elf," to more recent favorites like "Polar Express." Before settling down for the movie night, fans are encouraged to enjoy the fantastic light displays and festive activities offered by Speedway Christmas. The 3.1-mile course boasts more than 3 million lights in 800 displays that will excite visitors of all ages. Admission to the movie nights is included with the purchase of a Speedway Christmas ticket. Movies will begin at 7:00pm/et each night and are held every Friday and Saturday. Speedway Christmas is open nightly through Dec. 30 from 6-10 p.m., and is closed Christmas Day. Admission to Speedway Christmas is $15 per car on nights the village is closed and $20 per car on nights the village is open.(CMS)(11-28-2013)
Speedway Christmas By The Numbers: Millions of Lights: Charlotte Motor Speedway welcomes holiday revelers of all ages for the Eggnog Jog 5K and opening night of Speedway Christmas, a spectacular wonderland featuring a drive-through holiday light park, Christmas Village and so much more, all at the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway. Speedway Christmas is returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway bigger, brighter and better in its fourth year, with a new route of 3.1 miles, more than 3 million LED lights in 800 displays and a drive-the-track experience that always delights visitors. Visitors can get a sneak peek of the lights during the Eggnog Jog 5K fun run on Friday, Nov. 22. Open nightly from Nov. 23 through Dec. 30, excluding Christmas Day, the Speedway Christmas drive-through light show will also feature a life size Bethlehem-themed village, photos with Santa, marshmallow roasting pits and more. Speedway Christmas will also screen holiday classics like "A Christmas Story," "Polar Express" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" every Friday and Saturday night beginning Nov. 29.
Here are some essential facts about Speedway Christmas, by the numbers:
More than 3 million LED lights will be a part of Speedway Christmas. The highly efficient LED lights use nearly 90 percent less energy and produce a brighter light than incandescent bulbs. During the 38-night schedule, Speedway Christmas displays will use less energy than 37 typical North Carolina households in a given month.
More than 100,000 people are expected to visit Speedway Christmas in 2013.
300,000: feet of animated LED lights will be strung along the speedway's frontstretch grandstands as part of a crowd-pleasing display set to music.
800: different light displays will line the Speedway Christmas route, including displays depicting a NASCAR Christmas, a Penguin Winterfest and the fan-favorite Patriotic Alley.
80: new light displays that Speedway Christmas fans have never seen before.
10: movie nights, featuring holiday classics like "A Christmas Story," "Polar Express" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" playing on the world's largest HDTV. Admission to the movie night is included in the price of the light show ticket.
38: nights that Speedway Christmas (including the Eggnog Jog 5K night) will be open to the public, from Nov. 22 through Dec. 30, excluding Christmas Day.
1,900: pounds of marshmallows that are expected to be roasted during nights the Christmas village is open.
2,000: photos expected to be taken with Santa in the Christmas Village.
17: The number of days it will take to set up the lights and displays for Speedway Christmas. Crews are working 12-hour days, around current track activities, to complete the set-up in time for the Nov. 22 Eggnog Jog 5K. Set-up started on Nov. 5 and is scheduled to be complete by Nov. 21.
384: volunteers that will be on hand to help with all aspects of Speedway Christmas.
This year's newly designed Speedway Christmas light show course measures 3.1 miles in length, winding through the infield of the legendary superspeedway. Speedway Christmas goers will have the unique opportunity to drive their vehicle around the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway for nearly one mile after entering the infield at Gate 26.
Fans can get a sneak peek of the light show and enjoy a concert by Charlotte, N.C.-based Charity Case during the Eggnog Jog 5K on Friday, Nov. 22. New for 2013, the fun run is a unique way for fans to see the lights and kick off the Christmas season. Participants are encouraged to dress in their most festive attire and bring friends. For registration details and more information, visit www.eggnogjog5K.com.
Operating hours for the drive-through Speedway Christmas will be 6 to 10 p.m., Nov. 23 through Dec. 30, excluding Christmas Day. Tickets are available online or at the gate nightly during event hours for drive-up traffic. Admission is just $15 per car on nights the Christmas Village is closed and $20 per car on nights the village is open. Group packages are available.
For more information, call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(11-15-2013)
Future on Display at Charlotte Motor Speedway Test: Engines re-fired on a Monday at Charlotte Motor Speedway after the Bank of America 500, as six race teams returned to the track to work on further research and development of the Gen-6 car. Aerodynamics were the focus of the day at the 1.5-mile track. Three different packages were run during the test, as NASCAR and the teams focused on spoilers, splitters and ride heights in an effort to further evolve the competition package on the Gen-6 race car. "Our objective is to shake down some potential changes for the 2014 season," said Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development. "We will be doing this on an ongoing basis, with an eye to continue to improve our product on the track. It is really an exercise in continuous improvement. Our focus today is all around the area of aerodynamics," said Stefanyshyn. "We have seven changes and have been bundling three different configurations all with an eye to work on the aerodynamics of the car. We took everybody's ideas, put them together and came up with these configurations for the test. They are our ideas as an industry on how we can improve the product on the track."
After a successful 2013 season with the new Gen-6 car, the attention shifts to refining the competition package.
"As everyone knows, we did an unbelievable amount of miles last year testing many different configurations," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. "Our goal was to hand the car off to the teams better than the one that they ended the 2012 season with. We feel like we achieved that goal; we feel like the cars performed well, the drivers like the way the car drives. From that standpoint, it was a successful year. ... We will always continue to evaluate our competition and this is one of those programs that's coming together."
Two teams from each manufacturer participated in the test, offering insight and feedback on the various packages tested. #21-Trevor Bayne, #31-Jeff Burton, #11-Denny Hamlin, #2-Brad Keselowski, #1-Jamie McMurray and #55-Brett Moffitt all turned laps throughout the day. Today's test was delayed due to rain, and continued after sundown. The data will be processed and brought back to the NASCAR Research and Development center where it will be analyzed and reviewed to help inform key decisions on future competition set ups.(NASCAR)(10-15-2013)
Charlotte fans hit by broken glass: Officials at Charlotte Motor Speedway confirmed Monday that six fans were seen by medical personnel during Saturday night's Bank of America 500 NASCAR race when a pane of glass in an unoccupied suite in Turn 1 broke late in the race. "A pane of glass broke inward ... and a few pieces of the broken glass fell forward," said speedway spokesman Scott Cooper. "Six fans were evaluated or treated and released on property and returned to the race." Kevin Fox of Fort Mill was sitting in the Grand National Tower South, Section EE, when he heard a noise from above sometime after the 200-lap mark of the 334-lap event. "I thought someone had fell or dropped a cooler or something and then I started feeling things fall on me and it turned out to be glass," he said. Fox said the area was "covered" in broken glass and he and his mom and several other fans suffered minor cuts. He also was struck on the head by what he thinks was a larger piece of glass.(Charlotte Observer)(10-15-2013)
NASCAR Bring "Troops to the Track" Program to the Bank of America 500: The Armed Forces Foundation and NASCAR continue the 2013 Troops to the Track program on Saturday, October 12th by bringing service members from the 440th Airlift Wing and the 43rd Airlift Group based out of Fort Bragg's Pope Army Airfield to the Bank of America 500. These two units train and deploy Combat Airlifters in support of Joint Special Operations, Army, and Air Force combatant commanders worldwide. 2013 season of Troops to the Track, a program in which service members are treated to a daylong interactive at-track experience, which includes: a special invitation and recognition at the drivers' pre-race meeting, a private tour of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage, pit road access during driver introductions / National Anthem and special seating in the grandstands. See the attached document for more information about the program.(AFF)(10-12-2013)
CMS Prepares Fans for Race Traffic: In preparation for race week at Charlotte Motor Speedway Oct. 10-12, speedway officials want to make sure race fans and area residents are fully equipped to handle race day traffic by providing safe and efficient travel routes and information. With help from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP), Charlotte Motor Speedway is working to ease travel for fans heading to and from the races. The heaviest traffic is expected on I-85, U.S. 29, N.C. 49 and Bruton Smith Boulevard. For tips from Charlotte Motor Speedway and NCDOT go to www.charlottemotorspeedway.com. Traffic maps are posted on Charlotte Motor Speedway's website at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/fans/maps/. Tickets are still available for all October race events at Charlotte Motor Speedway and can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Fans can catch all three days of racing, including Bojangles' Pole Night, the Dollar General 300 and the Bank of America 500 with packages starting at just $99.(CMS)(10-8-2013)
N.C. court dumps Charlotte Motor Speedway's suit: One of the country's largest auto racing track operators can't claim local officials reneged on an offer of $80 million in tax breaks because there was never a binding contract for the money in exchange for building a new drag strip and making upgrades at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a court ruled Tuesday. A three-judge state Court of Appeals panel ruled unanimously that Speedway Motorsports Inc. and Charlotte Motor Speedway have no grounds to revive a lawsuit against Cabarrus County, where both companies are based. The ruling means the companies can't appeal further to the state Supreme Court, though the high court could still consider the case at its discretion. Race track magnate Bruton Smith, who heads both companies, had threatened in 2007 to move the 135,000-seat speedway and build a new drag strip somewhere other than the Charlotte region without the tax breaks. The 30,000-seat, four-lane zMax Dragway officially opened Aug. 20, 2008, just three weeks before its first scheduled race. But it wasn't until the following day that a proposed contract for tax breaks was put in writing. The track operator rejected those terms. The companies argued they invested millions into the drag strip construction based on a Nov. 21, 2007, letter from the chairman of the county commissioners and the mayor of Concord, the city where the speedway is located. The officials said in their letter that they were committed to providing $80 million for road, pedestrian, utility and noise-reduction projects. But that didn't equal an enforceable contract, the court said. It's not clear if SMI has yet seen any of the $80 million announced in 2007. Spokesmen for the county and the speedway did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.(AP/ESPN)(10-2-2013)
NASCAR Drivers, Breast Cancer Survivors Paint Start/Finish Line and Pit Wall as Charlotte: More than 100 breast cancer survivors and their supporters joined NASCAR drivers Matt Kenseth, Brian Vickers and Elliott Sadler to paint the Charlotte Motor Speedway start/finish line and pit wall pink to kick off National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and preview the pink-themed Dollar General 300 on Oct. 11. For the third consecutive year and as part of a continued effort to raise awareness of breast cancer education and research and to honor those who have fought the disease, Charlotte Motor Speedway will incorporate a pink theme into the Dollar General 300.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 232,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone. But with early detection, experts say there is a 98% survival rate for those affected by the disease. To help raise awareness of the staggering statistics, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Dollar General have teamed up to put several pink initiatives in place during Friday's race. Among other things, fans who attend next weekend's races will notice the pink start/finish line and pit wall, which got a fresh coat of pink paint Tuesday. In total, crews will use 80 gallons of paint provided by PPG Porter and Glidden Paints to cover more than 6,000 square feet for pit wall and the start/finish line. Kenseth, who will run in both the Dollar General 300 and Saturday's Bank of America 500, said he's enjoyed getting back into the NASCAR Nationwide Series this year and looks forward to racing in Charlotte, but also raising awareness of an important cause. In addition to the pink paint on the start/finish line and pit wall, Charlotte Motor Speedway will include a number of other pink initiatives during Friday night's race.
Survivors' Parade As it did last year, the Dollar General 300 prerace activities will once again include a breast cancer survivor's parade with 300 breast cancer survivors. Participants who have signed up will meet in front of Smith Tower where they will receive a special pink T-shirt, pink and white flag and race ticket and walk onto the track to be recognized for their courage in facing the disease.
Pink Pace Car to Lead Field to Green Before drivers jockey for position in the pivotal points race for the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship, a pink and white 2013 Toyota Camry Pace car will lead the field.
Winner to Hoist Pink Trophy Even the celebration in Victory Circle will carry the pink scheme, with the winner hoisting a pink trophy in celebration - a colorful creation that's sure to stand out in any driver's trophy case.
Fans Encouraged to Join "Pink Out" In addition, fans who wish to express their support are encouraged to wear pink during Friday night's Dollar General 300 or display a pink ribbon.
Drivers, Teams Show Support Over and above the efforts Charlotte Motor Speedway and Dollar General will make to carry the pink theme through the event, many drivers and teams have already announced plans to show their support with pink paint schemes and through other initiatives. Sadler wears pink racing shoes and racing gloves in every race in honor of his mother, Bell, who is a six-year breast cancer survivor. The Kyle Busch Foundation will raise awareness of its "Project Pink: Protect Your Pair" initiative throughout Charlotte's race week, including hosting 12 cancer patients or "Champions" for a VIP at-track experience during the Dollar General 300.
Tickets for the Dollar General 300 start at just $25. Kids 13 and under get in free with an adult ticket purchase. Fans can catch all the action from Bojangles' Pole Night/UNOH Southern Slam 150 and Better Half Dash on Oct. 10, to the Dollar General 300 on Oct. 11 and the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 12 with a weekend pass starting at just $99. Frontstretch tickets to the Bank of America 500 with spectacular views of the world's largest HDTV start at two for just $99 and can be obtained through the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(10-2-2013)
Breast Cancer Survivors to Join NASCAR Drivers To Paint CMS Pit Wall Pink Tuesday: Breast cancer survivors are invited to help Charlotte Motor Speedway kick off National Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Tuesday, Oct. 1, by joining Dollar General drivers Matt Kenseth and Brian Vickers, NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Elliott Sadler and Fox Sports 1 motorsports analyst Hermie Sadler to paint the start/finish line and pit road wall pink.
The event will also preview the pink-themed Oct. 11 Dollar General 300, celebrate survivors and honor those fighting breast cancer. Kenseth and Vickers will also unveil new paint schemes that they will run during race week in Charlotte, and Dollar General will make a special check presentation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation to support breast cancer education and research.
The program begins at Tuesday at 10:30am/et. Breast cancer survivors wishing to take part are asked to check in at the ticket office on the second floor of Smith Tower by 10:15am/et. From there, the group will be escorted to the start/finish line for the program. Those who plan to attend are asked to wear pink. Paint, brushes and rollers will be provided by PPG Porter and Glidden Paints.
Fans can catch all the action from Bojangles' Pole Night and the UNOH Southern Slam 150 on Oct. 10, to the Dollar General 300 on Oct. 11 and the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 12 with a weekend pass starting at just $99. Frontstretch tickets to the Bank of America 500 with spectacular views of the world's largest HDTV start at two for just $99 and can be obtained through the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(10-1-2013)
Goo Goo Dolls to headline prerace concert at Charlotte: One of the most recognized rock alternative bands of the last two decades will help kick off the only Saturday night race in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship when the Goo Goo Dolls perform during the Fast Cars and Guitars prerace concert at the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 12. Formed in Buffalo, N.Y. in 1985, the multi-platinum-selling group has notched a record 14 Top 10 singles on Billboard's Adult Top 40 charts since it was launched in 1996, including hits like "Name," "Slide," "Here is Gone," "Big Machine," "Let Love In" and "Home."
Charlotte, N.C.-based alternative rock band Paper Tounges will warm up the crowd for the Fast Cars and Guitars event beginning at 4:30pm with a high-energy performance including hits like "Ride To California," "Trinity" and Get Higher. The Goo Goo Dolls are scheduled to take the stage at approximately 5:30 p.m. The concert is free to all Saturday ticket holders, and fans purchase a pit pass upgrade will have stage-front access to the performance.(CMS)(9-19-2013)
Nik and Lijana Wallenda to skywalk before Bank of America 500 World-famous daredevils Nik Wallenda and his sister, Lijana, will perform a spectacular, death-defying dual skywalk 140 feet above pit road during the pre-race show for the Oct. 12 Bank of America 500. Nik Wallenda made history earlier this year by successfully walking a wire 1,400 feet across a gorge near the Grand Canyon, live before 21 million viewers on the Discovery Channel. In 2012, Wallenda completed a walk across Niagara Falls from the U.S. into Canada, becoming the first person to do so, and also captivated race fans with a walk from the frontstretch grandstands to Victory Lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Prior to the only Saturday night race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Nik and Lijana will start at opposite ends of a 460-foot, 5/8-inch wire lifted by two cranes 140 feet above pit road in front of the frontstretch grandstands. They will each walk toward the center and when they meet, Nik will have to cross over Lijana so they both can continue toward the opposite ends of the wire.(CMS)(8-30-2013)
Deadline passed, no race move from Charlotte in 2014: Despite NASCAR mogul Bruton Smith saying there was a 70% chance that he would move a major race out of the Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR officials say the deadline has passed to get a race moved for the 2014 racing season. During a one-on-one interview in May, Speedway owner Bruton Smith told WBTV's Paul Cameron there was a strong chance he'd move the Bank of America 500 out of Charlotte. The Bank of America 500 is one of two annual races held at Smith's Charlotte Motor Speedway, along with May's Coca-Cola 600. The BoA 500 is held in October. On Friday, NASCAR officials told WBTV that the deadline to have a race moved for the 2014 racing season has passed and the organization has not received a formal request from Speedway Motorsports Inc. (in part from WBTV.com)(7-27-2013)
Speedway Motorsports sees revenues, ticket sales decelerate: The numbers don't lie. Speedway Motorsports Inc., parent company of Las Vegas Motor Speedway, has watched revenues, including ticket sales, drop annually for five years. Race event-related revenue at Speedway Motorsports' eight NASCAR tracks has also dropped each year for the past five years except 2011. The venues staging NASCAR races are in markets such as Las Vegas, Atlanta, Charlotte, San Francisco and Dallas. For the first quarter of this year, Concord, N.C.-based Speedway Motorsports continued to show sluggish revenue results. Total revenues for the first three months of 2013 were $84.2 million, compared to $84.8 million for the same three-month period in 2012. At the Speedway Motorsports tracks, admissions revenues dropped from $188 million in 2008 to $116 million in 2012. Event-related revenue also dropped, falling from $211 million in 2008 to $151 million in 2012. In all, total Speedway Motorsports annual revenues have plummeted from nearly $611 million in 2008 to $490 million in 2012. The one revenue category that saw an uptick was in NASCAR broadcasting rights revenue, which increased from $168 million in 2008 to $192 million in 2012. That's because an eight-year NASCAR broadcasting rights deal provides annual 3 percent increases through 2014, so Speedway Motorsports expects $199 million in 2013. At Speedway Motorsports' eight NASCAR tracks, total permanent seating is about 900,000, with 832 luxury suites. Las Vegas Motor Speedway has 123,000 seats and 102 suites, and sits on 1,030 acres. Speedway Motorsports has discovered that many fans are buying tickets closer to race dates, so the company has increased promotional campaigns to motivate fans to buy tickets earlier and renew season ticket deals.(Las Vegas Review Journal)(7-1-2013)
CMS still in running for the X Games: Charlotte Motor Speedway knows how to host first-rate, world-class events like this past weekend's Coca-Cola 600, and speedway officials are hoping that truth is evident to ESPN as the network considers who will host the summer X Games for three years beginning in 2014. Charlotte is among four finalists - including Austin (Tex.), Chicago, and Detroit - in the running to host the action-sports contests, which range from skateboarding and BMX to Rally Car and Moto X. CMS officials are making a final, concentrated push for their bid this weekend, sending a crew out to talk to race fans, hand out X Games T-shirts and drum up support. There is also an X Games logo in the infield grass. ESPN will visit each of the site finalists in the next few weeks and plan to announce the new host city by Aug. 1.(CMS)(5-28-2013)
CMS & Cup teams welcome troops home: This weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will truly Welcome Home Our Troops with a unique program in which each of the 43 teams is hosting a recently returned military member and their guest for race day activities. As adjunct members of the race teams, the military members will attend the drivers' meeting, help the team prepare for the day, accompany the driver and pit crew on pit road for driver introductions and the spectacular pre-race show, then join the team in the pit box for the opening laps of the Coca-Cola 600.
The participating military members are from the:
· U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division
· U.S. Army 108th Defense Artillery Brigade
· U.S. Air Force 21st, 43rd, 14th, 440th and 36th Squadrons
· U.S. Marine 4th Maintenance Battalion
"I am honored to be able to join in such a prestigious and time-honored event that honors NASCAR and the world's finest military and show the world that this Memorial Day we have not forgotten, said U.S. Army Master Sgt. Russell Collie, who is assigned to Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Time Warner Chevy. "This special event is a reflection of where we have been, where we come from and where we are going."
There are a number of unique pairings for the teams.
· #11-Denny Hamlin's military member plays free safety on a semi-pro football team out of Fayetteville, N.C., so is looking for a few tips from the coach
· #42-Juan Pablo Montoya is paired with a sergeant who is originally from Columbia
· The sergeant serving with #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr is a longtime fan of Dale and his father, but this is his first race
· #10-Danica Patrick is paired with a female master sergeant with 24 years of service
· #21-Trevor Bayne's military member is a member of the U.S. Army Shooting Team and is one of the top 100 shooters in the nation
As part of their day at the track, the 43 military members and their guests will join approximately 10,000 other troop members for a special Welcome Home Celebration luncheon at zMAX Dragway. The lunched, hosted by John Schnatter, CEO of Papa John's International, will feature headline guests Robin Meade of CNN; Lt. Col. Oliver North; Willie Robertson, star of "Duck Dynasty;" Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row car, and the USO of North Carolina.(VMG)(5-26-2013)
Bass Pro Shops honors U.S. Troops at CMS: As we head into Memorial Day weekend, Bass Pro Shops would like to again say thank you to all of the men and women in our armed forces and their families who serve our great nation. As a show of our support, Bass Pro Shops has partnered with the Patriot Partners to help bring over 7,000 troops and their families to the Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Patriot Partners program offers companies and individuals the opportunity to welcome home and thank the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces by sponsoring buses to transport troops from bases. Troops from Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, NC, Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC and Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, SC will be able to attend the 54th running of the Coca-Cola 600. Charlotte Motor Speedway is providing 3,000 tickets to the military for distribution through the USO and with the help of programs such as Patriot Partners and corporate support from companies such as Bass Pro Shops, more than 7,000 troops and their families are expected to attend the race. Bass Pro Shops strongly supports our military personnel through special events and activities at our store locations. We offer special military discounts to current and retired members of all branches of the armed forces from the 15th to 22nd each month in all our stores. We also sponsor the USO's "Operation Car Package" that sends care packages to troops serving abroad. In addition, Bass Pro Shops supports AMVets, a veterans group that provides assistance to men and women who are returning home from the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.(Bass Pro Shops)(5-26-2013)
Brian France not in favor of moving race from Charlotte: NASCAR chairman Brian France is not in favor of moving a Sprint Cup race from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Las Vegas. Earlier this week, Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith said there was a 70% chance he would seek to move the October Chase race from CMS to his 1.5-mile track in Sin City. That would leave the hub of NASCAR with only one point race, the Coca-Cola 600 in May, and the All-Star race held the week before. France said during a Saturday state-of-union address at CMS there have been no discussions with Smith or SMI, but his preference is to "make the events where they are more successful.''
"We have gotten a long way with our position in motorsports because we've had historically important events, like this weekend, that happen every year that people can count on,'' France said. "That said, for one reason or another, a certain market is not performing as well, it may be a better opportunity. We've seen that in the last five, six years or longer. We'll take a look at it. My preference would be to keep the event here in Charlotte.''(ESPN)(5-25-2013)
Duck Dynasty's Willie Robertson to offer the invocation before Coke 600: Star of the A&E show "Duck Dynasty" and Duck Commander CEO Willie Robertson will give the invocation for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Robertson, the only family member with a business degree, is credited with taking his father's duck-call business from a living room operation to a multi-million dollar business. His entire family is highlighted in the reality show "Duck Dynasty," an inside look at these self-proclaimed "Rich Rednecks" from the Louisiana bayou. Other Coca-Cola 600 dignitaries are Sgt. Aaron Causey (Grand Marshal), U.S. Senator Tim Scott (Honorary Starter) and Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (Honorary Race Director). Tickets for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 are on sale and can be obtained online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Get two reserved frontstretch seats, with the best views of the world's largest HDTV and all the action on pit road, starting at just $99.(CMS)(5-25-2013)
Lt. Col. Oliver North to be Honored at Coke 600 pre-race ceremony: Lt. Col. Oliver North is a combat decorated U.S. Marine, a No. 1 best-selling author, the founder of a small business, an inventor with three U.S. patents, a syndicated columnist and the host of "War Stories" on Fox News Channel. For his unwavering support of the military, decades of service to his country and a continued commitment to service, the man whom President Ronald Reagan described as "an American hero" can add Stonewall Jackson Award winner to his long list of accolades. In addition to being recognized with the Stonewall Jackson Award, North will deliver a moving "State of Freedom" speech during pre-race festivities and sign autographs in The Speedway Club for a limited number of military members. The address and the salute for the military portion of the pre-race show is presented by NRA Life of Duty. North is also scheduled to appear earlier in the day at a special "Welcome Home the Troops" luncheon at zMAX Dragway. Presented annually since 1992, the Stonewall Jackson Award recognizes recipients who have demonstrated, by example, the highest standards of patriotism through personal support of the military and/or by personal service to sacrifice above the call of duty.
Tickets for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600, are on sale and can be obtained online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Get two reserved frontstretch tickets, with the best views of the world's largest HDTV and all the action on pit road, starting at just $99.(CMS)(5-24-2013)
"NASCAR: An American Salute" Pays Tribute to U.S. Military: NASCAR announced the launch of the second-annual "NASCAR: An American Salute" initiative, an industry-wide effort to honor and celebrate the service of members of the United States Armed Forces, veterans and their families. Beginning with the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and culminating with the Independence Day Weekend's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, this year's campaign aspires to reach one million "salutes" to U.S. military members during the next six weeks. In addition to being able to track the progress against one million salutes, NASCAR fans, partners, drivers, teams and tracks can salute the military by sending messages of gratitude at www.NASCAR.com/Salutes and by using #NASCARSalutes on Instagram and Twitter. "The tradition of honoring our military is part of the fiber of our sport," said Mike Helton, NASCAR president. "Everyone at NASCAR is proud of the NASCAR: An American Salute initiative. It enables us to collectively express our gratitude to the millions of American members of the armed forces, both currently serving and those who have served, for the sacrifices they make in defending our nation."
Some of the activities planned throughout the six weeks of "NASCAR: An American Salute" include:
· The NASCAR Foundation will partner with USO to support the "With You All the Way" program, a partnership between the USO, Comfort Crew for Military Kids, and the Trevor Romain Company. "With You All the Way" promotes self-confidence and resiliency among military children as they tackle difficult issues which are unique to growing up in a military family.
· NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race teams will showcase their support by displaying patriotic-themed elements and paint schemes on their race vehicles (see images of the Sprint Cup cars on my Paint Scheme Gallery).
· Race tracks hosting national series events during the "NASCAR: An American Salute" window - Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dover International Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Michigan International Raceway, Sonoma Raceway, Kentucky Speedway and Daytona International Speedway - will participate through a variety of military-themed activations. Tracks will feature active and retired service men and women in pre-race show festivities, patriotic grass and wall stencils, donations, special activities for soldiers and their families, among an assortment of other military-themed programming.
· A number of NASCAR Official Partners will support "NASCAR: An American Salute" through patriotic and military-themed activations. Goodyear will announce its annual "Goodyear Gives Back" program and replace the "Eagle" and "Wrangler" sidewall design with desert camouflage lettering that reads "Support Our Troops" on all NASCAR race tires during Memorial Day Weekend. Additional participating partners include: 3M, Axalta Coating Systems, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Coors Light, Ford Motor Company, Mechanix Wear, Nationwide Insurance, New Holland, Sprint, Toyota, Sunoco and UPS will also participate.
· During the "NASCAR: An American Salute" initiative, NASCAR and the Armed Forces Foundation will expand their season-long partnership on the NASCAR Troops to the Track program to host military families at each NSCS race throughout the six-week period. The service members and their families will be treated to a customized program at track that honors their service in the military.
· NASCAR and the Honor and Remember organization will host several Gold Star families at various tracks including Charlotte Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway who have lost loved ones in their U.S. military service.
· Through a partnership with A Million Thanks - an organization dedicated to showing appreciation for U.S. military men and women through varying forms of correspondence - drop boxes will be placed at tracks and various locations in local communities where fans can send personalized letters to active U.S. troops.(NASCAR)(5-22-2013)
CMS to honor 10,000 active military and family members: Charlotte Motor Speedway is joining with business leaders from around the country to honor some 10,000 active military and family members before the green flag drops on NASCAR's ultimate test of man and machine, the May 26 Coca-Cola 600, as part of a Memorial Day weekend saluting the U.S. Armed Forces. The day of tribute will feature a special celebration luncheon hosted by John Schnatter, founder, chairman and CEO of Papa John's International, where more than 3,000 pizzas will be served to the military guests.
The star-studded affair will be emceed by HLN's Robin Meade, and will include special appearances by Lt. Col. Oliver North (ret), a political commentator, television host, military historian and New York Times best-selling author; Kurt Busch, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet; Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway and Papa John himself. The event will be held at zMAX Dragway from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and also feature live music and a drag racing exhibition with Smith and Papa John.
Hundreds of the troops will then be loaded onto buses courtesy of the speedway's Patriot Partners program where companies such as Toyota, Papa John's, Goodyear, Coca-Cola, Bojangles' and more sponsored their transportation from area military bases. More than 30 Patriot Partner buses will then take a parade lap around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway as part of a patriotic "Welcome Home Our Troops" pre-race show. Fans will be able to salute the troops when 600 soldiers march through the grandstands to participate in the pre-race ceremonies. The show will also include an air parade featuring during the national anthem performed by Robin Meade and a 21-gun salute by the Fort Bragg firing squad.
Tickets are still available for all May race events at Charlotte Motor Speedway and can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Fans can join in welcoming home our troops during the biggest Memorial Day tailgate party in the country at the Coca-Cola 600, with race weekend packages starting at just $99. Fans can also purchase tickets for just $25 to send an active duty member of the military to the Coca-Cola 600 through the speedway's Let The Troops Race program.(CMS)(5-22-2013)
Bruton Smith could move fall race out of Charlotte UPDATE: NASCAR mogul Bruton Smith says there is a strong possibility that he will move the Bank of America 500 out of Charlotte, NC. The Bank of America 500 is one of two annual races held at Smith's Charlotte Motor Speedway, along with May's Coca-Cola 600. The BoA 500 is held in October. "I know you're not gonna cut this one out, but I've been having some strong conversations about one of these events being moved," Smith told WBTV's Paul Cameron in an exclusive interview. "And Las Vegas is a great place - it's the entertainment capital of the world - and they want another event."
In addition to owning the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the North Carolina native owns eight NASCAR tracks, including the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which host eleven NASCAR Sprint Cup events. The only Sprint Cup race that is currently held on the LVMS is the Kobalt Tools 400, which is held in early March. Smith says he's flown out to Vegas several times to talk about moving a Sprint Cup race to his track there. "They've made me offers to move one," Smith said. "But you can't just move the race though, doesn't NASCAR have to move it?" Cameron asked. "I know they would approve this," Smith responded. "And say the October race... Las Vegas. You're gonna get a lot of phone calls about this - I'm gonna predict that." Smith says the idea of moving to Vegas is not just a fishing expedition. "I've made two trips out to Vegas and it costs money to go out there. I know all the powers out there," he told WBTV. "I have a lot of friends in Las Vegas - I have businesses out there, I have six businesses in Las Vegas." The Charlotte Motor Speedway is based in Concord, North Carolina. Smith has been involved in legal fights with Cabarrus County for years over money he is owed. Smith says he initially kept the track there after a $80 million deal was presented to him, $60 million from Cabarrus County and another $20 million from the state. He says the county still hasn't come through with their end of the deal. When asked if he thought he could make more money at a race in Las Vegas versus having a race in Charlotte, Smith's answer was simple. "Yes, yes, yes. Oh yes," he said. "Plus, we're discussing a ten-year contract for a lot of money every year." Smith played a major role in getting NASCAR to move the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards from New York to Las Vegas five years ago.
When it comes to a timeline on the potential move, Smith says this isn't a spur of the moment idea. "Oh, now there you're pinning me down. I don't know how soon, that's just, it's something that's been in the stages now for at least a year." So what's it going to take to move the race from Charlotte to Vegas? "When the game is over, it'll be money, money, money. Money will move it," Smith said. "I'd say [the chances] are about 70/30."(wbtv.com)(5-20-2013)
UPDATE - Statement From O. Bruton Smith: The following is a statement from Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, O. Bruton Smith:
"The 'done deal' report by WBTV regarding moving a race is false. No final decision has been made regarding any race date move, and I have not discussed this with NASCAR. "Instead of what 'could' happen, let's set the facts straight about what has happened. We've invested $100 million in the Charlotte Motor Speedway complex in the past six years to make it even better for the fans. We've expanded our fan zone, added pit road suites and built the world's largest HDTV for every fan to enjoy. We've put more people to work with these projects and we've added more events to the calendar to bring in more tourists and fans. And we've done this during the worst economy since the Great Depression. We've done this without asking for a handout from the government, like we've seen from so many other sports facilities, teams or franchises, and yet at the same time property values are falling during the recession, our Cabarrus County taxes have doubled since 2005. We absolutely love the fans that come to Charlotte Motor Speedway. It's frustrating to think about the future and consider that the local government doesn't share the same excitement about Charlotte Motor Speedway that our fans do. The Cabarrus County politicians may say nice things to the media, but raising taxes does not support the tourism business, the area economy or companies trying to grow."(CMS)(5-21-2013)
HLN News Anchor & Country Music Recording Artist Robin Meade to sing Coke 600 National Anthem: Robin Meade, host of HLN's "Morning Express with Robin Meade" has been added to a star-studded lineup that will join the largest Memorial Day weekend celebration in the country at the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Sunday. Meade, who is also a New York Times best-selling author and emerging country artist, will kick off the ultimate test of man and machine - NASCAR's only 600 mile contest - by performing the national anthem. Other celebrities scheduled to appear during the Coca-Cola 600 weekend include HISTORY's Rick Dale, of "American Restoration;" decorated veteran and No. 1 best-selling author Lt. Col. Oliver North; and Papa John's founder, John Schnatter. In addition, country music megastar and NBC's newest "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice" winner, Trace Adkins, will perform a free concert for all Coca-Cola 600 ticket holders on Friday, May 24. Fans can get two frontstretch tickets to the Coca-Cola 600, with the best views of the world's largest HDTV and all the action on pit road, for just $99 when they purchase online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by phone at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(5-21-2013)
Pole Tix honor Earnhardt's 1993 sweep: Twenty years after NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt drove into the record books with an exhilarating sweep of both the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway is honoring the legendary driver's accomplishment with a limited edition LiftMaster Pole Night commemorative ticket. For just $20, Earnhardt fans and enthusiastic race historians can get their hands on this unique keepsake, which marks Earnhardt's memorable back-to-back wins at his hometown track. The tickets feature photos of Earnhardt with the trophies he earned at the 1993 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600. Earnhardt entered the 1993 All-Star race with two victories in the special event already in his possession. Danny Lawrence, who was then the team's assistant engine builder and second gasman, noted the environment created by the All-Star race was electrifying. "When (we pushed the car) around the corner (onto the frontstretch), it sounded like an earthquake (the way) people were roaring. It sent chills through your bones," Lawrence said. Earnhardt struggled with his car during the race's first two segments. However, when it came time for the race's 10-lap shootout, Earnhardt once again reigned supreme. After Earnhardt jumped the restart, NASCAR threw the yellow flag, lined up the cars again with Earnhardt still in second, and then threw the green flag. Earnhardt didn't jump the second restart. This time he passed Martin with slightly more than a lap remaining for the victory. "That was all him. Our car really wasn't that good," Lawrence said.
When it came time for the Coca-Cola 600, Earnhardt once again produced a phenomenal performance to win stock car racing's longest event for the third and final time. He shook off two penalties and came from a lap down on two occasions to become the first driver to win the Coca-Cola 600 at night. "What Dale Earnhardt was able to do was damn near impossible," said Danny "Chocolate" Myers, Earnhardt's long-time gasman who now co-hosts a show on XM-SIRIUS Satellite Radio. "It was through sheer dedication and determination that he was able to pull it off." Earnhardt's victory made him the first driver to claim two consecutive Coca-Cola 600 victories since Darrell Waltrip in 1988-89. And Earnhardt accomplished the feat with an event record of 145.504 mph, breaking the old one of 145.327 mph set by Richard Petty in a Dodge in May 1975. "Dale would tell us all the time, 'Boys, we're making history', but we never thought about it, Lawrence said. "It was neat to be able to go to any race you wanted to and you felt like you had a chance to win. When we had a bad day it was when we finished 12th. If we had a 12th-place car, he somehow would finish fifth. It was awfully neat to be working on that deal back then when he was so good. He wasn't happy unless he was winning. He was cool under pressure. He always thought if the race was still running he still had a chance of winning it. He never overdrove it; he never got in trouble. That's why he was the best."
Tickets to race events at Charlotte Motor Speedway are available through the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or call 1-800-455-FANS (3267)(CMS)(5-20-2013)
TV graphic mistake leads to fan confusion: A television graphic incorrectly showed #48-Jimmie Johnson should have entered pit road 11th instead of fourth on the mandatory four-tire stop before the final segment of Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race. It started a social media outcry for those who didn't know the facts. It grew louder when Johnson left pit road second. It grew even louder when the five-time Sprint Cup champion won for the second straight year and a record fourth time overall, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt and future Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon. "People just want to hate," Johnson said with a laugh inside the media center at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "That's fine. I'm just lucky. NASCAR rigs the races and whatever they want to believe. I'm going home with a cool trophy and a big check and we all really know what happened. So whatever."(ESPN)
NOTE: Johnson coming in 4th for the pitstop was correct, see the averages of the four segments and the order of pit road entry on my Jayski's Sprint All-Star Race page.(5-19-2013)
Johnson win All-Star race: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, for his 4th All-Star race win. Johnson finished 15th, 5th, 3rd & 3rd in the four segments which meant he had the 4th best average finish of the drivers, so he went in 4th for the madatory 4-tire pit stop before the fifth and final segment, #5-Kahne came out 1st, followed by Johnson, #18-Busch, #22-Logani and #78-Busch. #78-Busch won segments 1 & 4 and led 29 laps and #18-Busch won segments 2 & 3 and also led 29 laps. Johnson led 10 total laps, all of the final segment. Johnson now has the most All-Star wins of any driver with 4.
#22-Logano finished 2nd, followed by #18-Busch, #5-Kahne, #78-Busch, #11-Hamlin, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #1-McMurray (the Showdown winner), #20-Kenseth and #99-Edwards.
See race results, each segment finish, average of the four segments, links to pdf for results and more on Jayski's Sprint All-Star Race Info page.(5-18-2013)
Sprint All-Star Race Notes:
#48-Jimmie Johnson won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, his record breaking fourth victory in 12 starts in the annual non-points race
Johnson broke a tie for the all-time all-star race wins lead with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt. Johnson also won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race in 2003, 2006 and 2012.
Johnson becomes the second driver to win back-to-back all-star races. The first was Davey Allison in 1991-92.
This is Johnson's eighth top-five finish in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
#22-Joey Logano finished a career-best second in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. This is his third top 10 in three all-star race starts.
#18-Kyle Busch finished third, his third consecutive top-five finish in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(5-18-2013)
Getting married at All-Star race: When John and Monica Russell decided to get married, they knew exactly where to do it. As diehard race fans, there was really no other option. "I thought, 'Well, let's get married at a race track,'" John Russell said. "Why not get married on the biggest stage (in racing)." The couple met online in October, and three days later they were engaged. "It was his wedding," said Monica, who has been married once before. "I said, 'What do you want, baby?' So here we are. I haven't actually been to a race here since 1994, so I am loving it." Both diehard Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans, the bride and groom wore #88 T-shirts for the ceremony, which took place Saturday morning at the start/finish line of Charlotte Motor Speedway They took their wedding photos in Victory Lane and will be featured live on the Speed Stage at 4 p.m. The Russells, from Bethune, S.C., spent the week before the wedding taking a NASCAR-themed pre-honeymoon in the area, checking out Victory Junction Gang Camp, Stewart-Hass Racing Wednesday, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Whisky River, Victory Lane (go-kart racing), Roush/Fenway Racing and the NASCAR R&D Center.(CMS)(5-18-2013)
Kaya Jones to Perform National Anthem for All-Star Race: Pop music sensation Kaya Jones will perform the national anthem preceding Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Jones came to prominence as a member of the popular music group "The Pussycat Dolls" in 2003 and later reached international acclaim as a solo act, performing alongside celebrated entertainers including Mick Jagger, Eminem and Katy Perry. Danielle Johnson, who played the role of Annie Who in the 2012 musical national tour of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," will sing the national anthem before Friday night's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 Camping World Truck Series race.
In addition, two Speedway Superstar winners will perform "God Bless America" during the weekend pre-race shows. Logen Hall of Spartanburg, S.C., will sing at the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 on Friday, while Rosalee Johnson of Belmont, N.C., will take the stage Saturday before the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Hall and Johnson were selected from among 350 eligible auditions held across North and South Carolina during the Speedway Superstar tour presented by Best Buy and Coca-Cola. Fans can save up to 49 percent when they purchase a Family Four-Pack to the All Star Race online at charlottemotorspeedway.com or by phone at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(5-17-2013)
Coca-Cola 600 officials and war hero's: A United States senator, a lieutenant governor and a military hero will lead race fans in the commencement of the nation's largest Memorial Day celebration as they serve as race officials for the 2013 Coca-Cola 600. Sgt. Aaron Causey will be Grand Marshal; U.S. Sen. Tim Scott will serve as Honorary Starter and Tennessee's Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey will serve as Honorary Race Director for the 54th running of NASCAR's only 600-mile race at the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 26.
"It is our pleasure to welcome these distinguished elected officials, as well as a military hero to the 2013 Coca-Cola 600," said Lauren C. Steele, senior vice president, corporate affairs, Coca-Cola Consolidated. "It is exciting to have these state leaders to recognize America's servicemen and women at the largest Memorial Day celebration in the country. We are honored to have a true American hero announce those famous words: 'Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!'"
As race officials, Scott and Ramsey will be honored at a pre-race event, attend the official drivers meeting, address the crowd of more than 140,000 fans, participate in the pre-race spectacular and present the trophy to the winning driver in Victory Lane. As Grand Marshal, Causey will give the race command, while Scott will wave the green flag over the 43-car field to start NASCAR's most challenging race. As Honorary Race Director, Ramsey will ride in an official pace car.
Causey graduated from EOD school at Eglin Air Force Base in August 2001 and was then stationed in Aviano, Italy. He served in Iraq in 2004 along with many other international missions during his years in Aviano. In 2006, he left the Air Force to continue working in EOD, transferring to the Army. He deployed to Iraq 2006-08 out of Fort Stewart, Ga., then was stationed in Mannheim, Germany 2008-10. Later in 2010, he was stationed at Fort Drum, NY and deployed to Afghanistan in March 2011. On Sept. 7, 2011, he was performing dismounted operations in an attempt to disarm a suspected IED when one detonated under him. He ultimately lost both legs above the knees, two fingers, suffered broken arms and hand injuries, shrapnel wounds over most of his upper body, loss of tissue, and multiple other serious injuries. He lives with his wife of three years, Kat. After recovery is complete, they intend to stay in the DC-metro area and build a new life together.
Scott is a U.S. senator representing the great state of South Carolina. His goal is simple: to positively affect the lives of the American people. That path has taken him from a successful small businessman, to being elected to Charleston County Council, the South Carolina State House, the U.S. House of Representatives, and now the U.S Senate.
Ramsey is serving his fourth term as Lt. Governor of Tennessee. A small businessman himself, he has become a leading voice for economic growth in his state and region. He and his wife, Sindy, live in Blountville.
Continuing its tradition as the biggest Memorial Day Weekend celebration in America, the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show will pay tribute to veterans and active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The Welcome Home Our Troops Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show will also include a performance of "I Will Give My All" by country music artist Jamie Tate and the 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus, a bagpipe performance of "Amazing Grace" by the Charlotte Fire Department Pipe Band and "Taps" played by a Fort Bragg bugler. There will also be a 21-gun salute from the Fort Bragg Firing Squad.
Tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(5-17-2013)
Fans bring millions in economic impact to Charlotte: It's difficult to overstate just how big the 10 Greatest Days in Racing are at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with fans from around the globe tuning in to watch NASCAR's best battle for up to $2 million at the Sprint All-Star Race and endure the season's toughest test of man and machine at the Coca-Cola 600. Dedicated fans from all 50 states and as far away as Queensland, Australia will travel to the heart of NASCAR country to take in all the excitement of back-to-back weekends at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Millions more will tune in as NASCAR is broadcast worldwide to more than 150 countries and in more than 20 different languages. Approximately 5,000 people work at the speedway during each NASCAR event weekend. In addition, with fans camping or staying in local hotels, eating at local restaurants and visiting area attractions like the team race shops and NASCAR Hall of Fame, the economic impact to the region has been estimated at $250 million to $275 million. But the impact isn't just felt on race weekends. In 2012, more than 150 community groups and nonprofits partnered with Charlotte Motor Speedway to assist in race operations, earning more than $600,000 for their respective groups throughout the year. During NASCAR event weekends last year, Speedway Children's Charities also generated funding to support 36 local nonprofit and charity groups.(CMS)(5-14-2013)
CMS, NCDOT and State Highway Patrol prepare fans for race week traffic: In preparation for the 10 Greatest Day in Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway May 17-26, speedway officials are making sure race fans and area residents are fully equipped to handle race day traffic by providing safe and efficient travel routes and information. With help from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and the City of Concord, Charlotte Motor Speedway is working to ease travel for fans heading to and from the races. Here are tips from Charlotte Motor Speedway and NCDOT:
For motorists traveling from South Carolina:
Take I-77 North to the I-485 outer loop (Exit 1B) to U.S. 29 North (Exit 32) or N.C. 49 North (Exit 33).
For motorists traveling from west of Charlotte:
Take I-85 North to I-485 (Exit 48) to U.S. 29 North (Exit 32) or N.C. 49 (Exit 33). An alternate route is I-85 North to Poplar Tent Road (Exit 52) to Pitts School Road to U.S. 29 South. Through traffic should remain in the left two lanes of I-85 North to avoid delays near Exit 49.
For motorists traveling from east of Charlotte:
Take the I-485 outer loop to U.S. 29 North (Exit 32) or N.C. 49 North (Exit 33).
For motorists traveling from north of Charlotte:
Take I-85 South to Poplar Tent Road (Exit 52) to Pitts School Road to U.S. 29 South.
Officials recommend motorists take the I-485 outer loop to N.C. 49 North, which is usually less congested than other suggested routes.
Commuters that use I-85 can expect delays beginning on Friday afternoon, May 17, and continuing Saturday May 18 as fans make their way to the speedway for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The following week, increased traffic is expected around the speedway May 23-26. Commuters should plan to adjust driving time, if possible, or use an alternate route.
NCDOT will utilize overhead message signs and portable message signs to alert motorists of problem areas and suggested alternate routes around incidents and congestion. The Department advises motorists to check for real time traffic information by calling 511 or by signing up for updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ncdot_charlotte.
Traffic maps are posted on Charlotte Motor Speedway's website at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/fans/maps/.(CMS)(5-14-2013)
Keselowski, Kenseth, Kahne and others headline NASCAR Hall of Fame Pit Party: Brad Keselowski will join NASCAR stars Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne, legends Bobby and Donnie Allison and team owner Joe Gibbs for appearances at a one-of-a-kind infield Pit Party sponsored by the NASCAR Hall of Fame at the Coca-Cola 600 on May 26. The NASCAR Hall of Fame Pit Party will be a fan-friendly event taking place on pit road from 12:30pm-4:15pm before the only 600-mile race on the NASCAR circuit. The party will feature driver appearances, live music from national recording artist Benton Blount, concessions, racing displays and more. Access to the Pit Party is included with the purchase of a pit pass or a driver introduction pass. In addition to fan forums with Keselowski, Kenseth, Kahne, the Allison brothers and Gibbs, the Pit Party will feature vintage military vehicles and displays from the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Pit passes are $100 for adults, $50 for children 14-18 and free for kids 13 and under with a paying adult. Driver introduction passes are $150 for adults and $75 for kids 13 and under. Pit passes must be purchased in addition to a race ticket.(CMS)(5-10-2013)
Speed Street announces music acts in Charlotte: Three acts with either No. 1 songs or "Song of the Year" honors will headline this year's Food Lion Speed Street festival later this month in Charlotte's uptown. The celebration, tied to the two weekends of major NASCAR events at Charlotte Motor Speedway, will take place May 23-25. Once again, it offers free admission. Featured acts on the three nights are SWV (Sisters With Voices) on May 23; Jamey Johnson on May 24; and Survivor on May 25. While Speed Street will stretch along South Tryon Street and several other uptown thoroughfares, the music portion of the entertainment will take place at the Coca-Cola Stage, on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near the NASCAR Hall of Fame. SWV, a trio of New York-based soul and R&B singers, had a No. 1 single in the 1990s with "Weak" and followed with a No. 2 pop hit with "Right Here/Human Nature." The group disbanded in the late 1990s but reformed several years ago and has been touring and making frequent television appearances. Jamey Johnson is a country artist, with several Grammy nominations to his credit. His "Give It Away" was named the Academy of Country Music's Song of the Year in 2007, and he followed that with the same award in 2009 with "In Color." Survivor became one of music's biggest acts in the 1980s, perhaps best-known for its No. 1 single "Eye of the Tiger," which gained secondary fame as the theme song in a "Rocky" movie. Survivor also had a big hit in 1985 with "Burning Heart." Also on the Saturday card is the Florida-based rock group Sister Hazel.(Charlotte Observer)(5-6-2013)
Speedway Superstars kicks off at CMS: Speedway Superstars kicks off Wednesday, May 1st at the track with special appearances by Kenny Wallace and Doug Rice, the voice of PRN. It is a 10 city, 2 state mobile audition studio giving fans the chance to sing either the national anthem or God Bless America. From there 5 fans will be selected to sing one of the songs at one of the races in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway. More info at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(5-1-2013)
Josh Turner replacing Currington for Charlotte pre-race concert: Country music star and double-platinum-selling singer-songwriter Josh Turner will perform a pre-race concert before the green flag waves on the 29th annual NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 18 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, replacing Billy Currington, who was originally scheduled to perform. Turner will bring his baritone voice and soulful gospel-bluegrass repertoire to the heart of NASCAR country for an energetic 90-minute concert that will have fans on their feet and singing along to some of country music's most recognizable hits. Fans will fill the infield between Turns 1 and 2 to hear their favorite songs from the country crooner before drivers take to the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway for a fast and furious dash for cash with up to $2 million on the line. "Due to Currington's recent indictment, we elected to change our act for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Josh Turner is a native of the Carolinas with six No. 1 hits to his credit, and we know he'll put on a fantastic show for our fans and sponsors on race weekend."(CMS)(4-27-2013)
CMS announces Coca-Cola 600 Pre-Race Show: Charlotte Motor Speedway is continuing the rich tradition of paying tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces with a Welcome Home Our Troops pre-race spectacular at the May 26 Coca-Cola 600. The program will include a one-of-a-kind air parade with 10 vintage warbirds, a patriotic flyover and a flight by an American bald eagle over the infield during the national anthem.
Bridging the worlds of military and motorsports, the pre-race flyover will include P-51 Mustangs, owned by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner Jack Roush. The Welcome Home Our Troops Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show will also include a performance of "I Will Give My All" by country music artist Jamie Tate and the 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus, a bagpipe performance of "Amazing Grace" by the Charlotte Fire Department Pipe Band and "Taps" played by a Fort Bragg bugler. There will also be a 21-gun salute from the Fort Bragg Firing Squad.
Fans will be able to salute the troops when 600 soldiers from Fort Bragg walk through the grandstands to the infield to participate in pre-race ceremonies.
In addition, NASCAR drivers and Charlotte-area VIPs will participate in special welcome home and military dedication video messages that will be displayed on the world's largest HDTV, and a gigantic American flag the size of a football field will be unfurled across the frontstretch.
Medal of Honor recipients Bob Patterson (Vietnam), Gary Littrell (Vietnam) and Walter Joseph Marm (Vietnam) will be recognized on the pre-race stage.(CMS)(4-24-2013)
Bruton Smith renews lawsuit over incentives: The mogul behind one of the country's largest auto racing track operators is trying to resurrect a lawsuit claiming local officials reneged on an offer of $80 million in incentives to land a new drag strip and upgrade the Charlotte Motor Speedway. A three-judge state Court of Appeals panel will hold a closed-door discussion Tuesday to determine whether the lawsuit will be heard by a jury. A judge last year dismissed the lawsuit against Cabarrus County by Speedway Motorsports Inc. and Charlotte Motor Speedway, both based in Concord and headed by magnate Bruton Smith. At issue is whether Smith can enforce what his lawyers say was an oral agreement that ended threats to move the 135,000-seat speedway and build a new drag strip somewhere other than the heart of NASCAR country. The contract wasn't put in writing until after the new drag strip opened the following year, with terms the track operator rejected. If the lawsuit doesn't move forward, Speedway Motorsports could have to wait up to 40 years to be reimbursed for road and other upgrades around the track. It's not clear if SMI -- which owns the track and seven others in Georgia, Tennessee, California, Kentucky, Nevada, New Hampshire and Texas -- has yet seen any of the $80 million announced in 2007. A track spokesman declined comment and lawyers for both sides did not respond to requests for comment last week. A decision is expected in about three months. If the case moves forward, it could be appealed to the state Supreme Court.(Associated Press/ESPN)(4-9-2013)
Construction on additional pit road suites begins at Charlotte: Construction is underway on six additional pit road suites at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Crews have begun pouring the concrete pylons which will support the new structure along pit road. The suites are 11 feet above pit road and are as close as fans can get to the action, overlooking the race team pit boxes. The original suites, built in 2012, were sold out prior to last year's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The open-air, covered seating areas can accommodate up to 15 people and include exclusive access to the Winner's Circle Lounge located adjacent to Victory Circle. The lounge includes a bar, meeting room, seating areas, televisions and restrooms. The new suites will be added on to the existing structure toward the Turn 1 end of pit road. Suite holders receive 15 tickets to each of eight NASCAR events and have the option to purchase catering for the suite.(CMS)(3-16-2013)
Charlotte Motor Speedway goes smoke free: From the Charlotte Motor Speedway site: " For the health and comfort of our guests, grandstands and concourses at Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMAX Dragway and The Dirt Track are smoke-free. This policy also applies to terrace boxes, kids' play zones, bathhouses and restrooms. In conjunction with this policy, smoking lounges with flat-screen televisions and high-top tables will be conveniently located at each of our three venues. Smoking is also allowed in open-air campgrounds, parking lots, hospitality and souvenir display areas. It is our goal to reduce the risk of secondhand smoke exposure to our fans, while still allowing the freedom of choice with convenient smoking locations during our events. Enforcement -- Ushers will direct those found smoking in the grandstands to the nearest smoking lounge, and repeat offenders will be asked to leave.(CMS)(2-22-2013)
Charlotte Motor Speedway value put at $309M: There was one thing everybody in the room could agree on: It's hard to determine the value of Charlotte Motor Speedway. After three hours of questions and discussion Wednesday, the Cabarrus Board of Equalization and Review unanimously approved a tax value for Charlotte Motor Speedway for 2008 at $244.1 million and for 2009 at $309.6 million. Board members and county officials said the door is still open to negotiations before the matter likely reaches the N.C. Property Tax Commission on appeal. Raleigh attorney Bruce Thompson II and Charlotte commercial appraiser Fitzhugh Stout of Integra Realty Resources represented the speedway and said the value should be $78.2 million for 2008 and $108.2 million for 2009 (after the ZMax Dragway was built). Stout's appraisal placed the value of the total land (more than 1300 acres) at $41 million and the replacement cost of improvements at $137.2 million, but subtracted $100 million for the value of having a Sprint Cup race date.(Concord & Kannapolis Independent Tribune)(2-11-2013)
TMS, CMS intend to bid for X Games: Texas Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway have signed letters of intent to bid on becoming a host venue for ESPN's X Games beginning in 2014. TMS, which is located in Fort Worth, and CMS, which is located in Concord, N.C., are owned by parent company Speedway Motorsports Inc. Atlanta Motor Speedway, another SMI track, is part of an overall bid by the Atlanta Sports Council. Mike Zizzo, vice president of media relations at TMS, said X Games officials are traveling to TMS at the end of the month to evaluate the facility. TMS officials say they are interested in a three-year hosting period for the summer edition of the X Games. The summer event requires venues that can accommodate courses ranging from rally car and motocross to skateboarding and BMX competition. The four-day event traditionally attracts between 80,000 and 100,000 spectators. TMS is one of 13 locations bidding for the summer X Games, including two others in Texas: Austin's Circuit of the Americas Formula One road course and the Houston Sports Authority, representing Harris County.(ESPN)(1-18-2013)
In the Charlotte, NC for the races? some cool places to check out that Jayski has been to an enjoyed since moving to the Charlotte area in January 2004:
Memory Lane Museum on Hwy 150 W in Mooresville, NC,
North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame Lakeside Park, Mooresville
And a must is the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, checked it out in July 2010 and it is really cool
SOME EATs: Lancaster's Bar-B=Que is a large place with a lot of NASCAR stuff all over the walls, also I enjoyed: Jeffrey's. In Huntersville check out Mickey & Mooches for great steaks and the huge chocolate cake
TEAM SHOPS: and to check out some team shops, see my Team Address page, on that page there are a few links for Race Shop Tours [click here].
Or drive up I-85 and head to [Richard] Childress Vineyards.
in Concord, check out the racing stuff at Quaker Steak and Lube for some great wings and food
and check out the Sam Bass Gallery, right near Charlotte Motor Speedway.
(this is not an ad and not looking for suggestions, just some things to helps folks in town)
ALSO: see my Racing Charities page and Driver Appearances page for driver appearances and more thing going on in the area.
Charlotte Motor Speedway News Archive
Race Track and Schedule News
Race Track Links
Race Ticket Info and Links
Jayski's Nationwide Series Site
Jayski's Camping World Truck Series Site
Jayski's Silly Season Sprint Cup News Page
Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Main Page
Richmond International Raceway
Happy Hour Practice:
Friday, April 25, 2014, 1:00pm/et