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: 89,000 [down from 146,000 in 2009]
Coca-Cola thru 2020 for the May 600 mile race
Bank of America thru 2015 for the October 500 mile race
Track Websites & Social Media:
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Facebook - Charlotte Motor Speedway
Twitter - CLTMotorSpdwy
YouTube - CLTMotorSpdwy
U.S. Legend Cars
Cabarrus County Destination Guide
Track Stats - Racing-reference.info
Race Title Sponsors:
May - Coca Cola 600
October - Bank of America 500
Was Lowes Motor Speedway from 2000 to 2009
2015 May Race Winner: #19-Carl Edwards, 147.803mph, started 3rd
2014 October Race Winner: #4-Kevin Harvick, 145.346mph, started 7th
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
2015 May Pole Winner: #20-Matt Kenseth, 194.252mph, finished 4th
2014 October Pole Winner: #18-Kyle Busch, 197.390mph, finished 5th
Track Qualifying Record: Kurt Busch, Oct 2014, 198.771mph, set in 2nd round of qualifying
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: 7 - Jimmie Johnson; 6 - Darrell Waltrip, Bobby Allison; 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, 10/11/2014, 5/24/2015
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: 43 - Chevy
Races won from starting pos 1: 15
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
Bruton Smith reveals non-Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis: After battling non-Hodgkin's lymphoma earlier this summer, Speedway Motorsports Inc. Executive Chairman (and NASCAR Hall of Fame, Class of 2016) Bruton Smith is attending this week's NASCAR events at Bristol Motor Speedway. The following are comments Bruton and his son, SMI CEO and President Marcus Smith, made earlier Friday about his health and return to the speedway for Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol.
Bruton Smith, Executive Chairman of Speedway Motorsports, Inc.
"The doctors said I probably needed a bit of a rest and I got that. And I probably needed it. You see, I could depend on Marcus. SMI - they can easily do with my absence. He knows what he's doing. He's doing a great job and I'm proud of him. I hate to miss any of our races. I really do. It's kind of heartbreaking, really. I like to be there to see what's going on. I enjoy what I do. I like the automobile business. I'm into that. I love the racing business. I want to contribute more and more and more. You hear us preach about fan friendly and we're into that and we want to do more on it. I think that is a driver for me to just do more things. I just like what I do. We've done an awful lot of things, as you know. I enjoy the contributions I've been able to make to the sport."
Marcus Smith, CEO and President of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. "We talked about this for the last few days actually, about having a conversation because health and personal matters are personal. The family, we're private about personal matters. A lot of people have asked me about, where's Bruton? How's he feeling? I'm really excited about this weekend because Bristol was a goal. For us. For my dad. The time was such that it was a good goal to try to hit to be healthy and strong. Back around the All-Star Race in May, my dad had not been feeling 100% and a little bit prior. Coming back, people might think that because he lost weight that something was wrong. I thought it was better to tell the good part of the story. We knew something was wrong and he just wasn't feeling right. We went to the doctor and did a lot of tests and they made a diagnosis of lymphoma, and it's non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. According to the doctors, it's the kind you want to have. It's the most treatable. We were encouraged by that. The really good news is, through the process, treatment and ups and downs and having Bristol as a goal to be healthy by, we're back here and the last word from the doctor was things have been really good. He's progressed beyond expectations they all had and we're very thankful about that of course and they have given a really good prognosis on his health. In short, he's responded really well to treatment and even beyond the expectations from the doctors. We've had a lot of family time and friends, and a lot of support. I'm happy that he's back in Bristol to be able to enjoy it."
(Charlotte Motor Speedway PR)(8-22-2015)
Charlotte Motor Speedway announces Jeff Gordon tribute: Charlotte Motor Speedway will pay tribute to retiring NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon with a 24-day campaign leading up to the track's fall race. The campaign - called "Jeff's Last Ride" - will include:
-- Personal stories, memories and well-wishes from sports personalities, community leaders and other celebrities through daily videos posted to JeffsLastRide.com.
-- Fans sharing moments and remembrances via social media to congratulate Gordon.
-- A collection of iconic #24 race cars and Gordon's personal cars showcased during the Charlotte AutoFair Sept. 24-27.
-- Partnerships with businesses across the Charlotte region to "paint Charlotte 24" in the final 24 days before the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 10.
-- And a 24-day social media campaign that reflects on Gordon's top moments over the course of his career at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Gordon, who drives Hendrick Motorsports' #24 Chevy, has won four Cup championships. The first of his 92 career victories came in the 1994 Coca-Cola 600 at CMS. The campaign also includes several Gordon-themed ticket packages. Information: www.charlottemotorspeedway.(Charlotte Observer)(8-22-2015)
Hunter Hayes to perform pre-race concert at Charlotte Motor Speedway: One of the biggest names in country music will crank things up in the heart of NASCAR country when Hunter Hayes gets fans revved up for the Bank of America 500 on Saturday, Oct. 10, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The multi-talented singer, songwriter and instrumentalist will take the stage for a 60-minute set, including smash hits like his GRAMMY-nominated "Wanted," "I Want Crazy" and "Invisible," among other fan favorites like "Storm Warning," "Somebody's Heartbreak" and current single, "21." A five-time GRAMMY-nominated performer, Hayes earned the Country Music Association's "New Artist of the Year" title in 2012, as well as numerous awards and nominations from the Academy of Country Music, CMT Music Awards, BMI Awards, American Country Awards, Billboard Touring Awards, Billboard Music Awards, People's Choice Awards, Teen Choice Awards and many others.(CMS)(8-12-2015)
Austin and Ty Dillon to Wave Green Flag On CMS's Fall Season at Parade of Power: Richard Childress Racing drivers Austin and Ty Dillon and Charlotte Motor Speedway officials will wave the green flag on the legendary speedway's action-packed fall Season of Speed during the seventh annual Parade of Power on Wednesday, Aug. 5. A wide array of vehicles representing those that will compete this fall at Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMAX Dragway and The Dirt Track at Charlotte will parade down Bruton Smith Boulevard, beginning at Concord Mills Mall and ending at the speedway's Avenue of Flags. The free fan event will include a Q&A session, monster truck rides, the Charlotte Motor Speedway Fan Van and more. The first 100 fans to pick up a wristband on event day will be able to take part in an autograph session with several motorsports personalities. In addition, fans who make a qualifying ticket purchase will be able to drive their personal vehicles on the 1.5-mile superspeedway. The Parade of Power is expected to include more than two dozen vehicles, including NASCAR stock cars, a World of Outlaws dirt late model, a monster truck, NHRA dragsters and Pro Modified cars, a Legend Car and Bandolero, speedway Toyota Camry pace cars, the speedway's Rosenbauer fire engine, classic and luxury automobiles, and more. The parade will begin at Concord Mills Mall at 12:00pm/et and travel to the main entrance of Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Q&A session is scheduled to take place along the Avenue of Flags.(CMS)(8-1-2015)
Bruton Smith increases voting power to sons: Bruton Smith, who in February stepped down as chief executive officer of track operator Speedway Motorsports Inc., has increased the voting power of his three sons in the company. The 88-year-old Smith has controlled 70.2% of the voting stock, and a filing Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission states he now shares that voting power with his sons Marcus, David and Scott as part of a transaction "for business succession purposes." The individual voting power of each of the sons and their father was not disclosed, and SMI declined to comment on how the voting power is distributed. The filing indicates that Bruton Smith has retained significant oversight of SMI. Bruton Smith gave up the CEO and chairman titles of SMI in February, moving to a role as executive chairman while elevating Marcus to the CEO role. Scott Smith is president and David Smith is vice chairman of their father's auto dealership company, Sonic Automotive, where Bruton remains as chairman and CEO.(ESPN)(6-25-2015)
Man Airlifted to Hospital after Speedway Accident UPDATE: A man was airlifted to the hospital after he was hit by a car at Charlotte Motor Speedway. An eyewitness said the man was sitting on the back of a tow bar between a camper and another vehicle being towed. The camper turned, he fell off, and was run over by the towed vehicle. No word on the condition of the man who was hit.(Fox Charlotte)(5-25-2015)
UPDATE: Concord Police have identified the man who was hit Monday, May 25, around 12:32 a.m. at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Daniel Wayne Delk,34, was airlifted to the hospital after he was hit by a car at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The incident occurred at the infield area approaching the tunnel exit of Gate 26. An eyewitness said Delk was sitting on the back of a tow bar connecting a motor home pulling a sports utility vehicle. The camper turned, Delk fell off, and was run over by the towed vehicle. He was dragged about 98 ft. on asphalt, according to police. According to police, Timothy Blair Clontz, 35, driver of the motor home found out about the incident from a friend an hour later. He called Concord Police to give his information and reported he never realized someone was behind his motor home. Clontz will not be charged with any offenses. Delk has sustained non-life threatening injuries and remains hospitalized at CMC.(Fox Charlotte)(5-26-2015)
Carl Edwards wins at Charlotte: #19-Carl Edwards won the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for his 1st win of the season, 1st win at Charlotte and 24th career win. Edwards last win was 31 races ago at Sonoma Raceway in June 2014.
#16-Biffle finished 2nd followed by #88-Earnhardt Jr., #20-Kenseth, #78-Truex Jr., #31-Newman, #2-Keselowski, #11-Hamlin, #4-Harvick and #41-Busch.
Harvick maintains the drivers points lead with 473, 41 points over #78-Truex Jr.
Pole winner #20-Kenseth led 27 laps, fell down 1 lap with an unscheduled pit stop for a loose wheel, got the lucky dog pass and finished 4th.
#18-Kyle Busch, in his first points race of the season after being injured at Daytona, finished 11th and ran all 400 laps.
#48-Johnson spun twice, recovering the 1st time, but not the 2nd time, hitting the inside SAFER wall. After repairs, Johnson came back on the track and finished 40th, down 30 laps. Only four drivers failed to finish the race.
There were 22 lead changes among 9 drivers. There were 8 cautions for 39 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 147.803mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(5-24-2015)
Coca-Cola extends partnership with Speedway Motorsports: The Coca-Cola Company has extended their long-term partnership with Speedway Motorsports, Inc. through 2020, ensuring that race fans across the country can continue to cheer on their favorite Coca-Cola Racing Family drivers at premier motorsports facilities with ice cold, delicious Coca-Cola refreshment. For more than 30 years, Coca-Cola and Speedway Motorsports have brought race fans together, enhancing event experiences and providing countless wonderful memories. The partnership renewal celebrates the longevity of their partnership as Coca-Cola and Speedway Motorsports continue to create the ultimate race day experience for fans across the country. In the renewed agreement, Coca-Cola, along with an array of sparkling and still beverage options, will continue as the "Official Soft Drink," "Official Sparkling Beverage," "Official Water, "Official Sports Drink" and "Official Enhanced Water" for seven Speedway Motorsports facilities (Atlanta, Charlotte, Sonoma, Kentucky, Las Vegas, New Hampshire and Texas). The agreement retains all non-alcoholic beverages at Atlanta, Charlotte and New Hampshire. The renewal also includes title sponsorship of the Coca-Cola 600, the longest continuous sponsorship of any race in NASCAR, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Coca-Cola, along with Speedway Motorsports, will ensure all of these tracks remain premier destinations for NASCAR fans across the nation for years to come.
"For more than 30 years, Coca-Cola has been refreshing fans at the world's greatest speedways. What better place to share a Coke over our renewed partnership than at the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day Weekend," said Ivan Pollard, Senior Vice President, Connections, Investment and Assets, Coca-Cola North America.
"Coca-Cola and Speedway Motorsports share the same passion for entertaining fans and providing the ultimate race day experience. Our partnership renewal celebrates the heritage of this relationship in bringing fans closer to Coca-Cola and the sport they love the most."
"Coca-Cola and Speedway Motorsports have been making memories together for more than 30 years by honoring our troops, celebrating our passion for racing and creating spectacular experiences for our fans," said Marcus Smith, chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. "Coca-Cola is the world's most-respected and recognizable brand, and it's an honor to extend our partnership into its fourth decade. We look forward to serving our fans refreshing excitement both on and off the track for years to come."
Coca-Cola is a global brand with deep roots in local communities. Through this partnership extension, Coca-Cola and Speedway Motorsports will continue to create programs that engage race fans at Speedway Motorsports facilities in the local markets and regions where the speedways are located. By creating these unique experiences, Coca-Cola will connect with race fans at every level -- locally, nationally, at the track, in store, at home and elsewhere.(CMS)(5-24-2015)
Lt. Governors, Military Families To Honor Veterans at Coca-Cola 600: Two lieutenant governors, the head of the USO and the wife of a military hero will serve as race officials for the 2015 Coca-Cola 600, the nation's largest Memorial Day Weekend celebration. Dawn Seif, wife of fallen Marine SSgt. Andrew Seif, will be Grand Marshal; USO CEO & President J.D. Crouch II will be Co-Grand Marshal; West Virginia Senate President Lt. Gov. Bill Cole will serve as Honorary Starter; and North Carolina's Lt. Gov. Dan Forest will serve as Honorary Race Director for the 56th running of NASCAR's only 600-mile race at the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 24.
As race officials, Cole and Forest will be honored at a pre-race event, attend the official drivers meeting, address the crowd of nearly 100,000 fans, participate in the pre-race spectacular and present the trophy to the winning driver in Victory Lane. As Co-Grand Marshal, Crouch will introduce Seif as the Grand Marshal. Seif will give the race command, while Cole will wave the green flag over the 43-car field to start NASCAR's most challenging race. As Honorary Race Director, Forest will ride in an official pace car.
Dawn Bredeweg and SSgt. Andrew C. Seif of Holland, Michigan, were married on Sept. 18, 2010. Tragically, SSgt. Seif was one of 11 service members killed in March of this year when their helicopter crashed during a training mission near Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. He was a Combat Engineer based out of Camp Pendleton and Twentynine Palms, California from 2006 until 2009. He then joined Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) based out of Camp Lejeune. During his career, he served one tour of duty in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. SSgt. Seif was a decorated Marine. In July 2012, he faced enemy fire to save a mortally wounded friend in Afghanistan. For his heroism, SSgt. Seif was a recipient of the USO's 2013 Marine of the Year Award and earned the Silver Star.
Crouch was elected by the USO Board of Governors to become the 23rd President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Service Organizations (USO) in 2014. Crouch has a long history of public service, including numerous military honors and a service as U.S. Ambassador to Romania.
Cole is a fifth generation West Virginia businessman. In January 2015, he became the first Republican to lead the West Virginia Senate in more than 80 years. He and his wife, Brownie, live in Bluefield, West Virginia and have four children.
Forest is the first Republican Lieutenant Governor to be elected in North Carolina in more than 20 years, and only the second since 1897. Dan is an architect. He and his wife, Alice, reside in Raleigh with their four children, ages 8 to 20.
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 captivating performance will showcase ground exercises with troops from Fort Bragg, featuring Humvees, Howitzers, a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System and more. Rope teams from Fort Campbell will descend from Black Hawk helicopters. The high-powered pre-race show will also include a 21-gun salute from the Fort Bragg firing squad and vintage war bird air parade and sky-diving members of Team Fastrax descending into the infield. There will also be a musical element to the pre-race show with performances including Rock and Roll Hall of Famers ZZ Top and Lee Greenwood.
Great seats are still available for the Coca-Cola 600 and all rest of the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder, with weekend passes starting at just $99. To purchase tickets and camping day upgrades, fans should call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shop online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-20-2015)
NASCAR to Honor Fallen Service Members with Windshield Tribute at Coca-Cola 600: When NASCAR drivers start their engines for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, fans will see familiar names like "Harvick," "Kenseth" and "Almirola" replaced on car windshields with "SGT Mracek," "HM3 Layton" and "CPT Argel" - United States Armed Forces members who have fallen in service to their country. All 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will participate in "600 Miles of Remembrance" on Memorial Day Weekend to honor military service members and their families, and commemorate the launch of NASCAR: An American Salute, the industry's collective expression of reverence, respect and gratitude for those who have served and continue to defend our nation today. Fans can follow stories around the seven-week platform and share their personal expressions of thanks to the military using #NASCARSalutes on social media.
"The NASCAR community rallying to honor the U.S. Armed Forces, past and present, has long been part of our sport's heritage," said Brent Dewar, NASCAR chief operating officer. "As part of NASCAR: An American Salute, 600 Miles of Remembrance represents a special moment in time as we pay tribute to service members who have sacrificed dearly for our freedom."
Many of the service members whose names will be displayed on the race cars were chosen by the teams, and some have unique connections to the fallen. Private Dean Van Dyke, who was killed in the Vietnam War, was a relative of #16 Roush Fenway Racing driver Greg Biffle. Army First Lieutenant Daniel Hyde, killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom, served alongside Chris Clayton, tire changer on the #83 BK Racing team. Many of the families of the service members being recognized will be in attendance on Sunday, and will be introduced alongside the drivers during driver introductions. In addition, Charlotte Motor Speedway will host more than 6,000 active military members at the Coca-Cola 600 in honor of Memorial Day.
NASCAR: An American Salute will feature various on- and off-track activities from tracks, teams and partners that show appreciation and support for the troops, and will culminate Independence Day Weekend with the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. This weekend, NASCAR together with Honor and Remember, Inc., will display specially prepared Honor and Remember flags representing those who have died in service to our country from each of the 50 United States throughout the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Throughout the campaign, NASCAR will host military families at each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race as part of NASCAR Troops to the Track" Presented by Bank of America.
Toyota will also honor the names of fallen service members on its pace cars for the Coca-Cola 600 as part of 600 Miles of Remembrance. Later in the program, both Chevrolet and Ford will feature patriotic branding on the pace cars for races at Pocono and Michigan, respectively.
Many NASCAR Official Partners have mobilized to support NASCAR: An American Salute with military-themed activations, including:
· For the sixth straight year, Goodyear is rallying NASCAR fans to support members of the U.S. Armed Forces through its "Goodyear Gives Back" charitable program benefitting the Support Our Troops organization. To kick off the program, Goodyear will once again transform its NASCAR race tires by replacing the "Eagle" sidewall design with "Support Our Troops" messaging on all tires used during Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This effort coincides with the May 21 launch of Goodyear's charity auction at www.Goodyear.com/GivesBack, which features autographed NASCAR memorabilia, VIP race experiences and rides on the Goodyear Blimp.
· Bank of America is the presenting partner of NASCAR Troops to the Track - a season-long program that honors members of the military and their families for their services, and treats them to a NASCAR race experience. This program is an extension of Bank of America's long-standing commitment to the military, focused on helping veterans and service members' transition to civilian life.
· NASCAR, Coca-Cola, Mars Chocolate North America and 3M have collaborated to engage shoppers in over 180 military commissaries. On Tuesday, May 19, there will be all-day activation at Fort Bragg Commissary South featuring an appearance by Coca-Cola Racing Family Member Joey Logano, who will be giving away tickets to the Coca-Cola 600. From May 18 to July 8, commissary shoppers can enter the 2015 Champion's Week Sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week by texting "NASCARSALUTE" to 313131 or by visiting www.championsweek2015.com.
· M&M's will introduce a national letter-writing campaign, in partnership with Operation Gratitude, encouraging fans to send messages of thanks and appreciation to military members. The notes will be included in more than 100,000 Operation Gratitude Care Packages which will be assembled and shipped to Troops deployed in harm's way and to New Recruits upon their graduation from Boot Camp.
· During Daytona International Speedway's Coke Zero 400, all active duty military, veterans and their families can enjoy the Troops Welcome Center Presented by M&M's. The center, which will be located in the midway, will be fully equipped with food and beverages, allowing service members to take a break and meet NASCAR drivers throughout the weekend.
· In honor of the military, Miss Sprint Cup will wear NASCAR: An American Salute fire suits at the Coca-Cola 600 and Coke Zero 400.
This Sunday, NASCAR drivers will discuss 600 Miles of Remembrance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90) during a special military tribute show airing at 1:00pm/et. The Dialed In Salute to the Troops special, hosted by Claire B. Lang, will feature interviews with several drivers as well as service men and service women from different branches of the military.
During the Coca Cola 600 pre-race broadcast (5:30 pm/et, FOX), FOX Sports will recognize all service members who have lost their lives in the past year by displaying their names and branch of service on a graphic scroll. This will be FOX's fifth year in a row dedicating the pre-race show to service members that have fallen in the line of duty. To learn more about NASCAR: An American Salute, visit www.NASCAR.com/Salute.
See images of the United States Armed Forces members who have fallen in service to their country at NASCAR.com.(NASCAR)(5-18-2015)
All-Star Race an earlier start next year?: Could the Sprint All-Star Race have a different starting time next season? Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said Monday on SiruisXM NASCAR Radio's "The Morning Drive" that series officials will consider that matter for next year. Saturday's All-Star race didn't begin until 9:42pm/et. The second segment took the green flag at 10:02 p.m. The third segment began at 10:23 p.m. The fourth segment started at 10:43 p.m., and the mandatory pit stop before the start of the final pit stop took place at 11:03 p.m. The event featured no cautions other than the breaks between each segment. Thus, if there had been debris cautions or accidents or such, the start of each segment could have been pushed back significantly. Here's what O'Donnell said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio about the start time for the All-Star race: "I think it is something we want to look at. ... I've got kids who like watching sports earlier, and I hear the same thing. I think that is something we'll sit down and address and look at and see if we can't get it off a little earlier.''(NBC Sports)(5-18-2015)
Hamlin wins Sprint All-Star Race: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Sprint All-Star Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for his first All-Star win, the first All-Star race win for Joe Gibbs Racing and first Toyota team to win the All-Star race. #11-Hamlin is the fourth driver to win from race from the pole and the fifth time it has happened. #11-Hamlin beat #2-Keselowski off pit road during the final pit stops between segment 4 & 5, but Keselowski sped off pit road and had to restart at the rear on the restart. Hamlin held off #40Harvick who put on a charge early in the final segment before fading and finishing 2nd.
#4-Harvick finished 2nd (for the 2nd year in a row) followed by #41-Busch, #24-Gordon, #20-Kenseth, #18-Busch, #5-Kahne, #22-Logano, #2-Keselowski and #88-Earnhardt Jr.
The three drivers who transferred into the race via the Sprint Showdown: #15-Bowyer (finished 12th), #16-Biffle (finished 13th) and #10-Patrick (finished 20th/last, had engine problems).
See the results for each segment Jayski.com's 2015 All-Star Race Page.(5-16-2015)
Bowyer wins Sprint Showdown: #15-Clint Bowyer won the Sprint Showdown Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway to transfer to the Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday night. It is Bowyers 2nd win in the Showdown and 2nd consecutive win. #27-Menard finished 2nd followed by #78-Truex Jr, #9-Hornish Jr. and #25-Chase Elliott. #16-Greg Biffle won segment 1 of the Sprint Showdown Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway to transfer to the Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday night. #15-Bowyer finished 2nd followed by #27-Menard, #3-Dillon and #55-Ragan.
#10-Danica Patrick won the Sprint Fan Vote to transfer into the Sprint All-Star Race.
See the results from both segments on Jayski.com's 2015 All-Star Race Page.(5-15-2015)
Panthers Davis to be honorary pacecar driver for Coca-Cola 600: Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis' whirlwind year will take another turn - several left turns, actually - next weekend when the NFL's reigning Man of the Year drives the pace car at NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It's the latest experience in an offseason that's played out like a fantasy camp for Davis, who won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in January for his years of charitable work with children. Davis confirmed Wednesday he'll be behind the wheel of the pace car during Charlotte's Sprint race May 24. "I'm going to go as fast as they allow me to go," Davis said in a phone interview. Nationwide, the presenting sponsor of the Man of the Year Award, was scheduled to make the announcement Thursday morning. Davis will be certified Tuesday at the 1.5-mile oval. The process will include a short class, followed by a couple of laps around the track with a NASCAR official. Dale Earnhardt Jr., whose primary sponsor is Nationwide, will take Davis for a ride in Earnhardt's #88 Chevrolet. Davis can get some tips from Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, who drove the pace car last year for NASCAR's Sprint All-Star Race in Charlotte. "Luke is my brother. We bounce everything off of each other," Davis said. "He was extremely excited to be pace car driver last year and I'm equally excited to be the one doing it this year."(Charlotte Observer)(5-14-2015)
NASCAR haulers will parade in Concord: NASCAR Sprint Cup haulers will roll down Union Street in Concord, NC on Thursday [May 14th] on their way to Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Haulers on Union" will take place at 5:45pm/et as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series haulers parade down Union Street en route to Charlotte Motor Speedway. In addition to the parade, fans can meet their favorite hauler drivers, get free t-shirts and enjoy music, food trucks and more at the event staging area at Ride Now Powersports from 1-4 p.m. Attendees can then make their way to Union Street for a Vietnam Veterans 50th Anniversary Commemorative Program at 5 p.m. featuring hometown hero, vet and POW Colonel J. Quincy Collins Jr. As the last truck exits downtown, fans will be serenaded with the sounds of Route 66.(Independent Tribune)(5-14-2015)
Coca-Cola 600 Salute to the Troops Pre-Race Festivities: As part of the biggest Memorial Day Weekend celebration on the planet, Charlotte Motor Speedway will honor Taya Kyle with the coveted Stonewall Jackson Award and will welcome Gen. Mark Milley to offer the State of Freedom address during the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race Salute to the Troops on Sunday, May 24. Given 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 and beyond the call of duty. Kyle is the widow of the legendary U.S. Navy SEAL and author of the bestsellers American Sniper and American Gun, Chris Kyle, whose story of service and sacrifice was told in Clint Eastwood's critically acclaimed blockbuster film American Sniper.
Milley, a decorated veteran with more than three decades of service in the U.S. Army, will offer a moving State of Freedom speech as part of the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race Salute to the Troops. A 1980 graduate of Princeton University, Milley has served in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord, California; the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York; the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea; the Joint Readiness Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana; the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; and the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.(CMS)(5-10-2015)
Guy Fieri named Grand Marshal, Honorary Pace Car Driver for All-Star Race: Always a star-studded affair, the 2015 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will have more celebrity star power than ever as Charlotte Motor Speedway officials announced that TV personality and food icon Guy Fieri will serve as the Grand Marshal and Honorary Pace Car driver for the biggest all-star event in sports on May 16. The dynamic chef, restauranteur and author is best known for his hit Food Network TV shows "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" and "Guy's Big Bite," as well as his appearances as a judge on "Next Food Network Star." Fieri will bring his larger-than-life personality and his signature blonde hair to the 30th anniversary of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race to give the command to fire engines before jumping behind the wheel of the official Charlotte Motor Speedway Toyota Camry pace car to lead the field to green. The $99 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race weekend pass includes frontstretch tickets for the N.C. Education LotteryCamping World Truck Series race and Sprint Showdown on Friday, May 15; plus the no-speed-limit NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race qualifying, a rocking pre-race concert with country mega-group Little Big Town, presented by Rayovac, and capped off with a blockbuster shootout for $1 million at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 16.(CMS)(5-7-2015)
Gov. Pat McCrory Proclaims May Motorsports Month In North Carolina: Each May, the spotlight shines on Charlotte Motor Speedway during the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder, and Gov. Pat McCrory joined speedway officials Friday to officially proclaim May is Motorsports Month in North Carolina and recognize the speedway's impact on tourism, the economy and jobs across the region. The biggest back-to-back weekends in motorsports, highlighted by the 30th anniversary of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 16 and the 56th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24, will generate an estimated economic impact of $230 million to the Charlotte region and support an estimated 4,200 jobs. Annually, the speedway contributes more than $451 million in economic impact and supports more than 8,000 jobs across the region, part of a $6 billion annual economic impact by motorsports statewide. As part of the kickoff event, McCrory presented a proclamation noting that May is Motorsports Month in North Carolina and encouraged fans to celebrate the races at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the motorsports heritage of the state.
"This was a big dream that became a big reality," McCrory said, applauding speedway founder Bruton Smith's vision for the facility. "I'm so proud that we're the center of NASCAR. This is all about jobs and having fun. That's what racing is all about - great entertainment and bringing jobs to North Carolina. This is the centerpiece of racing throughout the world and we're proud to be part of it." In a sign of the significant impact motorsports has on the state, McCrory was joined at the kickoff event by Concord Mayor Scott Padgett, Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Michael Barnes, North Carolina Department of Commerce Secretary John Skavarla and dozens more state and local officials and business leaders. Following the program, McCrory and several of the other leaders "got to work" painting the start/finish line to represent the thousands of jobs supported by the speedway's May events.
Fans from all 50 states, 15 foreign countries and more than 3,200 cities around the world will descend upon Charlotte Motor Speedway in May, with millions of additional fans tuning in to NASCAR broadcasts aired in more than 175 countries worldwide. "May 1st is like Christmas for us here at Charlotte Motor Speedway," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway. "We had no idea what my dad, Bruton Smith, was thinking when he came out here and started digging some dirt to build Charlotte Motor Speedway. I'm not sure he knew how big this would be, but 56 years later, here we are ready to complete the 30th anniversary of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the 56th annual Coca-Cola 600.
The $99 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race weekend pass includes frontstretch tickets for the N.C. Education Lottery Camping World Truck Series race and Sprint Showdown on Friday, May 15; plus the no-speed-limit NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race qualifying, a rocking pre-race concert with country mega-group Little Big Town, presented by Rayovac, and capped off with a blockbuster shootout for $1 million at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 16.
The Coca-Cola 600 weekend package includes tickets to see the stars of NASCAR hit the track to lay down the fastest lap during LiftMaster Pole Night on Thursday, May 21; a Saturday afternoon showdown as the NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers battle it out in the Hisense 300 on May 23; and culminates with the historic 56th running of one of NASCAR's most prestigious events, the Cola-Cola 600, complete with a pre-race concert by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer group ZZ Top on Sunday, May 24, all for just $99. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(5-2-2015)
Salute to the Troops Coca-Cola 600 Pre-Race Show returns to Charlotte: For decades, Charlotte Motor Speedway has paid tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces each Memorial Day Weekend with a captivating pre-race show before the drop of the green flag for the Coca-Cola 600. On May 24, the 56th running of the ultimate test of man and machine will host one of the biggest military appreciation pre-race spectaculars in the track's history. The action-packed show will include ground exercises with troops from Fort Bragg featuring Humvees, Howitzers, a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System and more. Rope teams from Fort Campbell will descend from Black Hawk helicopters. Other elements include a 21-gun salute from the Fort Bragg Firing Squad, a vintage war bird air parade and sky-diving members of Team Fastrax descending to the infield with Old Glory flying behind. Fans will be able to salute the troops when 600 soldiers from Fort Bragg walk through the grandstands to the infield and during a pace lap with buses carrying hundreds of troops from the Charlotte Motor Speedway Patriot Partners program. Medal of Honor recipients Bob Patterson (Vietnam), James Taylor (Vietnam) and Walter Joseph Marm (Vietnam) will also be recognized on the pre-race stage. Several musical performances will highlight the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show including a 45-minute concert with Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famers ZZ Top, "God Bless the USA" performed by Lee Greenwood, a rendition of "Amazing Grace" by the Charlotte Fire Department Pipe Band and "Taps" played by a Fort Bragg bugler. There will also be an Armed Forces Medley featuring the 100-member Central Church of God Chorus Group. Closing out the pre-race festivities is the 82nd Airborne Chorus singing the "The Star Spangled Banner." During that time, soldiers from Fort Bragg will hold a football field-sized American Flag and four F-18s will fly over the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway.(CMS)(4-25-2015)
ZZ Top to perform pre-race concert at Charlotte: ZZ Top, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, will bring their iconic tunes, trademark beards and dark sunglasses to Charlotte Motor Speedway for what promises to be an energetic pre-race concert to get fans revved up before the green flag falls on the Coca-Cola 600, Sunday, May 24. The concert was announced by Coca-Cola Racing Family driver Danica Patrick and Marcus Smith, president and general manager at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Tuesday. Patrick, who said she grew up listening to ZZ Top, drove the "Little Ol' Band From Texas" into a press event in a vintage Chevrolet Bel Air as the band's classic "Sharp Dressed Man" played. Comprised of the same three members who formed the band in 1969 - Billy F. Gibbons (guitar), Dusty Hill (bass) and Frank Beard (drums) - ZZ Top will perform a 45-minute set in the infield of the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway just hours before NASCAR's best are scheduled to take the track for the ultimate test of man and machine. The concert is free for all Coca-Cola 600 race ticket holders. (CMS)(4-8-2015)
Teams testing this week at Charlotte UPDATES: Four teams are scheduled to take part in a Goodyear tire test test Tuesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Those teams are Hendrick Motorsports (#5-Kasey Kahne), Furniture Row Racing (#78-Martin Truex Jr.), Richard Petty Motorsports (#43-Aric Almirola) and BK Racing (#23-JJ Yeley). Tuesday's session is closed to the public. There will be an open test Wednesday at the track. Charlotte Motor Speedway officials state that teams expected to test that day include Kahne, Truex, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray and about half a dozen other teams. Wednesday's session is open to the public. Gates open at 9:00am. Testing is scheduled to run from 9:00am-12:00pm and from 1:00-5:00pm/et. The next scheduled test is April 7-8 at Richmond International Raceway. Four teams will test there. Each will have one car. Those teams testing will be Stewart-Haas Racing, JTG Daugherty, Team Penske and Joe Gibbs Racing. That begins a busy test period. Tire tests are scheduled April 13-15 at Kentucky Speedway and April 27-29 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(NBC Sports)(3-10-2015
UPDATE: There are 11 drivers (and teams) scheduled to drive in the Charlotte test [Wednesday]: #11-Denny Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Racing), #43-Aric Almirola (Richard Petty Motorsports), #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Roush Fenway Racing), #4-Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas Racing), #22-Joey Logano (Team Penske), #5-Kasey Kahne (Hendrick Motorsports), #1-Jamie McMurray (Chip Ganassi Racing), #78-Martin Truex Jr. (Furniture Row Racing), #15-Clint Bowyer (Michael Waltrip Racing), Brian Scott (Richard Childress Racing), #95-Michael McDowell (Leavine Family Racing)(NBC Sports)(3-11-2015)
UPDATE 2: More than one dozen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams spent Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, validating information gleaned from simulation programs while testing on a track and a tire that they will see approximately two months from now. The open test, part of NASCAR National Series Unified Testing Program for 2015, provides one team from each Sprint Cup organization the opportunity to participate. It is the second open test conducted this season, following NASCAR's elimination of private team testing at the conclusion of 2014.
"Just being able to try things and look at the data acquisition and see exactly what it did," Keith Rodden, crew chief for Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne said of the advantages of the test. "Because on a race weekend we don't get to run those sensors so you always have some questions. When I run tests, I try to make big changes, I don't try to 'Happy Hour' it and try to run fast. I don't really care what (speeds) we're running today ... we're trying to make big picture changes, do things to the car to make it act differently. Being able to look at that data that comes right off the car when we come in is really valuable.
Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR's Vice President for Innovation and Racing Development, said such open team tests were helpful to the sanctioning body, but primarily for the teams' benefit. Three elements, he said, stand out. Unlike previous tests conducted prior to the '15 testing program, teams did not test at tracks where Sprint Cup races were held, and they tested on tires that likely wouldn't be used. That combination limited the amount of knowledge that could be gained. Stefanyshyn also said such tests are able to be conducted in a more cost-efficient manner for teams "and we provide them with a higher level of service as they do all this."(NASCAR.com)(3-11-2015)
NASCAR Test Fest to Rev Up Fans at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday: Fans will have the chance to see some of NASCAR's biggest names take to the track Wednesday, March 11, as well as get special ticket offers and an autograph from NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson as part of NASCAR Test Fest at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Grandstand admission is free for fans to watch more than a dozen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams participate in this crucial one-day open test at the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway. Teams will be trying different set-ups to prepare for the 10 Days of Thunder May race events including the May 16 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the May 24 Coca-Cola 600.
Among the drivers expected to participate in the on-track test session are 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion #4-Kevin Harvick, current Daytona 500 champion #22-Joey Logano, 2014 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winner #1-Jamie McMurray, 2012 Coca-Cola 600 winner #5-Kasey Kahne and more. The driver lineup is subject to change. In addition to watching the test, fans will be able to get an autograph from Johnson from 11:00am/et to 12:00noon/et and try their luck with spin-to-win, one-day ticket offers in the ticket office, including big discounts on camping and half-price Hisense 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race tickets.
While at the track, families can also enjoy interactive games at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Fan Van and appearances by Lug Nut, the world's fastest mascot, as well as test drive the members-only Speedway Club for lunch. Testing will run from 9:00am to 5:00pm/et, with a break for lunch at noon. The frontstretch grandstands will open at 9:00am for the public to enjoy the test session. Fans should enter through gate 5A, by the main ticket office. For ticket information for the 10 Days of Thunder in May, contact the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(3-8-2015)
Nationwide Extends Partnership With Speedway Motorsports: Nationwide is continuing its long-time relationship with Speedway Motorsports, renewing its status as the official insurance company of Charlotte Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway through 2017. In addition to its partnership with Charlotte and Bristol Motor Speedways, Nationwide will feature at-track infield hospitality for their business partners at four SMI NASCAR event weekends throughout the 2015 race season. The new Nationwide mobile hospitality unit will be activated at Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 6-8, Charlotte Motor Speedway May 15-24, Kentucky Speedway July 9-11 and Bristol Motor Speedway August 19-22.(SMI)(3-8-2015)
Charlotte Motor Speedway's jet dryers helps teams get to Daytona: With inclement weather threatening the Charlotte area and many NASCAR teams trying to reach the Daytona International Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway pitched in to ensure smoother travel southward. The track sent three jet dryers down the road to Concord Regional Airport, helping dry the runways covered by snow and sleet over the past 18 hours. More than a dozen flights transporting 700 members of the NASCAR industry were scheduled to head to the Daytona Beach, FL, area over the next two days. Charlotte Motor Speedway president Marcus Smith dispatched the jet dryers through his track's operations staff after a NASCAR team called Tuesday morning with concern about the icy conditions.(NBC Sports)(2-17-2015)
Marcus Smith now CEO of SMI: The board of directors for Speedway Motorsports, Inc. has named O. Bruton Smith as executive chairman and Marcus G. Smith as chief executive officer in a realignment of executive officers, the board announced Wednesday. O. Bruton Smith, who has served as chairman and chief executive officer since Speedway Motorsports, Inc.'s initial public offering in 1995, will report directly to the board of directors, working closely with the board and the chief executive officer to engage in the overall leadership and strategic direction of the company, guide senior management, coordinate activities of the board and communicate with the company's key stakeholders. In an expanded role, Marcus G. Smith, who has served as Speedway Motorsports, Inc.'s president and chief operating officer since 2008, will work closely with the executive chairman to manage day-to-day operations of the company, provide overall leadership and strategic direction and communicate with key stakeholders. Smith will maintain his roles and titles of president of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. and president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, positions he has held since 2008. The realignment, approved Wednesday by the Speedway Motorsports, Inc. board of directors, is effective immediately.(Speedway Motorsports)(2-12-2015)
Fan hit by cable at Coca-Cola 600 sues Fox Sports, CMS: A fan who says he was injured when an overhead camera cable snapped and whipsawed in the grandstand during the 2013 Coca-Cola 600 has filed suit against Fox Sports and Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. Patrick Carpenter filed suit last week in civil court in Randolph County saying he was injured and scarred on his right arm and shoulder after the synthetic cable fell and was then snagged by passing race cars on the track. Patrick said he suffered permanent impairment of his right arm. Fox and the speedway declined to comment on the suit. Carpenter, represented by Michael Lewis and D. Stuart Punger of Winston-Salem, said in the suit that Fox and the speedway were negligent in not better inspecting and protecting spectators from the overhead cable and camera rig, called a CamCat. Carpenter was seated in the grandstand near Turn 4 when the accident occurred on Lap 121 of the May 26, 2013, race. About 10 people were treated after the accident. Carpenter is the first to file a suit. Fox suspended use of the camera rig at Sprint races and conducted an investigation into what occurred, although the remains of the cable were in poor condition after they were ensnared by 19 cars. Results of the investigation are not being made public because of litigation, said Fox spokesman Lou D'Ermilio. Carpenter's suit seeks more than $10,000 in damages.(Charlotte Observer)(2-3-2015)
Motorsports Media to Descend Upon Charlotte starting Monday: More than 240 motorsports journalists will gather for the most prestigious preseason media event in sports, the 33rd annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom. Running Jan. 26-29, the tour offers credentialed media four full days of unrivaled access to announcements from NASCAR executives, drivers, team owners and speedway operators. "This four-day event provides media outlets across the country and around the world with newsworthy content as fans gear up for the 2015 NASCAR season," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "It's always interesting to see new faces in new places and I'm always as excited as our fans to hear what the drivers and owners have to say about the upcoming NASCAR season. Our sport has a lot of momentum from 2014 as we roll into a new year."
During the tour, credentialed media from across the United States, and as far away as Germany, will preview the 2015 racing season. The Associated Press, FOX Sports, NBC Sports, Sirius XM, Performance Racing Network, Motor Racing Network, Reuters Newswire, The New York Times, The Sporting News and USA Today are among the major outlets that will be represented on the tour.
Participating media will get the latest news from NASCAR teams such as Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Joe Gibbs Racing, Furniture Row Racing, Leavine Family Racing, JTG Daugherty Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing, Team Penske, Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, HScott Motorsports and Wood Brothers Racing. The media contingent will also visit Charlotte Motor Speedway, the new Ford Tech Center and the Mint Museum in Charlotte for special programs.
Daily updates, including video and photo galleries will be available at charlottemotorspeedway.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/CharlotteMotorSpeedway and via Twitter at twitter.com/cltmotorspdwy.(CMS)
AND The schedule:
Monday, Jan. 26
1:30 pm/et: State of the Sport with NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France
4:00 pm/et: Joe Gibbs Racing
Tuesday, Jan. 27
9:00 am/et: Michael Waltrip Racing
11:00 am/et: JTG Daugherty Racing and HScott Motorsports
1:00 pm/et: Stewart-Haas Racing
3:15 pm/et: NBC Sports
Wednesday, Jan. 28
9:00 am/et: Roush Fenway Racing
11:00 am/et: Richard Petty Motorsports
1:30 pm/et: Wood Brothers Racing and Leavine Family Racing
3:15 pm/et: Team Penske
Thursday, Jan. 29
9:00 am/et: Furniture Row Racing
10:30 am/et: Richard Childress Racing
1:00 pm/et: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
3:00 pm/et: Hendrick Motorsports
(fans can watch team presentations live at NASCAR.com)(1-26-2015)
NC Supreme Court declines Bruton Smith's incentives appeal: Bruton Smith's $80 million legal fight against Cabarrus County may have run out of track. In a change of heart, the N.C. Supreme Court has declined to rule on the racing magnate's lawsuit that Cabarrus taxpayers owe him tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks for his racing complex in Concord. That decision marks Smith's third defeat in as many court trips dating back to 2012. The high court's ruling on Dec. 19, however, marks a bit of a reversal: The justices first agreed to hear Smith's challenge of a 2013 ruling by the state Court of Appeals to throw out Smith's suit. But after hearing arguments from both sides in September, the Supreme Court members changed their minds. That means the earlier court decision to throw out Smith's claims stands. The dispute arose in 2007 when Smith, one of racing's most powerful and controversial figures, announced plans to build a drag strip near his Charlotte Motor Speedway. The city of Concord objected, and Smith responded by threatening to move the speedway - and its $420 million annual impact on the local economy - and build the drag way elsewhere. Eventually, Cabarrus leaders wrote Smith a letter, committing to $80 million in tax breaks, grants and other public money to pay for speedway improvements. According to court documents, Smith called Mayor Bob Padgett that day and told him: "We have an agreement." It didn't hold up. Preliminary discussions focused on a combination of state, county and city money to pay for such infrastructure improvements as roads and noise control. Smith's drag strip opened in August 2008. The next day, the governments sent over a proposed contract that would have given them up to 40 years to make good on their $80 million pledge. Smith would have been required to complete $200 million of promised speedway improvements within three years. Smith and the speedway sued. The city settled with Smith for $2.8 million, but the track owner's fight with the county continued on through the state's top three courts. Smith's complaint accused the county of breach of contract and fraud, among other claims, while arguing that the 2007 letter from the local governments served as "a valid and enforceable contract."(Charlotte Observer)(12-25-2014)
Motorsports facilities get tax break: Track operators got the tax break they've been waiting for all year when the U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed a tax extenders package for the remainder of 2014. Included in the extensive list of tax breaks to be continued was a provision that allows motorsports facilities to depreciate new construction over seven years instead of the life of the project, which typically is 25 years or more. The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the provision will result in an $11 million tax break for motorsports facilities in 2015, a total $32 million from 2015 to 2019 and $33 million from 2015 to 2024. It was part of an estimated $41.6 billion in tax breaks over the next 10 years that were approved by the House of Representatives 378-46 earlier this month and then by the Senate 76-16 (60 votes need for passage) on Tuesday. All that awaits now is the expected signature of President Barack Obama. The provision is similar to those granted to amusement parks, and track operators felt that the same break should apply to their facilities. After arguing the issue with the Internal Revenue Service, the issue became moot when Congress, as part of the Jobs Creation Act of 2004, granted the seven-year depreciation provision for new motorsports construction. The provision covers all motorsports facilities, not just NASCAR facilities.(Sporting News)(12-18-2014)
Atlanta removing 17,000 seats, Charlotte 41,000 UPDATE: Atlanta Motor Speedway's parent company, Speedway Motorsports, Inc., announced Tuesday that they will remove 17,000 seats from the track's grandstands. The company anticipates using those areas for premium hospitality, advertising and other facility purposes. Their sister track, Charlotte Motor Speedway, is losing 41,000 seats.(wgxa.tv), see image of the CMS construction at Slugger Labbe's Twitter.(12-10-2014)
UPDATE: Alterations announced this week are in line with a trend of tracks removing seats. Charlotte, after removing 41,000 seats this winter, will be down to permanent seating of 89,000 in 2015, a startlingly low capacity considering its location in NASCAR's epicenter. But it's par for the course. Atlanta is removing 17,000 seats to get down to 75,000; Dover is removing 17,500 seats to get down to 95,500; and Daytona is removing its backstretch grandstands of 46,500 next spring to go to 101,500 seats. Other tracks on the circuit have made similar changes.
At its peak in 2007, International Speedway Corp.'s 12 major tracks had 1.1 million grandstand seats (not including suites). After the Daytona renovation, ISC will be down 30 percent to approximately 761,000 seats.
In 2013 alone, the following ISC tracks cut seats: Talladega (from 108,000 to 78,000), Richmond (91,000 to 71,000), Chicagoland (69,000 to 55,500), Michigan (84,000 to 71,000), California (81,000 to 68,000), Darlington (60,000 to 58,000) and Homestead (56,000 to 46,000). Any additional cuts likely will be revealed when its annual report comes out in January.
With the current Charlotte and Atlanta reductions, Speedway Motorsports has cut 101,000 seats (12 percent) across seven of its tracks since 2009, although it added 38,000 at Kentucky when it moved a Cup race to that track. SMI, which includes suites in its capacity estimates, cut capacity in 2013 at Atlanta (from 98,000 to 92,000), Bristol (158,000 to 153,000) and New Hampshire (96,000 to 95,000).
Dover listed 135,000 seats in 2009, so its reduction in recent years is 29 percent. At one point, it reduced 20,000 seats by replacing the current seats with wider ones for more fan comfort, a move done by many racetracks. Indianapolis and Pocono, privately owned, do not have to report their capacities, but Indianapolis also has removed seats.(see full article at the Sporting News)(12-11-2014)
SCC Distributes More Than $400,000 to 64 Charities in Charlotte Region: Christmas time is here and the Charlotte Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities (SCC) spent Monday afternoon (Dec 1st) spreading holiday cheer to 64 nonprofits in the Charlotte region, distributing more than $400,000 in grants during a special presentation at Charlotte Motor Speedway. More than 350 children and adults representing the benefiting charities joined SCC officials in the infield Christmas Village, meeting Santa Claus, playing games and enjoying holiday treats before the grants were presented. The 2014 grants totaled $407,000, enough to assist more than 47,000 Charlotte-area children in educational, financial, social and medical need. Since its inception, the Charlotte Chapter has distributed more than $10 million.
"This is a special time of year for us. We get into Christmas and one of the things that we look forward to every year is having all of the children and charities out here to celebrate the year and to give away some contributions that the folks at Speedway Children's Charities have been able to raise throughout the year," said Marcus Smith, president of Speedway Children's Charities and Charlotte Motor Speedway. "I'm really pleased to say that we were able to give away more than $400,000 to organizations. It wouldn't even be possible without a lot of help from our board of trustees and all of our volunteers; the groups that are out there every single day, doing the work." During 2014, funds were raised through an annual black-tie gala hosted in May, donations from fan assistance golf cart rides during events at Charlotte Motor Speedway, online auctions and more. The Charlotte Chapter of SCC is one of eight that are located at each of the Speedway Motorsports Inc. (SMI) tracks. In 2014, the eight chapters raised more than $2 million nationally to help children in need. Since its inception in 1982, SCC has awarded more than $43 million to nonprofit organizations across the country.(CMS)(12-8-2014)
Michael Gibson Named CMS's Employee of the Year: Michael Gibson has been named Charlotte Motor Speedway's 2014 Employee of the Year. Presented annually, the award recognizes an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty in executing his or her responsibilities. The winner is determined by a vote of the speedway's executive committee and is selected from Employee of the Month award recipients presented throughout the previous 12 months and voted on by their peers. After attending University of North Carolina of Charlotte, Gibson joined the speedway family in July 2005. He was hired on as lead plumber in the speedway's Operations department, but has not limited himself to that role. From helping to construct various projects around the track to earning the name "the snake wrangler," Gibson is always willing to lend a hand. As this year's Employee of the Year, Gibson received a trip to Las Vegas for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony on Dec. 5, among other perks.(CMS)(12-5-2014)
Goodyear tire test set for Charlotte: The official start of the 2015 NASCAR season is more than two months away, but four Sprint Cup Series teams will be back on the track next week at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Goodyear officials have scheduled a tire test for Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 9-10 at the 1.5-mile speedway, with representatives from each of the three auto manufacturers scheduled to participate. The test is not open to public. Slated to take part in the test are drivers #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #9-Sam Hornish Jr., and #19-Carl Edwards. One of three entries from Richard Childress Racing will participate as well although RCR officials declined to confirm which team would be involved. The organization fields Chevy teams for drivers Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Ryan Newman. It will be the first official on-track effort for Edwards since the 35-year-old departed Roush Fenway Racing to join JGR as well as the first for Hornish with RPM.(NASCAR.com)(12-3-2014)
Speedway Motorsports drives higher profit, revenue in Q3: Speedway Motorsports on Wednesday posted net income of $15 million, or 36 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter, rising from the $12.3 million, or 30 cents per share, in net income a year earlier. Revenue totaled $139.8 million in the latest period, up from $137.5 million during the comparable period last year. "These third quarter results are within our expectations and reflect continuing increases in track rentals, strong profitability from certain non-motorsports events and activities, and higher luxury suite revenues on a year-over-year comparable event basis," Marcus Smith, chief operating officer and president of the Concord-based racetrack operator, said in the company's earnings release. "We believe corporate spending trends are stabilizing, with increasing interest in our promotional activities and facilities."(full story at Charlotte Business Journal)(10-31-2014)
NC Supreme Court hears CMS lawsuit suit: Bruton Smith and Speedway Motorsports get one more crack at convincing North Carolina judges it should be allowed to sue Cabarrus County over $80 million in tax breaks. A lower state court last year rejected the position of Speedway Motorsports Inc. A three-judge state Court of Appeals panel ruled unanimously in October 2013 that there was never a binding contract for the money to help build a new drag strip and make [Charlotte Motor] speedway upgrades. The N.C. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday about whether the lawsuit was dismissed improperly, as Speedway Motorsports claims. Smith had threatened in 2007 to move the speedway if he didn't get the tax breaks.(see full story at the Independent Tribune)(9-9-2014)
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.
Saturday, September 5, 2015, 1:45 pm/et
Live Radio online at motorracingnetwork.com
Happy Hour Practice:
Friday, September 4, 2015, 4:30 pm/et