Charlotte Motor Speedway Track News Archive

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    Jimmie Johnson, Breast Cancer Survivors and NASCAR XFINITY Series Drivers Paint Pit Wall Pink Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson joined breast cancer survivors, members of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers to preview Breast Cancer Awareness Month by painting Charlotte Motor Speedway's pit wall pink on Wednesday. The fourth annual Paint Pit Wall Pink event honored those whose lives have been impacted by breast cancer and provided a fun morning for hundreds of survivors, who joined the drivers in using 150 gallons of paint, 200 brushes and 200 rollers to turn the 1,500-foot pit wall pink. Those in attendance also assembled more than 2,000 care packages for breast cancer patients and unveiled a pink Toyota Camry pace car that will lead the NASCAR XFINITY Series field in the Drive for the Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina on Oct. 7. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina presented a $60,000 check to Susan G. Komen as part of the event.(Charlotte Motor Speedway)[Read More Here](9-28-2017) Charlotte offering Speedway College Party ticket program: College students looking to earn a degree in racing excitement will receive valuable credit during the Oct. 8 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. With the new Speedway College Party ticket program, NASCAR's homecoming allows college students to rev up for race day with an unmatched array of entertainment value - and "tuition" requires just $29 and a valid student ID.[More](9-21-2017) Richard Petty Headlines Oct. 5 'Dinner with the Legends': Race fans can kick off their Bank of America 500 weekend in style by meeting NASCAR legends including Richard Petty and Bobby Allison at the University of Racing's "Dinner with the Legends" event on Thursday, Oct. 5 in The Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway.[More](9-19-2017) Brad Paisley honors Dale Jr.'s Last Ride with JR Nation Appreci88ion tour concert: Before drivers battle in the afternoon sun during the Oct. 8 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, stars will shine the night before at zMAX Dragway when award-winning country music singer, songwriter, guitarist and entertainer Brad Paisley lights up zMAX Dragway with a spectacular pre-race concert.[More](9-9-2017) Charlotte welcomes evacuees from Hurricane Irma: In conjunction with preparations for the Sept. 15-17 NHRA Carolina Nationals, Charlotte Motor Speedway will open its Rock City Campground beginning at 7 a.m. Friday morning for evacuees heading north or inland from Hurricane Irma.[More](9-7-2017) Country music star Carly Pearce to perform National Anthem for Oct. 8 Bank of America 500: The Bank of America 500 on Sunday, Oct. 8, brings race teams back for NASCAR's homecoming at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but the iconic fall classic will also bring fans to their feet when breakthrough singer/songwriter Carly Pearce performs the national anthem. Lighting up the crowd with a spectacular rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," Pearce's appearance builds anticipation around her long-awaited debut album on Big Machine Records. [More](8-29-2017) Charlotte Motor Speedway offering Dale Jr. bobblehead for Bank of America 500: Fans feeling mixed emotions about Dale Earnhardt Jr. making his final Monster Energy Cup Series start at Charlotte Motor Speedway have reason to smile with news of the speedway's latest promotion, which is sure to leave avid supporters shaking their heads in delight. For every two adult tickets purchased for the Oct. 8 Bank of America 500 - Earnhardt Jr.'s final chance at an elusive Monster Energy Cup series victory at his home track - buyers will receive a commemorative keepsake bobblehead of NASCAR's 14-time most popular driver, while supplies last.[More](7-26-2017) Speedway Motorsports announces digital partnership with ISM Connect: For nearly six decades, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. has built and modernized its eight world-class motorsports properties to become the finest in the industry, offering unmatched spectator enjoyment, convenience and accessibility. Today, Speedway Motorsports announced its partnership with ISM Connect, a pioneer in sports venue digital activation, to bring the world's largest digital fan engagement network to its eight world-class venues. The new partnership and technology will debut at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 race weekend at Sonoma Raceway, June 23-25, with full deployment at all Speedway Motorsports' facilities by 2018.[More](6-14-2017) Austin Dillon wins at Charlotte: #3-Austin Dillon won the Coca-Cola 600 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for his 1st career win. The race came down to fuel mileage with Dillon able to save enough to finish. #48-Johnson led with 2 laps to go before running out of gas. Dillon led only the final lap of the race. #18-Busch finished 2nd followed by #78-Truex, Jr., #20-Kenseth, #11-Hamlin, #41-Busch, #77-Jones, polesitter #4-Harvick, #31-Newman, and #88-Earnhardt, Jr. #78-Truex, Jr dominated most of the race, leading 233 laps on the night. He pitted with 32 laps remaining but could not get back to the lead before the race ended. He was passed by Busch on the final lap. There was a 1 hour, 40 minute red flag for rain on lap 143. #42-Larson finished 33rd, after an accident. He loses the points lead and is now 5 points behind Truex, Jr. There were 23 lead changes among 10 drivers and 9 cautions for 53 yellow flag laps. The average speed of the race was: 138.80mph. See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more at: Unofficial Race Results (pdf) Cumulative Report (pdf) Penalty Report (pdf) Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf) Charlotte Motor Speedway honors longtime fans: In what has become a Coca-Cola 600 tradition, Charlotte Motor Speedway's annual longtime fan breakfast was held Saturday morning at the Speedway Club. Four new inductees were honored and presented plaques on the speedway's Wall of Honor. Previous honorees were also in attendance as the fans enjoyed a visit with NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Bobby Allison. Allison entertained the fans with old racing stories at the event. The new members were then taken to the Wall of Honor on the speedway concourse and presented their plaques.[More](5-27-2017) To honor service members, NASCAR Salutes returns at Charlotte: For the third consecutive year, windshield headers on all 40 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars will be replaced with the names of fallen military service members during Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR announced today. This year's "600 Miles of Remembrance" tribute honoring those who bravely served our country, launches a six-week platform encapsulating the industry's collective expression of respect and gratitude - NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola. [More](5-24-2017) Charlotte Motor Speedway Introduces ROVAL for 2018 Bank of America 500 Known across the world as a trailblazing innovator, Charlotte Motor Speedway ushered in a thrilling new era of excitement with NASCAR's historic Tuesday scheduling announcement that next year's Bank of America 500 will be contested on Charlotte's ROVAL on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018. The road course oval announcement carries with it several groundbreaking connotations, including: The first road course NASCAR race in Charlotte Motor Speedway's 58-year existence; The final event in Round 1 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs; The first road course race in the 14-year history of the Playoffs; The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in September at Charlotte Motor Speedway; The first new track on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule since Kentucky Speedway joined the circuit in 2011. The Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL is a daunting, new 13-turn, 2.4-mile road course incorporating part of the infield and all but 400 feet of Charlotte's iconic 1.5-mile oval on which drivers will race 500 kilometers over 130 laps. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR XFINITY Series will compete on the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL Friday through Sunday, Sept. 28-30, 2018.(Charlotte Motor Speedway)[Read More Here](5-23-2017) MRO High Heel Dash returns: High heels will lead to high-speed thrills on Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, when the better halves of NASCAR drivers and crew members race down pit road in stilettos in the third annual MRO High Heel Dash at 7 p.m. during LiftMaster Pole Night. The MRO High Heel Dash will include 12 wives and girlfriends of NASCAR drivers and team members, who will race down pit road in their high heels to raise money for and bring awareness to Motor Racing Outreach. [More](5-22-2017) Race Recap: Kyle Busch finds his mojo at Charlotte with Monster Energy All-Star Race win: Kyle Busch took control of Saturday night's Monster Energy All-Star Race on the final restart with 10 laps left and motored away to a 1.274-second victory-his first in a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car at Charlotte Motor Speedway.[More](5-20-2017) Waltrip shakes down 'Option' All-Star tires: A past winner of the Monster Energy All-Star Race shook down Goodyear's green-walled, faster "Option" tires on Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as 1996 event winner Michael Waltrip tested the tires drivers can use one set of during Saturday night's $1 million dash for All-Star cash.[More](5-19-2017) Charlotte Motor Speedway cans first batches of 600 Ale: Charlotte Motor Speedway added to its historic legacy in a unique manner on Wednesday, as 600 Ale - the speedway's first officially licensed beer - went into cans at Cabarrus Brewing Company. Cans of 600 Ale - a smooth American Ale - will be sold on speedway property during the May 19-28 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder.[More](5-18-2017) Monster Energy All-Star Race dignitaries announced: Four operators of entirely different modes of transportation will help bring the Monster Energy All-Star Race to life on Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.[More](5-17-2017) What's New at Charlotte Motor Speedway: An unrivaled showcase of entertainment and family-friendly attractions will spice up the May 19-28 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but this year's thrilling series of events also features a multitude of new things for fans to enjoy.[More](5-16-2017) NASCAR adds fourth stage to Coca-Cola 600: NASCAR today announced the addition of a fourth stage to the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, an update that will provide fans with yet another opportunity for a memorable moment in a season already filled with them. The four stages in the 400-lap race will be uniformly set at 100 laps apiece.[More](5-15-2017) NASCAR Trackside Live Stage Debuts at Charlotte: The monstrous mix of entertainment and racing action at Charlotte Motor Speedway will feature another historic debut during the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder, as the sprawling new NASCAR Trackside Live stage comes to life. NASCAR Trackside Live will serve as a major fan attraction at SMI tracks this year with Charlotte's 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder featuring NASCAR stars, rocking live music and a worldwide audience at Trackside Live in the speedway's Fan Zone.[More](5-12-2017) Channing Tatum named Grand Marshal for Coca-Cola 600: Channing Tatum, actor and producer of "Logan Lucky," Steven Soderbergh's summer heist movie filmed at Charlotte Motor Speedway, will serve as Grand Marshal of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 28. Tatum will give the command to start engines for the 58th running of the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR's ultimate test of man and machine. No stranger to Charlotte Motor Speedway, Tatum spent considerable time at the speedway last year during filming for "Logan Lucky," which features an all-star ensemble cast. In addition to his "Drivers, Start Your Engines" call before the race, Tatum will attend the pre-race drivers meeting.[More](5-11-2017) Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show features spectacular salute to America's Armed Forces: Memorial Day weekend kicks into high gear on May 28 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as the speedway's spectacular patriotic salute to servicemen and women returns before the 58th running of the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR's toughest test of man and machine. Prior to the green flag of NASCAR's only 600-mile race, a remarkable showcase including 600 Fort Bragg servicemen and women on track alongside Humvees, Howitzers, a HIMARS rocket launcher, an M777 Howitzer and a RAZOR combat vehicle will electrify a captivated audience of race fans. More than 1,000 additional servicemen and women will be at the speedway to enjoy the race day atmosphere. [More](5-11-2017) Kimble restores Coca-Cola machines for Coke 600 winners: Drenched in Coca-Cola, sweat and confetti after winning the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29, 2016, Martin Truex Jr. noticed a large, red-and-white Coca-Cola vending machine entering Charlotte Motor Speedway's winner's circle. Truex initially thought it made for a nice photo-op, but he could barely contain his excitement when he learned that the decades-old vending machine was his to keep.[More](5-11-2017) Bellator MMA joins Monster & NASCAR for race fight series UPDATE: Bellator MMA announces a partnership with Monster Energy and NASCAR to showcase a series of fights to take place at select races during the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. For the first time in NASCAR history, mixed martial arts will be included as a pre-race activation for the fans in attendance and just like the action the cars bring on the racetrack, Bellator will bring the same excitement inside the cage.(4-3-2017) UPDATE: The Monster Energy Bellator MMA Fight Series visits Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race weekend on Saturday, May 20 with several MMA bouts scheduled throughout the afternoon leading up to the start of the biggest all-star event in sports.[More](5-2-2017) XFINITY and Truck teams to test at Charlotte: An all-star cast of drivers will take to Charlotte Motor Speedway for NASCAR Test Fest on May 2 in a fan-friendly shakedown of NASCAR XFINITY and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series machines before the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder May 19-28.[More](4-27-2017) NASCAR Silver Bullet Bash takes center stage in Charlotte: For the first time, the NASCAR Silver Bullet Bash presented by Coors Light will take center stage in Charlotte on Thursday, May 18. Celebrating the first half of the NASCAR season, the Silver Bullet Bash will lead off the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star weekend festivities with live music, special guests and unique experiences.[More](4-27-2017) Charlotte Motor Speedway Reveals Plans For Innovative Turn 4 Sun Deck Known for leading the way in innovation and creating unforgettable fan experiences, Charlotte Motor Speedway officials announced plans Friday for the facility's latest modernization project, a multipurpose fan enhancement that will literally energize the sport and offer fans a bevy of new ways to watch the thrilling on-track action during May's 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder and for many years to come. The Turn 4 Sun Deck is the speedway's latest cutting-edge offering for fans attending events at the iconic 1.5-mile superspeedway, adding to improvements over the decades that have included innovative lights for night racing, a giant 16,000-square-foot Speedway TV, condominiums overlooking the track and luxury dining experiences with The Speedway Club.(Charlotte Motor Speedway)[More](4-21-2017) 'Daylight Racing Time' Returns to Charlotte on Oct. 8 "Daylight Racing Time" is back at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Bank of America 500, NASCAR's homecoming, returns to its original afternoon starting time on Sunday, Oct. 8, in a move geared for on-track competition and a schedule-friendly weekend format for families. Charlotte's iconic 1.5-mile superspeedway hasn't scheduled a daytime Bank of America 500 since 2002, but a return to the traditional Friday-Saturday-Sunday format offers families an unmatched opportunity to enjoy two sun-drenched afternoons of racing at an affordable price. Kids' tickets cost just $10 for the Bank of America 500 and are FREE for every other event. Bojangles' Pole Night remains under the lights at 7 p.m. on Oct. 6 while the NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive for the Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina will run at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7. The exhilarating second round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs begins with the Bank of America 500 at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 8 on NBC. Race times are subject to change. To purchase tickets, camping and race-day upgrades to the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder or the Bank of America 500, fans can call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shop online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.[More](4-20-2017) All-Star race format unveiled: As the engines fired, the lightbulbs buzzed -- a first for the annual non-points extravaganza. Never before had an All-Star Race been run under the lights. Dubbed "One Hot Night," the 1992 race signaled a new era, one that became tradition for the fan-favorite event. And now, 25 years later, past meets present ... as another new era begins with the first All-Star Race under the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series banner.[More](4-11-2017) Goodyear Offers "Option" Tire at All-Star race: Race car drivers love grip, and at this year's Monster Energy All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Saturday, May 20), they will have an option to get more of it, at least after one strategic pit stop. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company will offer two different tire set-ups for this year's event - a "Prime" tire combination, which is what Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams will run throughout the two weeks at Charlotte, and one set of an "Option" tire combination, which can be used at any point during the four-stage race.[More](4-11-2017) Changes coming to All-Star race format: Two NASCAR Cup drivers say they believe the All-Star format is nearly set and that fans will "see some exploring done with the formats in that race." A NASCAR official told NBC Sports that the format is not done. Brad Keselowski told NBC Sports that there has been "consensus and agreement" on a format for the May 20 event at Charlotte Motor Speedway but acknowledged nothing is official until it is announced. Last year's format was not revealed until 15 days before the event.[More](4-1-2017) Advance Auto Parts named Official Auto Parts Retailer of Charlotte Motor Speedway: Advance Auto Parts, Inc., a leading automotive aftermarket provider that serves both professional installer and do-it-yourself customers, has expanded its motorsports footprint by being named the Official Auto Parts Retailer of Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMAX Dragway and The Dirt Track at Charlotte. The nationally renowned company has a multi-year agreement with the speedway that will include Advance Auto Parts in-store speedway branding, digital and social media promotions and on-site ticket sales for select race events.[More](3-22-2017) Charlotte Motor Speedway removing more seats NASCAR fans may soon notice some changes to the seating area around turn four at Charlotte Motor Speedway. As a cost-saving initiative, Speedway Motorsports - the local company that owns nine NASCAR tracks, including the one in Concord, NC - is removing some lower-demand seating areas and suites, according to a securities filing earlier this month. The company also said it will start offering "premium hospitality and entertainment activities" at the track. It is also considering installing solar panels at the Concord track as part of its "green initiatives," after the seat "re-purposing" project.(Charlotte Observer)[More](3-20-2017) Facebook's Zuckerberg Hot-Laps Charlotte with Dale Jr. Mark Zuckerberg is no stranger to innovation, but the CEO of Facebook tested the limits on something entirely new on Tuesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Zuckerberg joined Hendrick Motorsports driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. for a high-speed ride around the iconic 1.5-mile superspeedway before climbing behind the wheel of a NASCAR Racing Experience stock car. Zuckerberg's trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway is part of a year-long challenge that involves visiting every U.S. state and meeting with people to learn more from communities and help Facebook continue to positively influence the world. Zuckerberg's 800-horsepower adrenaline rush followed an earlier tour of the nearby Hendrick Motorsports facility and a meeting with Charlotte Motor Speedway President and General Manager Marcus Smith (CMS)[More](3-14-2017) Charlotte Motor Speedway likely to use road course in 2018 UPDATE: Right turns in the Cup Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway are on hold for 2017. Multiple sources within the NASCAR industry told NBC Sports that the 1.5-mile track will hold its Oct. 7 race on its oval after exploring the concept of using the road course. It's likely the track's road course will be used in the 2018 playoffs.(3-7-2017)
    UPDATE: With Charlotte Motor Speedway using its 1.5-mile oval in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs this October, the track is in the process of considering the road course for 2018. In a phone call Thursday morning to NBC Sports, Speedway Motorsports Inc. CEO Marcus Smith addressed the prospect and said the track is making upgrades to its infield layout.[More](3-10-2017) Lynyrd Skynyrd to hold Coca-Cola 600 Concert: Fans will roar and the red, white and blue will wave before the green flag on May 28 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Iconic rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd will salute America with the ultimate Memorial Day Weekend mix of rock and racing in front of a captivated audience in the Coca-Cola 600 Concert presented by Speed Perks. The 2006 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees will perform hits including world-renowned, Southern rock anthems "Free Bird" and "Sweet Home Alabama" for Coca-Cola 600 ticket holders on the Pit Party stage on pit road. The Lynyrd Skynyrd Coca-Cola 600 Concert presented by Speed Perks will come to life on the Pit Party stage located on pit road near the frontstretch scoring pylon. The concert is part of a series of exciting pre-race festivities for the Coca-Cola 600. The Pit Party also includes attractions like games and driver appearances. Additionally, the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert will be shown on the giant Speedway TV. Pit pass and driver intro pass buyers will have stage-area infield access. To purchase tickets, camping and race-day upgrades including Driver Intro passes and Pit Party admission, fans can call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shop online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(2-17-2017) Justin Moore to perform All-Star Race Concert: On the heels of back-to-back tours and his chart-topping album "Kinda Don't Care," Justin Moore will electrify fans at the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race on May 20 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with a FREE All-Star Race Concert presented by Rayovac Batteries and Kwikset. Moore will his performance for fans at the entrance outside of Turn 1. No stranger to the Charlotte area or its deeply rooted history in motorsports, Moore played Speed Street during Coca-Cola 600 week in uptown Charlotte in 2012. The Justin Moore All-Star Race Concert presented by Rayovac Batteries and Kwikset will kick off pre-race festivities for the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race on a stage located near the Turn 1 entrance. For just $20, fans can upgrade to a special Golden Ticket for early access to a reserved area directly in front of the stage. Golden Tickets are limited and can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(2-12-2017) Former CMS SVP Dan Farrell will work with Palm Beach International Equestrian Center: Dan Farrell has been named Chief Revenue Officer of Equestrian Sport Productions. After seventeen years with Charlotte Motor Speedway, most recently as Senior Vice President of Corporate Sales, Farrell will be responsible for identifying, initiating and closing revenue opportunities at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, Tryon International Equestrian Center, and The Colorado Horse Park. Responsibilities will include sponsorship, special events, corporate events and a variety of guest experiences. Farrell will also be responsible for the same business opportunities for the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018 Tryon. Tryon International Equestrian Center is hosting the Games on September 10 through 23, 2018. Based on results from previous Games, the global event is expected to attract more than 500,000 attendees from over 70 nations during the two-week period. A sports management graduate of SUNY Courtland, Farrell has spent more than 20 years in sports sponsorship sales. He joined Charlotte Motor Speedway in May 1999 as Director of Sales for the Performance Racing Network (PRN) before being promoted to his most recent position in 2002. As Senior Vice President of Corporate Sales, Farrell led a team overseeing corporate sponsorships and entertainment, corporate event rentals and account management for properties including NASCAR, NHRA, World of Outlaws, concerts, and special events including the World Premier of Pixar's "Cars" and Ford Mustang's 50th Anniversary.(PR/GoUpdtate)(2-8-2017) Road course race at Charlotte? UPDATE: Could a road course race be in Charlotte Motor Speedway's future? Last Friday, AJ Allmendinger tested on what was roughly a 2.3-mile circuit similar to Daytona International Speedway that incorporates both the infield in Turns 1 and 2 and the regular 1.5-mile oval according to multiple sources. The test was a collaboration between Charlotte Motor Speedway and NASCAR. Sources said Charlotte could incorporate the road course as early as the All-Star Race, which is scheduled for May 20. It's more likely the road course would be used for the fall Chase race on Oct. 7. Fans have been clamoring for a road course in NASCAR's playoffs and Charlotte could offer the perfect solution. Certainly, if the Charlotte plan comes to fruition, transitioning to a road course could be an option at other facilities. Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway, for instance, already feature road courses as part of their landscape.(Motorsport)(1-20-2017) UPDATE: A.J. Allmendinger was asked about the test during Tuesday's media events: "Here's the deal... I don't know what's going to happen. I thought it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it. You can bring something new to the schedule and something new if it was done. I'm all for it. I'm probably biased toward that. It's kind of like the new format. Change can be good and it can be a little scary. We have to see how it plays out. But could it be successful? I think it would be a fantastic race and something the fans could truly enjoy."(Chevy PR)(1-24-2017) Bruton and Marcus Smith interested in Major League Soccer team: Major League Soccer executives confirmed that they have been in talks with Bruton and Marcus Smith as potential owners of an expansion team in Charlotte. Charlotte and Raleigh are among the latest 10 cities that have expressed interest in landing an MLS team. In a call with reporters Thursday evening, Commissioner Don Garber said the Smiths have "a lot of energy, and lots of professional sports experience." Bruton Smith is a billionaire race track owner and a recent NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee. His son, Marcus, is CEO of Speedway Motorsports, based in Concord. The two have also said they would be interested in buying the Carolina Panthers when the franchise becomes available. In an emailed statement to the Observer, Marcus Smith said he is "very interested" in bringing an MLS team to Charlotte. Interested expansion owners must submit their applications by Jan. 31. The two first expansion teams - which would be the 25th and 26th in the league - would have to pay an expansion fee of $150 million each, and will be announced during the second or third quarter of 2017. They would begin play by 2020, MLS said. The owner of the Charlotte Independence soccer team has said that Memorial Stadium could be expanded if the city ever landed a Major League Soccer franchise. Raleigh's North Carolina F.C., which operated as the Carolina RailHawks for 10 years, recently launched its own campaign to land an MLS team. The MLS currently has 20 teams, and it recently announced three expansion teams slotted to join over the next two years: Los Angeles F.C., Minnesota United and Atlanta United. MLS also says it is "making progress" with plans for an expansion team in Miami as well.(Charlotte Observer)(12-18-2016) Cox Promoted to VP of Business Development for Speedway Motorsports: Speedway Motorsports, Inc. has promoted Kentucky Speedway Vice President of Sales and Marketing John Cox to Vice President of Business Development for Speedway Motorsports. Cox, who joined the Speedway Motorsports family in August of 2004 as senior director of business development for Charlotte Motor Speedway, is a 1994 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He worked for Charlotte Motor Speedway until February of 2012 when Cox made a move to Kentucky Speedway where he supervised all aspects of Corporate Sales, Ticket Sales/Operations and Consumer Marketing. In his new role, Cox will be responsible for maximizing revenues for Speedway Motorsports through customer retention as well as developing new business opportunities for the company.(Speedway Motorsports)(12-18-2016) Charlotte named "Outstanding Facility of the Year" at PRI: The Greatest Place to See the Race earned one of the motorsports industry's highest honors this week at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis. Charlotte Motor Speedway received The Race Track Business Conference's "Outstanding Facility of the Year" award presented by National Speedway Directory and Track Guide. The iconic motorsports complex became only the fourth venue to earn the prestigious award thanks to its versatile offerings across Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMAX Dragway and The Dirt Track at Charlotte - which this year included constructing a world-renowned, purpose-built motocross course at The Dirt Track for the Monster Energy MXGP of the Americas in September. The speedway's wide variety of fan-friendly, captivating attractions includes three major NASCAR race weekends, two NHRA events, two World of Outlaws weekends and numerous car shows and exhibitions throughout the year as well as a six-week Speedway Christmas light show. Additionally, Charlotte is the only venue to host playoff events in NASCAR's premier series and the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Previous award winners were Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2013, National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park in 2014 and Daytona International Speedway in 2015.(CMS)(12-11-2016) Matt Long Named Charlotte Motor Speedway's Salesperson of the Year: Charlotte Motor Speedway named Senior Director of Business Development Matt Long as its 2016 Salesperson of the Year. Presented annually, the award recognizes an employee who goes above and beyond the call of duty in executing his or her responsibilities in the corporate sales department. A Cambridge, Ohio, native and a dirt late model racer in his spare time, Long earned a bachelor's degree in Business from Lynchburg College in 2001 and an MBA in Sports Management from Ohio University in 2003. Long joined Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2005 and claimed his third Salesperson of the Year honor this fall. Long has led the speedway's corporate sales department in billings for the last 11 years. His efforts this year included a contract renewal with Bank of America and the establishment of a new partnership with Advance Auto Parts. As this year's Salesperson of the Year, Long received a trip to Las Vegas for this week's 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards, among other perks.(CMS)(12-4-2016) Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Veteran Executives Receive Promotions: Two veteran businessmen within Speedway Motorsports, Inc. received promotions as Mike Burch was named chief strategy officer, while Braun Smith was promoted to vice president of national sales and marketing. The promotions were announced by Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith. "Combined, these veteran executives bring more than 30 years of business experience to the table, and their promotions help position Speedway Motorsports at the forefront of business development well into the future," Marcus Smith said. "We are fortunate to have such strong leadership within our company and I look forward to the contributions each will make as we continue to set the bar for excellence in entertainment." In his new role, Burch will develop, communicate and execute strategic plans and initiatives across all areas of the company and work with key business partners on growing mutually beneficial relationships. Burch, who joined Speedway Motorsports in 2003 as director of business development, most recently served the role of senior vice president of national sales and marketing. He earned a master's degree in sports management from Georgia Southern University before working with several NBA teams, including the Orlando Magic and the Houston Rockets. Burch was named vice president of marketing for the NBA's Charlotte Hornets in 2000, a position he held until 2002. He then founded Upsell Sports, providing marketing and sales representation for several Charlotte area sports and entertainment properties, before joining Speedway Motorsports, Inc. In his new role, Braun Smith will be responsible for national sponsorship sales efforts as well as Speedway Motorsports, Inc.'s overall corporate sponsorship revenue. Smith joined Speedway Motorsports in 1999 as director for special projects at Texas Motor Speedway. In 2000, Smith moved to Charlotte, working in Speedway Motorsports' zMAX Micro-lubricant subsidiary. During that time, Smith also worked as an account executive for the Performance Racing Network, a position he held until 2005. After a brief stint as director of business development with SMI Properties in 2005, Smith was named general manager of Arena Racing at Joe Gibbs Racing in 2006. He returned to Speedway Motorsports in 2008 to work in the national marketing and sales department.(CMS)(11-30-2016) Black Friday at Charlotte includes opportunity to drive on track: One of the world's most unique Black Friday spectacles returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway Nov. 25, when Black Friday Blowout revs into high gear with once-a-year opportunities for fans and tremendous savings in the gift shop from 8:00am-4:00pm. Fans can drive their personal cars on the track - the only chance all year to share the same asphalt as legends like Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson - by spending $50 on merchandise or tickets to 2017 NASCAR or NHRA events, or donating $25 to Speedway Children's Charities.(Charlotte Motor Speedway)(11-24-2016) Walter named Executive VP at Charlotte: Greg Walter, a 17-year veteran of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., was promoted from within the company to the role of executive vice president of Charlotte Motor Speedway, Speedway Motorsports' President and CEO Marcus Smith announced. In his new role, Walter will oversee daily operations of the motorsports megaplex campus, which includes the famed 1.5-mile superspeedway as well as zMAX Dragway and The Dirt Track at Charlotte. He will report to Smith. Walter joined Speedway Motorsports in 1999 as vice president of sales for Atlanta Motor Speedway. In 2014, Walter was promoted to the Speedway Motorsports national sales team, where he was responsible for identifying and building partnerships at the eight world-class racing facilities in the Speedway Motorsports portfolio.(CMS)(11-23-2016) Speedway Christmas returns to Charlotte November 19: While Halloween is around the corner, Charlotte Motor Speedway is already prepping for a Christmas light show extravaganza like no other. Speedway Christmas returns Nov. 19 with three million lights totaling a record 3.75 miles around the speedway, infield and concourse that will illuminate the iconic race track with Christmas-related staples including Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman. Building on the fan-friendly holiday atmosphere, this year's Speedway Christmas - which runs until Dec. 31 but is closed on Christmas Day - will also feature an infield Christmas village with a petting zoo, Bethlehem village, horse-drawn wagon rides and photos with Santa. Additionally, fans can sit in their cars and cozy up to Movie Nights on the giant Speedway TV every Thursday-Sunday, with classic Christmas films including "A Christmas Story" and "Frozen" among those scheduled to air. The first day of Speedway Christmas coincides with the Egg Nog Jog 5K, a high-energy fun run to kick off the holiday festivities. Fans can buy tickets to Speedway Christmas, which start at just $20, by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267), or visiting charlottemotorspeedway.com/tickets/.(CMS)(10-29-2016) Charlotte Motor Speedway & Red Cross to collect donations for NC Flood Victims: Charlotte Motor Speedway and SMI Properties will host a week-long donation drive to collect bottled water and trash bags for victims of the recent flooding in eastern North Carolina following Hurricane Matthew. Crews will collect bottled water and heavy-duty trash bags, to be distributed in partnership with the American Red Cross to communities in need. Monetary donations will also be accepted. From Monday, Oct. 24, through Saturday, Oct. 29, 12:00pm - 6:00pm/et. A collection site will be set up at the main entrance of Charlotte Motor Speedway throughout the week. Fans in town for the Bad Boy Off Road World of Outlaws World Finals can also leave donations at the main entrance to The Dirt Track at Charlotte.(CMS)(10-25-2016) Johnson wins rain delayed Charlotte race: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Bank of American 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for his 3rd win of the season, 8th win at Charlotte and 78th career win. Johnson led a race high 155 laps. #20-Kenseth finished 2nd followed by #5-Kahne, #31-Newman, #42-Larson, #18-Busch, #2-Keselowski, #41-Busch, #14-Stewart and #1-McMurray. The race was delayed a day due to rain from Hurricane Matthew that hit the area Friday and Saturday. Five Chase drivers had problems during the race. #4-Harvick had an engine issue and didn't finish the race, finishing 38th. #22-Logano had tire issues, the 2nd time he hit the wall, finishing 36th. #3-Dillon and #24-Elliott were involved in a 13 car wreck when #78-Truex Jr. got into the back of the #3 Chevy, causing the #3 to spin out. Dillon finished 32nd and Elliott finished 33rd. #11-Hamlin had an engine go up in smoke and finished 30th. There were 17 lead changes among 9 drivers and 8 cautions for 51 yellow flag laps. The was one red flag period, for 10:48. The average speed was 134.929 mph. See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at: Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) Lap Summary Report (pdf) Penalty Report (pdf) See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Charlotte Race & Points Report (pdf).(10-9-2016) Five Drivers Prepare for 800 Miles of Racing on Sunday: The Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is widely regarded as the ultimate test of man and machine, but five drivers, including the last three Bank of America 500 winners, are scheduled to race 800 miles in a rare double-header on Charlotte's iconic 1.5-mile superspeedway on Sunday. Drive for the Cure 300 polesitter Kyle Larson, Bank of America 500 pole winner Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Austin Dillon - each of whom qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup - are slated to run Sunday's Bank of America 500 and the Drive for the Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina after rain postponed Friday and Saturday's action. Double Duty (Bank of America 500 Grid Position, Drive for the Cure 300 Grid Position): - Kyle Larson - 25th, first - Joey Logano (defending Bank of America 500 winner) - 10th, third - Austin Dillon (defending Drive for the Cure 300 winner) - 19th, 10th - Brad Keselowski (2013 Bank of America 500 winner) - 20th, 17th - Kevin Harvick (2014 Bank of America 500 winner) - First, 19th Gates for Bank of America 500 ticketholders open at 9 a.m., with the race scheduled to go green at 12 p.m. Drive for the Cure 300 ticketholders will be admitted at the conclusion of Sunday's Bank of America 500.(CMS)(10-9-2016) Charlotte Cup Series Dignitaries Announced: NASCAR Team Owner, Breast Cancer Survivors, Military Personnel and Country Music Star Among Distinguished Dignitaries Taking Part in Bank of America 500 Weekend. Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion team owner Joe Gibbs will serve as the honorary pace car driver for Saturday's 57th annual Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, joining a diverse list of dignitaries set to take the stage during the action-packed weekend. Gibbs - whose cars won the 1994, 2000 and '03 Bank of America 500s - will help lead the field to green for the only Saturday night race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Accomplished country music singer-songwriter Danielle Peck, a Jacksonville, North Carolina, native, will sing the national anthem for Saturday's race. Fans can buy tickets to the Oct. 6-8 Bank of America 500 race weekend by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267), or visiting http://www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/tickets/. Tickets are also available at the speedway ticket office.(CMS)(10-6-2016) Better Half Dash at Charlotte Thursday: The stars of NASCAR will give way to their significant others in a fender-bending Bandolero battle for the ages on Oct. 6, when 10 ladies of speed square off in the Better Half Dash presented by Nature Made on Charlotte Motor Speedway's frontstretch quarter-mile during Bojangles' Pole Night. The 25-lap showdown, which is scheduled to unfold at 4:30pm, pits some of racing's fastest females against one another in U.S. Legend Cars-powered machines to raise money for charities including Motor Racing Outreach and Speedway Children's Charities. NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Blake Koch watched his wife, Shannon, capture the victory last year. Paige White - whose boyfriend, Brad Keselowski, will chase his second Bank of America 500 victory on Oct. 8 - will make her Bandolero debut in the event. The sixth running of the Better Half Dash presented by Nature Made includes: " Haley Dillon, wife of NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Ty Dillon; " Wendy Venturini Egert, Performance Racing Network broadcaster and the wife of Toyota Racing Engineer Jarrad Egert " Julie Mauldin, wife of Motor Racing Outreach President Billy Mauldin " Anna McAllister, fiancé of Roush Fenway Racing pit crew member Cory Baldwin " Jessica Nichols, wife of Team Penske Tire Specialist David Nichols " Tati Papis, wife of MPI Innovations steering wheels owner and former NASCAR driver Max Papis and daughter of Formula One World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi " Kinsley Parsons, fiancé of NASCAR Official Patrick Merrill and daughter of former NASCAR driver Phil Parsons " Candice Smith, wife of Red Horse Racing mechanic Chris Smith " Katelyn Sweet, girlfriend of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson " Paige White, girlfriend of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski (Charlotte Motor Speedway)(10-3-2016) Johnson, Hamm paint the walls pink at Charlotte: NASCAR superstar Jimmie Johnson and soccer legend Mia Hamm joined forces with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and hundreds of the world's bravest and strongest women who have battled breast cancer to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month early by painting pit wall pink on Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The ceremonial event saluted those whose lives have been impacted by breast cancer and provided a fun morning for hundreds of survivors, who met Johnson and Hamm in the winner's circle, used 40 gallons of paint to turn the pit wall pink and unveiled a pink Toyota Camry pace car that will lead the NASCAR XFINITY Series field in the Drive for the Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina on Oct. 7 at Charlotte's iconic 1.5-mile superspeedway. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina brought its expansive "Live Fearless" display to the speedway to promote the urgent need for preventative healthcare, early detection and finding a cure for breast cancer. In addition to Sprint Cup Series driver Matt DiBenedetto and NASCAR broadcaster Hermie Sadler - who emceed the event - NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers Elliott Sadler, Bubba Wallace, Brandon Jones, Ryan Reed, Blake Koch and Jeb Burton took part and previewed next Thursday's Drive for the Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the final race in the first round of the inaugural XFINITY Series Chase.(Charlotte Motor Speedway)(9-29-2016) Speedway Motorsports Put Fans, Families First with $10 NASCAR Cup Series Kids' Tickets: In conjunction with a NASCAR industry-wide effort to offer free NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and XFINITY Series tickets for children 12 and under next season, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. announced a company-wide Fans First initiative Monday to price select children's tickets at just $10 each to Cup Series events at its eight premier speedways beginning in 2017. "Coming to the races should be about fun, not finances," said Speedway Motorsports' President and Chief Executive Officer Marcus Smith. "Now a parent can get his or her child through the gates for an entire weekend of NASCAR events - including pole night, a Camping World Truck or XFINITY Series race and a Cup Series race - for just $10. This is one of the best, if not THE best, family values in all professional sports. NASCAR fans have passed down their passion for motorsports from generation to generation for decades, and through this new Fans First initiative, we'll continue that legacy by introducing young fans to the sport and engaging them for years to come." With an adult ticket purchase, fans can buy up to two $10 tickets for children ages 12 and under to that same event in select seating sections. This offer is available at all of the 13 Cup Series events shown below next season. Tickets for many of Speedway Motorsports' 2017 events are already on sale.(CMS/SMI)(8-30-2016) 3 Doors Down in concert prior to Charlotte race: Triple-platinum rock legends 3 Doors Down will perform under the lights at the action-packed Bank of America 500, the only Saturday night race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, when the three-time GRAMMY nominees and personal friends of NASCAR stars Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart electrify a captivated crowd at the pre-race entertainment stage on Saturday, Oct. 8 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The full 60-minute 3 Doors Down Bank of America 500 pre-race concert will highlight the Bank of America 500 pre-race pit party, which will also include driver appearances, Q&As with some of the biggest names in the sport and more. The band shares a long history with NASCAR. Earnhardt Jr. and Stewart were in the "Road I'm On" music video in 2003, and the band members individually have friendships with Earnhardt, Stewart and a number of other drivers. They have performed many times over the past two decades at NASCAR events and also sponsored an Earnhardt-owned car that Stewart drove in 2003. Earnhardt drove a car featuring the 3 Doors Down logo in 2005, and again in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(CMS)(8-13-2016) Bowyer, Bubba Rock Eighth Annual Parade of Power: A star-studded lineup of top driver appearances, smoke-billowing show car exhibitions and high-flying motocross demonstrations highlighted a thrilling Parade of Power on Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as the speedway kicked off its Fall Season of Speed with appearances featuring NASCAR stars Clint Bowyer and Bubba Wallace as well as motocross sensation Phil Nicoletti, among others. More than two dozen high-powered show cars - including two NASCAR stock cars, a ground-pounding NASCAR Modified, an MXGP dirt bike, an NHRA Pro Mod, two dirt late models, a trophy truck, a Legend Car, motorized lawnmowers and a monster truck - paraded two miles from Concord Mills down Bruton Smith Boulevard in front of hundreds of fans to showcase the diverse assortment of machines coming this fall. Fans interested in attending any of the fall events, including the Monster Energy MXGP of the Americas on Sept. 2-3, the NHRA Carolina Nationals Sept. 16-18, the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 8 and the Bad Boy World of Outlaws World Finals Oct. 27-29, can call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit online at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(8-6-2016) Bowyer, Bubba to Wave Green Flag on Fall Season at Free Fan Event: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer, XFINITY Series driver Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. and Charlotte Motor Speedway officials will wave the green flag on the speedway's action-packed fall Season of Speed during the eighth annual Parade of Power on Wednesday, Aug. 3. The parade is scheduled to start at noon and arrive at Charlotte Motor Speedway about 12:15pm/et. The Q&A session and autograph session will follow. Wristbands for the autograph session can be picked up beginning at 8:00am/et from the information booth at the Avenue of Flags. Vehicles representing those that will compete this fall at Charlotte Motor Speedway will parade down Bruton Smith Boulevard, from Concord Mills Mall to the speedway's Avenue of Flags. The free fan event will include a driver Q&A session and special ticket offers, the Charlotte Motor Speedway Fan Van and more. The first 100 fans to pick up a wristband beginning at 8 a.m. on event day will be able to take part in an autograph session with Bowyer, Wallace and other motorsports personalities. The parade will feature more than two dozen vehicles, including NASCAR stock cars, a World of Outlaws dirt late model, an MXGP dirt bike, 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.(CMS)(8-2-2016) Martin Truex Jr. dominates and wins Coca-Cola 600: #78-Martin Truex Jr. 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 4th career win. Truex Jr. won from the pole for the first time in 9 tries. Truex Jr. dominated the race leading a track record 392 of 400 laps and a NASCAR record 588 miles in a race. #4-Harvick finished 2nd for the 3rd time in 2016 and for the 47th second place in his career (11th all time) followed by #48-Johnson, #11-Hamlin, #2-Keselowski, #41-Busch, #20-Kenseth, #24-Elliott, #22-Logano and #31-Newman. There were 9 lead changes among 4 drivers and 4 cautions for 19 yellow flag laps. The average speed was 160.644 mph (a new track record). See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at: Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) Lap Summary Report (pdf) Pit Stop Times (pdf) See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Charlotte Race & Points Report (pdf).(5-29-2016) Charlotte Motor Speedway Welcomes First-Time Fans: Charlotte Motor Speedway is throwing out the red carpet for first-time race fans attending this weekend's activities surrounding the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Ticket inquiries have come from all 50 states, 25 countries and more than 4,100 cities. Among those inquiries are many first-time fans who have never witnessed the experience of a race here. First-time fans attending can stop by the information booth located outside the main frontstretch grandstand at Gate 4 and pick up a "First-Time Fan" info packet. The packets contain a fan guide, schedule, map and "First-Time Fan" souvenir magnet. Fans can also tweet about their experiences by using #FTF16 and see what other fans are doing. First-time fans can also take part in a driver Q&A session on Sunday, May 29 prior to the running of the Coca-Cola 600. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson will appear at the fan stage located in the Fan Zone from 2:45-3 p.m. on Sunday. Fans can purchase tickets, camping and race-day upgrades by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shopping online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-28-2016) Mark Martin to drive the pace car before Coke 600: NASCAR legend Mark Martin made numerous memories while racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and the 2002 Coca-Cola 600 winner will make a triumphant return to the iconic 1.5-mile superspeedway on Sunday when - to commemorate being inducted into the 2017 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame - Martin will drive the Toyota pace car prior to the green flag for the 57th running of the Coca-Cola 600. "When the speedway called to ask me if I'd do it, my first reaction was 'Hell, yeah!'" Martin said. "Originally I'd planned to be at Indy, but now I get to do the 'double' in a way, and I can say I'll be driving at Charlotte. Charlotte Motor Speedway was always my favorite race track. I was fortunate enough to have a lot of success there, including winning a Coke 600. Bruton and Marcus always put on a fabulous show, and this will be cool to lead the field to green in front of thousands of fans that I enjoyed racing for all those years." Martin will attend the start of the Indianapolis 500 before heading to Charlotte Motor Speedway for his pace-car driving duties. The Batesville, Arkansas, native won four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races at Charlotte Motor Speedway in a career that spanned from 1981 to 2013. Martin also captured two NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race wins, in 1998 and 2005, and six NASCAR XFINITY Series victories at the speedway. Fans can purchase tickets, camping and race-day upgrades by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shopping online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-27-2016) NASCAR to Honor Fallen U.S. Armed Forces Members with Windshield Tribute at Charlotte: Continuing the sport's long-standing tradition of honoring the United States Armed Forces, all 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will bear the name of a fallen service member on their race car windshields during Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. For the second consecutive year, "600 Miles of Remembrance" will pay tribute this Memorial Day Weekend to those who bravely served and died defending our country. Windshield headers normally reserved for drivers' last names will read "SGT HARVEY," "LCPL RAMIREZ," and "SPC BEAUDOIN," among other names of the fallen. The special tribute will commemorate the launch of NASCAR: An American Salute, the industry's collective expression of respect and gratitude for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, past and present. Fans can follow the conversation on social media using #NASCARSalutes. 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. Toyota will also honor the names of fallen service members on its pace cars and grand marshal cars for the Coca-Cola 600 as part of 600 Miles of Remembrance. Many of the families of the service members being recognized will be in attendance at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The track will host more than 6,000 active military members at the Coca-Cola 600 in honor of Memorial Day. Throughout the week, NASCAR: An American Salute will feature various activities demonstrating the industry's support for the military, including: · During Saturday's Hisense 4K TV 300, NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers will display red, white and blue XFINITY windshield decals on their race cars. · Goodyear will replace the "Eagle" sidewall design with "Support Our Troops" messaging on all tires used during the Memorial Day Weekend races. · NASCAR, Coca-Cola and Mars, through the annual military support program, DeCA, will offer a sweepstakes to shoppers at more than 180 commissaries who will have a chance to win a trip for two to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week in Las Vegas. The kickoff event will take place at Fort Bragg on May 25 and feature #11 Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin. The 2016 DAYTONA 500 winner will tour the Warrior Transition Battalion Unit and visit with families at the South Commissary. · In partnership with Operation Gratitude, Mars will invite race fans to help assemble care packages for the troops in the midway at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The care packages will include Mars candy and be shipped following the Coca-Cola 600 to deployed military members. · NASCAR and Honor and Remember, Inc. will display specially prepared Honor and Remember flags representing those who lost their life in service to our country from each of the 50 United States throughout the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway. During the Coca Cola 600 pre-race broadcast, 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 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. To view an online gallery of the service members honored as part of 600 Miles of Remembrance, visit NASCAR.com/salute.(NASCAR), see the names on the Charlotte Entry List page (5-23-2016) Some Coca Cola 600 officials and dignitaries announced: The 2016 Coca-Cola 600, the nation's largest Memorial Day weekend celebration, will feature a number of elected officials and dignitaries honoring our nation's servicemen and servicewomen at NASCAR's most challenging race. Gen. George W. Casey Jr. (Ret.), chairman of the USO, will be the Grand Marshal; Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin will serve as Honorary Starter; and Cookeville, Tennessee, Mayor Ricky Shelton will serve as Honorary Race Director for the 57th running of NASCAR's only 600-mile race at the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 29. 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. To commemorate the special 75-year relationship between Coca-Cola and the USO, the USO of North Carolina - with the longest continuously operating USO center in the world - is bringing 75 service members and USO volunteers from across North Carolina to join Gen. Casey in giving the command to begin the race. Several of the service members and volunteers will also display a special USO 75th anniversary flag as the race command is given. As a founding partner, The Coca-Cola Company celebrates the USO's 75th anniversary with limited edition "Share a Coke and a Song" packaging featuring the classic lyric "I'm Proud To Be An American." Beginning Memorial Day weekend through July 4, the custom design will be available nationwide on limited edition 16-ounce cans and 20-, 24- and 35-packages of 12-ounce Coca-Cola beverages. Fans are encouraged to join Coca-Cola in honoring the USO during this historic celebration. Great seats are still available for the 57th running of the iconic Coca-Cola 600 and the rest of the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder, with weekend passes starting at just $99. To purchase tickets, camping and race-day upgrades, fans should call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shop online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-23-2016) Charlotte Motor Speedway and DC Solar Promote Revolutionary Green Technology: Long considered one of the crown-jewel sporting venues in the United States, Charlotte Motor Speedway can also lay claim to being one of the most energy-efficient in its efforts to promote a green environment. By partnering with DC Solar, the industry leader in mobile solar innovation, Charlotte Motor Speedway will save more than 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel throughout the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder. In total, a record 79 mobile solar products will be deployed throughout the speedway including 60 solar light towers, 10 solar generators, four solar personal device charging stations in Fan Zone areas, and five solar electric vehicle charging stations. The units will offer everything from free phone and EV charging to safety lighting in the parking lots. An entirely new offering in the green space, DC Solar products require no fuel and operation is completely silent making the environmental impact virtually non-existent.(CMS)(5-23-2016) Tony Stewart named Grand Marshal Sprint All-Star Race: The historic Charlotte Motor Speedway is no stranger to star power, and Saturday's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, the biggest All-Star event in sports, will be no different, with dignitaries including three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, American Idol Season 13 winner Caleb Johnson, NASCAR car owner Joe Gibbs and Michael Miess, the president of the North and South Carolina Region for Sprint. Stewart, who will make his final NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race start, will serve as Grand Marshal from the cockpit of his #14 Bass Pro Shops Chevy. American Idol Season 13 winner and North Carolina native Johnson will sing the national anthem prior to the beginning of the race, and Miess will be the Honorary Starter for what promises to be an exciting battle among NASCAR's brightest stars for a $1 million prize.(CMS)(5-21-2016) Practice / Qualifying for the Sprint Showdown Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway has been canceled and the field for the Sprint Showdown will be set by owners points. No word yet when the race will be run. It is scheduled for 7:00pm/et on Friday, May 20th. If rained out Friday night, the race supposedly would be run at 11:00am/et on Saturday, May 21st. Friday tickets will be honored for Saturday's Sprint Showdown and North Carolina Education Lottery 200; Fans who wish to stay for Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race activities can purchase those tickets at the ticket office or any ticket gate. The unofficial starting lineup is posted on the All-Star Race Info page (5-20-2016)
    Support the Troops To run at all Charlotte races in May 2016, 'Support the Troops' Goodyear Tires.
    Goodyear Transforms NASCAR Race Tires to Honor U.S. Military: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company will customize its iconic Goodyear Eagle race tires for the seventh consecutive year to support the U.S. Armed Forces. Goodyear, the Official Tire of NASCAR, will replace the "Eagle" logo on the sidewalls of its race tires with "Support Our Troops" messaging on tires used during all NASCAR races at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. The NASCAR industry kicks off its annual military tribute, NASCAR: An American Salute, leading up to the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29. "Support for the military is part of the fabric of our company," said Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager of global racing. "Goodyear's rich history of making tires for the U.S. Armed Forces is a source of pride for our associates - especially the many that have served - and these tires are a reflection of our deep respect for all Military branches." Goodyear has more than 100 years of history building innovative tires and equipment to help support and protect U.S. troops and is the largest producer of military tires in the country. The company was recently recognized as a Military Friendly Employer by G.I. Jobs magazine for its leadership in hiring and supporting veterans. In 2014, Goodyear surpassed a three-year goal of hiring 1,000 veterans and since then, Goodyear has renewed the commitment to hiring another 1,000 veterans over three years.(GoodYear), see images of all seven tires on the Tire News and Testing page (5-20-2016) Charlotte Motor Speedway Throwing First-Ever NASCAR Rain Party: Mother Nature will not dampen what promises to be a fantastic Friday [May 20th] at Charlotte Motor Speedway as the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder kicks off with a new NASCAR Rain Party featuring driver appearances, live music, concourse cornhole games and movies on the giant Speedway TV. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ryan Blaney will make fan Q&A appearances at the fan stage in the Fan Zone near the speedway's main entrance, while Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski will sign autographs at the Penske Racing souvenir stand on the frontstretch concourse near Gate 3. The action-packed schedule for Friday's NASCAR Rain Party includes: 2:00-2:30 p.m. - Dale Earnhardt Jr. Q&A with PRN's Doug Rice at the Fan Zone 2:30-2:45 p.m. - Ryan Blaney Q&A with PRN's Doug Rice at the Fan Zone 3:00-7:00 p.m. - Cornhole games at the Ford concourse near the Gate 6 entrance 3:00-3:45 p.m. - Liz Moriando live music on the concourse behind Smith Tower 3:30-4:00 p.m. - Brad Keselowski autograph session at the Penske Racing souvenir stand inside Gate 3 (subject to track conditions) 4:00-4:30 p.m. - Joey Logano autograph session at the Penske Racing souvenir stand inside Gate 3 (subject to track conditions) 4:00-5:00 p.m. - Johnny Reed Foley live music on the concourse behind Smith Tower 5:00-6:00 p.m. - Candis Elwood live music on the concourse behind Smith Tower The NASCAR Rain Party will also feature movies and history-oriented videos including "One Hot Night," and "The History of the Coca-Cola 600." On the concourse, fans can take part in cornhole games, chat with Speedway TV personality Wilson and document their experiences on social media using the hashtag "#NASCARRainParty." To purchase tickets, camping and race-day upgrades, call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shop online at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-20-2016) Share a Coke and a Song Superstar Tour at 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder at Charlotte: After an extensive search across the Carolinas and Virginia, the Share a Coke and a Song Superstar Tour presented by Walmart, Coca-Cola and Sprint has identified some of the Southeast's top vocal talent to perform during the unforgettable 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder at Charlotte Motor Speedway May 20-29. The month-long tour, which launched on April 18, gave fans the special chance to audition in a mobile studio that traveled to 12 different Walmart locations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, with the winners selected by a panel of judges from Charlotte Motor Speedway. The following winners were selected and are scheduled to perform during the events listed below: - Dixie Moon (quartet) - "God Bless America," NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Featuring Donnie Smith - Mount Holly, North Carolina; Debbie Hatchins - Stanley, North Carolina; Eric Sayne - Charlotte, North Carolina; Bruce Keedy - Cornelius, North Carolina - Kayla Watson - Greensboro, North Carolina - national anthem, N.C. Education Lottery 200 Contestants for the Share a Coke and a Song Superstar Tour presented by Walmart, Coca-Cola and Sprint were judged on four qualities: pitch and range, pace, stage presence and traditional rendition. Each member of the judging panel scored each finalist contestant. The criteria sheets of all judges were totaled to provide an overall score for each finalist. TICKETS: Great seats are still available for the 57th running of the iconic Coca-Cola 600 and the rest of the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder, with weekend passes starting at just $99. To purchase tickets, camping and race-day upgrades, fans should call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shop online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-20-2016) Marcus Smith confirms interest in Carolina Panthers: Speedway Motorsports Inc. CEO and Charlotte Motor Speedway general manager Marcus Smith, during a Wednesday interview with the Observer, affirmed what his father said last month: The Smiths would be interested in eventually purchasing the Carolina Panthers. Bruton Smith, a billionaire track owner and recent NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, told Motorsport.com last month that his sons want him to buy the NFL franchise when it becomes available. The younger Smith said there's definitely interest. "It's just one of those things where it's not even on the market," Marcus Smith said Wednesday. "Would we be interested? Yeah. It would be an incredible opportunity and such a neat opportunity and property for anybody to be able to shepherd into the future. We're in the sports entertainment world now and we love what we do, and (I) think it'd be fun to do more of it."(Charlotte Observer) Panthers player Greg Olsen named All-Star pace car driver: While many in the professional football world are focused on the NFL Draft, Carolina Panthers Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen will lead a different kind of draft when he drives the Toyota Camry pace car prior to the unforgettable, action-packed May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race during the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Since arriving in Charlotte I have developed a great admiration for NASCAR and their athletes," Olsen said. "Their concept of teamwork and commitment to excellence is second to none and I have a great deal of respect for the drivers and their teams. I am honored to be included in such an event and I am looking forward to driving the pace car to kick off the 2016 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race." Olsen, one of the NFL's premier pass catchers, is no stranger to NASCAR. For the past two years, the Charlotte, North Carolina, resident has participated in fundraising efforts with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. to support The Dale Jr. Foundation and The Greg Olsen Foundation's HEARTest Yard campaign. Olsen has also attended race events at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the past, but never in a dignitary role. Last season, the veteran tight end earned his second Pro Bowl nod after recording a career-high 1,104 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Olsen's efforts helped the Panthers finish with a franchise-best 15-1 record in a (Charlotte Motor Speedway)(4-27-2016) Charlotte Motor Speedway's Song Superstar Trophy Tour: The Share a Coke and a Song Superstar Trophy Tour (starts April 18th in Charlotte, ends in Concord on May 16th) will feature appearances by NASCAR celebrities, Hall of Famers and Miss Sprint Cup, tire changing station and simulator, the Charlotte Motor Speedway pace car, plus the opportunity for fans to take photos with the Sprint All-Star and Coca-Cola 600 race trophies. Fans can also register to win tickets to the Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600, as well as sample delicious Coca-Cola products. Aspiring performers will have the chance to sing their way to stardom during Charlotte Motor Speedway's May events with on-site auditions at each tour stop April 18 through May 16. Five lucky winners will be selected to perform at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder. For the tour schedule and more info go to charlottemotorspeedway.com (4-18-2016) Bruton Smith interested in buying the Carolina Panthers: With an already sold-out college football game, dubbed the Battle at Bristol, being held at his historic Bristol Motor Speedway, Speedway Motorsports Incorporated's Chairman, O. Bruton Smith, appears ready to branch out into other sports-related genres - specifically the NFL and the possible purchase of the Carolina Panthers. During an interview with Kickin' the Tires and Motorsports.com this past week, Smith admitted that he has always been interested in the Panthers and now might be the time for him to make a play that would bring football and motorsports closer together. "You stepped into this but it's odd that you did because we were talking about this today," Smith said. "Would we buy them? I've got some boys (his sons, Marcus and Scott), they want me to. And so we may, on a weak moment, we might would do that." [Panthers' owner Jerry] Richardson, who is 79-years-old, is said to have mandated that the team be sold within two years of his death, according to an article in Charlotte Business Journal in 2013. That mandate also has a caveat, which would be to keep the team in Charlotte. Smith would fit the bill since he is a Charlotte native and has historically expressed interest in the football franchise. Now that the Panthers have made yet another trip to the Super Bowl, some might suspect that the price would be too much for Smith to be seriously interested in buying the team but he countered that isn't the case. And with thousands of people on a waiting list for the upcoming game between the University of Tennesee Volunteers and the Virgina Tech Hokies, Smith may be seeing big dollar signs. "Not necessarily ... they didn't win," Smith said. "So, you are buying a losing team but if they would have won it would be different."(KickinTheTires)(4-12-2016) Military exercises and music highlight Salute the Troops Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show: 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 29, the 57th running of the ultimate test of man and machine, which will see drivers face in-car temperatures exceeding 120 degrees in the heat of May, will host one of the biggest military appreciation pre-race spectaculars in the track's history. Military Re-enactment Storms the Skies and the Frontstretch. 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 Bragg descending from Black Hawk helicopters with an aerial reenactment of an invasion " Vintage war birds with a flyover parade during pre-race ceremonies including a T-35 Buckaroo, P-149 Trainer, C-46 Commando, T-6 Texan and two P-51 Mustangs " A 21-gun salute from the Fort Bragg Firing Squad " 600 U.S. Army soldiers marching down the grandstands to the frontstretch, where they will display two American flags each as large as a football field " A flyover with four F-15s from the 334th Fighter Squadron, Fighting Eagles Seymour Johnson AFB " Sky-diving members of Team Fastrax descending to the infield with Old Glory flying behind Thousands of Troops Honored during Pre-Race Ceremonies " Fans will be able to salute the troops when 600 soldiers from Fort Bragg walk through the grandstands to the infield " Through the Charlotte Motor Speedway Patriot Partners program, buses will bring thousands of troops. An unprecedented social media presence will allow fans to keep track of the troops' adventures by following #PatriotPartners on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram " Fans and businesses can take part by sponsoring an entire bus, or by donating Coca-Cola 600 tickets for just $25 each through the Let The Troops Race program " Medal of Honor recipients Major General Patrick Henry Brady and U.S. Army Officer Joe Marm Jr. will also be recognized on the pre-race stage " Through the new Salute the Crews program, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team members who have served in the military will be recognized during the pre-race ceremonies and on the giant Speedway TV A star-studded musical lineup will highlight the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show, including: " Two-time GRAMMY nominee and country music megastar Lee Brice will perform a 45-minute pre-race concert presented by Speed Perks " Bugler from Fort Bragg to perform "Taps" " Rendition of "Amazing Grace" by the Charlotte Fire Department Pipe Band " Performance of "The Star Spangled Banner" by the 82nd Airborne Chorus " Performances of "God Bless the USA" and the Armed Forces Medley (CMS)(4-9-2016) Voting open for Sprint All-Star Race: NASCAR fans once again have the power to put a driver of their choice in the 2016 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The Sprint Fan Vote is now open, and will send one of 30 drivers into the annual star-studded event on May 21 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Fans can vote their favorite Sprint Fan Vote-eligible driver into the all-star race by casting votes daily now through 7:00pm/et on Friday, May 20. Votes shared via Facebook and/or Twitter will count double toward a driver's total. Fans can vote daily with a maximum of one vote per day per unique email address by downloading the NASCAR MOBILE application or visiting www.NASCAR.com/SprintFanVote. The 30 drivers (as of April 5) eligible for the Sprint Fan Vote are AJ Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Michael Annett, Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle, Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Chris Buescher, Landon Cassill, Matt DiBenedetto, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Chase Elliott, David Gilliland, Bobby Labonte, Kyle Larson, Michael McDowell, Casey Mears, Paul Menard, Danica Patrick, David Ragan, Robert Richardson Jr., Brian Scott, Regan Smith, Reed Sorenson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Brian Vickers, Michael Waltrip, Cole Whitt and Josh Wise. The winner of the Sprint Fan Vote will be announced in Victory Lane following the conclusion of the Sprint Showdown.(NASCAR)(4-5-2016) Andy Grammer Concert added to All-Star Weekend at Charlotte: One of the fastest-rising stars on the Billboard Top 100 charts will kick off the biggest all-star event in sports when triple-platinum recording artist Andy Grammer takes the stage for a free concert before the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The full 70-minute Andy Grammer All-Star Race Concert Powered by Rayovac, will kick off the pre-race festivities of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race between Turns 1 and 2 of the Charlotte Motor Speedway infield. Entry is free for all All-Star Race ticket holders. For just $20, fans can upgrade to a special Golden Ticket for early access to a reserved area directly in front of the stage. Golden Tickets are limited and can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com. Los Angeles-born, New York-raised singer-songwriter Andy Grammer has gone from hustling street performer to multi-platinum selling recording artist. He has released two albums, "Andy Grammer" and "Magazines or Novels," producing debut top 10 hit singles including "Fine by Me" and triple-platinum No.1 single "Honey, I'm Good." Most recently, Grammer released his new hit single "Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah)" dazzling the Billboard Top 100 charts.(CMS)(3-26-2016) Lee Brice performing pre-race concert at Charlotte: One of the biggest names in entertainment today will perform at the biggest Memorial Day Weekend celebration on the planet when two-time GRAMMY nominee and country music megastar Lee Brice rocks the pre-race entertainment stage before the Coca-Cola 600, Sunday, May 29 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The full 45-minute Lee Brice Coca-Cola 600 pre-race concert presented by Speed Perks, will highlight the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race pit party, which will also include driver appearances, Q&As with some of the biggest names in the sport and even more live music. Before breaking onto the scene in 2010 with his debut album, 'Love Like Crazy,' Brice was a noted songwriter, penning "More Than A Memory" recorded by Garth Brooks, and wrote songs recorded by artists including, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton and Kenny Chesney, among others. During the Lee Brice Coca-Cola 600 pre-race concert presented by Speed Perks, the multitalented musician, songwriter, producer and recording artist is expected to perform several of his smash hits like "Love Like Crazy," "Woman Like You" and "I Don't Dance," among other favorites. The concert will take place on pit road.(CMS)(3-11-2016) Charlotte Motor Speedway looking at mixed-use area in turn 2: Charlotte Motor Speedway is developing ambitious plans to fill the area where its former Turn 2 grandstand once stood with a motorsports-themed mixed-use development that will cost in the high eight to low nine figures, according to sources. Details on the retail elements of the plan from track owner and operator Speedway Motorsports Inc. were scarce. Sources, though, said a key component is a private area of the mixed-use development that will be called the Apex Club. The club would grant access to amenities such as a newly renovated road course at the speedway, a go-kart track, a gun range, clubhouse and other high-end features like entertainment and food and beverage options. SMI is targeting 300 membership spots in the Apex Club. One hundred of those will be for owners of condos in the development, while 200 will be sold for general access to the club. The 200 general-access members are looking at an initial buy-in fee of around $150,000, plus $25,000 in annual dues, sources said, while the 100 members who own condos would not incur the $150,000 buy-in fee but would pay $25,000 in annual dues. SMI has been trying to figure out what to do with the area at CMS for more than a year after announcing in late 2014 that it was taking down the Turn 2 grandstands, formerly called the Diamond Tower Terrace, which sat 41,000 people. The seat reduction took the track's capacity from 134,000 to around 90,000.(Sports Business Journal)(1-19-2016) Circle K signs on as title sponsor of Speed Street: Circle K has signed on as the title sponsor of Speed Street for 2016 and 2017, and event organizers say the partnership will help improve the overall quality of the festival in Charlotte, NC. That means more driver appearances, more interactive activities along Tryon Street and more musical events, says Jay Howard, president of the 600 Festival Association, the nonprofit that produces Speed Street. Circle K signed on as the title sponsor for Speed Street last year for the first time, replacing Food Lion. Speed Street, which organizers say is one of the largest street festivals in the Southeast, takes place during the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race in uptown Charlotte. The Circle K and Kangaroo Speed Street will run May 26-28 in 2016, and May 25-27 in 2017. The free event is in its 22nd year.(Charlotte Observer)(12-22-2015) Bruton Smith cancer free: Speedway Motorsports, Inc.'s O. Bruton Smith is reportedly cancer free. Smith's daughter-in-law (Cassi Mitchell Smith) spread the good news Tuesday via Twitter. BMS officials confirmed Twitter post saying, "the news from Bruton's most recent screening was confirmed by SMI. Great news!" Back in August, with the speedway as his backdrop, Smith announced that doctors treated him for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma earlier in the summer.(WJHL)(12-16-2015) Speedway Children's Charities Distributes Nearly $2.9 Million Nationwide: Speedway Children's Charities officials have announced that the nonprofit will distribute nearly $2.9 million in grants to more than 390 different charitable organizations across the country in 2015, bringing the total funds distributed since 1982 to more than $46 million. "My parents started Speedway Children's Charities from modest beginnings with the goal of helping children in physical, financial, emotional and medical need," said Marcus Smith, vice chairman of Speedway Children's Charities. "From that first chapter at Charlotte Motor Speedway to now eight chapters at Speedway Motorsports' facilities nationwide, we've far surpassed their early expectations. But as long as there is a need, Speedway Children's Charities will continue working to improve the lives of children by supporting local nonprofits that help children in hundreds of local communities." Funds distributed by Speedway Children's Charities chapters at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway totaled $2,886,902 in 2015. Speedway Children's Charities raises grant money through various fundraising activities, including clay shoots, track events, auctions, holiday light displays and more. "It was a banner year for Speedway Children's Charities, and we can't thank the race fans, sponsors, volunteers, team owners, drivers and staff enough for all of their efforts to help children in need," said Maj. Gen. Chuck Swannack, executive director of Speedway Children's Charities. "Every single dollar or volunteer hour makes a difference, and these fundraising results will have a true impact to help children in need of a brighter future." For more information on SCC or to see how to volunteer or make a donation, visit www.speedwaycharities.org.(CMS)(12-16-2015)
  • Logano wins at Charlotte: #22-Joey Logano won the rained delayed Bank of America 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for his 4th win of the season, 1st win at Charlotte and 12th career win. Logano led 227 of the 334 laps.
    With the win Logano will automatically advance to the Eliminator round of The Chase.
    #4-Harvick finished 2nd (for the 11th time in 2015 and 42nd runner-up finish in his career) followed by #78-Truex Jr., #11-Hamlin, #41-Busch, #19-Edwards, #3-Dillon, #24-Gordon, #2-Keselowski and #43-Almirola.
    The race was delayed a day after being rain pushed back the race from Saturday night.
    Pole sitter and Chase points leader going into the race, #20-Kenseth had troubles, making contact with #31-Newman and hitting the walla a few times before retiring the car on lap 236, finishing 42nd after leading 73 laps.
    There were 14 lead changes among 10 drivers and 9 cautions for 44 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 139.760mph.
    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).(10-11-2015)

  • Bank of America Surprises Army Veteran with Unforgettable NASCAR Experience: Leading up to this weekend's racing activities at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Bank of America unveiled today a special video of Rick Groesbeck, an Army veteran, who will wave the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 Chase playoff event. In the video, Groesbeck experiences the surprise of a lifetime when an ordinary visit to Hendrick Motorsports becomes a personally-guided shop tour from team owner Rick Hendrick. Afterwards, reigning NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Chase Elliott takes Groesbeck out for a few hot laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and caps the day off by informing him that he'll be the honorary starter for Saturday's Bank of America 500. It's all part of Bank of America's longstanding support for service members and veterans. The company will continue this tradition by honoring members of the military throughout the race weekend.(Weber Shandwick on behalf of Bank of America)(10-9-2015)

  • Shannon Koch Wins 5th Annual Better Half Dash: Shannon Koch, wife of NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Blake Koch, won the fifth annual Better Half Dash, a charity event benefitting Motor Racing Outreach and Speedway Children's Charities. Koch led most of the race and won by only one second over Kaitlyn Sweet, girlfriend of Kyle Larson. Tandra Greenfield, Jordon Fish and Kristen Yeley finished third through fifth. Tati Papis, Ashley Stremme, Melanie Self, Jenna Robinson, Whitney Scott and Wendy Venturini rounded out the field. Koch started from the pole and survived a close call when Jenna Robinson drove on top of Koch's car and tore the rear body off. Koch retook the lead for good on lap seven of the 25-lap event.(CMS)(10-9-2015)

  • CMS to paint restart lines on track: Charlotte Motor Speedway will paint lines on the track to denote where the restart zone begins and ends for this weekend's Sprint Cup and Xfinity races, a track official confirmed to NASCAR Talk. NASCAR marks the restart zone with lines on the outside wall but fans can't see that. Putting the lines on the track also could help NASCAR officiate restarts. Restarts have been a key topic the past two months. NASCAR has placed a senior series official near the restart zone to better monitor restarts and expanded the zone in recent weeks. An issue, though, could be the paint on the track because it could create wheelspin if a driver started at the beginning of the zone.(NBC Sports)(10-8-2015)

  • NASCAR Night & Hauler Parade Kick Off Bank of America 500 Weekend: Charlotte Motor Speedway will officially kick of race festivities with NASCAR Night and Hauler Parade at zMAX Dragway. The free fan event begins at 6:00pm/et on Wednesday, October 7th with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series haulers parading down the quarter-mile drag strip and continuing on to the infield at Charlotte Motor Speedway where they will set up for Saturday's Bank of America 500. Following the parade, NASCAR drivers, crew members and other personalities will race their personal vehicles down the Bellagio of drag strips in a series of exhibition races. Admission is free. Gates open at 5:00pm/et. The hauler parade will begin at approximately 6:15pm/et with racing to follow.
    Fans can catch all the action surrounding the only Saturday night race in the Chase, including Bojangles' Pole Night on Oct. 8, the NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive for the Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina on Oct. 9 and the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 10 with weekend packages starting at just $99, go to charlottemotorspeedway.com for info and tickets.(CMS)(10-7-2015)

  • CMS Honors Jeff Gordon's Career With Rare Collection of Automobiles at AutoFair: For more than two decades, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Gordon has been one of the most famous and successful drivers in all forms of racing. The 2015 season marks the final full-time run for the pilot of the famous #24. To commemorate his stellar career, vehicles from his personal collection as well as racing machines from the most iconic moments in his career will grace the AutoFair Nationwide Showcase Pavilion at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Sept. 24-27. CMS holds a lot of memories for Gordon, the most notable being his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in the 1994 Coca-Cola 600. Back then, he was driving the Dupont Rainbow Warrior paint scheme, which was seemingly retired in 2000. Last month, the Rainbow Warrior made its return to NASCAR. The special scheme, with Axalta on the hood, was driven by Gordon as a throwback at Bristol. Fans will have the chance to see that same Chevrolet SS on display during AutoFair. Another vehicle set to grace the Nationwide Showcase Pavilion is the famous Chassis No. 2429, raced in the 1997 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Many know this car as "T Rex" as it was sponsored by the movie "Jurassic Park." That night, Gordon and T-Rex dominated the race on the way to scoring the victory. The vehicles' on-track performance was so incredible that NASCAR officials rewrote the rule books to ensure it never raced again at a NASCAR-sanctioned event. In addition to these iconic vehicles, fans can catch a glimpse at some of Gordon's racing memorabilia, including his DuPont Rainbow uniform used in 1996 and his 1989 fire suit from his Sprint Car days on dirt. Gordon's 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z51, 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and 1933 Ford Street Rod are three cars from his vast collection adding a personal touch to the exhibit. The AutoFair features more than 50 car club displays and more than 7,000 vendor spaces offering an array of automotive parts and memorabilia. More than 1,500 collectible vehicles of all makes and models will be available for sale in the car corral that rings the 1.5-mile superspeedway. For more details, to purchase single-day tickets or four day-passes, fans should call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit the website.(CMS)(9-14-2015)

  • Wallenda to Perform Death-Defying Aerial Acrobatics at Bank of America 500: It's been said that behind every great man is a great woman - and that certainly holds true in the Wallenda household. While Nik Wallenda is known for his daring feats of balance and bravery, at the Bank of America 500 on Saturday, Oct. 10, Nik's wife Erendira (pronounced "E-Den-D-Duh") will take center stage as she performs a first-of-its-kind aerial thrill show before the green flag falls. Never one to stand idly by, Erendira, is an eighth generation acrobat who has performed with her family since she was 5 years old. She is, in all ways, Nik's equal when it comes to daredevil acrobatics.
    "I've watched Nik perform at Charlotte the last couple of years and always wanted to be part of the energy that fans bring to pre-race for the Bank of America 500," Erendira said. "We're always trying to top ourselves, and I'm really excited to come back to 'hang out' and put on a world-class performance at a world-class speedway."
    Before NASCAR's best take to the track for the Bank of America 500, Erendira will leave fans on the edge of their seats, suspended over the infield on an aerial ring hanging by a cable under a helicopter high above the infield. The 10-minute show, which Erendira will perform without any safety equipment to tether her to the ring or the helicopter, will feature artistic stunts and tricks, building to a dramatic finale as she hangs from the ring by only her toes.
    "I'm so excited about this opportunity for her," Nik said. "Like the Pettys, the Earnhardts and other NASCAR royalty who have made racing a family tradition, performing is a Wallenda family tradition and this is what Erendira was born to do. I'm sure I'll be more nervous standing on the sidelines than I ever have been standing on the high wire, but I know she will put on an unforgettable show."
    While thrilling pre-race stunts have become a staple during pre-race festivities at Charlotte Motor Speedway's fall classic, fans won't want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime kickoff to the Bank of America 500. In addition to the Wallenda stunt, country music megastar Hunter Hayes will get the crowd revved up for a night of intense racing with a free pre-race concert. During the pivotal Chase race, speedway officials and fans will also pay tribute to NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon with a variety of special tributes honoring the future NASCAR Hall of Famer's final race at the iconic superspeedway. For more information on the pre-race festivities or the speedway's #JeffsLastRide campaign, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com. Fans can catch all the action surrounding the only Saturday night race in the Chase, including Bojangles' Pole Night on Oct. 8, the NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive for the Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina on Oct. 9 and the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 10 with weekend packages starting at just $99.(CMS)(9-9-2015)

  • Charlotte making changes to grass area on frontstretch: Charlotte Motor Speedway is working with turf specialists and track engineers to create a transition border between the pavement and the grass along the frontstretch as track officials prepare for October's Bank of America 500. Crews have graded down the grass and soil edging to create a 6-foot border that is the same level as the asphalt near the start/finish line. The six-foot transition border will include a new sand/soil mix with newly planted rye grass. Crews are installing 140 tons of the new sand/soil mixture. By the time the October 8-10 race weekend rolls around, the grass will be smoother and lower than the regular infield grass where the traditional grass-painting is located. The project is designed to create a smoother, safer surface for drivers, and cause less potential damage on the splitter and front end of the cars.(Fox Sports)(9-2-2015)

  • 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)

  • Fans can drive the track at Charlotte on Black Friday: During the Black Friday Blowout sale, Friday, Nov. 28, race fans seeking discounts and thrills will visit Charlotte Motor Speedway for the opportunity to drive their personal vehicles on the high banks of the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway. The sale is this from 8 am until 5 pm. Shoppers who spend at least $50 on souvenirs, race tickets or pit passes, or donate at least $25 to Speedway Children's Charities during the event, will have the unique opportunity to drive their personal vehicle for three laps around the same 24-degree high banks where NASCAR legends like Richard Petty, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt and so many others raced. Bargain-hunting shoppers will be treated to souvenir items in our "Super Sale" tent priced as low as $1. Additionally, the merchandise trailer from newly crowned, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Kevin Harvick will be on hand with the very latest apparel and mementos commemorating his historic 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The merchandise trailers of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, Brad Keslowski, Duck Commander, Ford Racing, zMAX and others are also scheduled to attend.(CMS)(11-26-2014)

  • Speedway Christmas Setup Underway at Charlotte Motor Speedway: While many revelers are busy making last-minute Halloween costumes and sorting candy for eager trick-or-treaters, officials at Charlotte Motor Speedway are busy stringing lights and building Santa's Workshop in anticipation of the fifth annual Speedway Christmas holiday light show, which will light up the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway in just three weeks. Construction has begun on the completely redesigned 3.1-mile course, which weaves through the infield, offers visitors the chance to drive on the track and - new for 2014 - continues under the concourse behind the frontstretch grandstands. Crews will work seven days a week for the next 22 days preparing for opening night. In addition to setting up more than 800 light displays, crews will transform the infield into a winter wonderland, featuring a Bethlehem Village and Santa's Workshop. This year's fan-favorite lights-to-music display promises to be even bigger and brighter than ever before, with an all-new design sure to bring even more merriment to fans throughout the holidays. 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. 21. The drive-through light show will be open nightly Nov. 22-Dec. 30 from 6-10 p.m., closed Christmas Day. Thursday through Sunday nights, visitors will enjoy even more family entertainment in the Christmas Village. The village includes marshmallow roasting, a petting zoo and kids' zone, photos with Santa, Bethlehem Village and so much more.(CMS)(10-31-2014)

  • 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)

  • Harvick wins at Charlotte: #4-Kevin Harvick won the Bank of America 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for his 3rd win of the season, 3rd at Charlotte and his 26th career win.
    #24-Gordon finished 2nd followed by #1-McMurray, #22-Logano, polesitter #18-Busch, #42-Larson, #31-Newman, #99-Edwards, #11-Hamlin, and #5-Kahne.
    The win allows Harvick to advance to round 3 of the Chase, after Talladega.
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. was the Chase driver to suffer the most problems. He broke a shifter early in the race and struggled to a 20th place finish.
    There was a lot of pushing and shoving in the garage after the race. Once the checkered flag flew, Hamlin and Keselowski got together on the track. Coming down pit road, Keselowski got into the side of Kenseth and then hit the rear of Stewart's car. Stewart backed up and damaged Keselowski's front end. Once drivers were out of their cars Hamlin had to be prevented from going up to Keselowski. As Keselowski walked off, between haulers, Kenseth rushed up to him and more shoving began. Everyone was separated.
    There were 32 lead changes among 14 drivers. There were 8 cautions for 39 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 145.346mph.
    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 UNOFFICIAL drivers championship points standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings (pdf).
    See the UNOFFICIAL owner points standings on the Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).
    (10-11-2014)

  • Ashanti to perform the national anthem at Charlotte: Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer and actress, Ashanti will perform the national anthem before the green flag drops on Saturday night's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Ashanti burst onto the music scene with her 2002 self-titled debut album "Ashanti." It landed the No. 1 spot on both the Billboard Top 200 and R&B album charts. The album topped the Billboard Album Chart and also won the GRAMMY for Best Contemporary R&B Album that year. As part of the biggest pre-race entertainment lineup in speedway history, the Charlotte Motor Speedway Country Jam will feature more than three hours of music and entertainment for fans. Headlined by 2014 Academy of Country Music Vocal Group of the Year, The Band Perry, the Country Jam will also feature performances by Parmalee and Jimmy Wayne. Fans in town for the Bank of America 500 weekend can also take in the sounds of up-and-coming musical acts including Celeste Kellogg and JRyan, among others, as part of the traveling Teen Nation Tour. The Teen Nation Tour is a peer-to-peer anti-bullying campaign and concert tour to educate/entertain youth about bullying and prevention. Teen artists spent more than a week in the Charlotte region spreading their anti-bullying message at area schools. Their visit wraps up with a three-day music festival during the Bank of America 500 weekend.(CMS)(10-7-2014)

  • Survivors Invited to Help Kick Off Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Charlotte Motor Speedway: More than 100 breast cancer survivors and their supporters are expected to join #22-Joey Logano and Charlotte Motor Speedway President and General Manager Marcus Smith to paint pit wall pink to kick off National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and preview the upcoming Bank of America 500 race weekend. For the fourth 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 parts of the weekend's race activities. 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. In addition to drivers and teams sporting unique pink paint schemes, fans who attend next weekend's races will notice the pink pit wall, which will get a fresh coat of pink paint on Wednesday. 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. Survivors and their families are invited to join the paint pit wall pink party, which will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday in Victory Circle. Those interested in attending are asked to email an RSVP to sfilcik@charlottemotorspeedway.com by 3 p.m. on Tuesday. From knockout qualifying on Thursday and the NASCAR Nationwide Series' best battling for bragging rights on Friday to the only Saturday night race in the Chase, fans can catch all the fun with weekend packages starting at just $99. To purchase tickets, call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or buy online at charlottemotorspeedway.com(CMS)(9-30-2014)

  • 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)

  • The Band Perry Headlines Pre-Race Country Jam And Pit Party at Bank of America 500: The 2014 Academy of Country Music Vocal Group of the Year, The Band Perry, will headline the largest pre-race Country Jam and Pit Party in Charlotte Motor Speedway's history prior to the Bank of America 500 on Saturday, Oct. 11. The three-hour-long entertainment festival will take place on pit road and will also include concerts by Jimmy Wayne and Parmalee. #88 National Guard driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will make appearances on stage for fan Q&A sessions, while pit crew demonstrations, games and photo opportunities will take place in Victory Circle and toward the exit of pit road. All the pre-race entertainment will be broadcast for every ticket holder on the speedway's colossal HDTV, and fans can gain pit road infield access to the Country Jam and Pit Party with the purchase of a pre-race pit pass or driver introduction pass. For affordable ticket and pit pass packages for Bank of America 500 weekend, contact the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(9-8-2014)

  • Junior Johnson and Miss Sprint Cup Kick Off Bank of America 500 Trophy Tour: NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson and Miss Sprint Cup Julianna White joined a Charlotte Motor Speedway road show today and greeted race fans at Walmart in Biscoe, N.C., at the kickoff of the Bank of America 500 Trophy Tour. Presented by Coca-Cola and Walmart, the trophy tour will roll into five cities across four regions in advance of the Oct. 11 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The event brings fun, free-to-the-public, interactive racing excitement to Walmart locations in the Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, N.C. and Greenville, S.C. regions. Additional tour stops will feature appearances by NASCAR celebrities, Hall of Famers and Miss Sprint Cup; the Coca-Cola Racing show car and simulator; Charlotte Motor Speedway's Fan Van and pace car; plus the opportunity for fans to take photos with the Bank of America 500 trophy and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship trophy. Fans can also register to win tickets to the Bank of America 500 and sample delicious Coca-Cola products.(more info at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(9-4-2014)

  • Twitter Guinness World Record Attempt at CMS UPDATE: Charlotte Motor Speedway and Coca-Cola will recognize the tremendous impact of twitter with an attempt to set the Guinness World Record for World's Largest Tweetup at the Coca-Cola 600 on May 25, 2014, by having more than 1,000 people tweet the same message from a single location simultaneously. Coca-Cola and Charlotte Motor Speedway with Coca-Cola Racing Family driver Greg Biffle, special guests Jeff Gluck, USA Today reporter, Wendy Venturini, Fox reporter, Kyle Petty, Fox reporter and Coca-Cola Racing Family driver, Doug Rice, PRN host.
    Fans will be tweeting: "I made history @cltmotorspdwy May 25, 2014 #WorldsLargestTweetUp #CocaCola600" on Sunday, May 25, at 2:00pm/et.(5-25-2014)
    UPDATE: More than 1,000 race fans and military members gathered in the Fan Zone Sunday for the Coca-Cola and Charlotte Motor Speedway World's Largest Tweetup. Hosted by Doug Rice, president of Performance Racing Network, the event featured Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, Coca-Cola Racing Family Driver Kyle Petty, NASCAR on FOX personality Wendy Venturini, country music star Chelsea Bain as well as NASCAR tweetup weekly hosts Jeff Gluck, USA Today reporter, and Bob Pockrass, of the Sporting News. Rice counted down the clock as fans furiously typed the tweet: I made history @cltmotorspdwy May 25, 2014 #WorldsLargestTweetUp #CocaCola600. The hashtags #CocaCola600 and #WorldsLargestTweetup immediately began trending on Twitter. The first 1,000 fans who participated received a free Coca-Cola World's Largest Tweetup t-shirt and a Coca-Cola. Two fans from Germany even won free garage passes.(CMS PitNotes)(5-26-2014)

  • Major Gen. Tom Sadler to Receive Stonewall Jackson Award: Keeping with the tradition of honoring the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces during the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race festivities, Charlotte Motor Speedway will present Major Gen. Tom Sadler with the coveted Stonewall Jackson Award on Sunday, May 25. 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 the call of duty.
    Born in 1925, in Canton, Ohio, Sadler entered the Army Air Corps in August 1943. A command pilot with more than 9,360 flying hours, Sadler is credited with more than 400 combat missions in World War II, Korea and Southeast Asia. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 15 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Purple Heart and the Italian Solidarity Star, 1st degree. He retired from the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 1, 1983.
    After four decades of military service, Sadler turned his attention to serving the needs of children as the executive director of Speedway Children's Charities, a position he has held since 1990. The mission of Speedway Children's Charities remains true to the ideals it was founded upon in 1982: To care for children in educational, financial, social and medical need in order to help them lead productive lives. Under Sadler's leadership, Speedway Children's Charities has raised more than $40 million for hundreds of deserving charities serving children in need across the country.
    "I've had the great pleasure of working with Gen. Sadler for many years and I'm proud to count him as a friend," said Charlotte Motor Speedway President and General Manager Marcus Smith. "His years of tireless dedication to serving his country and those in need is awe-inspiring and should serve as a reminder of the value of hard work, generous service and the impact that one person can make in the world."
    Past recipients of the Stonewall Jackson Award include Gen. Gary Luck (USA), Congressman Bill Hefner (NC), Gen. James Livingston (USMC), Gen. Dwayne Dorming (USSOC), the 82nd Airborne Division, Gen.Lloyd Newton (USA), Gen. Peter Pace, Gen. Buck Herman (USA), Gen. Henry Shelton (USA), Gen. John Handy (USAF), Gen. William B. Tonguy (USSOC), Command Sgt. Major Michael W. Williams, Brigadier Gen. Iwan B. Clontz, Col. (ret.) Walter Joseph Marm, former American Legion Post Commander Dale Punch, Purple Heart Homes co-founder Dale Beatty and last year's winner Lt. Col. Oliver North.
    Fans can catch Sadler's recognition during the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race salute to the troops Sunday. Tickets start at just $49 for Sunday's historic 55th running of the Coca-Cola 600, and include a Brantley Gilbert pre-race concert. Tickets can be purchased online atwww.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(5-24-2014)

  • Winds cause damage at Speed Street in Charlotte: Wind gusts estimated by forecasters to have reached 40 mph toppled tents and aluminum barricades and hurled trash barrels along Speed Street Friday morning. Speed Street is uptown Charlotte's NASCAR-themed festival in conjunction with this weekend's Coca-Cola 600. Winds shot decorative glass Mason jars into South Tryon from owner Carla Brasher's Personalized South tent between 3rd and 4th streets. At least 10 to 12 tents in and near that block were flattened onto South Tryon, said Todd Powell of Prowler Magazine, whose tent is near Thrasher's. Merchants said the gusts felt more like 50 to 70 mph, like "a tornado had kind of stepped down," Powell said. A couple of blocks south on Tryon, workers at a large Chevrolet tent in the middle of the street said a trash barrel hurled toward them but didn't strike anyone. No injuries were reported along Speed Street, but WSOC-TV said three people were taken to the hospital after scaffolding collapsed at the Sheraton Hotel on South McDowell Street. Their conditions were unknown. The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties and elsewhere across the region.(more at the Charlotte Observer)(5-23-2014)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway announces some dignitaries for Coca Cola 600: A United States Congresswoman, the North Carolina Senate Leader and a military hero will lead race fans in the commencement of the nation's largest Memorial Day Weekend celebration as they serve as race officials for the 2014 Coca-Cola 600. Master Sergeant Cedric King will be the Grand Marshal, United States Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito will be the Honorary Starter and North Carolina Senate Leader Phil Berger will serve as the Honorary Race Director for the 55th running of NASCAR's only 600-mile race at the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 25.
    "It is our pleasure to welcome these distinguished leaders, as well as a military hero to the 2014 Coca-Cola 600," said Lauren C. Steele, senior vice president, corporate affairs, Coca-Cola Consolidated. "It is exciting to have these leaders recognize America's servicemen and women at the largest Memorial Day Weekend celebration in the country."
    As race officials, Capito and Berger will be honored at a pre-race event, attend the official drivers meeting, address the crowd of more than 100,000 fans, participate in the pre-race spectacular and present the trophy to the winning driver in Victory Lane. As Grand Marshal, King will give the race command, while Capito will wave the green flag over the 43-car field to start NASCAR's most challenging race. As Honorary Race Director, Berger will ride in an official pace car.
    Master Sergeant Cedric King was severely injured by an Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D.) while serving his country in Afghanistan. Due to the explosion Cedric sustained a multitude of internal and external injuries and has become a bilateral leg amputee. Since then, he has spoken in front of Heads of State, professional athletic organizations, Fortune 500 businesses and thousands of everyday people who have been mesmerized by his story of survival and triumph. He is passionate about sharing his story with others to help encourage and motivate.
    Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito proudly serves the people of West Virginia's Second Congressional District, where she represents a diverse constituency stretching from the Ohio River Valley to the state's eastern panhandle. She is also the Republican nominee in the race to represent West Virginia in the United States Senate.
    Shelley is a former member of the West Virginia House of Delegates and is committed to serving the people of the Mountain State. When Congress is not in session, Shelley regularly travels her 17-county district to meet with West Virginians. Born in Glen Dale in the northern panhandle, Shelley lives in Charleston, West Virginia with her husband, Charles L. Capito. They have three children: two sons, Charles and Moore, and one daughter, Shelley. They also have been blessed with a grandson and a granddaughter.
    Phil Berger has served as the leader of the North Carolina Senate since January 2011. First elected to office in 2000, he represents the state's 26th Senate District, which includes Guilford and Rockingham counties. Berger was raised in Danville, Virginia, just across the North Carolina border. He graduated high school in 1970 and married his high school sweetheart, Pat, in 1971. Berger became the first member of his family to get a college education, earning a bachelor's degree in sociology from Averett College and a law degree from Wake Forest University. Berger worked for a law firm in Charlotte and clerked for an appellate judge in Raleigh before moving to Eden, North Carolina in 1984. He joined a practice that later became the Berger Law Firm - a partnership with his two sons. Phil and Pat still live in Eden. They have three children and four grandchildren.
    Continuing a decades-old tradition of hosting the biggest Memorial Day Weekend celebration in America, the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show will once again honor veterans and active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces for their service and sacrifice. Coca-Cola is partnering with the USO to continue the momentum of the Every Moment Counts campaign that rallies Americans to show their support for troops and their families in a record breaking way. The American people are invited to show their gratitude for men and women in uniform through the simple act of giving a signature, in an attempt to set a Guinness World Record for "most signatures on a flag." NASCAR fans will get their chance to participate when the center portion of the Every Moment Counts flag is unfurled during a special pre-race presentation. Individual panels from the Every Moment Counts flag will be available to sign by race attendees and NASCAR drivers alike to help the USO break the world record.
    "As a long-term partner of the USO, Coca-Cola has been dedicated to honoring our brave service members and their families for more than 70 years," said Quinton Martin, vice president, Community Marketing, Coca-Cola North America. "Every Moment Counts is a wonderful campaign and a true reflection of the special moments and memories the USO makes possible. We're looking forward to the pre-race celebration at the Coca-Cola 600 and helping our great partner to break the Guinness World Record."
    Coca-Cola has been involved with stock car racing for more than 50 years and has been the official sparkling beverage of NASCAR since 1998. Through its partnerships with International Speedway Corporation, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Coca-Cola refreshes racing fans at the majority of NASCAR-sanctioned tracks. A signature part of the brand's NASCAR association is the Coca-Cola Racing Family - a group of top drivers that include Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart. The company also has relationships with Jeff Burton, Austin Dillon, Bobby Labonte, Dale Jarrett, Ned Jarrett, Kyle Petty, Elliott Sadler, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Darrell Wallace, Jr. Coca-Cola Racing Family members make appearances and are featured in advertising, promotions and packaging.
    With packages starting at just $99, fans can experience all the action and excitement that surrounds Coca-Cola 600 weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the Coca-Cola 600 Weekend Pass. Fans can purchase tickets by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com.(CMS)(5-21-2014)

  • All-Star Race draws fans from around the world: Hawaii is now the 50th and final state to be represented at this year's NASCAR Sprint All-Star race. Charlotte Motor Speedway would like to extend a special welcome to Benjamin Amay from Volcano, Hawaii! Benjamin bought five tickets to tonight's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race earlier this week, and now fans from all 50 states will be on hand for tonight's festivities. Fans from Australia, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, the UK, Canada, the United States and representatives from more than 1,800 cities worldwide will be at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race,(CMS Pit Notes)(5-17-2014)

  • Brantley Gilbert to Perform Coca-Cola 600 Pre-Race Concert: Chart-topping country music star Brantley Gilbert will get fans pumped for the Coca-Cola 600 with a special 45-minute frontstretch pre-race concert presented by Coca-Cola and the USO on Sunday, May 25 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Gilbert will amp up the energy, performing "Bottoms Up" and more new songs from his upcoming album JUST AS I AM (The Valory Music Co.), slated for release on May 19. For just $99, fans can get a Coca-Cola 600 weekend ticket package with a frontstretch ticket to the race, delivering the best views of the Brantley Gilbert concert on Sunday, May 25. The weekend package also includes a ticket to LiftMaster Pole Night and the Saturday afternoon History 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Tickets can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-16-2014)

  • NCDOT, Highway Patrol, CATS Join CMS Officials to Prepare Fans for Race Week Traffic: In preparation for the 10-Day Blockbuster of Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway May 16-25, speedway officials want to make sure race fans and area residents are equipped to handle increased 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. See tips from Charlotte Motor Speedway and NCDOT at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-15-2014)

  • Darius Rucker, Luke Kuechly Added to Lineup At NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race: The best of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series are no strangers to sharing the spotlight when they take to the high banks of Charlotte Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, with celebrities from the world of sports and music often adding to the star-studded affair. This year will be no different as Charlotte Motor Speedway welcomes country music superstar Darius Rucker and Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly. A Grammy-Award-winning musician and avid sports fan, Rucker will take the stage to perform the national anthem before the green flag falls on NASCAR's blockbuster all-star event. Rucker burst onto the music scene as front man for the popular group Hootie & The Blowfish before branching out into a solo career. Since 2008, Rucker has made himself at home on the country music charts with hits like "Don't Think I Don't Think About It," "It Won't Be Like This for Long," "Alright," "Comeback Song" and a cover of Old Crow Medicine Show's "Wagon Wheel."
    Kuechly, the Panthers leading tackler for the last two seasons and the 2013 Associated Press Defensive Player of the year, will lead the field in the official Toyota Camry pace car as honorary pace car driver at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. In his rookie season, Kuechly, the ninth overall draft pick out of Boston College, made an immediate impact by leading the NFL in tackles an earning 2012 Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Tickets can be purchased online at charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(5-14-2014)

  • Coca-Cola 600 to Feature Spectacular Pre-Race Salute to Troops: When the biggest Memorial Day weekend celebration kicks off at Charlotte Motor Speedway before the green flag drops on the Coca-Cola 600, fans will be part of one of the biggest military tributes in the race's 55-year history. From special recognitions of some of our military's bravest, to a one-of-a-kind helicopter flyover and the return of the Patriot Partners program and Papa John's Pizza Party for the troops, the Salute to the Troops portion of the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show presented by the NRA will be something to behold. "Over the years, Charlotte Motor Speedway has set the standard when it comes to showing our support of the armed forces, and this year will be no different," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "We want to give all the men and women who have served in the past and who continue to fight for our freedom today a great big bear hug and let them know how much their service means to our country."
    Speedway to Recognize Medal of Honor Recipients: During the Salute to the Troops portion of the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show presented by the NRA, Charlotte Motor Speedway will proudly recognize four Medal of Honor recipients on hand for the event. Awarded for acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty, the Medal of Honor is the highest military honor that can be bestowed upon a soldier.
    Businesses Sponsor Troops Through Patriot Partners Program Charlotte Motor Speedway and its corporate partners will bring more than 1,200 troops and their families to the Coca-Cola 600 through the Patriot Partners program. Corporate sponsors including Bojangles', NRA, Smithfield, MillerCoors and Mercury One have stepped up to bring more than 30 busloads of troops and their families to the races. As part of the pre-race festivities, the buses will make a ceremonial parade lap around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway before parking along the frontstretch, where troops will exit the buses and be welcomed by more than 100,000 fans to their seats in the grandstands.
    Military Vehicles Past and Present on Display Along Pit Road Usually reserved for 800-horsepower stock cars, pit road will welcome a unique collection of vintage military vehicles during pre-race festivities. Fans can see 15 vintage military vehicles on loan from the Veterans Service Corp of South Carolina as well as Humvees, troop carriers, a maintenance wrecker and a Navy SEAL Raptor from the North Carolina National Guard.
    Seven-Plane Vintage Air Parade Creates Salute in the Skies Seven vintage war birds will take to the skies before Sunday's race as part of an aerial salute to the troops. The privately owned fleet includes a SNJ 5, a C-45, a T-28 Alpha, a T-28 Bravo and a C-46, among others.
    Astronaut to Give Command from International Space Station The Coca-Cola 600 has always been an international affair, with fans traveling from around the globe to take in NASCAR's ultimate test of man and machine. But this year, Charlotte Motor Speedway is taking things to new heights when the grand marshal, NASA Commander Steve Swanson gives drivers the command to start engines from aboard the International Space Station.
    Unique Flyover to Feature Four Types of Military Helicopters The biggest Memorial Day Weekend celebration in the country wouldn't be complete without a one-of-a-kind flyover to kick off the 55th running of the Coca-Cola 600. Task Force Corsair, part of the 82nd Airborne Division's Combat Aviation Brigade stationed at Ft. Bragg, N.C., will conduct a flyover featuring AH-64 Apache, UH-60 Black Hawk, CH-47 Chinook and OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopters.
    Football Field-Sized Flag to Wave Over Pre-Race As the national anthem plays during pre-race festivities, more than 120 volunteers will unfurl a football field-sized American flag on the infield. The flag, which measures 150-by-300 feet, is produced by 50 Star Productions.
    With packages starting at just $99, fans can experience all the action and excitement that surrounds Coca-Cola 600 weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the Coca-Cola 600 Weekend Pass. The 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 22; a Saturday afternoon showdown as the NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers battle it out in the HISTORY 300 on May 24; and culminating with the historic 55th running of one of NASCAR's most prestigious events, the Cola-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 25. More info at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-6-2014)

  • NC Gov. Pat McCrory to Make Special Proclamation at CMS: on Thursday, May 1st, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is scheduled to be joined by Richard Petty, Marcos Ambrose and Charlotte Motor Speedway President and General Manager Marcus Smith to make a special proclamation. #9-Marcos Ambrose will then take Gov. McCrory for a ride along in an 800-horsepower stock car on the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway.(CMS)(5-1-2014)
    UPDATE NC Governor Pat McCrory Declares May 'Motorsports Month', see images at Charlottemotorspeedway.com.
    AND NASCAR mogul Bruton Smith is no stranger to controversy and catching people off guard. He did just that on Thursday when he asked North Carolina's governor for $100 million to improve his Concord-based race track. Governor Pat McCrory was at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday to proclaim May as "Motorsports Month" in North Carolina, ahead of the All Star Race and Coca Cola 600 later this month. "Racing and motorsports have helped define our state and drive our economy," said Governor McCrory. "We are proud of the rich history of motorsports in North Carolina and that so many teams, tracks and events call our state home. Today we celebrate that legacy, as well as the industry's bright future." The governor was joined by NASCAR Hall of Fame member Richard Petty, Bruton and Marcus Smith, and NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose to sign the proclamation.
    That's when Smith told the governor he'd be coming for some money. "While you're here, I've got to find some time to talk to you," Bruton said to McCrory. "We want to spend about $100 million here to improve our situation and I certainly would like to have you to say 'you know well that's a good thing'."
    "I'm gonna fight for you," McCrory responded while laughing. He then pointed to driver Marcos Ambrose . "And I'm bringing my man to help it."
    "Now that I've got you here, we only wanna spend a hundred, okay? Downtown Charlotte spending $88 million on something that was built a few years ago. Well, I built this place in 1960. That was a while back." That's when Smith asked if McCrory wanted him to come see him to talk or if he wanted to talk "right here in front of God and everybody else." McCrory took the microphone from Smith saying he'd just come from a prayer breakfast, so "why don't we do it later."(wbtv.com)(5-1-2014)

  • Train to perform at All-Star Race: Prior to the drop of the green flag for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 17, fans can enjoy a performance by GRAMMY Award-winning pop rock group, Train, as part of Time Warner Cable and Fox Sports 1 All-Star Night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The concert will take place between qualifying and the start of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The San Francisco-based group has achieved much success since originally forming in 1994, winning three GRAMMY Awards and two Billboard Music Awards. Some of their biggest singles include, "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)," "Hey, Soul Sister," "Calling All Angels," "Marry Me" and "If It's Love." Their sixth studio album "California 37," released in 2012, produced their latest hits "Drive By" and "Bruises," featuring country music artist Ashley Monroe.(CMS)(4-25-2014)

  • Earnhardt Jr. and Harvick Headline Hunt Brothers Pizza All-Star Pizza Party: Race fans who love pizza will get a special treat as Hunt Brothers Pizza is offering a VIP experience with NASCAR driver and owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. and NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, on May 17, with the Hunt Brothers Pizza All-Star Pizza Party at Charlotte Motor Speedway. With the $69 ticket upgrade offered by Hunt Brothers Pizza, up to 1,000 fans will get exclusive access to a VIP party that includes Q & A sessions by the two drivers. Fans must have a ticket to the race to take advantage of the upgrade. At the party, fans will also be treated to Hunt Brothers Pizza, beverages and a goody bag with gifts from Hunt Brothers Pizza and Charlotte Motor Speedway. In addition, fans have the opportunity to win awesome door prizes, such as a stand up featuring Harvick and Earnhardt Jr. or tickets to the Coca-Cola 600. The promotion will run through May 16 or while supplies last. To get the ticket upgrade for the Hunt Brothers Pizza All-Star Pizza Party at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, fans may visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/huntbrothers or call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(4-22-2014)

  • 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:
    Best Routes
    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)

  • Safety Training at Charlotte Motor Speedway: As it has annually for more than two decades, Charlotte Motor Speedway welcomed more than 150 track safety professionals over the weekend for a two-day training session to hone their skills and prepare for the upcoming race season. Personnel from 10 NASCAR facilities - including Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway - received hands-on safety training for all events at the speedway. Leading the way in safety training, Charlotte Motor Speedway has been offering such classes since 1991. The sessions included online training modules and live scenarios for fire, rescue and EMS personnel. Topics covered included extrication, fire suppression, on-track EMS and track clean-up.(CMS)(3-6-2013)

  • 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)

  • NASCAR Sprint Media Tour - Final Day - Thursday: The 31st annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway runs from Monday, Jan. 21, through Thursday, Jan. 24. The NASCAR Sprint Media Tour is open only to pre-approved media members. More than 220 motorsports journalists are scheduled to attend. More than 20 stops will keep participating media occupied throughout the week including visits to Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Penske Racing, Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Roush Fenway Racing are among the many teams that will also be hosting programs.
    THURSDAY The event wraps up Thursday afternoon following a morning session with most of the Ford Racing drivers in the hotel, then a mid-morning trip to the Hall of Fame for a parade of Ford Fusions through downtown Charlotte. Then a tour-ending visit to Joe Gibbs Racing.
    Ten Ford Fusions will run through the streets of Uptown Charlotte on Thursday, Jan. 24 outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame starting at 11:20 am. The drive will begin from the NASCAR Hall of Fame loading dock on Caldwell Street. Cars will turn right on Caldwell and go to Stonewall; Turn right on Stonewall and go to Tryon; Turn right on Tryon and go to 5th Street; Turn right on 5th Street and go to Caldwell; Turn right on Caldwell and go to Martin Luther King Jr.; Turn left into Ceremonial Plaza.(Ford Racing)(1-24-2013)

  • Bruton Smith Wants End to Start-and-Park: Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. told media attending the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway that he would like to see an end to start-and-park racing, a term that refers to race teams that run only a few laps of a race in order to collect a portion of the purse, but pull off the track before causing too much wear and tear on their equipment, thereby saving on the expense of running a full race. "Start-and-park should not be a part of what we do," he said. "I think it's derogatory toward our sport. I'm going to try my best - and I hope you'll join me - to see if NASCAR can do something about this. It certainly isn't adding anything to our sport, and it certainly takes away." He then asked media in the room to use their influence to put an end to the practice. Smith's other appeal was to encourage NASCAR to reduce the top speeds of the race cars, which he argued would make the racing safer but also create more excitement for the fans because the drivers will make moves with more confidence.(CMS Notes)(1-23-2013)

  • NASCAR Sprint Media Tour - Day 3 - Wednesday: The 31st annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway runs from Monday, Jan. 21, through Thursday, Jan. 24. The NASCAR Sprint Media Tour is open only to pre-approved media members. More than 220 motorsports journalists are scheduled to attend. More than 20 stops will keep participating media occupied throughout the week including visits to Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Penske Racing, Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Roush Fenway Racing are among the many teams that will also be hosting programs.
    WEDNESDAY Wednesday features shop visits to Earnhardt-Ganassi-Sabates Racing, to Hendrick Motorsports and to Penske Racing.(1-23-2013)

  • NASCAR Sprint Media Tour - Day 2 - Tuesday: The 31st annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway runs from Monday, Jan. 21, through Thursday, Jan. 24. The NASCAR Sprint Media Tour is open only to pre-approved media members. More than 220 motorsports journalists are scheduled to attend. More than 20 stops will keep participating media occupied throughout the week including visits to Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Penske Racing, Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Roush Fenway Racing are among the many teams that will also be hosting programs.
    TUESDAY On Tuesday morning, Furniture Row Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing will visit the media hotel. The tour then heads to the NASCAR Hall of Fame to meet with NASCAR officials. The Nationwide Series meets with the press at the hotel in the evening.(1-22-2013)

  • NASCAR Sprint Media Tour Monday: The 31st annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway runs from Monday, Jan. 21, through Thursday, Jan. 24. The NASCAR Sprint Media Tour is open only to pre-approved media members. More than 220 motorsports journalists are scheduled to attend. More than 20 stops will keep participating media occupied throughout the week including visits to Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Penske Racing, Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Roush Fenway Racing are among the many teams that will also be hosting programs.(CMS)
    MONDAY: this afternoon and evening will be stops at Stewart Haas Racing and Richard Childress Racing, also tonight an announcement with Dale Earnhardt Jr & Richard Petty.(1-21-2013)

  • 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)

  • Fans Invited to watch testing at Charlotte Feb 17-18: Round two of testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the sixth-generation NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car is coming up Thursday and Friday, Jan. 17-18, and track officials are once again opening the gates so fans can enjoy the two-day test, free of charge. Behind-the-scenes tours and concessions will be available for purchase. Plus, every fan that buys a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series or NHRA ticket in the speedway ticket office during the test will receive a free 1:24-scale diecast car. Among the teams expected to participate in the test are Hendrick Motorsports, Penske Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, Richard Childress Racing and more. Testing will run from 9:00am/et to 4:00pm/et each day, with a break for lunch at 12:00noon/et. Each day, the General Motors grandstands will open at 8:30 am/et for the public to enjoy the test session. Fans should enter through gate 5A, by the main ticket office. Ticket information for all Charlotte Motor Speedway events can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(1-12-2013)

  • The area's premiere holiday lights extravaganza returns for its third year with more lights than ever before. Starting at zMAX Dragway and weaving through the infield of the 1.5-mile superspeedway, visitors can get in the holiday spirit with a ride through more than 800 displays made up of more than 3 million holiday lights.
    Thursday through Sunday nights, visitors can add even more holiday excitement with a stop at the Speedway Christmas Village, which will feature a Bethlehem Village presented by New Life 91.9 with live actors and animals, a petting zoo, games and activities in Santa's Workshop, as well as the chance to visit Santa Claus for a photo.
    Click here for a detailed schedule, including special events.
    Movie nights will be held every Friday and Saturday. Movie nights are presented by Great Wolf Lodge. Movies scheduled to be played at 7 p.m. each night are as follows:
    Dec. 7 and 8: "Elf"
    Dec. 14 and 15: "A Christmas Story"
    Dec. 21 and 22: "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas"
    Dec. 28 and 29: "Christmas Vacation"
    Tickets to Speedway Christmas are $15 per car Monday-Wednesday, when the Christmas Village is closed, and $20 per car Thursday-Sunday, when the Village is open.
    New for 2012, visitors can feel the chill on the outdoor Coca-Cola ice rink, made with real ice and open throughout the holiday season. Group discounts, private skates and theme nights will also be part of the fun.

  • Charlotte testing open to fans: Several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will test their new 2013 cars at Charlotte Motor Speedway this coming Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 11 and 12. As part of a special off-season treat, race fans are invited to view the two-day test session from the grandstands, free of charge. Teams expected to participate in the test include Hendrick Motorsports, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Penske Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing and Wood Brothers Racing. Testing will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a break for lunch at noon. Each day, the Ford Grandstand on the frontstretch will open at 8:30 a.m. for the public to enjoy the on-track debut of the new 2013 cars. Fans should enter through gate 5B, by the main ticket office.(CMS)(12-7-2012)

  • Two fans can win spot in All-Star Race commercial: Race fans, now's your chance to join the all-stars! Two lucky fans will win a chance to appear in the new Charlotte Motor Speedway commercial for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 18, 2013. The commercial, featuring a wild west "Throwdown at Charlotte" theme that reflects the all-guns-blazing racing and exciting action featured in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, will star Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Denny Hamlin, NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and other NASCAR celebrities. Fans that act now and purchase 2013 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race tickets before Dec. 31, 2012, will be automatically entered in the "Join the All-Stars" sweepstakes. Weekend ticket packages start at just $99 and a down payment of just $10 will reserve any All-Star Race ticket. Fans can visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/allstarextra for details on the sweepstakes, official rules, clips from the 2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race commercial, as well as opportunities to purchase tickets.(CMS)(12-5-2012)

  • Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out at CMS on Friday: Need a stocking stuffer for the NASCAR fan on your holiday shopping list? Check out the gigantic Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out Sale on Friday, Nov. 23 from 8:00am-4:00pm. NASCAR enthusiasts and holiday shoppers will have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams of driving around Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out on Friday, Nov. 23. Shoppers who spend $50 or more on merchandise or race tickets, or donate $25 to Speedway Children's Charities during the annual day-after-Thanksgiving event, will be allowed to drive their personal vehicle for three laps around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway. Drivers must be 18 or older and no motorcycles will be permitted. During the Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out, Charlotte Motor Speedway will offer a full line of NASCAR memorabilia and apparel at reduced prices with many items selling for only $1. A wide variety of hats and t-shirts will be available starting at just $3. In addition, more than a dozen NASCAR souvenir rigs are expected to be on hand, offering driver and team merchandise at drastically reduced prices. More info and deals at charlottemotorspeedway.com. (CMS)(11-22-2012)

  • Construction Begins as Speedway Christmas Returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway: Speedway Christmas is returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway and the spectacular holiday light show will be even bigger and better in its third year, with a new route, more than three million lights and the unique chance for visitors to drive the track. Construction has begun on the course, which starts at zMAX Dragway and winds through the 2,000-acre speedway property, into the infield of the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway and onto the track itself. For the last two years, Speedway Christmas drew thousands from across the state and beyond. This year, one of the nation's largest holiday light shows, running nightly from Nov. 19-Dec. 30 Speedway Christmas will begin with a grand opening at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday, Nov. 19, with a welcome ceremony at 5:30 p.m. The show runs nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. through Dec. 30, excluding Christmas Day. The attraction will feature more than 800 holiday LED light displays along the drive-through course, which includes a cruise around the high-banks of the legendary superspeedway. For more information, visit charlottemotorspeedway.com or call 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(11-11-2012)

  • Bruton Smith comments on many NASCAR issues: Bruton Smith, the eccentric billionaire whose Speedway Motorsports Inc. owns eight NASCAR tracks, held court in the Texas Motor Speedway media center on Saturday and addressed a wide range of subjects. Here are some selected notes from his lengthy media session:
    • Smith said NASCAR needs to work at "making the racing more exciting." He said NASCAR has made some good moves in recent years - notably double-file restarts - but needs to implement additional improvements. Smith's primary suggestion to improve the racing is to slow the cars down and thus make it easier for drivers to make bold moves.
    • Races with too many long green-flag runs are not exciting, Smith said, and he suggested a smaller fuel tank would force drivers to make more pit stops. Fuel-mileage races, he said, are "boring, boring, boring." One solution could be a minimum number of cautions per race to serve as TV timeouts.
    • Drivers are "maybe not as eager" right now and NASCAR needs more racers who have a "mean streak."
    • Despite a decline in TV ratings and attendance, Smith is still supportive of the Chase. He sounded concerned, though, that the playoff drivers get treated with kid gloves.
    • There are no plans to make further adjustments to Bristol's racing surface after a drama-filled night race in August.
    • No consideration has been given to moving an SMI race to give Las Vegas a second date, Smith said. He remains hopeful NASCAR will someday see the value in rewarding Vegas with another race.
    see more at SB Nation.(11-4-2012)

  • Tightrope Walker Nik Wallenda Successfully Navigates High Wire at CMS: Nik Wallenda navigated the 750 feet across the asphalt, from 100 feet above the track surface, with pure ease, carrying on near-constant banter and stopping several times to pump his fist at the crowd during his tightrope walk Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Wallenda, of the famous "Flying Wallendas" circus family, started from high atop the frontstretch grandstands, wearing a tether that speedway officials required while he was above the audience. As soon as he passed over spectators, though, Wallenda pulled the tether off, continuing his arduous uphill journey to a large crane parked behind Winner's Circle. As he reached the end of the 5/8-inch tightrope, Wallenda roused the crowd to "never give up on your dreams." He was then lowered to the ground amid thunderous cheers and pulled a long-sleeve black-and-gray Dale Earnhardt Jr. T-shirt over his head. Wallenda said it was his tribute to tonight's missing man. "It's a dream of mine; it's just another dream fulfilled," Wallenda said. "It's exciting to be here, and it's an exciting environment to perform in. All these fans are here to see an amazing race; to be part of that pre-race entertainment is an amazing experience."(CMS)(10-14-2012)

  • Free Golf: If three full days of racing action isn't enough, ticketholders for this weekend's Bank of America NASCAR races can also use their stubs to watch free golf. Race fans can show their tickets for free admission to any round of official tournament play Friday or Saturday at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn Golf and Spa in Conover, N.C.(CMS)(10-12-2012)

  • Country Rockers Big & Rich to Rock Bank of America 500: Charlotte Motor Speedway is set to get even louder when country rockers Big & Rich "crank it up to eleven" at the Bank of America 500 Pre-Race Show Presented by Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Saturday, Oct. 13, as part of a thrilling week of speed, danger and fun. Fans will have an opportunity to jam with the guitar-slinging, country-singing, multi-platinum selling duo, Big & Rich, as they get the speedway rocking with songs of the past and present, including those from their new album Hillbilly Jedi, set for release on Sept. 18 on Warner Bros. Records.
    The concert will take place on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 13, on the main stage of Charlotte Motor Speedway's frontstretch, just before the Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Along with the rocking performance by Big & Rich, the Bank of America 500 Pre-Race Show Presented by Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will include a dangerous stunt by Guinness World Record holding daredevil and high-wire artist Nik Wallenda, who will walk the high-wire from high above the grandstands to Victory Lane, and a performance by Victoria Justice of Nickelodeon's hit series Victorious and the feature film Fun Size, in theaters Oct. 26.
    Fans who want a front row seat for the entertainment and driver introductions can purchase a special driver introductions pass for $150, which includes a wristband for frontstretch stage access to see Big & Rich, cheer on your favorite drivers up-close at the driver introductions, and get the full NASCAR experience at the afternoon pit party, featuring appearances by Richard Petty, Denny Hamlin and other NASCAR personalities. For tickets and information call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(10-12-2012)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Announces Dignitaries for Bank of America 500 Race Week: As Charlotte Motor Speedway begins final preparations for a thrilling Bank of America 500 race week, officials have added even more star power to a weekend headlined by Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, singer/actress Victoria Justice, country rockers Big & Rich, world-famous tightrope walker Nik Wallenda and NASCAR's best drivers.
    The following is a list of dignitaries who will take part in race events this week:
    Bank of America 500 - Saturday, Oct. 13
    " Grand Marshal: Dan Nevins, executive VP, Wounded Warrior Project & Retired SSgt, US Army
    " Honorary Starter: Ben Dellinger, combat-wounded veteran, Retired SSgt., US Army
    " God Bless America: Leon Thomas, star of Nickelodeon's Victorious television program
    " Invocation: Mike Novak , president/CEO of the K-LOVE Christian radio network
    " Anthem: NewSong, Gospel Music Association Dove Award-winning and Grammy nominated artists
    Dollar General 300 - Friday, Oct. 12
    " Grand Marshal: Mike Calbert, representing the Board of Directors of Dollar General Corporation
    " Honorary Starter: Raj Agrawal, representing the Board of Directors of Dollar General Corporation
    " Invocation: Rev. Joe Andresen, patron of Charlotte Motor Speedway since 2003
    " Anthem: Shannon Magrane, American Idol Season 11 finalist
    Bojangles' Pole Night/UNOH Southern Slam 150/Better Half Dash - Thursday, Oct. 11
    " Honorary Starter: Randy Herrod-Gonzalez, UNOH director of enrollment advertising & ROTC, NCO liaison
    " Command to Start Engines: Don Lowden, director of admissions of UNOH College of Applied Technologies
    " Invocation: Billy Mauldin, Motor Racing Outreach chaplain
    " Anthem: Tammie Davis , ATP Records recording artist
    Circle-K Late Model Showdown at The Dirt Track at Charlotte - Wednesday, Oct. 10
    " Invocation: Lonnie Clouse, Motor Racing Outreach Chaplin
    " Anthem: Danielle Johnson, 12-year-old star of the upcoming Broadway production of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"
    Race week begins tonight with the final practice and qualifying for the Better Half Dash, where the women of NASCAR will battle on the frontstretch quarter-mile during Bojangles' Pole Night as part of a charity race to benefit Motor Racing Outreach. Several NASCAR personalities will test their personal rides at the Bellagio of drag strips Tuesday during NASCAR Night. For a $5 donation to Speedway Children's Charities, fans can watch as drivers like Kurt Busch and NASCAR team members try their hand at drag racing. Fans can take a ride in a 2012 Dodge Charger for a $10 donation to SCC. Wednesday night brings the return of the greatest show on dirt, as Josh Richards, Rick Eckert and the World of Outlaws' best battle NASCAR's up-and-coming stars Trevor Bayne, Ty Dillion and Austin Dillion during the Circle K World of Outlaws Late Model Showdown. Bojangles' Pole Night brings a bevy of action to the track as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers set the starting lineup for Saturday's 53rd running of the Bank of America 500. In addition to qualifying, fans can watch the Better Half Dash and the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour UNOH Southern Slam 150, both on the frontstretch quarter-mile oval. Charlotte Motor Speedway will turn pink during Friday's Dollar General 300. Drivers and crews will don pink cars, firesuits and helmets to help raise awareness of the fight against breast cancer. In addition, fans are encouraged to wear pink as part of a "Pink Out" during the race.
    Saturday brings a full slate of activities as part of the Bank of America 500 Pre-Race Show Presented by Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Fans can enjoy appearances by the heroes in a half shell throughout the day, as well as concerts by Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice and country rockers Big & Rich. Before the green flag drops, world-famous tightrope walker Nik Wallenda will attempt another death-defying stunt as he walks 750 feet from the grandstands, over the track and pit road to Winner's Circle. All of that excitement builds to the grand finale, the only Saturday night race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup - the Bank of America 500.
    Fans can reserve two frontstretch tickets, with the best views of the world's largest HDTV and pit road, for just $99 by calling the Charlotte Motor Speedway Ticket Office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visiting www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(10-10-2012)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway prepares fans for race week traffic: In preparation for Race Week at Charlotte Motor Speedway Oct. 10-13, 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), Charlotte Motor Speedway is working to ease travel for fans heading to and from the races.
    Best Travel Times on Race Days:
    - It is best to arrive at Charlotte Motor Speedway before 5 p.m. for Bojangles' Pole Night on Thursday, Oct. 11 and the Dollar General 300 on Friday, Oct. 12, to avoid commuter traffic.
    - The Dollar General 300 on Oct. 12 and Bank of America 500 on Oct. 13 are both evening races, but fans are encouraged to arrive early to avoid Concord Mills mall congestion. Parking lots open at 7 a.m.
    Post-Race Traffic Patterns for Bank of America 500
    NCDOT will utilize counter flow patterns after the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 13. Traffic maps are posted on Charlotte Motor Speedway's website at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/fans/maps/. See more details on the CMS website.(10-9-2012)

  • 'Pink' Plans for the Dollar General 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway: NASCAR Nationwide Series points leader Elliott Sadler and his brother, motorsports analyst Hermie Sadler, joined breast cancer survivors from as far away as Ohio, to paint the start/finish line at Charlotte Motor Speedway pink in preparation for next week's Dollar General 300 Nationwide Series race. The Dollar General 300, scheduled for Oct. 12 at the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway, will feature a pink color scheme in an effort to raise awareness of breast cancer and honor those fighting the disease. Charlotte Motor Speedway and Dollar General are working together to pink-out the track with several elements to help bring awareness to the cause. In addition to the pink start/finish line, the pink Dollar General 300 event logo will be displayed on the infield grass. The official Toyota Camry pace car will also have a pink color scheme and the winner of the Dollar General 300 will go home with a one-of-a-kind pink trophy. In addition, the race tickets for the Dollar General 300 have a pink motif. Three hundred breast cancer survivors will be recognized in a special "Ring of Survivors" during pre-race ceremonies. The survivors will wear pink shirts and hats and carry flags as they circle the stage on the frontstretch. Speedway officials are also encouraging fans to show their support and wear pink clothing for the Friday night NASCAR Nationwide Series race.(CMS)(10-2-2012)

  • Bojangles' Pole Night Ticket Honors 3-time winners at CMS: Fans interested in attending Bojangles' Pole Night at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 11 can now purchase a limited-edition collectible ticket featuring four of NASCAR's greatest racers. The ticket, of which only 2,500 were printed, pays homage to NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough and future Hall of Famers Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin. All four NASCAR icons are three-time winners of the Bank of America 500, which is scheduled for Oct. 13. Fans interested in purchasing the limited edition ticket featuring Allison, Johnson, Martin and Yarborough can call 1-800-455-FANS (3267). The tickets are $20.(CMS)(9-25-2012)

  • Mutant Ninja Turtles to invade CMS: Nickelodeon's iconic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will invade Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Bank of America 500 week, Oct. 11-13. Look out for the famous shell-backs - Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo -- to bring their fast-action, high-adventure style of fun to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for a weekend of family entertainment. Nickelodeon's ninjutsu-trained foursome are taking leave from the sewers of New York City and coming to Charlotte Motor Speedway for a weekend of formidable family entertainment.
    The weekend will include:
    Bank of America 500 Pre-Race Show presented by Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, featuring a free concert with Victoria Justice; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Family Section; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Family Fun Zone; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles visit the POWERADE Play Zone; Unique race broadcast of the Bank of America 500 for young fans; Kids' Driver Autograph and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lunch Party; Special Ticket Prices for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Weekend. For more great offers, call the Charlotte Motor Speedway Ticket Office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS), plus #24-Heff Gordon will drive a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles scheem in the Sprint Cup Series race.(9-21-2012)

  • Cool stuff at CMS's Auto Fair - Batmobiles, Skiing Squirrel and Shelbys: A trio of Batmobile replicas, an array of Carroll Shelby's high-performance Mustangs and Cobras, the motorcycles that put America on two wheels and a water-skiing squirrel named Twiggy are just a few of the attractions scheduled for the Sept. 20-23 Food Lion AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Other events / activities at the Food Lion AutoFair include: The Privette Collection of Homemade Transportation; Motorcycles that Put America on Two Wheels; Outdoor Movie Night (American Graffitti & Bullitt); Auction Action(200 classic automobiles); POWERADE Play Zone for the kids; Taste of Food Lion; Fair Foods at AutoFair - Batman Theme; Car Club Shows; Automotive Art; Huge Car Corral (1,500 vehicles); Giant Flea Market; Manufacturers' Midway; Camping (campsites available) amd the Sunday Awards Ceremony.
    Hours for the Sept. 20-23 Food Lion AutoFair are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday. Ticket prices are $10 per day for adults or $25 for a four-day pass; children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Parking for the event is $5. For more information on the four-day event, contact the speedway events department at (704) 455-3205 or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(9-18-2012)

  • Stewart to help BOA launch military appreciation platform: Continuing its long history of support for active members of the military, veterans, and their families, Bank of America will use the Bank of America 500 to help raise up to $250,000 for Wounded Warrior Project. As part of the bank's "Express Your Thanks" program, race fans will be invited to sign flags with messages of support for service members and veterans during race weekend. The flags will be converted into a patriotic mosaic that will be displayed during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the night of Saturday, October 13. For each flag signed, the bank will donate $1 to Wounded Warrior Project. #14-Tony Stewart will be on hand Tuesday, Sept 18th at CMS to officially launch the flag mosaic by writing words of support on a flag. He will also explain how fans can show their support for service members and veterans throughout race weekend.
    Bank of America's "Express Your Thanks" program launched on 9/11 and will continue until Veterans Day. In addition to the activities on race weekend, Bank of America is hosting a website that will collect images and messages of thanks to service members and veterans. To participate, individuals can take a photo or write a message and share it on bankofamerica.com/troopthanks. Alternatively, they can upload a picture via Instagram or Twitter and tag it with #troopthanks. The images uploaded to the website will be turned into a patriotic digital mosaic. For each uploaded image, Bank of America will donate $1 to Wounded Warrior Project.(Weber Shandwick)(9-18-2012)

  • Gigantic Pit Party for Fans at Bank of America 500: NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty, NASCAR Sprint Cup point leader Denny Hamlin and NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Marcos Ambrose will make appearances at a one-of-a-kind infield Pit Party for fans at the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 13. The first-of-its-kind Pit Party will be a fan-friendly event taking place in the NASCAR Nationwide Series garage from 2-5 p.m. before the only Saturday night race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. The party will feature driver appearances, live music, concessions, racing displays and more. Access to Pit Party is included with the purchase of a race ticket and a pit pass. In addition to fan forums with Petty, Hamlin and Ambrose, the Pit Party will feature displays from the Richard Petty Driving Experience, including showcase cars and a tire-changing station where fans can test their pit crew skills. WKKT radio's Paul Schadt will serve as emcee for the Pit Party. Other celebrities scheduled to appear include SPEED TV personalities Jimmy Spencer and Danielle Trotta, as well as nationally syndicated radio personalities John Boy & Billy from The Big Show. To purchase tickets, call the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(9-10-2012)

  • Tightrope Walker Nik Wallenda to do aerial show at Charlotte: Fans have come to expect plenty of speed, danger and fun on the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but on Oct. 13 they'll be looking up - way up - for an aerial show that's sure to delight during the Bank of America pre-race show presented by Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. World famous tightrope walker Nik Wallenda, who made headlines earlier this year when he traversed a 1,500-foot span across Niagara Falls on live television, will bring his high-wire thrill show to Charlotte Motor Speedway. No previous show has risen to the heights that will be achieved during this year's Bank of America 500, when Wallenda, a six-time Guinness World Record holder for various acrobatic achievements, takes to the high wire. Wallenda will descend from above the frontstretch grandstands over a span of more than 750 feet to a crane set up behind Victory Circle, all while balancing on a tiny 5/8-inch cord. At times the cord will hang more than 100 feet - 10 stories - above the ground, and his total walk will equal the length of two-and-a-half football fields. This year's performance marks the 26th anniversary of The Flying Wallendas' high-wire act at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1986, when Nik's predecessors walked from the grandstands down to pit road as part of a circus-themed prerace show. "I'm honored to continue the great Wallenda family tradition performing at Charlotte Motor Speedway," Wallenda said. "The speedway has always set the bar for pre-race entertainment and excitement, and I'm looking forward to raising that bar to new heights this year." Wallenda said he is excited about the opportunity to showcase his talents at one of the world's premier entertainment venues and to add his name to the growing list of world-renowned performers who have thrilled audiences during pre-race events here over the past 35 years. To purchase tickets, call the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(8-30-2012)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Ramps Up 'Made in the USA' Efforts: As the United States Olympic team heads to London for the 2012 Olympic Games and sports fans everywhere begin to swell with American pride, visitors coming to Charlotte Motor Speedway are taking notice of the speedway's new efforts to promote "Made in America" souvenirs. As souvenirs go, T-shirts are the "bread and butter" for Charlotte Motor Speedway, comprising the majority of overall sales. In 2012, the speedway has purchased all of the blank T-shirts used for screen-printing and embroidery from Jensen Apparel. Jensen, which operates a facility in nearby Albemarle, N.C., gets all of the raw materials used in its production processes from domestic suppliers. In addition to Jensen, Charlotte Motor Speedway has partnered with Winston-Salem-based SustainU, a leading provider of domestically-made apparel produced from 100 percent recyclable materials. The track also works with suppliers like WinCraft, a Minnesota-based company that provides a wide variety of American-made souvenirs, from key chains and bumper stickers to jewelry and other novelty items. In the gift shop, located on the second floor of the Smith Tower, fans will find banners and other signage proudly highlighting "American Made" merchandise.(CMS)(7-25-2012)

  • YMCA camp lets youngsters suit up and take the wheel at CMS: A group of seven local kids suited up, got strapped in and drove Bandolero cars around one of the tracks at Charlotte Motor Speedway as they participated in a different kind of camp this week. The camp was the second of four sessions this summer that have been put on through a partnership between Cannon Memorial YMCA and Charlotte Motor Speedway. During the week, the youth learned about motorsports by visiting the NASCAR Hall of Fame and touring the speedway. Today [Tuesday], they will visit local race shops. On Thursday, they took five laps in the Bandolero cars behind a chase car, and when they returned after lunch, they ran more laps on their own. Before taking the wheel, the youth learned about safety and the cars they were driving.(Independent Tribune)(7-18-2012)

  • Earnhardt Jr. wins, fans get two-for-$88 ticket offer at CMS: By virtue of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win on Sunday, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won a spot in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In honor of the win, the speedway also announced a new Bank of America 500 ticket offer where fans can get two frontstretch tickets to the Oct. 13 race for just $88. More info by calling the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(6-19-2012)

  • Patriotism of Full Display During Coca-Cola 600 Pre-Race Activities: Charlotte Motor Speedway has always been known for doing things bigger and better. First it was the longest race of the year, then the biggest pre-race show, then largest HDTV screen, and today CMS will also boast the largest free-flying American flag in the world when it is unveiled during the national anthem for Coca-Cola 600.
    Charlotte Helicopters will present the flag, which is 65 feet tall and 123.5 feet long, to honor our country's veterans on this Memorial Day weekend racing celebration. The 8,000-square-foot beauty, which weighs nearly 200 pounds, will be raised and towed by helicopter during pre-race festivities.
    "What better way to show our pride and honor our fallen veterans, then to share this maiden flight with the most patriotic fans in America during NASCAR's homecoming weekend," said Kevin Haynes, a US Army veteran who spent most of 2011 in Afghanistan as a civilian and is also a pilot for Charlotte Helicopters. "I have lifelong friends buried in our national cemeteries. It's a privilege to fly this flag in their honor. We too easily forget that these men and women volunteer to die defending our freedoms. I only wish we could do more to honor them."(CMS)(5-27-2012)

  • Veteran, Nonprofit to be Honored During Coca-Cola 600 Pre-Race Ceremonies: Even after Dale Beatty lost both of his legs in combat, he refused to let his injuries keep him from serving his country. His continued commitment to helping other wounded veterans through Purple Heart Homes brings him to Charlotte Motor Speedway to be recognized with the Stonewall Jackson Award during the Coca-Cola 600 weekend. Beatty and fellow Iraq veteran John Gallina joined the North Carolina National Guard when the two were friends in high school. They were together in Iraq on Nov. 15, 2004, when an antitank mine exploded under their Humvee, sending the vehicle flying nearly 200 feet through the air before coming to rest upside down. Beatty was trapped, his legs crushed by the weight of the vehicle. At Walter Reed Medical Center, doctors amputated his left leg, then gave Beatty the choice of keeping his right leg and facing years of therapy and a lifetime of pain or amputate it as well. Beatty chose amputation. Back home in Statesville, N.C., the community rallied behind their hero, offering to build him a specially-designed home on his family's land. Beatty found solace working alongside other community members and invited Gallina, who suffered a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the attack, to join the effort. When the project was complete, the two realized they still had more to offer and formed Purple Heart Homes, an organization that carries out handicapped access projects for injured veterans. Beatty and Gallina founded Purple Heart Homes, a nonprofit organization made up of volunteers from all walks of life who share the desire to give back to veterans who have given so much of themselves in service to their country. Purple Heart Homes helps disabled veterans who are already homeowners with any remodeling or upfit that may be required to help overcome the challenges that may come from the disability. For veterans who are not homeowners, the program helps them into new or existing homes.
    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. Beatty said he was honored that Purple Heart Homes was being recognized for the work it has done for disabled veterans and being included among such a distinguished list of past recipients. Beatty said the ceremony will be a reunion of sorts for he and Punch, who was honored last year.(CMS)(5-27-2012)

  • Black Daggers to free fall before Coke 600: The U.S. Army Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team, known as the Black Daggers, is scheduled to perform free fall parachute demonstrations during the Coca Cola 600 pre-race festivities Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Black Daggers are volunteers from throughout the Army special operation forces community, including Rangers, Special Forces, support and signal, psychological operations and civil affairs. As Army special operations global warriors, these soldiers have deployed worldwide with their units and are defenders of the nation in the overseas contingency operations. The Black Daggers use the military variant of ram-air parachutes, which allows a free fall parachutist to jump with more than 100 pounds of additional equipment. In addition to the extra weight, the jumper must also withstand high winds, frigid temperatures and low oxygen levels common at high altitude, requiring the jumper to be highly skilled.(CMS Pit Notes)(5-26-2012)

  • Memorial Day Weekend Kicks Off At-track Festivities for "NASCAR Unites - An American Salute": Billed as the world's largest Memorial Day Weekend celebration, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway kicks off the first at-track activation of "NASCAR Unites - An American Salute," a six-week patriotic initiative uniting the NASCAR industry and fans this summer to celebrate America and support U.S. military families. The weekend's festivities include a patriotic pre-race military salute, special USO race invitations and host Lieutenant Colonel Greg Gadson as Honorary Commander.
    To highlight its pride, NASCAR Nation will be covered from head to toe - and from splitter to spoiler - in red, white and blue, starting and ending at two traditionally patriotic summer NASCAR events held at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day Weekend) and Daytona International Speedway (Coke Zero 400 on Independence Day Weekend).
    Teams in all NASCAR series, along with their partners and sponsors, will showcase support for the program in their own individual ways, from displaying the customized logo on their cars and trucks to developing red, white and blue paint schemes. NASCAR has provided specially-designed, patriotic-themed packages that will incorporate the spoiler as well as other common areas of the car.
    In honor of our country's fallen heroes this Memorial Day weekend, NASCAR and the Honor and Remember organization will host several Gold Star families who have each lost loved ones in their service to the United States. NASCAR and The NASCAR Foundation also will host a group of wounded warriors and their families from Ft. Bragg as part of the NASCAR "Troops to the Track" program in partnership with the Armed Forces Foundation. Each of these military families will be welcomed and treated to a VIP NASCAR experience during their visit to Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    Both the NASCAR "Troops to the Track" and Gold Star family programs build on a long, consistent and proud history of supporting men and women in uniform and their families at NASCAR races. The "Troops to the Track" program is a year-long initiative and is scheduled to include military families at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dover International Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Michigan International Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Kentucky Speedway, and Daytona International Speedway.
    While at the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR fans are invited to participate by filling out postcards with messages of encouragement and appreciation to service men and women as well as signing banners and items that will be shipped to troops actively engaged in combat through the USO's USO2GO program. The NASCAR Foundation will designate a space for fan participation at the Sam Bass Gallery on Saturday, May 26th from 10am to 3pm and Sunday, May 27 from 11am to 6pm. Fans may also fill out postcards at-track at the Air Force display and Motorsports Authentic Haulers.
    Other partners and sponsors participating include: Miss Sprint Cup, who will unveil a never-seen-before patriotic-themed fire suit, Nationwide will run a special red, white and blue windshield application for all NASCAR Nationwide Series races from Charlotte to Daytona and Toyota will incorporate red, white and blue logos on their pace cars and driver intro trucks. Miss Coors Light will don a patriotic fire suit. Goodyear will launch their Goodyear 'Gives Back Program Benefitting Support Our Troops' program during the Coke Zero 400. As part of the USO2GO program, partners such as Kraft and Gillette are donating products that will be bundled and delivered to forward deployed troops. K'Nex will donate toys to be packaged with postcards to military children.
    Red, white and blue products will also be provided to NASCAR officials, who will be outfitted in NASCAR pit caps by Motorsports Authentics, specially-themed gloves by Mechanix Wear and lanyards by Wincraft. Fans also can show their American pride by gearing up with NASCAR Unites - An American Salute apparel, which can be purchased via Motorsports Authentics and Americrown at trackside, Walmart and NASCAR.COM Superstore. Other available products include NASCAR Unites - An American Salute die-cast collectibles, headwear, t-shirts, novelties, plush and toys.
    To launch the initiative, the NASCAR Unites - An American Salute paint scheme for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s #88 National Guard Hendrick Motorsports Chevy was revealed on April 9th in the nation's capital for the 134th Annual Easter Egg Roll event at the White House.
    To learn more about the initiative, visit www.NASCAR.com/Unites. Facebook.com/NASCAR will be honoring service members via an "American Hero Salute."(NASCAR)(5-24-2012)

  • Firefighters to be honored at CMS on pole day: LiftMaster, the title sponsor of Thursday's [May 24] LiftMaster Pole Day events, will host members of the Albemarle Fire Department throughout the Coca-Cola 600 weekend. A four-man team from the Albemarle Fire Department won a LiftMaster skills competition, which pitted four area departments against one another in a series of firefighting and NASCAR-related drills, earlier this month.
    In addition, LiftMaster donated more than 4,500 tickets to firefighters from departments across the Charlotte region as a 'thank you' for their service. The company also organized a parade lap featuring different apparatus from departments across the region before the start of qualifying on pole night.(CMS)(5-24-2012)

  • Longtime CMS fans being honored: For the fans being honored this week at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, attending NASCAR races is more than a weekend pastime. It's a lifelong commitment. These fans remember when the speedway entrance was just a field, when drivers picnicked with fans, and when you could take home a used tire as a souvenir. This week, the Charlotte Motor Speedway is celebrating fans who have attended races for at least 50 years, and in some cases since the speedway opened in 1960.
    To honor their loyalty and commitment, Charlotte Motor Speedway created a longtime fan program that rewards the fans that keep coming back to the Greatest Place to See the Race. The nearly 30 fans who have attended races at Charlotte Motor Speedway for 50 years or more will receive a granite plaque with their name and photo and will be honored at a ceremony at 10 am on Saturday, May 26. In addition, they will receive a gold lanyard and photo hard card, a special decal and inclusion on the Charlotte Motor Speedway website, in the souvenir program and on the world's largest HDTV.(Charlotte Observer/CMS)(5-24-2012)

  • Tix for Coke 600 still available: Tickets to the Coca-Cola 600 are still available through the Charlotte Motor Speedway Ticket Office. Fans can get four adult tickets, four Coca-Cola soft drinks and four hotdogs for $39.75 per person. For even more great ticket offers, call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-24-2012)

  • Charlotte Smart Phone App: Just in time for race fans headed to the track for the Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway has launched a new smart phone app for iPhone and Android. Fans can get all the latest news from the track, view maps and schedules and even purchase tickets, all from their smart phones. While they are at the track, fans can also log on to the Charlotte Motor Speedway Facebook and Twitter pages directly from the app.(CMS)(5-24-2012)

  • Mayors, Drivers Show Support For May Race To Education Program: Mayors and communities across the state are gearing up for the 10 greatest days in racing and getting behind their favorite drivers in hopes of winning up to $40,000 to support educational efforts in the region.
    Earlier this month, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Chairman Bruton Smith announced the May Race to Education program, which randomly paired mayors from across the state with drivers who are eligible for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 19. The community that is paired with the winning driver will receive $20,000 in educational grants. Another $20,000 grant will be awarded to the community paired with the winning driver of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 27.
    "The May Race to Education program is exciting on many levels," Smith said. "It gives fans and communities even more reason to tune in to the greatest place to see the race during the next two weeks and get behind their favorite drivers. But, more importantly, the impact of the program goes beyond the races, with funds being used to support educational programs that will have lasting benefits for children."
    Final pairings from the May Race to Education selection event earlier this month are:
    Charlotte: Council member David Howard selected Kyle Busch
    Concord: Mayor Scott Padgett selected Marcos Ambrose
    Gastonia: Mayor John Bridgeman selected Clint Bowyer
    Harrisburg: Mayor Tim Hagler selected David Ragan
    Hickory: Mayor Rudy Wright selected Kurt Busch
    Huntersville: Mayor Jill Swain selected Regan Smith
    Kannapolis: Mayor Pro Tem Gene McCombs selected Jeff Gordon
    Matthews: Mayor Jim Taylor selected Ryan Newman
    Midland: Mayor Kathy Kitts selected Kevin Harvick
    Mooresville: Mayor Miles Atkins selected Denny Hamlin
    Mount Pleasant: Mayor Del Eudy selected Brad Keselowski
    Salisbury: Council member Maggie Blackwell selected Tony Stewart
    Statesville: Mayor Costi Kutteh selected Paul Menard
    Wilmington: Mayor Bill Saffo selected Greg Biffle
    Additional cities that were unable to attend the kickoff event event that were paired with drivers currently locked into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race include:
    Asheville: Matt Kenseth
    Boone: First place winner of the Sprint Showdown
    Durham: Winner of the Sprint Fan Vote
    Fayetteville: Second place finisher in the Sprint Showdown
    Greensboro: Carl Edwards
    Greenville: Jimmie Johnson
    High Point: Kasey Kahne
    Raleigh: Mark Martin
    Winston-Salem: Trevor Bayne
    In addition to being paired with a driver, each community leader was given 50 tickets to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race to be distributed to local teachers and 500 vouchers for children 13 and under to attend additional race week events, including the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 or LiftMaster Pole Night.
    Tickets for both the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600 are still available, with kids tickets starting at just $10. To order tickets, call the Charlotte Motor Speedway Ticket Office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-19-2012)

  • Sam Bass Shows Off Latest Souvenir CMS Program Covers: NASCAR artist Sam Bass has long left his mark on the races at Charlotte Motor Speedway by bringing the covers of the souvenir programs to life with his unique vision and grasp of motorsports. Bass, the official artist of NASCAR, has been designing program covers for Charlotte Motor Speedway since 1985, and was on hand Wednesday to unveil his latest designs. Once again, Bass' covers for both the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race "Throwdown at Charlotte" and the Coca-Cola 600 "Let Freedom Race" programs are a can't-miss keepsake for fans, whether their coming to their very first race or have been longtime fans. For more great ticket offers and promotions for any Charlotte Motor Speedway events, visit charlottemotorspeedway.com or call the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(5-17-2012)

  • Tim McGraw to announce top 10 qualifiers at Coca-Cola 600: Tim McGraw will join a star-studded weekend as he announces the Top 10 qualifying drivers in the 53rd running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 27 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The country superstar will introduce the Top 10 drivers based on qualifying times from LiftMaster Pole Day on May 24. In addition, McGraw, a brand ambassador for Pennzoil, will help shed light on the company's Long Live Cars campaign. As part of the campaign, Pennzoil will donate $100,000 over the next two years to Paralyzed Veterans of America's Mission: ABLE, which retrofits vehicles for handicapped veterans. It is a mission that closely aligns with Charlotte Motor Speedway's Let Freedom Race theme throughout the Coca-Cola 600 race weekend. Fans can show their support for military service men and women throughout the Coca-Cola 600 Let Freedom Race weekend, with weekend packages starting at just $99. To purchase tickets, contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway Ticket Office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or log on to www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-12-2012)

  • Albemarle Fire Dept wins LiftMaster Skills Competition at CMS: Charlotte-area fire departments went head-to-head in the LiftMaster Skills Competition at Charlotte Motor Speedway Tuesday, May 8th, battling for bragging rights and a garage door system overhaul for their department as part of an event highlighting similarities between firefighting and motorsports. Four-man teams from Charlotte, Kannapolis, Albemarle and Mt. Holly fire departments competed in two timed skills competitions - a 75-foot aerial climb in full turnout gear and a 150-foot hose drag - as NASCAR motorsports analyst Jeff Hammond emceed the day's event. After the timed competitions, teams went head-to-head in two elimination rounds, executing NASCAR pit stops with instruction from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray and his Earnhardt Ganassi Racing pit crew. In the final elimination round, the Albemarle Fire Department completed its pit stop one second faster than second-place Kannapolis, to win the inaugural LiftMaster Skills Challenge. LiftMaster also invited the winning team to watch the Coca-Cola 600 on May 27 in the LiftMaster suite and announced that McMurray, who drives the #1 LiftMaster Chevy, and his pit crew will wear the winning team's firehouse number and logo on their helmets during the race. Also during the event, LiftMaster announced plans to recognize firefighters across the Charlotte region during LiftMaster Pole Day on Thursday, May 24 [7:00pm/et], with a special parade lap showcasing some of the departments' finest trucks. In addition, more than 4,500 regional firefighters will be given complimentary tickets to Pole Day. Tickets are still available for all the races at CMS including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 19 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 27. To purchase tickets, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or call 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(5-12-2012)

  • Race officials for Coca-Cola 600 named: One governor and one governor-hopeful, a military hero and a Hollywood star will be on hand for the nation's largest Memorial Day celebration as they serve as race officials for the 2012 Coca-Cola 600. West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin will be Grand Marshal, North Carolina Gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory will serve as Honorary Starter, Col. Gregory Gadson will give the race command, and Battleship star and Charlotte native Brooklyn Decker will be Honorary Race Director for the 53rd running of NASCAR's only 600-mile race at the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 27. As race officials, Tomblin and McCrory will be honored at a pre-race event, attend the official drivers meeting, address the crowd of 140,000 fans, participate in the pre-race spectacular and present the trophy to the winning driver in Victory Lane. As Grand Marshal, Governor Tomblin will lead off the pack of drivers in the official pace car, while governor-hopeful McCrory will wave the green flag over the 43-car field to start NASCAR's most challenging race. As Honorary Race Commander, Col. Gadson will give the command "gentleman start your engines" and as Honoray Race Director, Miss Decker, will ride in an official pace car. 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 pre-race show will include military musical performances by the 2nd Division Marine Band from Camp Lejeune and 82nd Airborne Chorus, plus a rendition of Amazing Grace by the Charlotte Fire Department Pipe Band. Courtesy of LongHorn Steakhouse, country music superstar Darius Rucker will perform a 45-minute pre-race show concert and the national anthem. Six hundred soldiers from Fort Bragg will participate in ground activities during pre-race ceremonies while the U.S. Army Black Daggers parachute team will descend from the skies. The show will also include a 21-gun salute by the Fort Bragg Firing Squad, a flyover by a B-52 Bomber from Barksdale Air Force Base and a duel burnout on pit road by 8,000 horsepower, Army sponsored NHRA top fuel dragsters driven by Tony Schumacher and Antron Brown.(CMS)(5-11-2012)

  • Wheeler, Smith dispute idea of lights at Charlotte: Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith and ex-employee associate H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler are at war again. When Charlotte Motor Speedway sent out a press release on Tuesday promoting the 20th anniversary of the first race under the lights at a superspeedway and called it Smith's idea, his former president and general manager of CMS responded strongly. Wheeler said the idea to install lights at CMS for the 1992 All-Star race was his idea and his alone. "I usually let Bruton spiel on, but this one got me," Wheeler said. "He would take credit for the sun and moon if he could!" In fairness to Smith, he didn't write the press release or suggest that he be given credit in it. But when asked who came up with the idea for lights at CMS and what he thought of Wheeler's comments, he didn't smooth the waters. "I'm not going to comment on anything about him at all," Smith said. "I don't pay attention to what he [Wheeler] thinks. He's a former employee. I can't possibly think about anything about him, period." Wheeler and Smith have been at odds since Wheeler claimed Smith pushed him out of his job earlier than he wanted in 2008 after a 33-year relationship.(ESPN)(5-6-2012

  • Charlotte names race officials: Every celebration needs an emcee, so it stands to reason that Charlotte Motor Speedway will need two for the 10 greatest days of racing, May 18-27, which includes the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the 53rd running of the Coca-Cola 600. Two personalities from the Charlotte air-waves will serve as the speedway's ambassadors of fun beginning May 1 and lasting through the final lap of NASCAR's greatest test of man and machine, the Coca-Cola 600 on May 27. Fox Charlotte's Jon Wilson, of the famed "Wilson's World" segments on the popular Fox News Rising morning show, has been named Master of Ceremonies and he will serve alongside former Miss Sprint Cup and current radio personality on The Ace & TJ Show, Monica Palumbo, who has been named Mistress of Ceremonies for the 10 greatest days of racing. The fun at Charlotte Motor Speedway begins on Friday, May 18 with the N.C. Education Lottery 200 and qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and lasts through the 53rd running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 27.(CMS)(4-25-2012)

  • Two motorcyclist die on track at Charlotte: Two people died after their motorcycles collided at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Saturday. A third person was injured in the accident. Officials said 66-year-old Alan Richard Mockus and 71-year-old Thomas Franklin Hollingsworth were killed in the accident. Deborah Lynn Mockus, 56, is still in the hospital, officials said. Witnesses said the two men were not following the track rules laid out by the organizers of Saturday's Vietnam Veterans celebration. The victims were seen riding at excess of 70 mph. Their bikes were traveling at the top of track, from opposite directions and collided head on when both drivers attempted to come down to avoid each other. Both drivers were killed and a female passenger on one of the bikes was taken to the hospital with major injuries. The crash happened right after a "Homecoming for Vietnam Veterans" event at the speedway. The bikers apparently joined in on the procession independently and were not affiliated with a veteran's bike group. Larger groups, like Rolling Thunder and the Patriot Guard, said they sent out emails to all members telling them not to ride above the white line on the track and to maintain speeds below 35 mph.(WSOCtv.com)(4-2-2012)

  • Papa John's Pizza party ticket package at Charlotte: Race fans who love pizza will get a double treat as Papa John's is offering a VIP experience with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the Coca-Cola 600, on May 27, with the Papa John's Pizza Party at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Papa John's pizza boxes throughout the Carolinas and Virginia will include an offer for a pizza party race package for $99. With the package, up to 1,000 fans will get a frontstretch ticket for the May 27 Coca-Cola 600 and exclusive access to a VIP party that includes appearances by the two Hendrick Motorsports drivers. At the party, fans will also be treated to two slices of Papa John's pizza, beverages and a goody bag with gifts from Papa John's and Charlotte Motor Speedway. The promotion will run through late April or while supplies last. To get the ticket package for the Papa John's Pizza Party at the Coca-Cola 600, order from Papa John's or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/papajohnsparty.(CMS)(4-1-2012)

  • CMS to build six mini-suites overlooking pit road: Speedway Motorsports Inc. officials will announce today the construction of six mini-suites overlooking pit road at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The 15-person outdoor suites, built about 11 feet above the NASCAR pit crew boxes, will be at the center of pit road, on the track's "50-yard line," according to CMS Senior VP/Sales & Marketing Dan Farrell. The suites with roof cover are tied to three-year deals at a cost of $45,000 annually. In return, suite holders will receive 15 tickets to eight NASCAR events every year. Catering provided by track concessionaire Levy Restaurants is a separate fee. To date, SMI has sold four of the six suites, including three to JR Motorsports, UPS and 3M. SMI has a contract pending for a fourth pit road suite and track officials are confident the remaining two units will be sold by May 19, the date of the Sprint All-Star Race, Farrell said. As part of the pit road suite package, suite holders get exclusive access to the new Winners Circle Lounge behind the structure. The lounge, formerly the Sunoco Gas Station, will have a bar, a meeting room, televisions and restrooms.(SceneDaily / Sports Business Daily)(3-23-2012)

  • Judge dismisses CMS's lawsuit: After more than four years of wrangling and deal-making, a Superior Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Cabarrus County by Bruton Smith, owner of Charlotte Motor Speedway. Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin dismissed the lawsuit over development incentives Smith says he is owed. Speedway representatives have 30 days to file an appeal and say they are considering whether to do so. The dismissal March 9 comes more than five years after speedway owner Bruton Smith threatened to move Charlotte Motor Speedway out of the area. That threat came after Concord's City Council declined to approve Smith's plans for a drag strip across U.S. 29 from the main track, citing neighbors' concerns about noise. Smith's threat prompted city, county, tourism and other leaders to try many ways of courting Smith to keep him from moving the speedway. City and county leaders went on to forge an $80 million incentives package and offer it to Smith in late 2007. As part of that deal, Smith would build the $60 million drag strip and make $200 million worth of improvements around the track. Part of the disagreement centers on how much of the $80 million the city agreed to provide out of its own budget. Smith filed the suit in Cabarrus County Superior Court in September 2009, seeking $4 million in compensation from the city and county for roadwork and other improvements around the speedway and zMax Dragway. The suit was dropped in hopes that the parties might come to an out-of-court agreement, but it was re-filed May 27, 2011. Jared Gardner, an attorney with James, McElroy & Diehl in Charlotte, which is representing Smith, said appealing the dismissal is among the options attorneys, Smith and the speedway are considering.(more at Charlotte Observer)(3-20-2012)

  • Veterans get free tickets for Vietnam homecoming at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Only about 4,000 free tickets remain for the Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration at Charlotte Motor Speedway on March 31. "We'll always have tickets for the veterans," said Ginny McCabe, a spokeswoman for the USO-NC. Entertainment will include the Charlie Daniels Band and George Clinton. The celebration will honor the more than 216,000 North Carolina residents who served in Vietnam. About 1,600 died in the war. The USO of North Carolina and Charlotte Motor Speedway are sponsoring it. Veterans service organizations will be available at the speedway to assist veterans, who should bring their discharge paperwork. The ticket limit is two per person. Even after the allotment has been filled, veterans can reserve tickets by calling 800-455-FANS (3267) and showing their DD214 card or other military ID when picking up the tickets at the will-call window on the day of the celebration.(Fayetteville Observer)(3-20-2012)

  • "Pawn Stars" to Serve as Grand Marshals for Nationwide race at Charlotte: Stars from HISTORY's hit television series "Pawn Stars" are making plans to travel east to visit the heart of motorsports country for the May 26 HISTORY 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Las Vegas-based reality show cast of Richard Harrison (aka Old Man), Rick Harrison, Corey Harrison and Chumlee will add to the Coca-Cola 600 weekend excitement by serving as grand marshals of the HISTORY 300. As part of a promotion with Coca-Cola, two lucky fans will be selected to watch the HISTORY 300 with the TV stars. "Pawn Stars" follows three generations of the Harrison family, who own and operate Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. The series debuted in 2009 and became the network's highest rated show and the No. 2 reality show on TV, trailing only "Jersey Shore." Following the show's success, HISTORY picked up two spinoff series, "American Restoration" and "Cajun Pawn Stars."(CMS)(3-11-2012)

  • Charlotte adds Global Rallycross to Coke 600 weekend: Charlotte Motor Speedway has added even more excitement to the 10 greatest days in racing with the addition of a Global Rallycross Championship (GRC) event during the Coca-Cola 600 weekend. GRC combines the energy of motorsport with the attitude of action sport, and showcases well-known X Games stars like Travis Pastrana, Dave Mirra and Tanner Foust driving 600-horsepower compact cars through a series of tight turns and over high-action jumps. Drivers advance through a series of timed heats to a final winner-take-all race. The event at Charlotte Motor Speedway is part of a new relationship between Global Rallycross Championship and Speedway Motorsports, Inc. that will bring rallycross events to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and IZOD IndyCar race weekends at select venues throughout the 2012 season. This year's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway will follow the NASCAR Nationwide Series HISTORY 300 on Saturday, May 26. All HISTORY 300 ticketholders will be granted admission to the GRC event. The competitor pit area will be open before and after the race to give fans an up-close look at the high-performance rallycross cars.(CMS)(3-10-2012)

  • Charlotte starts first time fan program: Starting with the April 13-15 NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway and continuing through the May 19 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and May 27 Coca-Cola 600, first time fans will receive a special welcome kit designed to ensure they have the best experience possible at their first Charlotte Motor Speedway event. First time fans will also receive direct communication with tips from racing insiders, speedway staff and other race fans to help them make the most of their race-day experience. First time fans will receive an invitation to a Racing 101 seminar on the event day that provides additional information and the opportunity to ask questions directly of speedway staff. In addition, first time fans will have access to a special concierge who is able to answer questions and provide additional guidance for the fan with limited NASCAR or NHRA experience. Every first time fan welcome package includes a lanyard, hard card, decal, DVD, Fan Guide to Fun, special values, area information and more. New fans are automatically enrolled in the program when they purchase tickets.(CMS)(2-5-2012)

  • Blake Shelton to Perform Pre-Race Concert at All-Star Race: Blake Shelton, three-time Grammy nominee, CMA's reigning Male Vocalist of the Year and a coach on NBC's "The Voice," will perform a pre-race concert for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, May 19, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Presented by Target, the concert will take place in the infield between Turns 1 and 2. Admission to the show is free with the purchase of a ticket to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Fans can purchase a special Golden Ticket upgrade for just $20 to secure a prime location with special access to a reserved area directly in front of the stage. Charlotte Motor Speedway Season Ticket holders will have first opportunity to purchase the upgrade before it opens to the public on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at noon. Approximately 2,000 Golden Tickets are available and can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). In February, Shelton will perform a duet of "America the Beautiful" with his wife, Grammy award-winning artist, Miranda Lambert, at Super Bowl XLVI.(CMS)(1-25-2012)

  • NASCAR Sprint Media Tour this week: More than 230 motorsports journalists from around the globe will descend upon the heart of NASCAR country on Monday for the 30th annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. What started as a 1983 "experiment" with a handful of media that struggled to fill one charter bus, the four-day Tour has evolved into the nation's premier preseason media event in professional sports. "The NASCAR Sprint Media Tour is four days of non-stop news and a great way for fans to hear the latest about their favorite teams just a few weeks before the start of the season," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "It's the Tour's 30th year and it's stronger than ever, with a record number of media coming to this year's event that features more than 20 stops throughout the four days. We're excited to host to such a fantastic and meaningful event." More than 20 stops will keep the participating media busy over the four-day tour including visits to Hendrick Motorsports, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Stewart-Haas Racing, plus Joe Gibbs Racing and Roush-Fenway Racing are among the many teams that will also be making announcements.(CMS)(1-23-2012)

  • Army Veteran to Star in Sprint All-Star Race Commercial: For former drill sergeant and United States Army all-star, Derek Heavener, of Huntington, W. Va., the dream of being a NASCAR All-Star has come true thanks to Charlotte Motor Speedway. Heavener, who wrote an essay detailing why he should be considered for the "Be an All-Star" Facebook contest, was selected as the grand prize winner from more than 500 entries. "I've served my country honorably in the United States Army for 19 years. I've been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo and have stood shoulder to shoulder with some of the greatest all-stars of our time; the American soldier," wrote Heavener. Heavener won two tickets to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 19, pre-race pit passes, VIP parking for the race and a role in Charlotte Motor Speedway's 2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race commercial. He will join NASCAR stars Mark Martin, Paul Menard, Junior Johnson and the 2011 NASCAR Sprint All-Star race winner Carl Edwards on the set for a behind-the-scenes look at one of NASCAR's most creative commercials, shot in a replica Wild West town. 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, SPEED TV personality Jeff Hammond and NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip also will star in the commercial.(CMS)(1-21-2012)

  • Charlotte Season Ticket Package Offers Fans Unmatched Value: Charlotte Motor Speedway is launching its new NASCAR season ticket package for 2012 and fans who attend the NASCAR Preview 2012 Presented by Sprint in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday, Jan. 21, will have the first opportunity to purchase the new package and learn more about the speedway's 2012 fan amenities. The Charlotte Motor Speedway Season Ticket saves fans 15 percent on their favorite reserved seat to three spectacular NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at the speedway: the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, the Coca-Cola 600 and the Bank of America 500. Each season ticket also includes a trial membership to The Speedway Club and one free pit pass per account to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 19. New for 2012, with each season ticket purchase fans will be automatically eligible for a chance to compete to win a 2012 Toyota Tundra, Highlander, Camry or Sienna minivan. The competition will take place on the infield grass during pre-race ceremonies for the May 27 Coca-Cola 600. For each dollar spent on season tickets, fans will receive one entry into the contest, which runs Jan. 21 through April 27. Also new for 2012, fans will receive a 1:24 scale collector diecast car of their favorite driver with the purchase of two Charlotte Motor Speedway Season Tickets, while supplies last. Season ticket holders receive access to exclusive events at Charlotte Motor Speedway, including press conferences and meet and greets with NASCAR personalities. The Charlotte Motor Speedway Season Ticket package offers more than $1,500 in benefits and includes:
    • One free pit pass to the May 19 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
    • One free ticket to the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on May 18, the May 24 LiftMaster Pole Night qualifying session for the Coca-Cola 600 and the Oct. 12 Dollar General 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
    • A six month Speedway Club trial social membership.
    • Savings of 15% on tickets to all three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races when seats for all three races are purchased.
    • A 35% savings on additional pit passes and driver intro passes.
    • A 10% discount on souvenirs at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Gift Shop on the second floor of Smith Tower.
    • A 10% discount on NASCAR Hall of Fame entry and souvenirs and a 40 percent discount on NASCAR Hall of Fame simulator rides.
    • VIP parking in a reserved lot for race weekends.
    • A personalized seat plaque when the same seat is purchased for all three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events.
    • A limited edition lanyard and personalized identification hard card.
    For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or call 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(1-18-2012)

  • Bruton Smith Honored at 2012 North Carolina Motorsports Industry Awards: Bruton Smith, founder and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., was honored Monday evening with the 2012 Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award from the North Carolina Motorsports Association. The honor was given to Smith before a large crowd of motorsports industry professionals at the 6th Annual North Carolina Motorsports Industry Awards presented by Senn Dunn Insurance at the Embassy Suites and Convention Center in Concord. Smith joins previous Tribute Award recipients Bill France Jr., Benny Parsons, Richard Petty, Richard Childress, Dale Earnhardt Sr., and Junior Johnson.
    David Poole, longtime Charlotte Observer motorsports writer, was honored (posthumously) with the Media Recognition Award. The award was accepted by Poole's widow Katy [Poole] and Mike Persinger, Executive Sports Editor for the Charlotte Observer.
    In addition, seven industry companies were awarded for their 2011 accomplishments and positive impacts to the Motorsports Industry:
    • Bruton Smith, Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award
    • David Poole, Media Recognition Award
    • G-Force Racing Gear
    • Industrial Hard Carbon
    • JRi Shocks
    • Lake Norman Elementary School Pit Crew
    • NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
    • Racing Electronics
    • Richmond County Tourism Authority
    (NCMA))(1-18-2012)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway to get 500-kw solar project: A Banner Elk solar developer plans to build a 500-kilowatt installation at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Eagle Electron Power Partners filed notice Wednesday [Dec 27th] with the N.C. Utilities Commission for a $2.9 million project that is expected to be operational in August. The power will be sold to Duke Energy . The renewable energy credits for the energy produced will also be sold, but the filing does not specify a buyer. The project will not be the first solar installation the speedway's parent, Speedway Motorsports Inc. In June, Panasonic Corp. of North America completed a 350-kilowatt project at Speedway's Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA. In Charlotte, Speedway has worked out a 20-year agreement with Eagle Electron for the installation, operation and maintenance of the solar project. There are options for renewals after that. The project will be ground-mounted and consist of more than 2,000 solar panels, each rated at 240 watts. It is expected to produce about 813,240 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. Eagle Electron has yet to get a building permit for the project, according to the filing. The Banner Elk company has created a separate limited liability company, Charlotte Motor Speedway Solar Plant, to own and operate the project.(Charlotte Business Journal)(1-3-2012)

  • Belk Bowl players lap Charlotte Motor Speedway: Football players from N.C. State and Louisville got a taste of the difference on Friday as members of both teams took turns taking mock qualifying runs around Charlotte Motor Speedway in cars provided by the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Friday's laps, pit stop practice and racing video games were the first of several activities for N.C. State and Louisville, which meet in the Belk Bowl on Tuesday night at Bank of America Stadium [in Charlotte NC]. Both teams practiced Friday at Charlotte area high schools. Head coaches and some players from each team will visit Levin Children's Hospital on Saturday morning to meet with sick children and spread some holiday cheer. For many players, the visit to CMS was their first up-close experience with NASCAR. Belk Bowl officials said as of Friday afternoon approximately 58,000 tickets had been sold for Tuesday night's game. The game is on track to be the highest attended non-sellout (the game sold out in 2002, 2004 and 2008). N.C. State has sold approximately 24,000 tickets to the game through the school.(Charlotte Observer)(12-24-2011)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Ticket Office Salesperson of the Year: Concord, N.C., resident, Jenni Bowden was named 2011 Salesperson of the Year in an awards ceremony that recognized sales representatives for their achievements in the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office. Bowden, a San Jose, Calif., native, has served in numerous positions at the speedway since getting her start in the ticket office in 1993. In her current position as Speedway Club sales account executive, Bowden sells Speedway Club memberships, as well as servicing current Speedway Club members with their ticket requests. As 2011 Salesperson of the Year, Bowden has earned a monetary prize, a trophy and a vacation package for two. The winner of the Salesperson of the Year Award was determined by a points system that awards employees for their ticket sales each month. At the end of the year, the points are added up and the individual with the highest total in each category wins the award.
    Six other ticket office sales representatives received awards for their efforts in 2011. Amy Drake was named the Ticket Operations Employee of the Year. The Concord, N.C., native, has worked in the ticket office for 13 years and is currently the director of ticket operations.
    The award for the Most Speedway Club Membership Sales went to Tabitha Bowden. A West Brookfield, Mass., native, Bowden got her start at the speedway in 2004 working in the Speedway Club.
    The award for Most Up-Sells went to Kannapolis, N.C., resident, Jamie Johnson, who has been working at the speedway since 2008. The award recognizes the individual responsible for selling the most race day experience upgrades including pit passes, hospitality packages, driver introduction passes and more.
    Charlotte, N.C., native, Angela Crisco was awarded the trophy for Most Outbound Call Dollars, which awards the individual who brought in the most money from outbound call sales. Crisco started working for the speedway in 1992 in the guest services and logistics department and has been working for the ticket services department for the past 13 years.
    Ashley Helms, of Monroe, N.C., took home the award for Most Outbound Calls, which involves calling customers on behalf of Charlotte Motor Speedway. Helms has been with the speedway since 2007.
    The Most Part-Time Outbound Call Dollars award went to Clarksville, Md., native, Bradley Carpenter. Carpenter started working part-time at the speedway in 2010 while he attends Belmont Abbey College as a motorsports management major.
    Fans interested in purchasing tickets for 2012 events at Charlotte Motor Speedway can visit the award winners or any of the ticket office sales representatives located on the second floor of Smith Tower. Tickets are also available by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or by going online to charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(12-24-2011)

  • CMS and USO of NC to Host Inaugural Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration: More than 216,000 North Carolina residents served in Vietnam, and some 1,600 made the ultimate sacrifice in that war. Now, the USO of North Carolina and Charlotte Motor Speedway, with support from the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters, will honor their service with an incredible Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration for the military members and their friends and families at the Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday, December 15, at 11 am. Vietnam veterans never received the type of homecoming celebration that today's troops receive as they return from service. To honor those who served and the military members who returned from combat, the USO of North Carolina is holding a long, overdue homecoming celebration. Hosted by the USO of North Carolina and Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration 2012 is set to be an unforgettable experience featuring live entertainment, displays and demonstrations, military salutes, and much more!
    Mr. David Kennerly, Pulitzer Prize Winning Vietnam Combat Photographer
    Lt. Gen. Tom Waskow, Air Force, (Retired), Forward Air Controller, Republic of Vietnam
    Col. Quincy Collins, Air Force, (Retired), Vietnam POW
    Col. Charles Williams, U.S. Army, (Retired), Artillery Battery Commander and
    Battalion Operations officer, 101st Airborne Division, Republic of Vietnam
    Lt. Col. John Falkenbury, U.S. Army (Retired), President, USO of North Carolina
    Danny Highsmith, President, North Carolina Association of Broadcasters
    (VMG PR)(12-15-2011)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Looking for 2012 Fan Council Members: Are you passionate about Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMAX Dragway and The Dirt Track at Charlotte? Let your voice be heard! The speedway is now accepting applications for the Charlotte Motor Speedway Fan Council. The Fan Council is used to gather feedback from a cross-section of fans to determine changes that need to be implemented to improve the fan experience at the speedway, drag strip and dirt track. Throughout the year, members of the Fan Council join speedway management for conference calls, participate in surveys after events, attend meetings at the speedway during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NHRA event weekends and participate in online fan forums. Those interested can download the application at charlottemotorspeedway.com/fans/fancouncil/. Applications are due Dec. 31.(CMS)(11-30-2011)

  • Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out Sale at Charlotte Motor Speedway: NASCAR enthusiasts and holiday shoppers will have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams of driving around Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out on Friday, Nov. 25 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm/et. Shoppers who spend $50 or more on merchandise or race tickets, or donate $25 to Speedway Children's Charities during the annual day-after-Thanksgiving event, will be allowed to drive their personal vehicle for three laps around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway. During the Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out, Charlotte Motor Speedway will offer a full line of NASCAR memorabilia and apparel at reduced prices with many items selling for only $1. A wide variety of hats and t-shirts will be available starting at just $3. In addition, more than a dozen NASCAR souvenir rigs are expected to be on hand, offering driver and team merchandise at drastically reduced prices. Information concerning the annual Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out can be obtained by contacting the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(11-21-2011)

  • Carolina Christmas and the Boulevard of Lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Carolina Christmas is returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway and the spectacular holiday light show will be even bigger and better in its second year, with an expanded route of nearly five miles, more than 3 million lights and double the drive-the-track experience. Last year's inaugural Carolina Christmas drew thousands from across the state and beyond. This year, the region's largest holiday light show, running nightly from Nov. 23 - Dec. 31, will offer more holiday excitement for all visitors.
    Even before visitors enter Carolina Christmas at a new, more convenient entrance at zMAX Dragway, they'll get into the holiday spirit as they drive down a glittering new Boulevard of Lights from Exit 49 at Interstate 85. The Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CCCVB ) and 12 area hotels will decorate Bruton Smith Boulevard and Concord Mills Boulevard with nearly three miles of twinkling lights and more than 140 light pole Christmas decorations.
    Carolina Christmas opens at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday night, Nov. 23, and runs nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. through New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, excluding Christmas Day, Dec. 25. The attraction will feature more than 600 different holiday LED light displays along the 4.5-mile drive-through course, which includes a one-mile cruise around the high-banks of the legendary track.
    Admission to Carolina Christmas is $20 per car, van or SUV, which includes admission for up to eight people. Group rates for tour buses and corporate sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, visit www.visitcarolinachristmas.com or call 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(11-13-2011)

  • Jacquelyn Butler Wins Inaugural Better Half Dash: Jacquelyn Butler has spent five years watching her boyfriend NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan race, so it should come as no surprise that she was the class of the field Saturday afternoon at Charlotte Motor Speedway, claiming the historic title of inaugural Better Half Dash Champion. Trisha Mears finished second, Ashley Allgaier third, Patricia Driscoll fourth and SPEED TV personality Wendy Venturini fifth. Allgaier, wife of NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Justin Allgaier, started inside row two, took the lead at the start of the race and led 17 laps, more than any other driver. As the laps ticked off, she slipped back in the field. Butler saw Allgaier start to slip and took advantage. With eight laps to go, Butler inched closer and closer until she slipped underneath Allgaier at the exit of Turn 2.
    Better Half Dash Finishing Order
    1. Jacquelyn Butler (David Ragan)
    2. Trisha Mears (Casey Mears)
    3. Ashley Allgaier (Justin Allgaier)
    4. Patricia Driscoll (Kurt Busch)
    5. Wendy Venturini (Speed Network)
    6. Beth Baldwin (Tommy Baldwin)
    7. Sabrina Simpson (Joey Logano)
    8. Jami McDowell (Michael McDowell)
    9. Michelle Gilliland (David Gilliland)
    10. Kristen Yeley (J.J. Yeley)
    11. Nan Zipadelli (Greg Zipadelli)
    12. Angie Skinner (Mike Skinner)
    13. Shannon Koch (Blake Koch)
    14. Melanie Self (Motor Racing Outreach)
    (Charlotte Motor Speedway)(10-15-2011)

  • North Carolina's Oldest Breast Cancer Survivor Named Honorary Race Director For Dollar General 300: One day before her 102nd birthday, North Carolina's oldest-living breast cancer survivor, Nannie Sue Neal from Waxhaw, N.C., will serve as the Honorary Race Director for the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, Oct. 14. In conjunction with October's recognition as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dollar General, Speedway Children's Charities and Susan G. Komen for the Cure are working together to increase awareness and raise funds for breast cancer research with programs surrounding the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage. In her role as Honorary Race Director, Neal will attend the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage driver's meeting, meet with media, be introduced on the pre-race stage during opening ceremonies and take a pace car lap on the legendary superspeedway with the Grand Marshals. Born in 1909, in Madison, N.C., Neal will celebrate her 102nd birthday on Oct. 15. She has been recognized by the American Cancer Society as the oldest living breast cancer survivor in North Carolina. Neal is a 57-year survivor of the breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 1954. While she underwent treatment, Neal's daughter, Betty Mae, cared for her before leaving for college that fall.(CMS)(10-13-2011)

  • Charlotte to recognize 50-year fans: Twenty-nine of Charlotte Motor Speedway's biggest fans who have been coming to events at the track for half a century will be recognized during pre-race ceremonies for the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 15. Eight of these fans will be on hand at the speedway and will be recognized on the pre-race stage and all 29 fans will be recognized on the world's largest HDTV before the green flag flies for the only night race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Fans in attendance will include Harold Barnhardt from Lexington, N.C.; Thomas Connor from Shelby, N.C.; Ted Hall from Charlotte, N.C.; Tommy Helms from Rock Hill, S.C.; Robert Misenheimer from Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Ron Pender from Cary, N.C.; Riley Rau from Woodstock, Va., and Ray Warren from North Wilkesboro, N.C. Each of the 29 50-Year fans has been attending races at Charlotte Motor Speedway since 1960, when the first World 600, now Coca-Cola 600, was run at the legendary superspeedway. In addition to participating in the pre-race festivities, each of the 50-Year fans will receive an official 50-Year Fan credential and commemorative lanyard. The 50-Year fan acknowledgement is part of a new initiative by Charlotte Motor Speedway to recognize and reward repeat fans.(CMS)(10-12-2011)

  • Blind man drives around Charlotte Motor Speedway: Ronnie Presnell crossed an item off his bucket list Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway as the retired Mecklenburg County sheriff's deputy, who lost his sight in 1998, took a spin around CMS in his restored 1968 Chevrolet Camaro. The 62-year-old Presnell received a bit of coaching during his cruise around the track from NASCAR driver and SPEED TV personality Kenny Wallace, who rode with Presnell and instructed him when to turn left or right. In 1998, a car accident left Presnell in a coma for six weeks. His injuries were so severe that he needed reconstructive surgery on his face and he permanently lost his eyesight. After he returned home from the hospital, he told his wife that he needed a project to work on. Presnell began restoring a 1968 Camaro, complete with 327 high-performance engine and Viper Red Metal Flake paint job, with the hopes of one day driving it around Charlotte Motor Speedway. Presnell's ride around the track was the first time he had been behind the wheel of a street car since his accident. However, throughout his life Presnell, who lives in Mooresville, N.C., has spent plenty of time behind the wheel. He has racing in his blood, having competed in the Limited Sportsman division on local dirt tracks and at Metrolina Speedway in the Hobby division, on the same nights as NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. Presnell even won a race at Metrolina Speedway on the night before his accident. He built his own race cars and did all of the engine work himself. Though he joked that he wanted to "turn a lap fast enough to qualify for the Bank of America 500" on Oct. 15, Presnell and Wallace cruised around the track between 20 and 25 miles per hour. Presnell thanked Wallace for his help, but also joked that while the Camaro was handling well, he started to have concerns about his co-pilot. Following the ride in the Camaro, Presnell and Wallace swapped seats and Wallace gave Presnell a full-speed ride around Charlotte Motor Speedway in a Richard Petty Driving Experience stock car. Tickets for all October 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(10-6-2011)

  • Sara Evans prerace concert at Charlotte: Multi-platinum recording artist and country music superstar Sara Evans will perform a pre-race concert for the 2011 Bank of America 500, Oct. 15, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The concert will begin around 5:30 p.m. on the speedway's frontstretch and will be part of the spectacular Bank of America 500 pre-race show. Fans can get the best views near the front of the stage for the Sara Evans concert with the purchase of a Bank of America 500 driver intro pass. This limited issue pass allows fans to tour the pit area, take pictures on pit road and be front and center at the driver introduction and concert stage. Fans can also purchase the NASCAR Country Two Pack, with two frontstretch tickets to the Bank of America 500 and the best views of the Sara Evans concert, being broadcast on the world's largest HDTV, for just $99. All NASCAR Country Two Pack buyers are automatically entered in a drawing to win a VIP meet and greet with Evans on race day.(CMS)(9-27-2011)

  • OktoberFast Fan Festival offers fans a lot during Bank of America 500 week: Incredible racing, driver appearances and autograph sessions, fun games, dynamite music and great food await fans during the fall's biggest racing festival on the planet, the OktoberFast Fan Festival Presented by Budweiser, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. OktoberFast is highlighted by four nights of intense racing action at Charlotte Motor Speedway and The Dirt Track at Charlotte during Bank of America 500 Week. The lineup includes the World of Outlaws Late Model Showdown on Oct. 12, Bojangles' Pole Night and the UNOH Southern Slam 150 on Oct. 13, the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage on Oct. 14 and the only prime time night race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the Bank of America 500, on Saturday, Oct. 15. Fans who purchase an OktoberFast party package will get the opportunity to meet NASCAR personalities and share a few drinks, brats and live music with fellow race fans. The Bank of America 500 single-day OktoberFast party package costs just $59 and includes:
    " A Q-and-A session with NASCAR star Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and winner of the 2011 Coca-Cola 600.
    " A variety of authentic Oktoberfest food and drinks, including vouchers for three beers or sodas, a sausage and a pretzel.
    " A limited-edition OktoberFast lanyard and credential.
    " Access to a special OktoberFast party area on Saturday with an Oktoberfest-themed pre-race festival of live music, games and giveaways.
    " An appearance by nationally-syndicated radio show hosts John Boy & Billy.
    An OktoberFast three-day pass is available for just $99, which includes access to a special OktoberFast area on Friday and Saturday of Bank of America 500 Week. The first 600 fans who purchase the three-day pass gain access to a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver autograph session on Thursday, Oct. 13. Drivers will include Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray, Juan Pablo Montoya, A.J. Allmendinger, Casey Mears, Robby Gordon and Joe Nemechek.
    Just 600 three-day OktoberFast passes are available and must be accompanied with race tickets for each day. Each three-day package comes with one pass for entry in the Thursday NASCAR Sprint Cup driver autograph session. Fans will receive two driver autographs per person as determined by a lottery the morning of the event. Driver participation and number of autographs is subject to change and without notice. Neither NASCAR, Inc., nor any of its affiliates are sponsors of this promotion.
    A Bank of America 500 race ticket must be purchased separately in order to purchase either OktoberFast party package. Individual Bank of America 500 tickets start at just $49. For full OktoberFast package details, visit charlottemotorspeedway.com/oktoberfast. Tickets for all October 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)(9-12-2011)

  • Parade of Power at Charlotte Motor Speedway - Tuesday: NASCAR young guns Trevor Bayne, David Ragan, Reed Sorenson and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., will join NHRA veterans Doug Foley, Doug Herbert and Matt and Angie Smith, as Charlotte Motor Speedway kicks off its Fall Season of Speed with a Parade of Power at noon on Tuesday, Aug. 9, on Bruton Smith Boulevard. Vehicles representing every form of motorsports that will compete this fall at Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMAX Dragway and The Dirt Track at Charlotte will parade from Concord Mills Mall to the speedway's Avenue of Flags on Bruton Smith Boulevard. Following the parade, drivers and Charlotte Motor Speedway officials will hold a press conference and fan forum to discuss activities surrounding the speedway's Fall Season of Speed. More info at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(8-9-2011)

  • Avett Brothers concert to be Simulcast Live on HDTV at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Charlotte Motor Speedway will add another fabulous first to its legacy on July 9 when the world's largest HDTV airs a live simulcast concert by American Recordings artists, the Avett Brothers, from the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO. The simulcast will give local Avett Brothers fans the opportunity to view the live show on Charlotte Motor Speedway's massive 80-foot-by-200-foot HDTV. The speedway will also supply concert-grade speakers for the event, to turn the infield area in front of the HDTV into a one-of-a-kind concert venue. Tickets for the July 9 simulcast on the world's largest HDTV at Charlotte Motor Speedway are on sale now and can be purchased at the speedway ticket office or by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Tickets are only $15 until July 8. Tickets purchased the day of the event, July 9, will cost $20.(CMS)(7-4-2011)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord officials reach deal: Ending a long-running dispute over development incentives, the city of Concord said Wednesday it will pay $2.8 million to settle a lawsuit by Speedway Motorsports Inc. The move comes nearly four years after speedway owner Bruton Smith had threatened to move Charlotte Motor Speedway unless Concord dropped its objections to his plans for building an adjacent drag strip. Concord and Cabarrus County leaders went on to forge an $80 million incentives package in late 2007 so Smith would not move the speedway. As part of that deal, he would build the $60 million drag strip and make $200 million worth of improvements around the track. But the two sides later disagreed on whether that package was ever finalized, even as Smith proceeded with engineering and related studies for transportation improvements around the busy corridor. "This (settlement) closes one chapter and should restore the excellent relations we've had with Speedway Motorsports for these many years," Concord Mayor Scott Padgett said. He said the city is receiving tangible items that will benefit its residents, while Smith is being paid for his expenses. As part of the settlement, the city will receive engineering documents as well as a greenway trail easement along the south side of Rocky River and other infrastructure easements. The documents will help the city and state save time and money for further area road improvements once state funding for those projects becomes available, Padgett said. There is no timetable for that work, however.
    The engineering reports that the city is acquiring cover several projects, including widening Bruton Smith Boulevard from I-85 to U.S. 29 and improving U.S. 29 from west of Morehead Road to east of the speedway. The greenway easement on speedway property will allow for future development of the Carolina Thread Trail, a regional network of trails and greenways. The settlement money will come out of Concord's general fund over three fiscal years. Smith was out of town and not available for comment Wednesday afternoon. Speedway attorney Jared Gardner and speedway spokesman Scott Cooper declined to comment.(Charlotte Observer)(6-30-2011)

  • Stock Car Racing named North Carolina's Official State Sport: With the stroke of a pen Tuesday, June 21st at Charlotte Motor Speedway, North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue signed Senate Bill 322 into law, making stock car racing the official state sport and adding to the legacy of fabulous firsts at the historic 1.5-mile superspeedway. Perdue was joined by a host of special guests on hand to watch the bill signing ceremony, including Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway; NASCAR Hall of Famers Ned Jarrett and Bobby Allison; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan; and a group of fourth and fifth grade students from Lake Norman Elementary School and Mt. Mourne IB School in Iredell County, who originated the bill. In addition, 12 grassroots Legend Car and Bandolero drivers, industry leaders and dignitaries who are members of the North Carolina Motorsports Advisory Council and Charlotte Motor Speedway fans were in attendance.
    "Sometimes it takes really bright kids to tell all of us grown-ups what we ought to be doing. And that's what these students are about today," said Perdue. "They found something that should have been right under our noses because we all love NASCAR, we love Charlotte Motor Speedway, we get really excited during race season. So it's pretty cool for these students to understand that we needed to do better."
    North Carolina now joins other U.S. states with an official state sport, including Alaska (dog mushing); Colorado (snowboarding and skiing); Massachusetts (basketball); Minnesota (hockey); and South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming (rodeo).(CMS)(6-22-2011)

  • CMS re-files lawsuit against governments: Charlotte Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith and his company, Speedway Motorsports, have refiled a lawsuit against the City of Concord and Cabarrus County in the ongoing battle over how much money the city owes Smith, and when it's due. At issue is $80 million in upgrades and incentives promised to Smith in October 2007 to persuade him not to move the track from Concord. Smith had threatened to move CMS when city leaders balked about his development of zMax Dragway. After weeks of tense negotiation, and against a backdrop of threats to leave town by Smith, Concord and Cabarrus County leaders came up with an $80 million incentive plan that involved road improvements and upgrades to services in and near the speedway complex. No formal agreement with a timeline for payment was established. Smith believed most of the money, $60 million, would be paid would be reimbursed within three years and the remaining $20 million within six years, but city and county leaders said that the there was no such timetable and that the money could be paid back over a period of up to forty years. Negotiations continue to take place between Smith and the civic leaders to reach a settlement in the issue.(WBTV)(6-16-2011)

  • Tire worker injured at CMS dies: A contract employee of Huggins Tire Sales Inc. has died from injuries sustained when he fell May 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Marvin Near fell from the back of a slow-moving pick-up truck driven by a Huggins employee while delivering Goodyear racing tires for the weekend's events at CMS. The accident was investigated by Concord Police and no charges were filed. "We extend our sympathy to Mr. Near's family and our thoughts and prayers are with them," said Stu Grant, general manager of global race tires for Goodyear.(Charlotte Observer)(6-6-2011)

  • Sunday's Timeline for the Coca Cola 600: During the pre-race show for the 52nd running of the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 29, Charlotte Motor Speedway officials will salute the U.S. armed forces with a military demonstration, special awards, military band performances and a presentation with Medal of Honor recipients. The pre-race festivities will also include an appearance by Larry the Cable Guy, voice of Mater in Disney*Pixar's "CARS 2" and the singing of the national anthem by Capitol Records recording artist Darius Rucker.
    Gates will open at 12:30 p.m. An approximate timeline of pre-race events follows:
    3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    The U.S. Army Drill Team will perform along with the 82nd Airborne Division Chorus, followed by a simulated military invasion by U.S. Army Special Forces troops from Fort Bragg, N.C. The soldiers will repel into the infield from Little Bird helicopters and will fire a Howitzer gun to eliminate a suspicious target. Once the mission is complete, 600 troops from Fort Bragg will march toward the start/finish line from Turns 1 and 4 to secure the area.
    4:30 p.m. - 5:10 p.m.
    Country music singer Darryl Worley will perform a 30-minute concert that will include his single "How You Forgotten?", about the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Medal of Honor recipients Hector Cafferata (Korea), Gary Littrell (Vietnam) and Walter Marm (Vietnam) will be recognized on stage, after which Lee Greenwood will perform his patriotic anthem, "God Bless the U.S.A."
    5:10 p.m. - 5:20 p.m.
    Defending VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals champion and Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Top Fuel points leader Del Worsham will perform a ground-shaking burnout down pit road in his Team Al-Anabi Top Fuel dragster. Vietnam War veteran and former Post Commander of the American Legion, Dale Punch, will be honored with the Stonewall Jackson Award. Presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway annually since 1992, the award recognizes standards of patriotism through personal support of the military and personal service to sacrifice above and beyond the call of duty.
    5:20 p.m. - 5:25 p.m.
    A host of VIPs will grace the pre-race stage, including blue-collar comedian and the voice of Mater in the upcoming Disney*Pixar summer comedy "CARS 2," Larry the Cable Guy who will serve as Honorary Pace Car Driver. North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis will serve as host to Grand Marshal Beth Harwell, Tennessee Speaker of the House and Honorary Starter Bobby Harrell, South Carolina Speaker. One lucky fan will also drive away in a brand new Toyota Camry as the winner of Charlotte Motor Speedway's Text-to-Win contest. Four finalists will earn the opportunity to compete on the frontstretch to determine the fastest fan. The fan who posts the quickest time in the special competition to pack a Camry for race day with a cooler full of Coca-Cola, grill, charcoal and groceries; put on their Toyota Racing gear; jump in the driver's seat and start the engine will win the keys to the car.
    5:25 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.
    The 43 drivers in the Coca-Cola 600 get the introduction of a lifetime when U.S. military members serving abroad present the competitors on the world's largest HDTV. Following the one-of-a-kind driver introductions, a Wounded Warrior will ride around the track with each of the NASCAR drivers during his introduction.
    5:45 p.m. - 6:05 p.m.
    The U.S. Army Black Daggers parachute team will perform a jump over the speedway, while the 82nd Airborne Chorus sings "The Armed Forces Medley." Jim Daly, president of the non-profit group Focus on the Family, will give the invocation. Country music star and former lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish, Darius Rucker, will perform the national anthem.
    Additionally, the Presentation of Colors will be performed by the U.S. All Army Color Guard and a bagpipe performance of "Amazing Grace" will be given by the Charlotte Fire Department Pipes and Drums. A 21-gun salute and "Taps" will be performed by soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg. During the national anthem, more than 100 family members of Fort Bragg soldiers will unfurl an 11,250-square-foot American flag on the frontstretch grass. The final fly-over before the start of the race will include a B-2 Stealth Bomber flown by pilots from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
    Tickets for all races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Fans can purchase two frontstretch tickets with the best views of the world's largest HDTV for just $99 to the Coca-Cola 600.(CMS)(5-29-2011)

  • Fallen officer to be honored at Coca-Cola 600: The name of fallen Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Fred Thornton will be featured on Kurt Busch's #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger in the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Thornton, a longtime SWAT officer, died in February after a flash-bang device detonated at his home. The tribute is the work of the Shell Fuel for Success program, which works with several law enforcement agencies across the U.S. to mentor young people and expose them to careers in the racing industry. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is one of the participating agencies. "We consider each of our fellow officers as 'brothers,'" said Officer Todd Smith, a member of the Colton Police Department in southern California who works with the Shell program. Thornton's widow will come to the speedway to see the tribute. "My husband was a police officer who loved his job for 29 years," Linda Thornton said in a statement. "He was just a regular guy who loved his beer and racing on the weekend, and for Shell and Kurt Bush to honor him like this is very humbling. Everyone has been so kind, and the family is so very appreciative to Shell and Kurt paying tribute to Fred in this very special way."(Charlotte Observer)(5-29-2011)

  • Special driver intros for Coke 600: The 43 drivers battling it out at Charlotte Motor Speedway Memorial Day Weekend will get the introduction of a lifetime when U.S. military members serving abroad present the competitors on the world's largest HD video board during the Let Freedom Race pre-race show for the May 29 Coca-Cola 600. The driver introductions were coordinated and taped by the USO and feature active-duty U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine personnel serving around the globe. The pre-race show for NASCAR's legendary 600-mile Sprint Cup Series race will feature a spectacular tribute to the men and women who have served, are currently serving or have made the ultimate sacrifice in the U.S. Armed Forces.
    "Our tradition of celebrating fast cars, family fun and freedom continues with the 52nd running of the Coca-Cola 600," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "This Memorial Day Weekend we'll showcase the country's most spectacular military pre-race show on the world's largest HDTV to honor the men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces who protect our way of life."
    The Let Freedom Race Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show will start at 3:30 pm/et and will include a military invasion simulation by U.S. Army special forces troops from Fort Bragg, N.C. A video documentary on the Vietnam War from The History Channel will be played on the speedway's Sprint Vision screens and the giant HDTV. Medal of Honor recipients Hector Cafferata (Korea), Gary Littrell (Vietnam) and Walter Marm (Vietnam) will be recognized on the pre-race stage.
    Country music singer Darryl Worley is scheduled to perform a 30-minute concert where he will sing his hit single "Have You Forgotten?" about the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Lee Greenwood will also take to the stage to perform his patriotic anthem, "God Bless the U.S.A." Following the one-of-a-kind driver introductions, more than 100 family members of Fort Bragg soldiers will unfurl an 11,250-square-foot American flag on the frontstretch grass. The final fly-over before the start of the race will include a B-2 Stealth Bomber flown by pilots from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
    Additional pre-race festivities for the Coca-Cola 600 will include an air show by the U.S. Black Daggers parachute team; performances by the U.S. Army drill team; a 21-gun salute by soldiers from Fort Bragg; a bagpipe performance of "Amazing Grace" by the Charlotte Fire Department; and "Taps" played by a Fort Bragg bugler. Also during the pre-race festivities, Vietnam War veteran and former Post Commander of the American Legion, Dale Punch, will be honored with the Stonewall Jackson Award. Presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway annually since 1992, the award recognizes standards of patriotism through personal support of the military and personal service to sacrifice above and beyond the call of duty. Tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Frontstretch tickets with the best views of the world's largest HD video board, start at just $49 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21. Fans can also purchase two frontstretch tickets for just $99 to the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29.(CMS)(5-28-2011)

  • Traveling Vietnam Wall Memorial on display: The American Veterans Traveling Tribute is bringing the Cost of Freedom Tribute to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 weekend. The centerpiece of this tribute is the Traveling Wall, an 80 percent scale version of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. The wall lists the name of every American casualty from the war, just like the original. The tribute will be open to the public from May 26 to May 29. Opening ceremonies will be held at 1:00 p.m. on May 26, featuring a wreath laying as well as the presence of local veterans and active duty military. On May 29, before the Coca-Cola 600, a ceremony to honor Medal of Honor Recipients will be held at 9:00 a.m.(CMS)(5-27-2011)

  • Speedway-Owned Fire Truck Makes Debut: A new addition to the Charlotte Motor Speedway safety team for 2011 is a Rosenbauer Custom Centurion ST Pumper fire truck. This is the first fire truck that the track has owned and it will be staffed by Charlotte Motor Speedway employees during the May race weeks. The new truck will be responsible for protecting the NASCAR garages and the new Sunoco Mobile Fuel Island. The Charlotte Motor Speedway safety crew has named the fire truck Engine 343, which is number of firefighters lost at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.(CMS)(5-27-2011)

  • Food Lion Speed Street in Charlotte: Celebrating 17 years of providing family-friendly fun, Food Lion Speed Street will welcome fans to the first evening of music with the sounds of R&B bands Rose Royce and Midnight Star, and country music artist Pat Green. The Coca-Cola stage will feature Rose Royce on May 26 at 9:00pm/et followed by Midnight Star at 9:45 pm/et. Green will take over the Miller Lite stage beginning at 9:45 pm/et. Food Lion Speed Street delivers an unprecedented experience to an estimated 400,000 fans by means of live entertainment, access to NASCAR's brightest stars, and vendor displays from sponsors Food Lion, Coca-Cola, Miller Lite, General Mills, Chevrolet and many more. The event provides multi-day entertainment for fans attending the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 29 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Admission to Food Lion Speed Street is free. The festival opens each day at 12:00pm/et. For a schedule of events, visit www.600festival.com.(Food Lion), more info on driver appearances on Jayski's Driver Appearance page.(5-27-2011)

  • Speedway Flag Flies in Afghanistan: A very special U.S. flag will fly over Charlotte Motor Speedway during May race weeks. The flag is on its way back from Camp Dwyer in Afghanistan, a military base and air field for the U.S. Marine Corps. The flag was flown at the base in honor of the CMS Pit Crew, a group of Charlotte Motor Speedway employees who engage in community outreach projects to "help people get back on track." The CMS Pit Crew is currently supporting 55 members of the U.S. Marines Air Control Squadron 2, Detachment Bravo in Afghanistan by sending items from home, including sunscreen, disposable hand and face wipes and pens and pencils. One member of the detachment, Cpl. Terry McKee, Jr., is the son of Susan McKee, human resources manager at the speedway.(CMS)(5-27-2011)

  • Tire worker injured at CMS: A tire company employee was injured Tuesday morning at Charlotte Motor Speedway after falling off a pickup truck in the garage area. The Huggins Tire Sales employee, Marvin Near, fell from the back of a slow-moving pickup as it was delivering Goodyear racing tires for this weekend's NASCAR races, according to a statement by Goodyear officials. Near was transported by ambulance to Carolinas Medical Center-Northeast, where he remained Thursday night. The accident occurred about 11:45 a.m. Tuesday and was investigated by Concord Police. No charges have been filed.(Charlotte Observer)(5-27-2011)

  • Students to wave green flag during Coke 600 quyalifying: Today students from Lake Norman Elementary School will be recognized during Windstream Pole Night for their efforts toward having stock car racing established as the "official state sport" of North Carolina. The 13 fifth-and-sixth grade students are responsible for the project from start to finish and saw their hard work rewarded on April 27, when the North Carolina Senate voted overwhelmingly, 46-3, to pass the bill. The students, their parents and several school employees will be the guests of Charlotte Motor Speedway during Windstream Pole Night, which will set the field for the 52nd running of the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 29. They will then be introduced to the race fans in attendance, giving the students an opportunity to be recognized by the people they set out to represent. In addition to attending Windstream Pole Night, each of the students will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to climb into the starter's stand and wave the green flag for one of the 48 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers as they make their qualifying run.
    The students brought the state sport bill to the North Carolina General Assembly in March, 2011. In proposing the legislation, the students pointed to motorsports' $6 billion annual economic impact to North Carolina and noted that Charlotte, N.C., and the surrounding region is home to Charlotte Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and more than 90 percent of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. More than 200 businesses in Cabarrus County support the motorsports industry, which employs nearly 20,000 people in the region. The measure has moved on to the North Carolina House of Representatives. If passed, North Carolina will join other U.S. states with an official state sport, including Alaska (dog mushing); Colorado (snowboarding and skiing); Massachusetts (basketball); Minnesota (hockey); and South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming (rodeo).
    Tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Fans can purchase two frontstretch tickets with the best views of the world's largest HD video board, for just $99.(CMS)(5-26-2011)

  • Marine to give race command for Coca-Cola 600: Even in a long line of American military heroes, Master Sgt. William "Spanky" Gibson stands out. He's the first service member to return to the front lines after losing a leg above the knee. Coca-Cola and racing fans around the country will pay tribute to Gibson's unmatched heroism and the unending service of the entire U.S. military during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway this Memorial Day weekend. Gibson is delivering the command for the 52nd running of the Coca-Cola 600 as a guest of Coca-Cola. Joining Gibson in delivering the most famous words in motorsports will be John Falkenbury, president of the North Carolina chapter of the USO, the organization that brings a touch of home to American service members around the globe. Gibson's military service is a story of strength, determination, and unwavering commitment to country and colleagues. In May 2006, while serving with the Marines in Iraq, Gibson and fellow service members on patrol in Ramadi came under sniper attack. Gibson was struck in the left knee. Despite a devastating injury, he continued to return fire. Back in the United States, Gibson never lost focus of his goal to return to battle. Fitted with a prosthetic leg, he learned to walk, run, ski and swim. After competing in the grueling Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, his commanders offered him a return stint in Iraq - a deployment Gibson eagerly accepted. Gibson, who now works at the Pentagon, will be joined at the track by his family, including his father, William Gibson, Sr., a Vietnam War veteran who will be celebrating his 71st birthday on race day.
    In addition to honoring Gibson, Coca-Cola 600 festivities will pay tribute to all veterans and active U.S. military servicemen and women. The spectacular pre-race show will include a military assault demonstration by Special Operations soldiers from Ft. Bragg, N.C., on-stage recognition of Medal of Honor recipients, the unfurling of an 11,250 square-foot American flag by family members of active-duty soldiers, and an inspiring flyover by military aircraft.(Coca Cola)(5-26-2011)

  • Darius Rucker to Perform National Anthem for Coke 600: Grammy Award-winning artist Darius Rucker will perform the national anthem for the 52nd running of the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 29, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Born in Charleston, S.C., Rucker first gained fame as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the band Hootie & the Blowfish, which he founded in 1986 at the University of South Carolina. Hootie & the Blowfish received the Best New Artist award at the 1996 Grammy Awards. "I am so honored to join the NASCAR Memorial Day Weekend celebration at Charlotte Motor Speedway," said Rucker. "Any time we can bring attention to and remember those who have fought and died while serving our nation is a proud moment for me."
    Tickets for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Fans can purchase two frontstretch tickets with the best views of the world's largest HDTV for just $99.(CMS)(5-25-2011)

  • Coca Cola 600 dignataries named: Three top legislative leaders will be on hand for the nation's largest Memorial Day celebration as they serve as race officials for the 2011 Coca-Cola 600. Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell will be Grand Marshal, South Carolina Speaker Bobby Harrell will be the Honorary Starter and North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis will host his colleagues from neighboring states at the 52nd running of NASCAR's only 600-mile race at the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 29.
    Paying tribute to all veterans and active U.S. military servicemen and women, the spectacular show preceding the Coca-Cola 600 includes a military assault demonstration by Special Operations soldiers from Ft. Bragg, N.C., on-stage recognition of Medal of Honor recipients, the unfurling of a 11,250 square-foot American flag by family members of active-duty soldiers, and an inspiring flyover by military aircraft.
    As race officials, the three Speakers will be honored at a pre-race event, attend the official drivers meeting, address the crowd of 140,000 fans, participate in the pre-race spectacular and present the trophy to the winning driver in Victory Lane. As Grand Marshal, Tenn. Speaker Harwell will ride in the official pace car, while S.C. Speaker Harrell will wave the green flag over the 43-car field to start NASCAR's most challenging race. N.C. Speaker Tillis will direct the 'Speaker Summit' as host of the event.
    Frontstretch tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 start at just $49 with great views of pit road and the world's largest high-definition television. To purchase tickets, fans can call the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or go online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-24-2011)

  • Carl Edwards wins the All Star Race: #99-Carl Edwards won the Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, winning over $1 million. It is Edward's 1st All-Star race win and Roush Fenway Racing's 5th win. #18-Busch finished second followed by #00-Reutimann, #14-Stewart, #16-Biffle, #17-Kenseth, #11-Hamlin, #6-Ragan (who won the Sprint Showdown), #29-Harvick, and #39-Newman. Biffle won the first segment of the race, but Edwards won the final 3. The final 10 lap segment went green the whole way. There were 5 cautions for 6 laps and 8 lead changes among 4 leaders. The announced attendance was 130,000.
    See race results, awards and notes on my All-Star / Sprint Showdown Results page.(5-21-2011)

  • Sprint Customer Will Win Grand Marshal Honor: One lucky Sprint customer will get to deliver the most famous words in auto racing at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 21, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Sprint announced Friday it will reward one customer with the Grand Marshal role for the event, granting the opportunity to deliver the command for drivers to start their engines at the race. To determine who will receive the honor, a group of customers will be chosen to participate in a contest at the Sprint Experience, the mobile display Sprint brings to every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. Beginning at 2:30 pm/et on race day, contestants will deliver their best "Gentlemen, start your engines" to a panel of celebrity judges, who will rate the contestants and select a winner. Later that evening, the chosen Sprint customer will deliver the command at the start of the 100-lap all-star event. Judges for the contest include NASCAR personalities Jeff Gluck (SBNation.com), Marty Smith (ESPN) and Miss Sprint Cup.
    The Honorary Starter for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will be Paget L. Alves, president of the Business Markets Group for Sprint. Alves is responsible for all of Sprint's sales and marketing to enterprise, general business and public sector customers and also oversees the development of strategic alliances for Sprint.(Sprint)(5-21-2011)

  • Post-Race All-Star Concert by Julie Roberts: The ultimate NASCAR party won't stop when the checkered flag flies on May 21 as Charlotte Motor Speedway will treat fans to a post-race concert on the frontstretch grass following the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Country music star Julie Roberts will perform a 30-minute concert for fans where she will debut her new song "NASCAR Party." Charlotte Motor Speedway will also debut the music video for "NASCAR Party" on the world's largest high definition television. After the race is complete and the track is secure, fans will be instructed to enter the concert area through the wheel fence and at Gate 8. Fans will get the opportunity to walk down from the grandstands onto the speedway's frontstretch and join the celebration. Tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Frontstretch tickets with the best views of the world's largest HD television start at just $49 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21. Fans can also purchase two frontstretch tickets for just $99 to the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29.(CMS)(5-21-2011)

  • NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Pre-Race Festivities: During the pre-race show for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21, fans at Charlotte Motor Speedway will participate in a world record and watch country music star Brad Paisley's premiere of his newest music video on the world's largest high-definition TV, just moments after it debuts. Paisley will be at the speedway for the first public screening of the video for his newest single, "Old Alabama." The video features NASCAR legends Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Gordon and Rick Hendrick and iconic super group Alabama.
    The pre-race festivities will also feature a concert by Capitol Records recording artist Dierks Bentley and the unveiling of the largest HDTV in the world. Plus fans will "Light Up the Night" with Energizer and set the world record for shining the most flashlights in a sporting arena. Gates will open at 2:00 p.m. An approximate timeline of pre-race events follows:
    3:15 p.m. - 4:25 p.m.
    Country music star Dierks Bentley performs a 70-minute pre-race concert in the infield between Turns 1 and 2. The Dierks Bentley All-Star Concert presented by Budweiser is free to all fans with a ticket to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
    6:20 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.
    Some of the biggest names in NASCAR compete in the Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge, a tire-smoking competition to find which NASCAR star has the best burnout in the sport. Fans will have a more integral role in this year's competition, as they will be able to text their votes for a winner after the judges have announced the three finalists.
    6:45 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
    The world's largest high-definition television will be unveiled to the public for the first time under the lights. The 200-foot-wide, 80-foot-tall HDTV, created by Panasonic, will see its first race action. In addition, the drivers racing in the Sprint Showdown will be introduced on the frontstretch stage. Along with the drivers, the 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame induction class will be recognized and a group of Wounded Warriors will be honored.
    7:30 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. (approx.)
    Drivers not eligible for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race compete in the ultimate last chance qualifier. The Sprint Showdown will be run in two 20-lap segments to determine which drivers get to transfer to the main event later in the night. The winner of the race, the runner-up and one driver voted in by the Sprint Fan Vote will then have a chance to race for the $1 million prize.
    8:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (approx.)
    The 2011 Academy of Country Music Male Vocalist of the Year, Brad Paisley, kicks-off the most interactive driver introductions of the season as the premiere of his video "Old Alabama" takes place just prior to the running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Paisley will make a special appearance in the infield to present the video, which was shot just down the road from Charlotte Motor Speedway, at the Hendrick Motorsports complex.
    NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car owner and NFL Hall of Fame Coach Joe Gibbs will offer the pre-race invocation. The AeroShell Aerobatic Team will provide the flyover in four T-6 aircraft.
    Fans have the opportunity to celebrate stage-side as not only the drivers, but the pit crews, are introduced as well during the high-energy driver introductions for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Energizer and Charlotte Motor Speedway will team up to "Light Up the Night" by distributing more than 66,000 of Energizer 3 LED headlights and handheld flashlights to fans in attendance and will set a second world record of the night for having the most flashlights lit simultaneously.
    Just after 9:00 p.m., the green flag drops on the no-holds-barred shootout for a $1 million payday, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The 100-lap slugfest is broken into four segments and the winner walks away with the cash. There are no points on the line, only bragging rights.
    Fans can purchase a Coca-Cola Four Pack of tickets to the 27th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, which includes four tickets, four Coca-Cola soft drinks and four hot dogs for just $29.75 per person by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or by going online to www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-21-2011)

  • Actress Angie Harmon to Serve as Honorary Pace Car Driver: Emmy-Award nominated actress and NASCAR fan Angie Harmon will serve as the honorary pace car driver for the 27th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In addition to leading the field of NASCAR stars in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Harmon will take part in various activities around the speedway, including attending the drivers meeting, prior to the main event.(CMS)(5-21-2011)

  • Army Ground Forces Band Brass Brigade to perform at All-Star race: Sprint announced The Army Ground Forces Band Brass Brigade will perform as part of the pre-race ceremonies at the 2011 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 21, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Brass Brigade, a unique 11-piece progressive group, will deliver its rendition of "God Bless America" prior to the start of the Sprint Showdown and present the national anthem moments before the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The 11 members are part of a larger band made up of 64 soldiers who have passed highly selective auditions and are among the finest musicians in the United States Army Band Program. Headquartered at Fort McPherson in Atlanta, Ga., the ensemble is the musical ambassador of the American Combat Soldier to the American people, instilling pride in our troops and promoting a spirit of patriotism and support for our nation's military through the performance of music at the local, regional and national levels.(Sprint)(5-21-2011)

  • Three On-Track Events for One Price at CMS: Fans can enjoy three on-track events, a pre- and post-race concert and the public launch of the world's largest HDTV for the price of one ticket on May 21 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, highlighted by the 27th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. But before the first laps are turned on the track in the $1 million throwdown, race goers can wave the green flag during qualifying, attend a free Q-and-A session with NASCAR stars, browse through countless interactive displays right outside the track and enjoy delicious deep-fried peaches, among other fair food treats. Here are a few items of interest that will help race fans coming to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race get the most out of their experience.
    Live Entertainment, Four On-Track Activities for the Price of One Ticket: For the price of one ticket to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 fans can enjoy the Dierks Bently concert presented by Budweiser in the infield, the Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge burnout contest, the Sprint Showdown, the debut of the world's largest high definition television, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Julie Roberts post-race concert with the chance to walk on the track. Even before the on-track action heats-up, fans can enjoy plenty of other activities outside the track, including the Powerade Play Zone for kids, speedway and race shop tours and much more. For a full list of NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race week events, visit charlottemotorspeedway.com/fans/fan_guide_to_fun/.
    Fans Can Wave the Green Flag for All-Star Qualifying During NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race qualifying on May 20, Charlotte Motor Speedway officials will randomly select fans in attendance to wave the green flag for each competitor attempting to qualify. Qualifying is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on May 20.
    Deep-Fried Peaches, New Kids Menu Available from Levy Restaurants: May race attendees will get a true southern treat with a twist with an order of deep-fried peaches at the Levy Restaurants concession stands throughout the speedway. The peaches are sliced, dipped in batter, rolled in a cornflake crumb topping, then fried and served with a cinnamon-vanilla dipping sauce. Several other southern-inspired treats will also be on the Levy menu, including a "bologna-q," sandwich (deep-fried strips of bologna, smothered in bar-be-cue sauce and topped with a pickled onion mustard slaw) and "lug nuts" mac and cheese balls (pimento mac and cheese balls mixed with bacon, coated and deep fried). Levy Restaurants will also offer a new kids menu in the Family Seating Section with smaller-size hot dogs and hamburgers, as well as new beverages for the adults and new sweet treats including funnel cakes and little donuts at its main concession stands.
    Kahne Part of 'PRN Up To SPEED' at the SPEED Stage "PRN Up To SPEED" returns for the third year to Charlotte Motor Speedway. The popular free fan forum takes place at the SPEED stage, located at the speedway's main entrance, from 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., prior to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21. Several NASCAR stars, including Kasey Kahne, are scheduled to join personalities from the Performance Racing Network for the 30 minute Q&A session.
    Plenty of Entertainment Options for Fans in Interactive Display Area Fans coming to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will have plenty of entertainment options right outside the track in the display areas. Toyota will host a hospitality area for any fan that has a Toyota key, NOS will offer an interactive area where fans can try their hand with Traxxas remote control cars and sunglass-maker Oakley will be on site with their O Labs where fans can purchase Oakley products. Fans will find plenty of food and beverage options as well and there will continue to be plenty of souvenir trailers in the display areas, so fans can buy their favorite driver's gear at the track.
    CATS Route Provides Easy Access to Speedway The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), the City of Concord and Charlotte Motor Speedway have partnered to bring race day bus service from Center City Charlotte to the track. Starting from the Charlotte Transportation Center, race fans can take the 79X Concord Mills Express to beat the traffic and enjoy the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29 at the speedway for just $7 round-trip. The route will run every 20 minutes from noon to 6:00 p.m. on May 21 and May 29. Return trips will begin immediately after the checkered flag as race fans make their way to the buses near the track's main entrance. Passengers may bring small coolers that fit on their laps but no eating or drinking is permitted on the bus. Tickets can be purchased at the Charlotte Transportation Center at 310 East Trade Street in Center City or online at http://secure.ridetransit.org/psales/. For more information visit www.ridetransit.org or call (704) 336-RIDE (7433).
    Traffic Information Available on 91.1 FM Race fans will be able to tune into 91.1 FM for up-to-date traffic information following Saturday's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Charlotte Motor Speedway will broadcast traffic exit updates on that frequency to inform fans of any traffic concerns around the speedway.
    Tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Frontstretch tickets with the best views of the world's largest HD video board, debuting at the speedway in May, start at just $49 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21. Fans can also purchase two frontstretch tickets for just $99 to the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29.(CMS)(5-20-2011)

  • Protected bird builds nest at speedway campgrounds: Some NASCAR fans will be without their camping spot during race week because a federally protected bird has built a nest at the camping site. Charlotte Motor Speedway officials say the killdeer bird has laid 4 eggs in a nest on the ground. Officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture told the speedway that the bird cannot be disturbed because it's protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Speedway officials have placed temporary fencing around the campsite so that the nest will not be disturbed. The campers who reserved the site will be relocated. The Department of Agriculture says it could take up to 40 days for the eggs to hatch, so the bird is expected to be around for the Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday and the Coca-Cola 600 next week.(images at NewChannel 36)(5-19-2011)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Prepares Fans for Race Day Traffic: In preparation for May Race Weeks, Charlotte Motor 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), 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:
    Best Routes: Interstate 85 to Exit 49, Bruton Smith Boulevard, is the heaviest-traveled route to Charlotte Motor Speedway during May Race Weeks. The two suggested roads from which to enter the speedway are North Carolina Highway 29 and North Carolina Highway 49. These two roads can be easily accessed by taking Interstate 485.
    Best Travel Times on Race Days
    - It is best to arrive at Charlotte Motor Speedway before 5 p.m. for the N.C. Education Lottery 200 on Friday, May 20, and Thursday, May 26, for Windstream Pole Night, to avoid commuter traffic.
    - The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 and Coca-Cola 600 on May 29 are both evening races, but fans are encouraged to arrive earlier to avoid Concord Mills Mall congestion. Parking is free and lots open at 7:00 a.m.
    - The Top Gear 300 starts at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. It is best to arrive as early as possible. Parking lots will open at 7:00 a.m.
    Post-Race Traffic Patterns for All-Star, Coca-Cola 600 NCDOT will utilize counter flow patterns after the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 and Coca-Cola 600 on May 29, meaning that all lanes of traffic will flow outward from Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    - Traffic exiting from Entrance P onto Morehead Road will counter flow with three eastbound lanes being utilized until Highway 49 in Harrisburg, N.C.
    - Those exiting from Entrance O onto Morehead Road will counter flow four lanes westbound out until Highway 29. All lanes will be directed to turn left towards Charlotte.
    - Bruton Smith Boulevard will counter flow using three lanes from Entrance Y until Interstate 85.
    - Highway 29 will counter flow using three lanes until Pitt School Road in Concord.
    - West Morehead Road/Mallard Creek Church Road will counter flow until Salem Church Road.
    Post -Race Traffic Patterns for Top Gear 300, NCDOT will only utilize the counter flow patterns for the Top Gear 300 on May 28 if needed. Traffic leaving Concord Mills Mall around 5:00 p.m. will not be able to connect to hotels, restaurants and businesses to the East of the Interstate 85 bridge.
    Public Transportation Option: The Charlotte Area Transit System offers an express shuttle for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600. It will leave from the downtown terminal and costs $7 for a round trip ticket. For more information visit www.ridetransit.org or call (866) 799-2287.
    During each race, NCDOT uses nearly 3,500 cones and barrels. There are around 40 static flip signs that are used to inform the traveling public about any changes to the original traffic patterns. All of these are utilized to make traffic as efficient as possible, so that race fans and area residents may have the best experience possible when dealing with race day traffic.
    For constant traffic updates, call 511 or follow CMSTraffic, NCDOT or Charlotte Motor Speedway on Twitter. Fans can also sign up for Charlotte Motor Speedway traffic alerts by texting CMS to 69050. Traffic maps are posted on Charlotte Motor Speedway's web site at charlottemotorspeedway.com/fans/maps/. 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).(CMS)(5-18-2011)

  • Energizer's "Light Up The Night" at NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race: Energizer and Charlotte Motor Speedway are asking for help from fans as they attempt to "Light Up The Night" and set a world record May 21 during pre-race festivities for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. With assistance from fans in attendance, Energizer and Charlotte Motor Speedway will attempt to set the world record for shining the most flashlights simultaneously. Energizer is providing 66,000 Energizer 3 LED Headlights and 14,000 handheld flashlights to fans as they enter the gates. Fans will be asked to "flash their brights," between the Sprint Showdown and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Representatives from Guinness World Records will be on hand to record and judge the event.
    Energizer's partnership with Charlotte Motor Speedway is an outgrowth of its relationship with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Energizer has created special paint schemes in the past as part of the Target program with the race team. The "Light Up The Night" event highlights the 16th year Energizer and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing have worked together.
    "I can't wait for this 'Light Up the Night' promotion," said Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the No. 42 Energizer Chevrolet. "I think it is going to be so cool to see 80,000 people all flashing their brights. I am also looking forward to being behind the wheel of the #42 Energizer Chevrolet that night in the race. They have been such a great partner in the Target program and I know we are going to have a lot of fun at the All-Star race." In preparation for hurricane season, Energizer will donate $30,000 worth of flashlights and batteries to a Charlotte-area disaster response group to help them prepare in advance of severe weather.
    Tickets for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race start at only $24.75 when bought with a four pack, or buy two tickets on the frontstretch for just $99. Call the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-17-2011)

  • Sprint Offers Fans Free Race Tickets for Recycling: Race fans can do their part to help the environment and in return attend one of the most exciting races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Sprint announced a special program that will reward fans' social responsibility with complimentary tickets to this year's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. A limited number of fans who recycle an old cellular phone or smartphone at either NASCAR Rev'd Up, Wednesday, May 18, or the Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman, Thursday, May 19, in Charlotte, N.C., will each receive a pair of tickets to attend the May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The offer is good for the first 50 people at NASCAR Rev'd Up and the first 100 people at the Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman who recycle a device at the Sprint display located on-site at both events. Sprint will accept devices from any manufacturer and carrier.
    The Sprint display will be located outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame from 4:00 pm to 8:00pm/et on May 18 and in the main concourse of Time Warner Cable Arena from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm/et on May 19. All proceeds from the recycling program benefit Victory Junction, which provides life-changing camping experiences for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.
    Recycling just one wireless phone helps support the conservation of resources, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and helps prevent air and water pollution. Since 2001, Sprint has recycled more than 24 million phones, which equates to 2,600 metric tons of material. Sprint's environmental responsibility has been recognized by Newsweek magazine, which ranked the company No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation's greenest companies.(Sprint)(5-16-2011)


    Dale Earnhardt Jr. takes the world's largest HDTV for a spin. Photo: CMS/Harold Hinson

  • The 2011 Cabarrus County Destination Guide: The new Cabarrus County Destination Guide is hot off the presses just in time for this month's NASCAR races at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The 2011 Destination Guide includes feature stories, vivid images and the latest information on lodging, dining and activities, including the county's unequaled concentration of motorsports attractions. The Cabarrus County Destination Guide is a must-have resource for NASCAR fans containing race shop listings and attraction maps, as well as a detailed map of Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    "The Cabarrus County Destination Guide is indispensible for fans in town for this month's races," said Donna Carpenter, president and chief executive officer of the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau. "This year, we added a page for fans to collect driver autographs, making a wonderful keepsake of a race weekend in Cabarrus County." This comprehensive guide to Cabarrus County provides valuable information for visitors and local residents alike.
    "Visitors love the guide but so do our local residents," continued Carpenter. "Residents find the guide informative and helpful when they have friends or family to entertain and for finding new activities during a weekend at home."
    For added convenience, browse the new digital version at cabarrus.lunarcow.com and print pages from home.
    For more information, go to visitcabarrus.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/visitcabarrus for the latest news and updates.(5-14-2011)

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. Takes World's Largest HD TV For a Test Drive: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the world's largest high definition television for a spin Tuesday [May 10th] at Charlotte Motor Speedway by taking virtual laps around the legendary 1.5-mile track using an iRacing simulation. Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, invited Earnhardt Jr., an avid video gamer, to show off his skills on the giant HDTV. For its operational debut, Smith and Earnhardt Jr. used an oversized remote to power on the 200 foot-wide, 80 foot-tall HDTV, created by Panasonic, to reveal a highlight video of past racing action at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Charlotte sets the standard for the rest of the tracks," said Earnhardt Jr. "They always do things first and do things the biggest and look, here we are today with another first from them. Charlotte holds a special place in a lot of drivers' hearts, mine included and the big TV makes this place even more special."
    "This giant Panasonic HDTV will be a game changer for our fans on race day," said Smith. "It will give them a whole new way to experience a NASCAR event at Charlotte Motor Speedway." The event signaled the completion of the Panasonic HDTV project, which took up to 57 workers a day, working more than 11,000 man hours, more than four months to construct. The 332-and-a-half-ton structure is the largest HDTV in the world. The 158 panels that make up the face of the television's screen will be illuminated by nine million LED lamps during select events at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Sam Bass, the official artist of Charlotte Motor Speedway, was also on hand to unveil the souvenir race program covers for the 27th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and 52nd running of the Coca-Cola 600 on the gigantic screen.
    The public debut of the world's largest HDTV will take place May 21 under the lights during the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The screen is centered along the backstretch between Turns 2 and 3, across from the start/finish line. Fans seated throughout the frontstretch from Turn 4 to Turn 1 will have clear viewing angles of instant replays, leaderboard updates and interactive entertainment displayed in clear 720P high-definition visuals. Frontstretch tickets with the best views of the world's largest HDTV start at just $49 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21. Fans can also purchase two frontstretch tickets for just $99 to the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29. Tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(5-10-2011)

  • SMI reports first quarter loss: Beset by falling revenues and rising fuel prices, Speedway Motorsports Inc. reported Wednesday that it lost $1.5 million for the first quarter of this fiscal year. The company said revenues were hurt by the country's ongoing economic troubles and the fact that two major races were moved back from this quarter to other dates. Total revenue for the three months ending March 31 fell to $87 million, down from $118 million during the same period last year. Admissions from revenues fell nearly $13 million, to $24.5 million. Company officials said they weren't surprised by the news, and said they still expect the company to earn profits of between 90 cents and $1.20 per share for the fiscal year.(Charlotte Observer)(5-6-2011)

  • Testing underway on Charlotte video board: The final touches are being put on the world's largest HD video board as officials from Panasonic are in Charlotte, N.C., this week testing the massive screen that will debut during Charlotte Motor Speedway's 2011 May race events. The face of the approximately 200-foot-wide, 80-foot-tall screen is comprised of 158 panels and each is being tested graphically for color quality, contrast and light levels this week. More than nine million light emitting diode, or LED, lamps will illuminate the Panasonic video board during select NASCAR events at Charlotte Motor Speedway this spring, including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29.(CMS)(5-4-2011)

  • CMS Providing 1,000 Tickets For U.S. Navy SEALs and Their Families: In the wake of Sunday's news of the U.S. Navy SEALs successful mission in bringing Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden to justice, Charlotte Motor Speedway officials are pleased to announce that 1,000 tickets will be provided by fans and sponsors to send active SEALs and their families to the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29. Started by Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2010, the Let the Troops Race program allows fans and sponsors to purchase $20 tickets to send active military members and their families to the Coca-Cola 600. A Memorial Day Weekend tradition, the Coca-Cola 600 annually honors U.S. military members and features the largest military pre-race show in the world. More than 600 troops from Fort Bragg, N.C., will assist in the large-scale military demonstration on the frontstretch and three Medal of Honor recipients will be recognized on stage prior to driver introductions. But, that's just the tip of the iceberg, as full details of the Let Freedom Race prerace show will be released in the near future.
    Fans can participate in the Let the Troops Race program and send a military member and their family to the Coca-Cola 600 for only $20 by calling the Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-3-2011)

  • Dierks Bentley to Perform Pre-Race Concert at Sprint All-Star Race: Grammy-nominated country music superstar Dierks Bentley is set to perform a pre-race concert for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, May 21, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Dierks Bentley All-Star Concert presented by Budweiser begins at 2:30 pm in the infield between Turns 1 and 2. Admission to the concert is free with the purchase of a ticket to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Frontstretch tickets with the best views of pit road and the world's largest HD video board, coming to the speedway in May, start at just $49 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race or two for just $99 to the to the Coca-Cola 600. Tickets can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(4-30-2011)

  • Larry the Cable Guy to Serve as Honorary Pace Car Driver for Coke 600: Blue-collar comedian and the voice of Mater in the upcoming Disney*Pixar summer comedy "CARS 2," Larry the Cable Guy will "git-r-done" as the honorary pace-car driver for the 52nd running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In addition to leading the field of 43 NASCAR stars in the Coca-Cola 600, Larry the Cable Guy will also take part in various activities around the speedway, including attending the drivers meeting, prior to the main event. Charlotte Motor Speedway will celebrate the U.S. opening of Disney*Pixar's "CARS 2" on June 24 with a special display for fans featuring full-size replicas of movie stars Lightning McQueen and Mater. Lightning McQueen and Mater will also participate in the pre-race parade laps.
    Paying tribute to all veterans and active U.S. military servicemen and women, the pre-race show for the Coca-Cola 600 will include a military assault demonstration by Special Operations soldiers from Fort Bragg, N.C.; on-stage recognition of Medal of Honor recipients; and the unfurling of a gigantic, 11,250 square-foot American flag by families of active-duty troops.
    Tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(4-27-2011)

  • Coca-Cola 600 Tickets donated by fans and businesses through Let the Troops Race Ticket Program: For the second consecutive year, fans and companies are responding with strong support for Charlotte Motor Speedway's invitation to honor American troops by donating more than 4,000 tickets as part of the Let the Troops Race ticket program. Through this patriotic initiative, fans who buy tickets to the May 29 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway via phone, online or in the speedway's ticket office can also purchase an additional ticket for just $20 to send a member of the U.S. Armed Forces to the Memorial Day Weekend race. Tickets will be distributed through the United Service Organizations to active servicemen and women. The Let the Troops Race ticket program runs through May 13.(CMS)(4-10-2011)

  • Ed "Too Tall" Jones visits CMS to see World's Largest HD Video Board: The completion of the steel frame that will support the world's largest high-definition video board was marked Thursday with a topping out ceremony featuring special guest Ed "Too Tall" Jones, former Dallas Cowboy All-Pro defensive end. Construction continues on the massive screen created by Panasonic that will debut during Charlotte Motor Speedway's 2011 May race events. "We opened the new stadium in Dallas two years ago that had the largest TV in the world up until today, so I wanted to see it," said Jones. "The one in Dallas was one of the most incredible things I've ever seen in my life, but this one just kind of tops it all."
    Jones placed an American flag on the final girder, which was hoisted more than 110 feet in the air and secured atop the 500,000-pound steel frame that will hold the 165,000-pound HD video board. The girder, measuring 40 feet wide with a 10 foot depth of bracing steel, was signed by dignitaries taking part in the ceremony, including Jones; Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway; and Richard Ballard, vice president of sales, Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company, as well as construction workers who have been part of the project.
    The HD video board construction is being completed by crews from Granite Contracting and Parker Crane Service of Concord, N.C.; Mid-Atlantic Construction of Charlotte, N.C.; and Eastern Sign Tech of Burlington, N.J. The approximately 200-foot-wide, 80-foot-tall screen will eventually rise 110 feet above the track on the steel support structure.
    The next construction phase on the world's largest HD video board will start the first week of April and will include the installation of the 158 panels that make up the 16,000 square foot screen. Thirteen sub-electric panels will also be installed, each of which will power a "panel riser," or a column of panels. Once construction is completed, more than nine million LED lamps will illuminate the Panasonic video board during each NASCAR race event at Charlotte Motor Speedway this spring, including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29.
    The screen will be centered along the backstretch between Turns 2 and 3, across from the start/finish line. Fans seated throughout the frontstretch from Turn 4 to Turn 1 will have clear viewing angles of instant replays, leaderboard updates and interactive entertainment displayed in 720P high-definition visuals. For continuous updates on the Panasonic HD video board, watch the construction webcam on www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(4-1-2011)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway and NASCAR Hall of Fame Provide Added Benefits to Members: Season ticket holders and Speedway Club members at Charlotte Motor Speedway and NASCAR Hall of Fame members will reap the benefits of an ongoing partnership between the two motorsports entities with the creation of new, exclusive benefits for these select groups. All Victory Lane Season Ticket holders and Speedway Club members will receive a 10% discount on admission at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, as well as a 10% discount in the Hall of Fame Gear Shop when they show their Victory Lane Hard Card or Speedway Club membership card and photo ID. Members can also take advantage of racing simulator rides for just $3, a savings of 40 percent. When NASCAR Hall of Fame members visit Charlotte Motor Speedway, they'll receive a 10% discount on event tickets, as well as a 10% discount on merchandise and souvenirs in the Charlotte Motor Speedway gift shop. To receive the discount, Hall of Fame members need only to show their membership hard card at the ticket office or gift shop.(CMS)(3-29-2011)

  • Steel Frame Taking Shape on the World's Largest HD Video Board at CMS: The steel frame that will support the world's largest high-definition video board is more than 50% complete, as construction continues on the massive screen created by Panasonic, that will debut during Charlotte Motor Speedway's 2011 May race events. The 500,000-pound steel frame that will hold the 165,000-pound HD video board is scheduled to be completed by the end of March. Crews from Granite Contracting, of Concord, N.C., Mid-Atlantic Construction of Charlotte, N.C. and Eastern Sign Tech of Burlington, N.J. have erected six, 30-foot tall steel columns galvanized by Galvan Industries of Harrisburg, N.C. Each column weighs 18,500 pounds and is attached to a concrete footing. The approximately 200-foot-wide, 80-foot-tall screen will eventually rise 110 feet above the track on the steel support structure.
    During the next phase of construction on the world's largest HD video board, Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, will install the largest transformer in their product line, the Duke Power 1000 KW, 208 V, 3-phase transformer, which will be centered under the board's steel frame. Also, the installation of 158 panels that will make up the screen of the world's largest HD video board will start the first week of April. Thirteen sub-electric panels will also be installed, each of which will power a "panel riser," or a column of panels. Once construction is completed, more than nine million LED lamps will illuminate the Panasonic video board during each NASCAR race event at Charlotte Motor Speedway this spring, including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29.
    The screen will be centered along the backstretch between Turns 2 and 3, across from the start/finish line. Fans seated throughout the frontstretch from Turn 4 to Turn 1 will have clear viewing angles of instant replays, leaderboard updates and interactive entertainment displayed in 720P high-definition visuals. Information about tickets to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600 by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(3-15-2011)

  • Meet-and-Greet with Racing Legends During Hall of Fame Night: Race fans are invited to a limited engagement dinner and meet-and-greet event featuring six NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees during the inaugural Hall of Fame Night at The Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The event will take place March 12 at 6 p.m., following the Charlotte SpeedFest event at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees scheduled to appear at The Speedway Club include Bobby Allison, Ned Jarrett, Junior Johnson, Bud Moore, David Pearson and Richard Petty. Individual tickets are $150 and corporate tables are also available. Each ticket includes a three-course dinner from the award-winning chefs at The Speedway Club and a special commemorative gift. The deadline to RSVP for the Hall of Fame Night is March 4. For reservations, contact The Speedway Club at (704) 455-3252.(CMS)(3-10-2011)

  • No changes in All-Star Race: Charlotte Motor Speedway president Marcus Smith announced that there will be no changes to the format for this year's Sprint All-Star Race, which is scheduled for May 21. That's a departure from past All-Star races, which typically have some sort of new field inversion or segment change each year. "The big change is that there's not going to be a change," Smith said. The race will include 100 laps run in four segments, the first of which will feature 50 laps with a mandatory green-flag pit stop at Lap 25. The second and third segments are 20 laps each, followed by a 10-minute break and a final segment of 10 laps, with only green-flag laps counting.
    The field for the 27th All-Star Race will consist of race winners from the previous or current years, in addition to winners of the All-Star Race and the Sprint Cup championship from the past 10 years. Two drivers will race their way into the field through the Sprint Showdown, which precedes the main event, and one driver will qualify through votes from race fans. #88-Dale Earnhardt, who last won the All-Star Race in 2000, is no longer exempt into the field, but he's all but assured of winning the fan vote, should he remain winless between now and May 21.(Sporting News), see current eligible drivers on the 2011 Sprint All-Star Race page.(3-9-2011)

  • Charlotte SpeedFest Fan Appreciation Day: Charlotte Motor Speedway and motorsports entities across the region are putting fans first and celebrating the area's racing roots as only Charlotte can by offering a fun-filled day for the whole family with the first-ever Charlotte SpeedFest. Charlotte Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and area race teams including Roush Fenway Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing will say "thank you" to race fans with a fan appreciation day taking place on March 12, from 10:00 am/et to 3:00pm/et. The event coincides with the first 2011 off-weekend for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
    Presented by 3M, Charlotte SpeedFest activities at the speedway will include:
    - Free tours of Charlotte Motor Speedway and zMAX Dragway and free shuttles offered to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Hendrick Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing.
    - Appearances and autographs by NASCAR celebrities including SPEED television personalities, Miss Sprint Cup and motorsports artist Sam Bass.
    - Special one-day-only ticket offers for the May race events at Charlotte Motor Speedway, including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600, plus discounts on merchandise in the Charlotte Motor Speedway gift shop.
    - Free vouchers for NASCAR Hall of Fame simulator rides available at the speedway ticket office.
    - Free photo opportunities with NASCAR show cars, Miss Sprint Cup, Sprint show car and the Sprint Cup trophy.
    - Free tours and behind-the-microphone photo opportunities in the Performance Racing Network studios.
    - Free video game entertainment with the Coca-Cola Fan Van.
    - Activities for the kids including the Powerade Play Zone with inflatable slides and bounce houses, a petting zoo, face painting and appearances by Lug Nut, the world's fastest mascot.
    - Affordable concessions plus free popcorn in the speedway ticket office.
    - Live music on the Avenue of Flags at the speedway's main entrance.
    The Roush Fenway Racing gift shop and museum in Concord will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. for Charlotte SpeedFest featuring 15-percent discounts on all 2011 merchandise plus a free 3D-gaming show car simulator display.
    At Hendrick Motorsports, also in Concord, the museum and team store will be open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on March 12 and feature 15-percent discounts on all regularly priced merchandise, plus fans will receive a free Jimmie Johnson team championship hat with purchases of $50 or more. An interactive racing simulator will also be a free attraction for children of all ages.
    In Huntersville, N.C., Joe Gibbs Racing will offer 20-percent discounts at the gift shop in conjunction with the team's celebration of 20 years in NASCAR.
    Further announcements will be made in the coming weeks regarding new activities added to Charlotte SpeedFest and details will be posted at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com as they are confirmed.
    Tickets for all Spring Season of Speed events at Charlotte Motor Speedway are on sale now. Frontstretch tickets with the best views of pit road and the world's largest HD video board, coming to the speedway in May, start at just $49 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race or two for just $99 to the Coca-Cola 600. For more information, call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or go online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(3-9-2011)

  • Charlotte Hotels Reduce Rates and Waive Minimum Stays During May Race Weekends: Charlotte Motor Speedway will partner with regional tourism bureaus and area hotel operators to secure lower room rates for fans attending races during the weekends of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600, May 20 - 29. More than 50 hotels within approximately one hour of the 1.5-mile superspeedway have agreed to reduce their race week room rates by 15 percent and waive the minimum stay requirements. A full list of participating hotels is available at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/hotels or fans can call the speedway's ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) for information. In order to obtain the discounted rate, those interested must call the hotels directly and request the Speedway Special when making reservations. (CMS)(2-26-2011)

  • Charlotte Video Board Construction now has webcam: Fans can now watch the world's largest high-definition video board being built with the new construction cam posted at charlottemotorspeedway.com. The third phase of construction began this week on the video board, designed and created by Panasonic, that will debut during Charlotte Motor Speedway's 2011 May race events. Crews have started erecting six 30-foot tall steel columns galvanized by Galvan Industries of Harrisburg, N.C. Each column weighs 18,500 pounds and is being attached to concrete footings. The construction crews are using an 80-ton crane with a 100-foot arm to move the massive support columns into place. The approximately 200-foot-wide, 80-foot-tall screen will eventually rise 110 feet above the track on the steel support structure.(CMS)(2-24-2011)

  • New NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Ad Campaign to debut: NASCAR stars square off like it's high noon at the OK Corral in the new ad campaign for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The 30-second spot, titled "Wild West Throwdown," is scheduled to air nationally for the first time during the 10:00 am/et broadcast of "NASCAR Live" on SPEED this Saturday and features many of the biggest names in NASCAR. The NASCAR Sprint All-Star race, to be held under the lights on Saturday night, May 21, is the ultimate stand-off among the top drivers in NASCAR in a no-holds-barred throwdown for the $1 million prize. The race, now in its 27th year, annually produces some of the best duels and biggest drama in racing. The new campaign, created and directed by Victory Management Group and produced by NASCAR Media Group, plays off of that "throwdown" theme. The first scene of the television spot opens on Main Street in Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Whiskey River, a replica of an old western town on his property, complete with church, jail, general store and saloon. Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne are the good guys challenged to a duel by tough guys Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch. Just as they all draw their guns, the sheriff, wearing a black hat and gold badge, steps in to restore law and order. The actor playing the sheriff? None other than NASCAR President Mike Helton.(CMS)

  • Phase Two of CMS's World's Largest HD Video Board Construction: The second phase of construction began this week on the world's largest high-definition video board that will debut during Charlotte Motor Speedway's 2011 May race events. Long Foundation Drilling Company from Winston-Salem, N.C., and Mid-Atlantic Construction of Charlotte, N.C., are working with Eastern Sign Tech of Burlington, N.J., on phase two of the HD video board construction this week at the speedway. The construction crews are using an 80-ton crane with a 100-foot arm and a separate caisson drilling rig to dig the massive support column holes that will lift the Panasonic HD video board 110 feet above the track. This phase of site work will include removing 900 cubic yards of dirt by drilling 12 holes, each 54 inches in diameter, more than 50 feet deep to bedrock level. Concrete piers will then be installed in the holes to support the massive 500,000-pound steel frame that will hold the 165,000-pound video board. When completed, the total structure will weigh 332-and-a-half tons or 665,000 pounds.
    Using heavy earth-moving equipment, crews from Granite Contracting, of Concord, N.C., have already removed 18,000 cubic yards of dirt and 3,000 cubic yards of concrete behind the backstretch where the gigantic, nearly 16,000-square-foot screen will be located. The concrete bleachers that were removed were part of the speedway's original construction in 1960.
    Designed and created by Panasonic, the approximately 200-foot-wide, 80-foot-tall screen will be centered along the backstretch between Turns 2 and 3, across from the start/finish line. Fans seated throughout the frontstretch from Turn 4 to Turn 1 will have clear viewing angles of instant replays, leaderboard updates and interactive entertainment displayed in 720P high-definition visuals. The screen will be illuminated by more than nine million LED lamps during each NASCAR race event at Charlotte Motor Speedway this spring, including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29. Info about tickets for all 2011 events by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(2-5-2011)

  • Construction Continues for Installation of the World's Largest HD Video Board: Construction crews have nearly completed the first phase of work on the site where the world's largest high-definition video board will rise 110 feet above the track for its debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway's 2011 May race events. Crews have removed 18,000 cubic yards of dirt and 3,000 cubic yards of concrete behind the backstretch where the gigantic, nearly 16,000-square-foot screen will be located. The next phase of site work will include removing another 900 cubic yards of dirt by drilling 12 holes, each 54 inches in diameter, more than 50 feet deep to bedrock level. Concrete piers will then be installed in the holes to support the massive 500,000-pound steel frame that will hold the 165,000-pound video board. When completed, the total structure will weigh 332-and-a-half tons or 665,000 pounds.(CMS)(1-26-2011)

  • $20.11 Holds Any Ticket Order in 2011 at Charlotte: To ring in the new year, Charlotte Motor Speedway is offering fans the chance to reserve any seat at "The Greatest Place to See the Race" for just $20.11 by calling the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). After reserving tickets for just a $20.11 down payment, fans can develop a customized, interest-free payment plan and reserve their favorite seats to one of the speedway's premier NASCAR, NHRA and World of Outlaws Series events. In addition to individual event tickets and season ticket packages, other special ticket promotions are available. For more information on ticket promotions and ticket pricing visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com. To reserve seats for any of these events for only $20.11, fans must call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) and speak directly to a Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket agent to develop a customized, interest-free payment plan (CMS)(1-22-2011)

  • Carolina Christmas at CMS a success: The "Carolina Christmas" drive-through light park at Charlotte Motor Speedway met expectations in its first year, even with some tough weather challenges in December, according to the lead organizer. "It went great," Mike Miller, president of Salisbury-based Miller Davis Inc., said Tuesday. "We're not exactly sure on the total numbers ... but 200,000 plus people and some phenomenal nights." Those big nights of more than 2,000 vehicles were tempered by evenings of low attendance because of the weather, even a snowy Christmas Day. Overall, he said the speedway received positive feedback on the drive-through light display, the Bethlehem village and skating rink. Miller said his company, which planned, marketed and oversaw the 42-night run of "Carolina Christmas," already is tweaking things for a bigger Carolina Christmas in 2011. The 2.5-mile, drive-through park of 1 million lights in 2010 probably will expand to 4 miles this year. A "huge hit" in the first Carolina Christmas was visitors' being able to drive on a portion of the Charlotte Motor Speedway's high-banked track, Miller said. The light park will incorporate more of that experience in 2011. Also, the world's largest television screen, or Jumbotron, will be installed at the track this year. It will be integrated into the speedway's holiday celebration. Miller Davis is talking with several other venues, including other Bruton Smith-owned racetracks, about doing similar Christmas drive-through light parks. Winterland, the Indiana lighting contractor for Carolina Christmas, "has engaged us to help them expand light parks throughout the country," Miller said.(Salisbury Post)(1-16-2011)

  • Construction Begins on World's Largest HD Video Board at CMS: Construction crews using dump trucks and excavators have begun preparations for the debut of the world's largest HD video board at Charlotte Motor Speedway's 2011 May race events. Crews from Granite Contracting, of Concord, N.C., are using the heavy earth-moving equipment this week for the initial grading on the backstretch near Gate 25 where the gigantic, nearly 16,000-square-foot board will be located.
    Designed and created by Panasonic, the approximately 200-foot-wide and 80-foot-tall screen will be centered along the backstretch between Turns 2 and 3, across from the start/finish line. Fans seated throughout the frontstretch from Turn 4 to Turn 1 will have clear viewing angles of instant replays, leaderboard updates and interactive entertainment displayed in 720P high-definition visuals. The screen will be illuminated by more than nine million LED lamps during each NASCAR race event at Charlotte Motor Speedway this spring, including the May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the May 29 Coca-Cola 600.
    To prepare the base of the construction site, approximately 18,000 cubic yards of dirt and 3,000 cubic yards of concrete will be removed during the month of January to bring the current grade down to the track wall level. The concrete will be removed during demolition of bleachers that were part of the speedway's original construction in 1960. Later this month, site work will include drilling 12 holes more than 50 feet deep for the installation of concrete piers to support the massive 165,000-pound structure.(images and ticket info at the CMS site)(1-14-2011)

  • Bank of America renews with CMS: The green flag will drop for a sixth Bank of America 500 in 2011 courtesy of a one-year renewal the bank negotiated with Charlotte Motor Speedway and Speedway Motorsports Inc. The deal extends the bank's five-year title sponsorship of NASCAR's fall Sprint Cup race and also prolongs its partnerships with five tracks owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc. The short-term extension allows the bank to align the terms of its SMI partnerships with its International Speedway Corp. and NASCAR partnerships. As a result, it can negotiate its entire portfolio of NASCAR assets collectively in 2011. The extension is the first sports marketing deal negotiated by Bank of America's new global sponsorship marketing executive, Charles Greenstein, since he was named to the position in September. Financial terms of the agreement weren't available. Race title sponsorships at Charlotte Motor Speedway typically cost between $1.5 million and $3 million per year. The deal makes Bank of America the official bank at speedways in Charlotte; Fort Worth, Texas; Atlanta; Sonoma, Calif.; and Las Vegas, as well.(Charlotte Business Journal)(12-14-2010)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Accepting Applications for 2011 Fan Council: Charlotte Motor Speedway is currently recruiting race fans to join the 2011 Charlotte Motor Speedway Fan Council. Those interested in serving on the Fan Council and offering their opinions to improve the fan experience at Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMAX Dragway and The Dirt Track at Charlotte are invited to download the application from the speedway's website, www.charlottemotorspeedway.com, and submit the form by Jan. 3. The Charlotte Motor Speedway Fan Council, formed in August 2008, is used to gather feedback from a cross-section of fans to determine changes that need to be implemented to improve the fan experience at the speedway, drag strip and dirt track.(CMS)(12-4-2010)

  • Sam Bass Slated For Carolina Christmas At CMS: Sam Bass, NASCAR's first officially licensed artist, and the official artist of Charlotte Motor Speedway, has contributed his artistic talent and graphic design expertise to Carolina Christmas at Charlotte Motor for the 2010 holiday season. "Carolina Christmas is a wonderful concept - I have been creating art for Charlotte Motor Speedway since 1985 and the holidays are my favorite time of year," Sam Bass said. "This event offers the best of both worlds - my home track and the opportunity to share the spirit of the holidays with thousands of guests attending the event."
    Bass, known for his innovative race car designs, has designed a 2010 Toyota Camry pace car for Carolina Christmas. The holiday-themed pace car features the speedway's mascot Lug Nut and a host of holiday characters. Bass' whimsical design may be seen at holiday parades throughout the region. "Having created Lug Nut for the speedway in the early 1990s, it gave me great pleasure to feature him on this holiday-themed car," Bass said from his studio, across the street from the famed track. "The holidays are all about children and this design speaks to the child in all of us! I have been creating holiday themed art for a number of years and Carolina Christmas is a perfect place to showcase my Santas & Snowmen Collection!"
    Bass will set up a "North Pole" art gallery in the Cup Garage during Carolina Christmas where he will offer select merchandise, including his Santas & Snowmen Collection. Limited edition prints, posters, holiday cards and other gift items will be on sale. Sam himself will stop by the booth periodically during the course of the event to visit with fans. Please check www.sambass.com for his appearance schedule. The main Sam Bass Gallery is located at the corner of Morehead Road and Performance Drive, across from Charlotte Motor Speedway. Show your Carolina Christmas ticket at the main gallery for a 15% discount on purchases made between November 22 and December 23.(11-30-2010)

  • Speedway Children's Charities Distributed More Than $725,000: Speedway Children's Charities donated in excess of $725,000 to organizations in the Charlotte, N.C., region benefiting area children during the grand opening of Carolina Christmas, Nov. 22 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In a special presentation Monday, November 22nd, the dollar amount donated was unveiled in a LED, or light emitting diode, display as more than 75 children from area charities were on hand for the program. Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway and president of Speedway Children's Charities Charlotte Chapter, joined Santa Claus in awarding grants to 75 local organizations Monday evening. Throughout the course of the year Speedway Children's Charities has donated to 92 organizations, directly impacting more than 45,000 children. Speedway Children's Charities raised the money through various fundraising activities along with individual and corporate donations throughout the year.
    A number of area agencies will directly benefit from the funds, including A Better World (helps provide finances to operate after-school programs), Birthday Blessings (Shelter Party Program hosts birthday parties for homeless children and their families), Northeast Foundation, Inc. (helps fund Camp Open Airways and Camp Sweet Freedom for asthmatic and diabetic children to attend a summer day camp under medical supervision to control their asthma and diabetes while participating in typical camp activities) and Thompson Child & Family Focus (provides comprehensive early childhood education where typically developing and special needs children learn together).
    In addition to the grant distribution, Charlotte Motor Speedway celebrated the opening night of Carolina Christmas, a spectacular new 2.5-mile drive-through Christmas light park and village located on the track and infield of the legendary superspeedway. The celebration included fireworks and the simultaneous lighting of the entire Carolina Christmas display, which features more than a million lights and 500 different light displays.
    For more information visit www.charlotte.speedwaycharities.org for a list of 2010 Charlotte Chapter Grant Recipients, see the press release at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(11-24-2010)

  • Race Fans Get Rare Chance to Drive Around Charlotte Motor Speedway on FRIDAY: Race fans from around the country will visit Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, Nov. 26, for the opportunity to drive their personal vehicles on the famed superspeedway for the 18th annual Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out. Shoppers who spend at least $50 on merchandise or race tickets, or donate $25 to Speedway Children's Charities during the annual day-after-Thanksgiving event, will be allowed to drive their personal vehicle for three laps around the track. This chance of a lifetime will allow fans to see the 1.5-mile quad-oval like never before and will put them in the tire tracks of NASCAR legends such as Bobby Allison, Dale Earnhardt, David Pearson and Richard Petty.
    Not only will cars and trucks of the four-wheel-variety take to the extreme 24-degree banking of the superspeedway's corners, but more than 200 motorcycles from the Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA), are expected to drive on the track. The GWRRA, a club open to owners of Honda Gold Wing motorcycles, made their first appearance at the Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out in 2009, with nearly 100 riders. The organization which has more than 40,000 members nationally and more than 30 local chapters in North Carolina, uses the event as an opportunity to give back to the community. Last year, the group made a donation of nearly $2,000 to Speedway Children's Charities for their three laps of thrills.
    For every $10 shoppers spend at the ticket office, gift shop, or souvenir haulers, they will receive a sticker to be placed on a ride card. Once five stickers have been affixed, the card can be redeemed for a ride voucher that can be picked-up inside the Charlotte Motor Speedway gift shop. Once obtaining the ride voucher, fans will proceed to Gate 1 and enter the track through the Turn 4 tunnel. Cars will be guided onto pit road and assembled into groups. Once assembled, they will make their way down pit road and onto the track for three laps behind one of the track's Toyota pace cars. A wide variety of vehicles are expected to cruise the track between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, including classic muscle cars and modern sports cars, to minivans and souped-up trucks.
    In addition to numerous track souvenirs, Charlotte Motor Speedway will offer a full line of NASCAR memorabilia and apparel at reduced prices with many of those items selling for only $1. There will also be a wide variety of hats and t-shirts available starting at just $3.
    Nearly a dozen NASCAR souvenir rigs, including those of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart, among others will be on hand offering drastically reduced prices, with memorabilia ranging from T-shirts and hats, to posters and die-cast cars.
    In addition, the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office will be open throughout the event, offering shoppers the perfect gift for that race fan on their holiday shopping list. Fans who purchase $99 in race tickets will receive a free $25 gift card good for Charlotte Motor Speedway tickets, camping or pit passes. Tickets to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race start at just $39 and tickets to the Coca-Cola 600 start at only $49. Gift cards are also available for stocking stuffers in $25 or $50 amounts. Event hours are 8:00 am to 4:00 pm on Friday. For more information on the Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway gift shop at (704) 455-3202 or visit online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(11-24-2010)

  • Eckert is First Woman to Earn Salesperson of the Year Award at CMS: Dianne Eckert has earned Charlotte Motor Speedway's 2010 Salesperson of the Year, making her the first woman to win the award in the speedway's 51-year history. Eckert, a California native, who now resides in Concord, earned this prestigious award after securing numerous accounts in 2010 and increasing her business by 135% this year. After spending 11 years teaching at a Christian academy in Texas, Eckert moved to North Carolina in 1995. The next year, Eckert joined Charlotte Motor Speedway working part-time in the speedway's ticket office. Eckert's determination and persistence propelled her to a full-time position in the speedway's corporate sales department in 2005. As part of her award, Eckert will attend the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship banquet in Las Vegas with her husband Timothy. Tickets for all May 2011 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday night, May 21, and the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 29, are now available. They can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(11-22-2010)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway's New Family Seating Section: Charlotte Motor Speedway has revolutionized the family experience at NASCAR events by creating the most family-friendly grandstand in all of motorsports. The brand new Family Seating Section will make its debut on during the Dollar General 300 on Oct. 15 and the Bank of America 500 on Oct.16.
    The new family-oriented environment will give parents with young children the option to sit in a smoke-and-alcohol-free family section, as well as provide kid-friendly activities throughout the weekend. The Family Seating Section will be located in the Toyota Fourth Turn Terrace grandstand.
    In addition to the special seating section, numerous entertainment options for the kids will be conveniently located on the concourse directly below the Family Seating Section. The concourse will feature an inflatable monster truck bounce house, a face painter, a caricature artist and a display by Plaster Creations, where children can paint NASCAR themed ornaments.
    Lug Nut, the world's fastest mascot, will also make special appearances, along with his friends Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and Woodstock from the Peanuts Gang at Carowinds amusement park in Charlotte, N.C.The Family Seating Section concourse will offer a picnic and seating area with kid-friendly concession stands for meal or break time. Included on the menu is a kids' meal consisting of peanut butter and jelly, carrot sticks, apple slices and a juice box.
    Racing-themed booster seats will be available for use free of charge for the viewing convenience of the speedway's smaller fans. In addition, special blue and pink ear muffs for children's hearing protection will be available for purchase.
    The Charlotte Motor Speedway Coca-Cola Fan Van will also be parked underneath the Family Seating Section and offer family fun and entertainment for children of all ages. Families can play cornhole, compete in NASCAR-simulated racing on one of four gaming stations, rock out with Guitar Hero or try a refreshing sample of Powerade Play. Parents visiting the Fan Van will have the opportunity to sign their children up for the Little Luggies Race Club, a kids club at Charlotte Motor Speedway that centers around the speedway's official mascot, Lug Nut. The club helps all the little racers join in the speedway's fun and receive emails, a birthday postcard, and special prizes from Lug Nut.
    Tickets for the Family Seating Section and all October 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)(10-15-2010)

  • Charlotte City Buses Turn into Race Cars for NASCAR Month: Charlotte Motor Speedway is teaming up with the Charlotte Area Transit System, or CATS, in Charlotte, N.C., on an innovative new way to promote the speedway's October NASCAR events. Two CATS buses will get a custom wrap that looks exactly like a NASCAR stock car. The buses will carry ticket information and logos for three NASCAR events taking place at the speedway in October: Bojangles' Pole Night on Oct. 14, the Dollar General 300 on Oct. 15 and the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 16. The artwork was designed by SMI Properties. The bus wraps are the first for CATS since its formation in 1998. The wrapped buses will take various routes around Charlotte. CATS operates more than 70 routes in the city, transporting more than 22 million passengers each year.
    Charlotte Motor Speedway is once again partnering with CATS to bring bus service from Center City Charlotte to the track. Starting from the Charlotte Transportation Center, race fans can take the 79X Concord Mills Express to beat the traffic and enjoy the Bank of America 500 at the speedway for just $7 round-trip. The route will run every 20 minutes from noon to 6 p.m. on Oct. 16. Return trips will begin immediately after the checkered flag as race fans make their way to the buses near the track's main entrance. Tickets can be purchased at the Charlotte Transportation Center at 310 East Trade Street in Center City or online at secure.ridetransit.org/psales/. For more information visit www.ridetransit.org or call (704) 336-RIDE (7433).
    Tickets for all October 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). Six-pack tickets start at just $33.17 per person, or fans can get four nights of great racing with the Bank of America 500 Weekend Super Ticket for just $99.(CMS)(10-12-2010)

  • Biggest Bank of America 500 Week Ever Shaping Up in Charlotte: The Charlotte, N.C., region is gearing up for the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 16, and in addition to attending the only night race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, racing enthusiasts of all ages will have a host of other opportunities to totally immerse themselves in the sport of NASCAR all week long. From Sunday, Oct. 10 through Sunday, Oct. 17, Charlotte and its surrounding cities will boast the most robust lineup of activities in the 51-year history of the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Fans in town for the races can plan a visit to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, take a lap around the legendary superspeedway on foot or in a driving-school race car, tour one of the many team shops in the area or participate in number of special events being held throughout the week. With children's tickets for many events priced at just $10, or just $1 for Bojangles' Pole Night at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 14, entertaining the entire family at a major sports event has never been more affordable. Great ticket packages are available for all events, like the Bank of America Fan 4 Pack that includes tickets, hot dogs and Coca-Cola drinks starting at just $39.75 per person. Tickets can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(10-12-2010)

  • Sinkhole on the property of Charlotte Motor Speedway: A sinkhole has formed at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, on the infield near the back end of the track. A Speedway representative said the sinkhole was likely caused by the recent spate of rain. In addition, part of the speedway is built on top of a landfill, which could have added to the issue. Crews have already started work to fill the hole and hope to have it repaired before next week's Bank of America 500.(WSOC)(10-5-2010)
    UPDATE: Anyone who reserved a camper spot near the sinkhole will be moved to another area of the track, according to the Speedway representative.(WSOC) and see a slideshow of images of the sinkhole at WSOCtv.com.(10-6-2010)

  • Fans Are Given Unprecedented Access to NASCAR Stars at Charlotte: NASCAR fans are clamoring for more chances to see their favorite drivers and Charlotte Motor Speedway is listening. Building on its Fans First philosophy, Charlotte Motor Speedway is providing an unprecedented number of opportunities for fans to get closer to the stars of their favorite sport during Bank of America 500 Week Oct. 14-16. Through a variety of ticket packages and free events, fans will see the following NASCAR drivers and legends:
    - Richard Petty and Junior Johnson; Kasey Kahne; Kenny Wallace; Jamie McMurray; Jeff Burton; many Nationwide Series Drivers and other Top NASCAR Stars
    PRN Up To SPEED is the popular free fan forum that will take place at the SPEED stage, located at the speedway's main entrance, prior to the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 16. Several NASCAR stars are scheduled to join personalities from the Performance Racing Network for the 30 minute Q-and-A session. Tickets for all October races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(9-30-2010)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway partners with hotels for cheaper stays: Charlotte Motor Speedway will partner with regional tourism bureaus and area hotel operators to secure lower room rates for fans attending races during Bank of America 500 Week, Oct. 13 - 16. More than 50 hotels within approximately one hour of the 1.5-mile superspeedway have agreed to reduce their race week room rates by 15 percent and waive the minimum stay requirements. "We strive to make the fan experience at Charlotte Motor Speedway second to none," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "We understand that lodging can be a significant expense and we are very thankful to these area hotels who have taken the initiative to help fans alleviate some of those costs." A full list of participating hotels is available here or fans can call the speedway's ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). In order to obtain the discounted rate, those interested must call the hotels directly and request the Speedway Special when making reservations.(CMS)(9-28-2010)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway to Host Gigantic New Holiday Light Show - Nov. 22, 2010 through Jan. 2, 2011: North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue and Charlotte Motor Speedway officials announced plans for Carolina Christmas, a spectacular 2.5-mile drive-through Christmas light park and village located on the track and infield of the legendary superspeedway.
    Open nightly from Nov. 22 through Jan. 2, Carolina Christmas will be one of the largest holiday light shows in the United States, featuring nearly 500 different LED, or light emitting diode, light displays, a realistic Bethlehem-themed village, NASCAR souvenir rigs for Christmas shopping, and themed areas for children with food, music, rides and photos with Santa.
    The LED technology will give a new meaning to the "green" typically associated with Christmas. The highly efficient LED lights use nearly 90% less energy and produce a brighter light than incandescent bulbs. During its 42-night schedule, the displays will use approximately 12,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, less than 10 typical North Carolina households in a given month. Based on tourism research benchmarks and an in-depth study of other Christmas light parks in the United States, event organizers estimate 250,000 people will visit Carolina Christmas, generating a $10.2 million economic impact on the region and creating 80 seasonal jobs.
    The addition of Carolina Christmas creates a "Christmas Corridor" during the holiday season that includes Concord Mills Mall and dozens of dining, entertainment and hotel attractions along Bruton Smith Boulevard in Concord.
    Operating hours for Carolina Christmas will be 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm from Nov. 22 through Jan. 2, 2011. Tickets will be available online at VisitCarolinaChristmas.com beginning in mid-October and also be available at the gate nightly during event hours for drive-up traffic. Admission is just $20 per passenger vehicle, with group and motorcoach packages available.(CMS)(9-21-2010)

  • Charlotte to install world's largest HD video board: Continuing a tradition of innovation and fabulous firsts, Speedway Motorsports Inc. Chairman Bruton Smith and Charlotte Motor Speedway officials announced a partnership with Panasonic to revolutionize the fan experience at sporting events with the creation of the world's largest high-definition video board. Panasonic will also become the founding sponsor of the video board and a Speedway Motorsports Inc. alliance partner around its broad portfolio of advanced technologies. At an incredible length of 200 feet wide, standing 80 feet tall and weighing 165,000 pounds, the video board will cover an expansive 16,000 square feet and be located between Turns 2 and 3 along the backstretch of the legendary superspeedway. Fans seated throughout the frontstretch from Turn 4 to Turn 1 will have clear viewing angles of the gigantic board that will feature 720P high-definition visuals illuminated by more than nine million light emitting diode, or LED, lamps. In addition to the live race coverage, the video board will provide fans with interactive entertainment, continuous leaderboard updates, sponsor information and instant replays. Construction will begin on the video board following the Oct. 13-16 Bank of America 500 Week at Charlotte Motor Speedway and is scheduled to be complete by April, 2011.(CMS)(9-22-2010)

  • Safety Training Class Prepares Track Services Personnel For Charlotte: On Sept. 11-12, more than 80 students gathered at Charlotte Motor Speedway for a two-day track services personnel training session in preparation for the Bank of America 500 Weekend at the Mecca of Motorsports. Twenty instructors led the sessions, which included classroom training and hands-on experiences for fire, rescue and EMS personnel. Topics covered included extrication, fire suppression and on-track EMS. The teaching staff consisted of instructors from nine race tracks: Charlotte, Texas, Kentucky, Darlington, Martinsville, Atlanta, Phoenix, Homestead and Memphis Motorsports Park. Also, on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, the instructors were joined by two FDNY firefighters who assisted with the training sessions: Mark Stone, Assistant Chief, FDNY Incident Management Team and Pater Cachia, Bureau of Operations.
    Charlotte Motor Speedway has been a pioneer in safety training for NASCAR events and was the first NASCAR-sanctioned race track to offer such a class, starting in 1991. Personnel from other tracks including Indianapolis and Talladega came to the classes as students and began implementing similar programs at their respective tracks a few years later. Charlotte Motor Speedway was the first track to have its own rescue truck and the first to put paramedics on the track fire trucks.
    Tickets for all October races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(9-15-2010)

  • Food Lion AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway: The world's only collection of street legal bumper cars, a 70th anniversary display of 1940 Fords, custom vans and recent The Tonight Show guest 92-year-old Rachel Veitch are just a few of the attractions scheduled for the Aug. 26-29 Food Lion AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    Also Including: Street Legal Bumper Cars, Custom Vans, Rachel Veitch and her "Chariot", 1940 Fords, Speedway Children's Charities and Tommy Pike Customs team up to build a high-performance roadster, Tailgate Vehicles, Fall Speedway Collector Car Auction, Richard Petty, Junior Johnson Autograph Signings, The Speedway Club open to AutoFair attendees, Legend Car and Bandolero Test Drives, Taste of Food Lion, Powerade Play Zone and Lego Build Zone for kids, Fair Foods at AutoFair including the Mac Daddy Dog (a hot dog encased in macaroni pasta and pimento cheese), Car Club Shows, Automotive Art, Huge Car Corral (1,500+ vehicles available for sale), Giant Flea Market, Manufacturers' Midway and the Awards Ceremony for car club awards.
    AutoFair hours are 8:00 am to 6:00pm/et, Thursday through Saturday and 8:00 am to 4:00 pm/et, Sunday. Ticket prices are $10 for adults; children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Parking for the event is $5. For more information on the four-day event, contact the speedway events department at (704) 455-3205 or visit the website at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(8-26-2010)

  • Evernhan & Bruton to partner up: on Saturday afternoon, August 21st at Bristol Motor Speedway, Bruton Smith and Ray Evernham are scheduled to hold joint press conference about a new partnership that they say is preserving and protecting the future of racing for generations to come.(8-21-2010)
    UPDATE: Bruton Smith, chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., and Ray Evernham, CEO of Ray Evernham Enterprises, have partnered to launch a new dirt track racing series as part of U.S. Legend Cars International. The series will run an innovative dirt track version of the Legend Car, designed by Evernham. "The local tracks around the country are where the stars of the sport get their start, and we need to create the opportunities that inspire young racers today and hone their talents for tomorrow," said Smith. "Grassroots racing is a passion of mine and of Ray's, and through this partnership we can give back to our roots and support the future of grassroots racing." The series will initially run at East Lincoln Speedway in Stanley, N.C. next year, which is owned by Evernham, and expand to other top dirt tracks around the country. A special unveiling of the new car will be held on October 13, 2010, at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway, followed by an on-track demonstration in early November.(LegendsNation)(8-21-2010)

  • Edwards and Keselowski Invited to Settle Score in School Buses at CMS: Charlotte Motor Speedway officials are inviting NASCAR drivers Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski to 'settle the score', after their incident at Gateway International Raceway's Nationwide race last Saturday, behind the wheels of 13-ton school buses during Tuesday night's Kangaroo Express Summer Shootout Series. The two NASCAR stars have had more than their share of on-track run-ins over the past 16 months, with the latest coming this past weekend at Gateway International Raceway, where they tangled twice on the final lap, with Edwards emerging the victor of the duel and the race. More info and tickets about the Kangaroo Express Summer Shootout Series at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS), no word if the driver accepted the challenge.(7-20-2010)

  • Local driver wins Legends Million: Kannapolis, N.C., native Daniel Hemric won the inaugural Legends Million, the largest grassroots race in history, at Charlotte Motor Speedway, taking home an unprecedented $250,000 with the victory. Leading the first 89 laps of the 100-lap A-Feature, it looked as if pole-sitter Doug Stevens was going to complete a perfect weekend by winning the Legends Million. Stevens was the fastest qualifier on Thursday, then led all 20 laps of his Friday heat race, securing the pole for Saturday's main event. Stevens was able to keep a hard-charging Hemric at bay for 51 laps by staying on the bottom of the race track, but with pressure form Hemric, Stevens' car slid up the track going into Turn 1 on Lap 89. That small miscue was all Hemric needed to take over the lead with just 11 laps to go. Stevens wasn't ready to give up, riding Hemric's bumper for next few laps, before Hemric's machine pulled away by several car lengths. Stevens held on to finish second, followed by Steven Cantrell, [Sprint Cup driver] David Ragan and Tyler Green. Legend Car and Bandolero racing continues Tuesday night, July 20, at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with the Kangaroo Express Summer Shootout Series. Round seven of the 10-week series will be Double Points Night featuring school bus racing. Spectator gates open at 4:30 p.m. For additional information or tickets to the Kangaroo Express Summer Shootout Series, contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(7-18-2010)

  • SPEED to Televise Legends Million at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Charlotte Motor Speedway officials announced a new television agreement with SPEED today for coverage of the Legends Million, the largest grassroots race in history, taking place at the track July 15-17. SPEED's national telecast will air Saturday, July 17, from 8:00 pm to 11:00pm/et. The program will include live coverage of the 100-lap A-Main feature and taped highlights from Thursday and Friday night's action. U.S. Legend Cars International and Charlotte Motor Speedway announced the inaugural Legends Million earlier this year. The biggest Legend Car race ever, the Legends Million is a one-of-a-kind grassroots event featuring a total purse of $1 million with the A-Main winner guaranteed to take home an unprecedented $250,000. The final spot in the feature is assured $10,000. For schedule and tickets, go to charlottemotorspeedway.com.(7-14-2010)
    AND: Veteran motor sports broadcaster Dave Despain, whose popular Sunday night show, Wind Tunnel, airs milestone episode No. 500 in November, will host SPEED's live and exclusive coverage of the inaugural Legends Million from Charlotte Motor Speedway on July 17 at 7:30 pm/et. Competitors who register for the Legends Million must register in one of three divisions: Young Lions/Semi-Pro, Masters or The Legends Million, which is open to all drivers. Each division will run heat races and an A-Main race, with the Legends Million A-Feature serving as the grand finale of the three-day event. Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Phil Parsons will call the race for SPEED with Matt Yocum and Marty Snider working the pits.(SPEED)(7-14-2010)

  • Earlier Indy 500 start time likely: An earlier starting time for the Indianapolis 500 to accommodate drivers wishing to compete in it and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 on the same day is likely to happen, Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Jeff Belskus said this week. "We're inclined to change our starting time," Belskus said. "We do want to try to make it happen." Belskus said ABC, which owns television rights to the 500, has been consulted and hasn't indicated it would oppose a switch to 11 a.m. from the current 1 p.m. The idea gained momentum in May when Bruton Smith, CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc., proposed putting up a $20 million bonus for any driver who could win both races on the same day. Smith and Indy Racing League CEO Randy Bernard were asked about the status of their negotiations last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "We've had some dialogue on some big ideas," Bernard said as Smith nodded his assent. Neither would elaborate.(Indianapolis Star)(7-3-2010)

  • CMS drops lawsuit against Concord, Cabarrus County: Bruton Smith has dropped his lawsuit against the city of Concord and Cabarrus County. Smith, the president of Speedway Motorsports, was suing for $80 million that he said he was owed for keeping Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord. Smith's attorney said the lawsuit was dropped without prejudice, meaning it could be re-filed. The attorney said Smith is currently in negotiation with both municipalities, hoping to settle the matter out of court.(WCNC)(6-3-2010)

  • NC USO President named Grand Marshal for Coca Cola 600: Paying tribute to America's military has become a tradition each Memorial Day weekend as thousands of fans gather for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In addition to honoring service members this year, Coca-Cola is recognizing the USO and the important role the organization plays in supporting U.S. troops around the globe. Coca-Cola has named John Falkenbury, United Service Organizations of North Carolina president and chief operating officer, the grand marshal for the 51st running of the Coca-Cola 600. Joining Falkenbury in delivering the most famous words in motorsports will be Megan Grady, USO of North Carolina Charlotte Center Director, as well as three recently reunited military families representing the Army, Marines and Air Force. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael S. Foley; U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. James Dickens; U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. Dustin Barnes and their respective families, will be special guests of Coca-Cola throughout race weekend and will help lead the fans in reciting the "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines" command. Each service member recently was reunited with his family following an overseas deployment. For more information about the USO visit www.uso.org.(CMS)(5-30-2010)

  • Pre-Race Show to Honor Generations of U.S. Military: The Let Freedom Race pre-race show for the May 30 Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway will feature a spectacular tribute to generations of men and women who have served, are currently serving or have made the ultimate sacrifice in the U.S. Armed Forces.
    Coca-Cola 600 pre-race festivities will honor veterans from World War II, the Vietnam War, the Korean War and more modern-day conflicts including Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, as well as active military currently serving worldwide. Special fly-overs, static displays and decorated heroes from each era will be featured as part of the festivities.
    The Let Freedom Race Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show will start at 3:50pm/et with a parade of force protection military vehicles. Video presentations produced by The History Channel highlighting World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War will be played on the speedway's Sprint Vision screens. A P-51 Mustang owned by Roush Fenway Racing founder and co-owner Jack Roush, and a replica of the legendary Memphis Belle B-17 bomber will fly over the speedway following the World War II video. A giant C-47 transport plane will follow the Korean War video, with an A1-H Skyraider and a T-28 Trojan airplane flyover scheduled to follow the Vietnam War presentation.
    A video honoring active war troops and veterans will be played, followed by a target demolition simulation by U.S. Army special forces troops from Fort Bragg, N.C., that will include Little Bird and Blackhawk helicopters and a pair of 105 mm Howitzer guns. Following completion of the demonstration, 600 additional soldiers from Fort Bragg will march down the frontstretch.
    Medal of Honor recipients Robert Maxwell (World War II), Ronald Rosser (Korea) and Charles Hagemeister (Vietnam) will then be recognized on the pre-race stage. A tribute to honor the families of fallen soldiers from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C., including Captain Thomas "Lag" Gramith and Captain Mark "Pit Bull" McDowell, who was from Charlotte, will follow.
    Singing the national anthem before the Coca-Cola 600 will be Charlotte native Cpl. John Hyland, who lost his leg in Iraq during a reconnaissance mission on Sept. 11, 2007. Hyland received the Purple Heart for his heroism and service. A life-long NASCAR fan, Hyland worked as a guest services employee at Charlotte Motor Speedway and is a trained opera singer who has performed at the Opera Festival di Roma in Italy. Just before the national anthem, more than 100 family members of Fort Bragg soldiers will unfurl the American flag in front of the pre-race stage.
    The final fly-over before the start of the race will include four F-15 Eagles flown by pilots from the 333rd Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.
    Additional pre-race festivities for the Coca-Cola 600 will include performances by the U.S. Army drill team and the 82nd Airborne Division Chorus; the arrival of the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team; a 21-gun salute by soldiers from Fort Bragg; a bagpipe performance of "Amazing Grace" by the Charlotte Fire Department Pipe Band; and "Taps" played by a Fort Bragg bugler.
    Also during the pre-race festivities, retired U.S. Army Col. Walter Marm will be honored with the Stonewall Jackson Award. Presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway annually since 1992, the award recognizes standards of patriotism through personal support of the military and personal service to sacrifice above and beyond the call of duty. Tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS. Friends and family four-pack tickets start at just $39.75 per person for the Coca-Cola 600 and at $35 per person for the NASCAR Sprint All Star Race on May 22. Interest-free payment plans are available.(CMS)(5-30-2010)

  • Coca-Cola 600 Pre-Race Festivities to Feature Military Salute: During the pre-race show for the 51st running of the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 30, Charlotte Motor Speedway officials will salute the U.S. armed forces with a military demonstration, special awards, military band performances and a presentation with Medal of Honor recipients. The pre-race festivities will also include appearances by the cast of "The A-Team," Twentieth Century Fox's summer motion picture event which opens June 11, an invocation by renowned family advocate Dr. James Dobson and the singing of the national anthem by wounded veteran and trained opera singer Cpl. John Hyland. Gates will open at 12:30 pm/et. An approximate timeline of pre-race events follows:
    4:00 p.m. - 4:40 p.m.
    A procession of force protection military vehicles will take a parade lap around the track, followed by the presentation of the Stonewall Jackson Award to Col. Joe Marm and the Hometown Heroes Award presentation to 1st Sgt. James Jetton and Staff Sgt. Mary Nelms, both from Charlotte, N.C. Following the presentation, the 82nd Airborne Division Chorus and the U.S. Army Drill Team will perform.
    4:40 p.m. - 5:20 p.m.
    Video presentations produced by The History Channel will be played on Sprint Vision screens honoring veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, as well as active military and veterans from modern-day conflicts including Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Following the presentations, a parade of vintage military planes will take to the skies, including a P-51 Mustang owned by Roush Fenway Racing founder and co-owner Jack Roush, a legendary B-17 bomber that played the role of the Memphis Belle in the 1990 movie of the same name, a giant C-47 transport plane, an A1-H Skyraider and a T-28 Trojan. Personnel from Fort Bragg, N.C., will conduct a military demonstration on the frontstretch involving Little Bird helicopters, military vehicles, a Howitzer demonstration and more than 600 troops.
    Medal of Honor recipients Robert Maxwell (World War II), Ronald Rosser (Korea) and Charles Hagemeister (Vietnam) will be recognized on the pre-race stage. A tribute to honor the families of fallen soldiers from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C., including Capt. Thomas "Lag" Gramith and Capt. Mark "Pit Bull" McDowell, who hailed from Charlotte, will follow.
    5:20 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.
    A host of VIPs will grace the pre-race stage including Honorary Race Director Eric Cantor, Virginia Congressman; Honorary Starter Joe Hackney, North Carolina House Speaker; cast members from "The A-Team," including Jessica Biel; several executives from Coca-Cola, and John Schnatter, founder of Papa John's. Driver introductions for the Coca-Cola 600 will follow.
    5:45 p.m. - 6:10 p.m.
    The U.S. Army parachute team The Golden Knights will perform a jump over the speedway. Dr. James Dobson, founder of the non-profit group Focus on the Family and host of the radio program "Family Talk," will give the invocation. Purple Heart recipient, Charlotte native, opera singer and NASCAR fan Cpl. John Hyland will sing the national anthem. Cast members from "The A-Team"' will deliver the green flag. The command "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines," will be given by Grand Marshal John Faulkenbury, North Carolina United Service Organizations President and the families of Sgt. James Dickens (U.S. Marine Corps); Staff Sgt. Michael Foley (U.S. Army) and Staff Sgt. Dustin Barnes (U.S. Air Force).
    Additionally, the Presentation of Colors will be performed by the U.S. All Army Color Guard and a bagpipe performance of "Amazing Grace" will be given by the Charlotte Fire Department Pipes and Drums. A 21-gun salute and "Taps" will be performed by soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg. During the national anthem, 100 family members of service men and women from Fort Bragg will unfurl a large American flag shaped like the United States on the frontstretch grass. The final fly-over before the start of the Coca-Cola 600 will include four F-15 Eagles flown by pilots from the 333rd Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.
    Fans can purchase a ticket to the 51st running of the Coca-Cola to see not only a great race, but a patriotic and entertaining pre-race show. Tickets for all Coca-Cola 600 Week events are available at the gates on event days, online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(CMS)(5-28-2010)

  • New Amenities, Events, Displays Await Race Fans During Mega May: As a part of the ongoing Fans First initiative at Charlotte Motor Speedway, fans coming to the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30 can expect plenty of recently-added amenities, events, displays, and upgrades at the Mecca of Motorsports. Below is a sampling of what's new for May at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    Roomier, More Comfortable, Stadium-Style Frontstretch Seats Charlotte Motor Speedway installed approximately 15,000 new premium seats along the 1.5-mile superspeedway's frontstretch, and special bronze nameplates will adorn the seats of new Victory Lane Club season ticket holders in that area. The narrow cast-metal seats in the Chrysler and General Motors grandstands were removed and replaced with new 21-inch stadium-style deluxe flip-down seats with arm rests. The new seats will offer a prime view of the start-finish line and pit road for both races.
    Expanded Display Area is More Interactive for Fans, Fans coming to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the May 30 Coca-Cola 600 will have more entertainment options right outside the track, as the display areas have expanded significantly for 2010. Nearly twice the number of interactive displays as 2009 will line the areas along the main speedway entrance and directly across the street. Some of the displays include the Coca-Cola Stage, which will feature live music on race days; the MillerCoors Porta Bar; and the Scotts Turf Builder Cornhole Classic area, where fans can play the popular tailgating game for prizes including cash and race tickets. Fans will find increased food and beverage options as well, and there will continue to be plenty of souvenir trailers in the display areas, so fans can buy their favorite driver's gear at the track. Designated Smoking Lounges Presented by Native are New for 2010 There are new designated smoking lounges at the track, presented by Native Trading Associates. Located throughout the concourse areas, the lounges are equipped with high-definition televisions so fans don't miss a minute of the race. Native and Herr's Potato Chips will hand out samples and coupons to fans who use the designated smoking lounges, which are located adjacent to the concourses in the Toyota Fourth Turn Terrace, Chrysler, General Motors, Ford and Diamond Tower seating areas. Native is also sponsoring a smoking lounge in the infield, which is located just inside the Gate 26 tunnel.
    CATS Route Provides Easy Access to Speedway The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), the City of Concord and Charlotte Motor Speedway have partnered to bring race day bus service from Center City Charlotte to the track. Starting from the Charlotte Transportation Center, race fans can take the 79X Concord Mills Express to beat the traffic and enjoy the Coca-Cola 600 at the speedway for just $6 round-trip. The route will run every 20 minutes from noon until 6:30 p.m. for the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30. Return trips will begin immediately after the checkered flag and buses will be near the track's main entrance. Tickets can be purchased at the Charlotte Transportation Center at 310 East Trade Street in Center City or online at http://secure.ridetransit.org/psales/.
    Speedway Offers Tours of NASCAR Hall of Fame While fans are in town for the races, they can take advantage of convenient tours operated by Charlotte Motor Speedway of the newly-opened NASCAR Hall of Fame. Fans can take a shuttle from the zMAX Dragway main tower entrance to NASCAR's newest attraction.. For more information, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/fans/tours.
    Pinky's Westside Grill Offers New Fare Fans coming to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 will have a new concession option at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Greg Auten, a former co-owner of the Charlotte landmark restaurant The Penguin, and former Penguin managers will soon open Pinky's Westside Grill in Charlotte and the group plans to debut several Pinky's menu items at the speedway. Homemade corn dogs, fries, chili dogs, and fried pickles will be available to fans for purchase.
    Coca-Cola 600 Weekend Coca-Cola Family Walk Comes to Charlotte Motor Speedway May 28 New for 2010 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is the Coca-Cola Family Track Walk, which gives fans the opportunity to mingle with top NASCAR drivers and get active while walking around the track. Fans can get moving alongside Coca-Cola Racing Family drivers Ryan Newman and Clint Bowyer at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 28. Following the walk, fans can enjoy activities for the whole family, including games, music, racing simulators, motivating lifestyle tips and Q&A sessions with drivers. To round out the day, Coca-Cola and Charlotte Motor Speedway are bringing back a fan favorite from 2009 - the Quarter-Mile Cookout - using the nation's longest grill. At 1,320 feet in length, the grill will use more than 3.5 tons of charcoal to cook up a picnic-style lunch following the Coca-Cola Family Track Walk. There will be plenty of healthy food options available at the cookout, including grilled chicken, ground chuck hamburgers, wheat buns, apples and baked Herr's chips. The entire day of events is free and open to all ticket and annual credential holders for the Coca-Cola 600.
    Military Vehicle Displays Pay Tribute to the Troops Fans can browse through a military vehicle display near the main entrance of the speedway during Coca-Cola 600 Race Week, just one of many tributes to the troops taking place during the Memorial Day Weekend race. Several military vehicles will be on display, including a Bradley tank, a Humvee, a PLS cargo vehicle and a mini C-130 turboprop military transport aircraft. The display will also feature a military-themed tribute Ford Mustang, complete with a custom red, white and blue paint job. Additional Vietnam-era vehicles will also be featured in the display area across Highway 29 from the main entrance of the speedway.
    Tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(CMS)(5-26-2010)

  • Kurt Busch wins the All Star Race: #2-Kurt Busch won the Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, winning over $1 million. It is Busch's first All-Star race win and Penske Racing's 2nd win. #56-Truex Jr., who won the Sprint Showdown, finished 2nd, followed by #20-Logano, #11-Hamlin, #14-Stewart, #17-Kenseth, #71-Labonte, #39-Newman, #29-Harvick and #12-Keselowski. 13 cars were left after some late wrecks with #88-Earnhardt Jr. finished 11th followed by #16-Biffle and #48-Johnson [who won two segments and was running fast before spinning out with two laps to go. #18-Busch felt his teammate #11-Hamlin put him in the wall, Busch fell back and cut a tire down and hit the wall and took out #9-Kahne. Other's who did not finish: #83-Mears, #5-Martin, #1-McMurray, #00-Reutimann, #24-Gordon and #99-Edwards.
    See race results, awards and notes on my All-Star / Sprint Showdown Resaults page.(5-22-2010)

  • Truex Jr. wins Sprint Showdown: #56-Martin Truex Jr. won the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the 2nd time Truex Jr. has won the Showdown. Truex will transfer into the Sprint All Star Challenge as will #16-Greg Biffle who finished 2nd. #99-Edwards, who finished 10th, won the Sprint Fan Vote. #31-Jeff Burton finished 3rd followed by #98-Menard and #47-Ambrose.
    See race results, awards and notes on my All-Star / Sprint Showdown Resaults page.(5-22-2010)

  • Coca-Cola 600 Race Officials Named: North Carolina House Speaker Joe Hackney has been named Honorary Starter and Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor has been named Honorary Race Director for the 2010 Coca-Cola 600, which will be held at the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 30, 2010. A spectacular pre-race show honoring generations of America's Armed Forces will precede the 51st running of NASCAR's only 600-mile race. The Let Freedom Race pre-race show for the Coca-Cola 600 will include flyovers from vintage military aircraft, assault demonstrations by Fort Bragg soldiers, recognition on the stage for Medal of Honor recipients and the unfurling of a 11,250 square-foot American flag by family members of active-duty soldiers. As race officials, Hackney and Cantor will be honored at a pre-race event, attend the official drivers meeting, address the crowd of nearly 150,000 fans, participate in the pre-race spectacular and present the trophy in Victory Lane. As Honorary Race Director, Congressman Cantor will ride in the official pace car while Speaker Hackney, as Honorary Starter, will wave the green flag over the 43-car field to start the longest NASCAR race and one of the largest sporting events in the world. Tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 can be obtained by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(5-22-2010)

  • Bruton offers a driver $20 million if wins both Indy 500 & Coke 600: On Thursday night's edition of NASCAR Race Hub, reporter Wendy Venturini scored an exclusive sit-down interview with Speedway Motorsports Inc., chairman Bruton Smith. As part of the interview, Smith talks of ongoing discussions with his counterparts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway about the possibility of linking the famed Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 ... with the possibility that a driver who wins both on the same day earning a $20 million bonus.
    Bruton Smith: "We do ... we do ... we want to surprise the fans. Every time they come, we want them to say, 'Wow, I didn't know about that.' I'm working on something now that I thought would be great, for say, next year. And that is we'll maybe do something that would cause drivers to get more interested in running (the Indianapolis 500) and then coming here and ... driving 1,100 miles of racing. It would take a Superman-type driver to (win both events)."
    NASCAR Race Hub: I thought the reason some of the drivers backed away from doing (both events) was ... I don't know ... a conflict of the (start) times?
    Bruton Smith: "I've talked to Indianapolis and they would start their race at 11 o'clock ... we'd have a jet waiting for the drivers. They'd land right here. We'd helicopter them (to the track) and they'd have ample time before they had to get in their car to win the 600. So, we have five or six drivers that could accomplish (winning both events on the same day)."(SPEED)(5-14-2010)

  • North Carolina Governor Proclaims May Motorsports Month: With Race Weeks in Charlotte fast approaching, and thousands of fans from around the globe coming to North Carolina to vacation and enjoy great racing, North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue has proclaimed May Motorsports Month in the Tar Heel State. The proclamation was read at Charlotte Motor Speedway Friday during a May race kick-off event with Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, and four area mayors: Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, Concord Mayor Scott Padgett, Mooresville Mayor Chris Montgomery and Kannapolis Mayor Robert Misenheimer. Gov. Perdue's proclamation recognizes the many motorsports events taking place in North Carolina in May, and in particular those at Charlotte Motor Speedway, including the N.C. Education Lottery 200 on May 21, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 22, the TECH-NET Auto Service 300 Powered by CARQUEST Auto Parts on May 29, and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30. Tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS. Friends and family four-pack tickets start at just $39.75 per person for the Coca-Cola 600 and at $35 per person for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 22.(CMS PR)(5-8-2010)

  • Rockets to Race Car: From better brakes and safer tires to heat-resistant paint and cleaner emissions, NASA's contributions to the racing world will be featured in the traveling exhibit: "From Rockets to Race Cars" the NASCAR weekend of April 30-May 1 at the Richmond International Raceway. Over the years, NASA has provided technology that not only helps the racing world, but also improves conditions for all drivers while helping to protect the environment. On display will be a quarter-scale NASA Benefits Race Car as well as a Wheel Exhibit, that includes a NASCAR tire, Shuttle tire, Lunar Rover tire, Lunar Tweel (a non-pneumatic tire/wheel combination) and a Spring Tire allowing fans the opportunity to see, touch and compare the wheels of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Fans will get a shot at NASA Spin the Wheel where they can win prizes if they answer NASA-related questions correctly. A "Rockets to Race Car" photo opportunity will allow visitors to have a photo taken with their own camera in which they look like they are sitting in a NASA Race Car. To find out what else NASA and NASCAR have in common, check out the exhibit at select NASCAR races through June. NASA's "From Rockets to Race Cars" will be at the following races:
    * Richmond International Raceway, April 30-May 1
    * Charlotte Motor Speedway, May 29-30
    * Kentucky Speedway, June 11-12.(NASA)(4-29-2010)

  • CMS Chef honored: Michael Rosen, certified executive chef (CEC), of Charlotte, N.C., received the American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF) Southeast Region Chef Professionalism award at the 2010 ACF Southeast Regional Conference held at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, Birmingham, Ala., April 24-26. Rosen is executive chef at The Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C. At The Speedway Club, Rosen is responsible for all kitchen operations of the dining room and banquet facilities.(American Culinary Federation)(4-27-2010)

  • County Fair Flavor Comes to May Races with Deep Fried Butter at CMS: County fair favorites with a twist, including deep fried butter, will make their motorsports debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway during NASCAR Sprint All-Star Week and Coca-Cola 600 Week this May. According to Chef James Pierson with Levy Restaurants, speed - and a little mixing - are the keys to making great deep-fried butter. "You can't just throw butter into a fryer or it will melt," said Pierson. "We blend the butter with cream cheese and freeze it solid. Then we coat it in waffle batter and give it a quick fry. It's served with a raspberry 'catsup' sauce." Fried butter will be joined by two other deep-fried treats at the speedway during May race weeks: deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and deep fried grilled cheese. Both sandwiches are also coated in a waffle batter and fried. The PB&J comes with the raspberry "catsup" sauce, and the grilled cheese is served with a cold tomato soup for dunking. Tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(CMS)(3-28-2010)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Introduces Race Fan Stimulus Plan : Taking a cue from Washington, D.C., Charlotte Motor Speedway is giving race fans a stimulus package of their own with the introduction of the Race Fan Stimulus Plan for the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30. Thru April 30, fans who purchase $99 or more in tickets to the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30 will receive a $25 Stimulus Rebate Coupon good toward their next 2010 event ticket purchase of $99 or more at Charlotte Motor Speedway or zMax Dragway. Fans who have already purchased $99 or more worth of tickets to the Coca-Cola 600 will also receive the $25 Stimulus Rebate Coupon in the mail. In addition to the rebate coupon, info on extra value for the Coca-Cola 600 can be found at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(3-22-2010)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Opens Sprint Cup Series Test to Fans: Fans will have the opportunity to see their favorite drivers in action at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the first time in 2010 during Sprint Cup Series testing March 23-24. The test will be held for the new spoiler that will soon replace the rear wing on the current Sprint Cup Series car. Ticket holders to any 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 22, the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30 and the NASCAR Banking 500 on Oct. 16, will be granted special access to watch testing from the infield. The VIP seating area located behind pit road near Victory Circle will be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Ticket holders will also have the opportunity to take part in a question and answer forum with available drivers; meet Miss Sprint Cup during an autograph session in Victory Circle; and take their picture with the Charlotte Motor Speedway show car. Concessions and souvenirs will be available in the infield.(CMS PR)(3-16-2010)

  • Tony Stewart Fans Win Big with Smoke Double Down Offer at Charlotte: Tony Stewart will return to Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 22 as the defending champion of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, and thanks to the new Smoke Double Down All-Star Race ticket package, his legion of fans can have a May to remember at the Mecca of Motorsports. Fans can purchase the Smoke Double Down package while supplies last and receive two frontstretch tickets for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race; two passes to a fan forum lunch with Stewart at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday, May 3; and two Stewart souvenirs. Plus, $20 per ticket package will be donated to the Tony Stewart Foundation. The Smoke Double Down package is priced at $149 and available by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS PR)(3-15-2010)

  • Creed to Rock the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race: Grammy Award-winning rock group Creed will perform a pre-race concert presented by Native Trading Associates for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, May 22, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The 75-minute concert begins at 3:15pm/et in the infield between Turns 1 and 2. Admission to the concert is free with the purchase of a ticket to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and tickets start at just $39. Also, the next 3,000 fans to purchase an All-Star Race ticket by calling the speedway's ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS will receive a "Golden Ticket," allowing early access to secure a prime location for the concert. Creed's performance at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will be made possible thanks to presenting sponsor, Native Trading Associates, who will work in conjunction with Charlotte Motor Speedway officials to present race fans with this spectacular pre-race rock concert. Charlotte Motor Speedway is the home of NASCAR's biggest back-to-back race weekends with the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 22, and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30. Tickets and interest free payment plans are available by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(3-13-2010)

  • Speedway Motorsports revenues down in 2009: Speedway Motorsports Inc.'s overall revenue declined by 9.9% in 2009, including a 13.3% drop in ticket revenue, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Speedway Motorsports Inc., finished 2009 with a balance sheet showing a $10.3 million loss, while its income from continuing operations was $74.9 million, down 28.2 percent from $104.3 million last year, according to the filing. Part of the difference comes from a $74.5 million devaluation of Motorsports Authentics, the struggling merchandise company that SMI co-owns with rival International Speedway Corp. Both companies now consider Motorsports Authentics to have no carrying value. For 2009, overall revenues dropped from $611 million to $550.5 million. Admissions revenue dropped from $188 million to $163.1 million. Event-related revenues (sponsorships, concessions, merchandise, etc.) dropped 15.5%, from $211.6 million to $178.8 million, and broadcast revenue increased 3.3 percent, from $168.2 million to $173.8 million. SMI's 2010 forecast is for the economic struggles to continue as it projects overall revenues to drop to $500-$533 million and for its diluted earnings per share from continuing operations to be $1.00-$1.40 after it was $1.66 in 2009 and $2.40 in 2010.(Scene Daily)(3-11-2010)

  • Sprint Pit Crew Challenge tickets on sale March 13: Tickets for the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman, featuring a fan-friendly, pit-crew competition between the top-24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pit crews, are on sale March 13. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased online at www.pitcrewchallenge.com or by calling the Time Warner Cable Arena box office at (800) 495-2295. The NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge is scheduled for Wednesday, May 19 at 7 p.m. ET at Time Warner Cable Arena and will air on SPEED at 9 p.m. that evening. Now in its sixth year, the competition precedes NASCAR Rev'd Up, a NASCAR-themed festival held in Charlotte, N.C. on May 20, and is a signature lead-in event to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Saturday, May 22 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Aspire PR)(3-11-2010)

  • Bruton Smith interviewed on Race Hub: Speedway Motorsports Inc. Chairman Bruton Smith stopped by SPEED's NASCAR Race Hub on Monday [March 8th] to promote the recently announced "Legends Million," a Legends Car battle with a $1 million purse scheduled for July 15-17 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (more info at uslegendcars.com. The A-Main winner will take home an unprecedented $250,000. But he also weighed in on some of the hot topics coming out of the weekend NASCAR Sprint Series race in Atlanta.
    On the incident between drivers Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski at Atlanta:
    "... Keselowski took off into the air, destroyed the car and it gave him a serious headache after a while, but I'm sure that Carl did not mean to make him airborne. But it happened, and I think the summation is, 'that's racing.' Of course, it's caused everyone to be very busy in Bristol for the race that's there. I would not miss that race. I would not miss Bristol because I don't know what's going to happen up there, but rubbing is a way of life up there, so we'll see a lot of things happening in Bristol."
    On his support of green, white, checkered finishes:
    "We owe that to those race fans. Race fans - we've polled them over the years - they want to see a green-flag finish. I am a strong advocate of that. We used two of them yesterday ... we still had one to go. I am a very strong advocate because this gives those race fans what they paid for and what the richly deserve and that is a finish under green."
    On NASCAR drivers being allowed to let their frustrations show:
    "NASCAR has decided to show a softer side of NASCAR and we've been talking about that for the last three or four years. They just got too tight on these guys ... I've seen (the footage) on SPEED where Jeff Gordon got out and pushed (Matt) Kenseth up in Bristol. They fined him 10 grand. I said, 'Hey, wait a minute, that's not right ... they should give him a medal.' They've got to stop that. NASCAR has got to stop it, because these guys get out of these race cars and often times they are very angry and they need to vent. That's the way this racing business grew up."(SPEED)(3-9-2010)

  • Coca-Cola & Speedway Motorsports Extend: Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI) and Coca-Cola North America (CCNA) are extending their long-term partnership through 2015. Under the terms of the new agreement, CCNA brands will continue as the "Official Soft Drink," "Official Sparkling Beverage," "Official Water, "Official Sports Drink" and "Official Enhanced Water" for six SMI tracks, which include: Atlanta Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. The agreement also features title sponsorship of the Coca-Cola 600 -- the longest continuous sponsorship of any race in NASCAR -- at Charlotte Motor Speedway through 2015. Through this partnership extension, Coca-Cola and SMI will continue to create programs that engage NASCAR fans at SMI tracks and in the local markets and regions where the tracks are located. NASCAR-themed advertising, packaging, promotions, at-track activations and customer-specific programs will all be part of the mix designed to create excitement among racing fans.(CMS)(3-8-2010)

  • Charlotte area hotels reduce rates & wave stay requirements: Charlotte Motor Speedway will partner with regional tourism bureaus and area hotel operators to secure lower room rates for race fans attending the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 22, and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30. More than 50 hotels within approximately one hour of the 1.5-mile superspeedway have agreed to reduce their race week room rates by 15% and waive the minimum stay requirements. A full list of participating hotels is available at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/hotels or fans can call the speedway's ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS. In order to obtain the discounted rate, those interested in the deal must call the hotels directly and request the Speedway Special when making reservations.(CMS PR)(3-2-2010)

  • Las Vegas Spin and Win saves on tix at Charlotte Motor Speedway: This weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series descends on the entertainment capitol of the world, Las Vegas, and Charlotte Motor Speedway is getting into the spirit by offering fans a chance to spin the wheel and win tremendous savings to three major spring events at the Mecca of Motorsports. Beginning Thursday at 9am, fans can enter the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office and spin a giant prize wheel for a chance to save up to 50% on certain tickets to races at CMS and zMAX Dragway. The prize wheel contains ticket discounts from 10 to 50%, plus VIP experiences that will rotate hourly on the wheel such as pit passes, public suite upgrades, Speedway Club access passes, free Sprint FanView rentals, dinner for two at the Speedway Club, passes to driver introductions and much more. Each fan that spins the wheel can purchase up to 10 total tickets at the winning discounted value. The 10 tickets can be used for one race or spread across the three featured events. Also, each fan who spins the wheel and purchases tickets will receive a free gift from the speedway. For more info or to purchase tickets call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or go online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(2-25-2010)

  • All Remaining Charlotte Oct. race tix on sale: With renewals completed, all remaining tickets for the Oct. 16 NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America at Charlotte Motor Speedway go on sale Monday, at 9 a.m. Tickets start at only $49 for the only Saturday night race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. A wide selection of affordable grandstand seating options are available, including a limited number of premium frontstretch seats. All sections of the Chrysler, General Motors and Ford grandstands along the frontstretch feature new individual, 21-inch, stadium-style seating and offer a prime view of the start-finish line and pit road.
    The Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office will be open Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to the NASCAR Banking 500, tickets will also be available for the Oct. 15 Dollar General 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night; Bojangles' Pole Night qualifying on Thursday night Oct. 14; and the World of Outlaws Late Model Showdown on Wednesday night Oct. 13, at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. The extremely popular October Super Ticket will again be available, offering tickets to all four of the NASCAR Banking 500 Week events for just one low price of $99. Additional information about tickets for all Charlotte Motor Speedway events can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com. Fans can reserve their seat with $20.10 down and set up customized, interest-free payment plans by calling the speedway ticket office and speaking directly to a Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket agent.(CMS)(2-15-2010)

  • CMS installing premium seats: As a part of the ongoing Fans First initiative, Charlotte Motor Speedway is installing approximately 15,000 new premium seats along the 1.5-mile speedway's frontstretch, and special bronze nameplates will adorn the seats of new Victory Lane Club season ticket holders in that area. To increase fan comfort, Charlotte Motor Speedway is removing narrow cast-metal seats in the Chrysler and General Motors grandstands and replacing them with new 21-inch, stadium-style seats. The deluxe flip-down seats with arm rests will be installed before the May 22 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30. The new seats will offer a prime view of the start-finish line and pit road for both races.
    Fans who join the Victory Lane Club as season ticket holders and purchase the same seat for all three NASCAR Sprint Cup races will receive two special added features - a personalized, bronze nameplate on the new seat and the chance to take home one of the historic seats as a keepsake piece of limited edition memorabilia. Season ticket holders in the Victory Lane Club, also receive more than $1,500 in added value for purchasing tickets to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Coca-Cola 600 and NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America. Membership benefits include a personalized hard card, VIP parking, discounts on ticket purchases and souvenirs in the speedway's gift shop, a free six-month trial membership to The Speedway Club and more. For the new year, fans can reserve their seats for only a $20.10 down payment, and then establish a convenient, interest-free, payment plan for any event in the Spring Season of Speed at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In order to join the Victory Lane Club and purchase new seats along the frontstretch, fans must call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) and speak directly to a Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket agent.(CMS)(1-19-2010)

  • New name, start time for Nationwide race at Charlotte in May: In response to fan requests for an afternoon NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Charlotte Motor Speedway's Tech-Net Auto Service 300 Powered by Carquest Auto Parts will start at 2:30pm/et on Saturday, May 29. In addition to the start-time change, the race's name will be different in 2010 as well. Formerly the Carquest Auto Parts 300, the Tech-Net Auto Service 300 will promote Carquest's Tech Net Professional Auto Service program.(Charlotte Motor Speedway PR)(1-18-2010)

  • $20.10 Down Reserves Any Seat at Charlotte: In honor of the new year, fans can now reserve any seat for the Spring Season of Speed at Charlotte Motor Speedway for just $20.10 by calling the speedway's ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). After reserving tickets for just a $20.10 down payment, fans can develop a customized monthly payment plan and reserve their favorite seats to a number of great events, including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Coca-Cola 600, NHRA Nationals, PINKS All Out and World of Outlaws Sprint Car Showdown. In addition to individual event tickets, season ticket packages are also available for the three NASCAR Sprint Cup weekends at Charlotte Motor Speedway, events at zMAX Dragway and races at The Dirt Track @ Charlotte. Visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com for more details.(CMS)(1-13-2010)

  • Concord and Cabarrus County fighting back: The city and county governments in the area of Lowe's Motor Speedway contend in court documents that they can't be sued for breach of contract nor forced into a formalized agreement with Speedway Motorsports Inc. that would give SMI $80 million in grants and tax incentives for renovating LMS and building a drag strip across the street. SMI Chairman Bruton Smith had threatened to move LMS in October 2007 if he did not get the permits to build the drag strip on land near the existing 1.5-mile oval. As other area governments began offering incentives, the City of Concord and Cabarrus County offered an $80 million incentive package in November 2007 - with the details to be worked out later - to keep LMS where it's currently located. The local governments and SMI never reached a formal agreement, and SMI, which says it has spent $4 million already on public improvements it claims are reimbursable, filed a lawsuit in September in North Carolina Superior Court in Concord. SMI asks for a judgment requiring the governments to take all necessary action to formalize an agreement and damages for breaches of the agreement and misrepresentations. In a filing last week, Concord and Cabarrus County ask that the case be dismissed. Both the city and county state that their elected boards had not approved a contract, which must go through public hearings, and therefore they had no enforceable agreement. "The City denies that a contract was formed; because many material details had yet to be determined, the parties had merely agreed to agree," the City of Concord says in its motion. The City of Concord also alleges that SMI did not act in good faith, terminating negotiations after the initial offer. The governments' proposed agreement, filed as an exhibit in the case, requires SMI to spend $60 million on the drag strip, which now has been completed, within one year and $200 million on the speedway and various roads over three years. It also requires SMI to have three Cup events at the race track for each of the next 40 years, as well as to operate the drag strip for 40 years or else SMI would have to repay any of the incentives and grants it already had been awarded. In its complaint, SMI claims the wording in the contract allows the governments 40 years for the $80 million to be paid. SMI claims the governments want to avoid their obligations. In its response, the City said a judge cannot force it to sign a deal. "Courts have no power to mandate municipal legislation, and the decision to enter a contract is political, not judicial," the City says.(SceneDaily)(12-3-2009)

  • Join the Lowe's Motor Speedway Fan Council: Lowe's Motor Speedway is currently accepting applications to join the Lowe's Motor Speedway Fan Council. Members of the Fan Council will provide feedback to help with programs and initiatives to positively impact the Fan Experience at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The Fan Council Application is available online. Completed applications are due by Friday, January 8, 2010. If you have any questions please email fancouncil@lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(12-1-2009)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway Tree Lighting: Speedway Children's Charities donated in excess of $854,000 to organizations in the Charlotte region benefiting area children during Monday's [Nov 30th] annual Lowe's Motor Speedway tree lighting ceremony. Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, will join Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Tom Sadler, executive director of Speedway Children's Charities, in awarding the grants to 93 local organizations. Speedway Children's Charities raised the money through various fundraising activities along with individual and corporate donations throughout the year.
    A number of area agencies will directly benefit from the funds, including A Better World (helps provide finances to operate after-school programs), Birthday Blessings (Shelter Party Program hosts birthday parties for homeless children and their families), Northeast Foundation, Inc. (helps fund Camp Open Airways and Camp Sweet Freedom for asthmatic and diabetic children to attend a summer day camp under medical supervision to control their asthma and diabetes while participating in typical camp activities) and Thompson Child & Family Focus (provides comprehensive early childhood education where typically developing and special needs children learn together).
    In addition to the grant distribution, the holiday ceremony will include the lighting of Lowe's Motor Speedway's one-of-a-kind 50-foot Christmas tree and visits by Santa Claus and Lug Nut, the world's fastest mascot.
    Fans will also have the opportunity to drive their personal vehicles around Lowe's Motor Speedway after the tree lighting ceremony. Those who donate $25 to Speedway Children's Charities will be able to take three laps around the 1.5-mile superspeedway.
    2009 Charlotte Chapter Grant Recipients:
    A Better World
    A Child's Place of Charlotte, Inc.
    A Place for Hope, Inc.
    Abilities Unlimited of the Carolinas, Inc.
    Adolescent and Family Enrichment Council
    Alexander Youth Network
    Allegro Foundation
    American Red Cross - Cabarrus County
    Arts for Life
    Assistance League of Charlotte
    Autism Services of Mecklenburg County, Inc.
    Autism Speaks
    Barium Springs Home for Children
    Bethlehem Center of Charlotte, Inc.
    Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte
    Birthday Blessings
    Bostonian Elementary School PTA
    B.R.A.K.E.S.
    Cabarrus County Partnership of Children
    Camp CARE, Inc.
    Carolina Youth Commission
    Charity League, Inc.
    Charlotte Emergency Housing
    Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center
    Children's Home Society of North Carolina, Inc.
    Communities in Schools of Cabarrus County
    Communities in Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Inc.
    Communities of Rowan County, Inc.
    Crisis Assistance Ministry
    Crisis Pregnancy Center of Gaston County
    Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
    Donors Choose, Inc.
    Dore Academy
    Easter Seals UCP North Carolina
    Family Services Inc.
    Florence Crittenton Services Inc.
    GHA, Inc.
    Girls on the Run International
    Harvest Kitchen Outreach, Inc.
    Hispanic Learning Center of Cabarrus County
    Holy Angels, Inc.
    Hometown Heroes, Inc.
    Jimmie Johnson Foundation
    Jonie and Friends
    Junior League of Charlotte, Inc.
    Kannapolis Boys & Girls Club
    KinderMourn, Inc.
    Kurt Busch Foundation
    Legacy of the Vine Ministries, Inc.
    Levine Children's Hospital
    Lukemia & Lymphoma Society
    March Forth with Hope Foundation, Inc.
    MARA
    Misty Meadows Mitey Riders, Inc.
    Muscular Dystrophy Association, Inc.
    NB Mills Elementary School
    NorthEast Foundation, Inc.
    Our Kids
    Partners in Out-of-School Time
    Philips Academy of North Carolina, Inc.
    Piedmont Mediation Center, Inc.
    Piedmont Residential Development Center, Inc.
    Pregnancy Resource Center of Charlotte
    Prevent Child Abuse N.C.
    Prosperity Community Connection, Inc.
    Room at the Inn, Inc.
    Rowan Regional Medical Center Foundation
    Saving Grace, Inc.
    Seigle Avenue Partners, Inc.
    Seigle Avenue Preschool Cooperative, Inc.
    Shelter Health Services, Inc.
    Silent Images, Inc.
    Special Olympics North Carolina
    Special Olympics North Carolina - Cabarrus
    Stanley County Family YMCA
    The Academic Learning Center, Inc.
    The Arc of Cabarrus County, Inc.
    The Arc of Mecklenburg County, Inc.
    The Junior Charity League of Concord
    The Parker Austin Foundation, Inc.
    The Salvation Army of Cabarrus County
    The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte
    Third Creek Elementary School
    Thompson Child & Family Focus
    Tony Stewart Foundation
    Troutman Elementary School
    United Family Services, Inc.
    University City Fellowship
    With Friends, Inc.
    YMCA of Greater Charlotte
    York County Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse
    Youth Homes, Inc. (YHI)(LMS)(12-1-2009)

  • Annual Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out at LMS:Shoppers from around the country will descend upon Lowe's Motor Speedway for special savings on 2009 merchandise at the 17th annual Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out Nov. 27-28 [Friday and Saturday]. On the biggest shopping weekend of the year, fans will be welcomed by a colorful array of nearly 20 souvenir rigs lining the front entrance of the speedway, featuring souvenirs from top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers, including Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart and more. At this two-day event, special deals will be available with driver hats and t-shirts as low as $5 and Lowe's Motor Speedway T-shirts starting at just $3. Sam Bass, the official artist of Lowe's Motor Speedway, will have posters, holiday die-casts and copies of his book "The NASCAR Art of Sam Bass" available to shoppers at reduced prices. A special die-cast trailer will also be on hand to sell the scaled-down collectable cars at prices hard to resist. As part of the tradition of the Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out, shoppers spending $50 or more on souvenirs or race tickets Friday, Nov. 27, will get to feel like real NASCAR stars when they are given the opportunity to drive their personal vehicle for three laps around the 1.5-mile superspeedway. This opportunity is available Friday only.
    Event hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm/et on Friday and Saturday. Information about the Nov. 27-28 Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out at Lowe's Motor Speedway and ticket sales for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 17 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30 can be obtained online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by contacting the Lowe's Motor Speedway gift shop at (704) 455-3202.(LMS) and tix by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS)(11-24-2009)

  • All Remaining Tickets for Coke 600 and All-Star Race on sale: With renewals completed, all remaining tickets for the May 30 Coca-Cola 600 and May 22 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway are on sale now. Beginning at $49, a wide selection of grandstand seating options are available for the Coca-Cola 600, including a number of premium frontstretch seats. Tickets for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race start at just $30. In addition to the Coca-Cola 600 and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, tickets are also available for the May 21 North Carolina Education Lottery 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Race; Windstream Pole Night Qualifying on Thursday, May 27; and the TECH-NET Auto Service 300 powered by CARQUEST NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday night, May 29. The Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office, located on the second floor of Smith Tower, is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS)(11-19-2009)

  • Bruton to build race tracks in the Mid East? Bruton Smith, chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc., is in negotiations to build three race tracks in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar. It is not clear yet if Smith and SMI would assist in ownership and/or operation of the facilities, or simply construct them and hand over the keys to the Emir of Qatar and his royal family, but Smith said Friday that he hopes to have all the details worked out soon, perhaps within another week. Smith said he was approached about construction of the tracks by the Emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani -- and not the other way around. The Emir was in the international news recently for reportedly offering 400 million euros to purchase the former Elysee Palace Hotel in Paris. The Emir is said to be a great fan of all forms of auto racing, and several of his representatives met late last week with Smith and his associates to put the finishing touches on an agreement to have SMI build the three tracks in Qatar. That didn't quite come to pass, but Smith said the two parties are moving closer toward finalizing everything so construction can begin. Smith said the preliminary plan is to have each track seat no more than 40,000 and that he has been informed the Emir has a unique plan in mind for filling them.(NASCAR.com)(11-7-2009)

  • Grand Marshals: for the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America - Participating as Grand Marshals for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race are Richard Petty, Junior Johnson, Teresa Earnhardt (representing the Earnhardt family) and Brian France (representing the France family for Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr).(LMS)(10-17-2009)

  • National Anthem for Cup race at LMS: The Blue and Gold Marching Machine from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro will perform the national anthem prior to the NASCAR Banking 500. Formed in 1918, the band is 180 members strong and also has a dance/twirl team, the Golden Delight. In addition to North Carolina A&T, East Rowan High School's marching band will perform at The Avenue of Flags at the speedway's main entrance from 2 - 4 p.m. Saturday.For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or go online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(10-16-2009)

  • Sam Bass NASCAR Banking 500 Program Cover : Renowned motorsports artist Sam Bass has prepared a cover for the NASCAR Banking 500 souvenir program that encapsulates the Homecoming - NASCAR style theme. The painting entitled, "The Homecoming Game," captures the intensity of a gridiron-style face-off at the 50-yard line as top competitors prepare for NASCAR's version of an October homecoming during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The drivers form a tunnel through which the cars must pass in order to reach their destination, the Lowe's Motor Speedway finish line. Bass has created the cover artwork for each Lowe's Motor Speedway race week souvenir program since May 1985.(LMS)(10-16-2009)

  • Nationwide Insurance provides Shuttle Service during Race Weekend: Seven Nationwide On Your Side Ride trams have been added to the eight currently being used to shuttle race fans around the premises of Lowe's Motor Speedway. A number of tram stops are located throughout the facility, including Gates 2, 3, 4, 7/8, 12, 18, 26 and 30. The trams run in a clockwise direction on the perimeter road between stop-off points and operate from noon each day until the start of the action on the track. Along with the 15 trams, Nationwide has also provided 60 golf carts to be used at the speedway this weekend. The golf carts are available for all race fans, especially the elderly, physically challenged and families with children. Fans can stop by the Nationwide Race Information Stations outside Gates 3, 4, 8, 18 and 31 to arrange a ride on a golf cart.(LMS)(10-16-2009)

  • New CATS Route to Provide Easy Access to Speedway: The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), the City of Concord and Lowe's Motor Speedway have partnered to bring citizens Saturday bus service from Center City Charlotte to Lowe's Motor Speedway. Starting from the Charlotte Transportation Center, fans can take the 79X Concord Mills Express to beat the traffic and enjoy Saturday's NASCAR Banking 500 for just $6 roundtrip. To learn more about the 79X Concord Mills Express and CATS services, call (704) 336-RIDE (7433) or visit www.ridetransit.org.(LMS)(10-16-2009)

  • Fan Lindsey Forbes Selected as Homecoming Queen for NASCAR Banking 500: As part of the homecoming celebration, Lowe's Motor Speedway officials announced today that Lindsey Forbes has been selected as the first-ever NASCAR Banking 500 Homecoming Queen courtesy of a fan vote. Through a promotion with Charlotte radio station, 96.9 The Kat, fans were able to vote through an online contest to select the grand prize winner. Forbes, a 22-year-old resident of Mooresville, N.C., and graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, will receive a VIP race package and be introduced during pre-race ceremonies with a sash and tiara alongside NASCAR Banking 500 Homecoming King Richard Petty.For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or go online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(10-15-2009)

  • Pre-Race Festivities Include an Old-Fashioned Homecoming: Pre-race festivities for Saturday night's NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America at Lowe's Motor Speedway are highlighted by an old-fashioned Homecoming - NASCAR Style - as drivers and teams return to their home track after five months on the road. The homecoming celebration includes seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Richard Petty serving as the homecoming king and the presentation of a homecoming queen still to be announced from an online fan vote. Fans will be greeted by cheerleaders from area high schools that participated in the speedway's "fund-racing" program and several musical performances are also on tap. MercyMe, TobyMac, Robert Pierre and Fee will perform during a pre-race concert and Eric Church will take to the stage during CollegeFest. Candy Coburn will sing "God Bless America" and the North Carolina A&T State University marching band will entertain fans and perform the national anthem. Several affordable ticket packages are still available for Saturday night's NASCAR Banking 500. Individual tickets start at $49 and frontstretch tickets are available for $69. For information, contact the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(10-14-2009)

  • Race schedule for LMS Saturday night: Spectator gates open Saturday at 2:00 pm/et. An approximate timeline of selected events leading up to the start of the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America follows:
    2:00 pm/et: A pre-race concert, featuring MercyMe, TobyMac, Fee and Robert Pierre, takes place on the apron inside Turn 4. The 3-hour concert offers race fans the opportunity to stand on the historical race track prior to the start of the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America.
    4:00 pm/et: A native of Granite Falls, N.C., country music singer Eric Church celebrates Homecoming - NASCAR Style - with a performance as part of CollegeFest. The inaugural CollegeFest takes place in the grass lot behind the Diamond Tower grandstand in Turn 2.
    6:00 pm/et: Performance by the North Carolina A&T State University marching band on the speedway's frontstretch.
    6:35 pm/et: Adding to the homecoming festivities, cheerleaders from several area high schools that participated in Lowe's Motor Speedway's "fund-racing" program will be introduced during pre-race ceremonies. Among the high schools expected to be represented are East Mecklenburg, West Mecklenburg, Butler, Hopewell, Northwest Cabarrus and the Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology.
    6:46 pm/et: Rising country music star Candy Coburn sings "God Bless America."
    6:48 pm/et: The pre-race flyover features a C-17 and a KC-135 from Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma. The two planes will perform a simulated refueling over the speedway. This is the first time the maneuver has been performed at a sporting event.
    6:48:30 pm/et: Official welcome by Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway.
    6:49 pm/et: Former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner Robert Yates receives the prestigious Smokey Yunick Award. Instituted several years ago by legendary car owner and mechanic Smokey Yunick who passed away May 11, 2001, the award annually recognizes an individual whose lifelong efforts have had a major impact on the motorsports industry.
    6:50 pm/et: Introduction of special guests including Charles Bowman, president, Bank of America North Carolina; Honorary Starter NASCAR Banking customer Phil Bickley; Honorary Race Director Hala Moddelmog, CEO of the Susan G. Komen Foundation; Fan Homecoming Queen (to be announced); NASCAR Banking 500 Homecoming King Richard Petty and Grand Marshal (to be announced).
    6:55 pm/et: NASCAR Banking 500 driver introductions along with the presentation of NASCAR special awards. Drivers will exit the frontstretch stage and ride around the speedway in Toyota trucks. Drivers will return to the frontstretch where their cars will be staged on the track.
    7:25 pm/et: Presentation of colors by Air Force ROTC Detachment 592 from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
    7:25:30 pm/et: Invocation given by NASCAR team owner and former NFL coach Joe Gibbs.
    7:26 pm/et: National anthem performed by the North Carolina A&T State University marching band.
    7:33 pm/et: "Gentleman Start Your Engines" command given by Grand Marshal (to be announced).
    7:41 pm/et: Start of the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America.(LMS)

  • Scouts in Free on Friday at LMS: Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troop members will be special guests at the Dollar General 300 on Friday. All uniformed scouts and uniformed scout leaders will receive a free ticket for admittance to the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Gates 30 and 31. Each additional family member must purchase a ticket at a special rate. Scout group leaders can contact the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS for more details.(LMS)(10-14-2009)

  • Carolina CollegeFest Takes Tailgating to the Extreme at LMS: College students can now enjoy homecoming NASCAR style with the ultimate pre-race party for the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America on Saturday, Oct. 17., at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Carolina CollegeFest offers students more bang for their buck than ever before with more than five hours of live music, cornhole tournaments, gift packs, prize giveaways throughout the day and a reserved seat for the NASCAR Banking 500, all for the low price of $49 each. Five bands will perform throughout the afternoon with Tim Hollohan, the lead singer for Sullivan's Roof, taking the stage first at 10 a.m. Hollohan is the founding member of Sullivan's Roof, a five-piece rock and roll band out of Greenville and Columbia, S.C., which is in the process of producing its debut album. Following Hollohan on stage will be Nashville's up-and-coming country music sensations Craig Boyd and Southland. Described as the "Motley Crue of Country," Southland has delivered their country/rock sound to thousands by touring extensively throughout the United States, playing more than 200 dates in 2008 and pushing for 250 in 2009. Not only does the $49 ticket grant admission to Carolina CollegeFest, but it also reserves a seat to the NASCAR Banking 500, the fifth race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. To purchase tickets to Carolina CollegeFest contact the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(10-11-2009)

  • LMS's Victory Lane Club Offers Fans Good Value: The best value in motorsports has a new name. Lowe's Motor Speedway's Victory Lane Club offers fans three incredible NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events along with unprecedented additional value and behind the scenes access. Fans can become Victory Lane Club members by purchasing reserved seats for the 2010 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, the Coca-Cola 600 and the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America for a combined price starting at only $123. Victory Lane Club members can also take advantage of Lowe's Motor Speedway's increasingly popular, customized, interest-free payment plan, and for as low as $19.60 down, they can reserve their 2010 seats today. To become a member of the Victory Lane Club, call the Lowe's Motor Speedway's ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS and speak directly to a ticket representative. To purchase tickets contact the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office by phone or go online to www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(10-10-2009)

  • Fan to be Crowned Homecoming Queen at LMS: To celebrate homecoming, NASCAR style, at the NASCAR Banking 500, Lowe's Motor Speedway will crown one fan as the official Homecoming Queen for the race. In partnership with radio station WKKT FM, 96.9 The Kat, the speedway is holding an online contest to select one lucky lady to wear the crown. The grand prize winner will receive a VIP race package and participate in pre-race ceremonies. Women are invited to log onto Lowe's Motor Speedway's Web site for information on how to register for the contest. Affordable ticket packages are still available to the Dollar General 300 on Friday, Oct. 16, and the NASCAR Banking 500 on Saturday, Oct. 17. To purchase tickets, fans should call the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(10-9-2009)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway Creates Fan Guide to Fun: To enhance the fan experience during race week, Lowe's Motor Speedway officials have created a Fan Guide to Fun for the NASCAR Banking 500 Week of events that culminates with the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America on Saturday, Oct. 17. The Fan Guide to Fun provides comprehensive information on race week driver appearances, concerts, sponsor displays, pre-race infield activities and much more. The guide is available online at lowesmotorspeedway.com and will be available at the track welcome center and information booths during NASCAR Banking 500 Week. The Fan Guide to Fun is just the latest in a series of Fans First initiatives aimed at giving fans the best experience possible at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Other elements in place for fans include interest-free payment plans, reduced hotel room rates, a special 99-Cents Value Menu and other experiences that engage fans throughout the event week. Affordable ticket packages are still available to the Dollar General 300 on Friday, Oct. 16, and the NASCAR Banking 500 on Saturday, Oct. 17. To purchase tickets, fans should call the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or visit lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(10-6-2009)

  • Charlotte-Area Hotels Offer Reduced Race Week Room Rates: In a continuing Fans First initiative, regional tourism bureaus and officials at Lowe's Motor Speedway have worked with area hotel operators to secure lower room rates for race fans attending the Dollar General 300 on Friday, Oct. 16, and the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America on Saturday, Oct. 17. Nearly 90 hotels within approximately one hour of the 1.5-mile superspeedway have agreed to reduce their race week room rates by 15% and waive their minimum stay requirements. The full list of participating hotels is available online for fans to reference at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com/hotels. The speedway's ticket services representatives also have the full listing of hotels and can advise fans that call 1-800-455-FANS. In order to obtain the discounted rate, race fans must call the hotels directly and request the Speedway Special when making reservations. n addition to the lower hotel rates, cost savings extend to the speedway as well. The CVS Family Four Pack, which includes four race tickets to the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America, four hot dogs, four Coca-Cola soft drinks and a coupon for a free two-liter of Coke Zero, is available for just $39.75 a person. Similarly, the Dollar General 300 Family Four Pack includes four race tickets, four hot dogs and four Coca-Cola soft drinks for the low price of $14.75 a person.
    Race fans are reminded that Lowe's Motor Speedway offers 164 acres of free parking and numerous affordable camping options are also available. Coolers, limited to 14 inches in any direction, are also permitted in the grandstands. Race events in October include the World of Outlaws Topless Showdown on Wednesday, October 14; the Bojangles' Pole Night qualifying on Thursday night, October 15; Dollar General 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday, October 16; and the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America on Saturday night, October 17. To take advantage of these savings, fans should call the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(10-5-2009)

  • High School Homecoming Partnership to Provide Fund-Raising Opportunities at LMS: Lowe's Motor Speedway is giving area high schools the horsepower to fight budget crunches through an innovative homecoming partnership program surrounding the Oct. 17 running of the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America. "Most people experience their first homecoming in high school," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway. "But when the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams come back to race in Charlotte after five months on the road, the NASCAR Banking 500 is truly an October homecoming-NASCAR style. This new program engages the area schools that serve the families of the NASCAR community. It connects the schools with our NASCAR homecoming, and it provides them with several ways to raise money in the midst of budget cuts."
    Through the homecoming partnership, speedway officials have invited 40 public high schools from six area school systems in Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Iredell and Rowan counties to participate in the speedway's "Fund-Racing" program. School fund-raising groups such as booster clubs and parent-teacher organizations will receive $10 for each ticket they sell to the NASCAR Banking 500. Each school will have a convenient way to process sales transactions through the speedway's Web site at lowesmotorspeedway.com/schools. Lowe's Motor Speedway will contribute $1,000 to each participating high school in the program and also donate a VIP race package for two from The Speedway Club for the school to use as a raffle prize. In addition, Bank of America, the entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR Banking 500, will match the $1,000 contribution from the speedway to each participating school.
    The area high school that sells the most tickets will receive a 64-person luxury suite to the 2010 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race for even more fund-raising raffle opportunities during the school year. The speedway has also invited area high school bands and cheerleading squads to perform as part of the NASCAR Banking 500 pre-race show on Saturday night, Oct. 17. Information on the speedway's school Fund-Racing program can be obtained online at lowesmotorspeedway.com/schools or by calling Lowe's Motor Speedway at (704) 455-3294.(LMS)(9-30-2009)

  • Eric Church performing concert at NASCAR Banking 500: Capitol Records Nashville recording artist Eric Church will perform as part of pre-race festivities for the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America on Oct. 17. To help celebrate homecoming NASCAR style, Church will return to his home state to perform a concert outside of the Turn 2 Diamond Tower Terrace on Saturday afternoon before the race. Admission to the concert is free with the purchase of a NASCAR Banking 500 ticket. To purchase individual tickets to the NASCAR Banking 500 or the Carolina CollegeFest package, fans should contact the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or buy online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(9-25-2009)

  • Bruton Smith sues Concord, Cabarrus County: Marcus Smith, the son of Lowe's Motor Speedway mogul Bruton Smith defends the lawsuit filed by his father against the city of Concord and Cabarrus County. The suit claims the city and county failed to pay $80 million dollars for roadway and other improvements around the speedway and the ZMax dragstrip. "We've been here for 50 years," Marcus Smith, the President of Speedway Motorsports Inc. said. "It's the investment in the infrastructure around the speedway is what we are looking for and what the initial bargain was with the city and county." Bruton Smith had threatened to pack up the track and move it out of Concord if he did not get some financial help with road improvements. The suit claims letters and agreements were drawn up by the local government promising the money. However, Cabarrus County Commissioner Coy Privette says while others in government may have made promises, "the Cabarrus County Commissioners have never acted officially on any proposal to give him a dime." At an outdoor concert tonight in Concord, residents said they could not see giving Smith any more money. "No, he doesn't deserve that," said Barbara Fink. "I think he has had more than his share," she added. The city and county now have 30 days to respond to the allegations in the suit. Bruton Smith was out of town and could not be reached for comment on the suit.(WCNC.com)(9-18-2009)

  • NASCAR Night at zMAX Dragway at LMS: Some of the fastest drivers, car owners and mechanics ever to turn left will give it their all to go straight on Tuesday, Aug. 25, as NASCAR Night returns to zMAX Dragway. Last October more than 100 NASCAR industry personnel descended on the Bellagio of drag strips to take their street cars down the concrete quarter-mile. This year, there's a new twist-participants can race anything they wish down the drag strip, making this a true "run what you brung" event. In addition to some of the NASCAR industry's brightest battling at zMAX Dragway, the evening will include passes by the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock teams of Greg Anderson and Jason Line, Nitro Drag Bikes and Pro Mods. More information on the event at LowesMotorSpeedway.com.(8-25-2009)

  • Lowe's will not renew naming rights with speedway UPDATE confirmed: Lowe's has decided not to renew its naming-rights deal at Lowe's Motor Speedway after this year, ending an 11-year relationship that began as the first racetrack naming-rights sponsorship. After more than a year of renewal talks, the home improvement retailer informed Speedway Motorsports Inc., the track's parent company, of its decision within the last two weeks, industry sources said. The initial 10-year, $35 million deal ran through 2008 and last year the two sides agreed on a one-year extension through 2009 when they could not finalize a long-term deal. Talks continued this year, but the two sides have not been able to reach an agreement. Barring a late agreement with Lowe's or the signing of a new corporate partner, the track is expected to go back to its former name, Charlotte Motor Speedway, in 2010. The Lowe's deal with Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports expires at the end of 2010 and those renewal talks are expected to begin later this year.(Sports Business Journal)(7-31-2009)
    UPDATE: Lowe's confirmed today the company will not renew its naming rights sponsorship of Lowe's Motor Speedway, a track owned by Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI), when its contract expires at the end of the year. Both companies continue to be in discussions about potential future marketing opportunities. "When Lowe's entered into this marketing relationship in 1999, it was during the time of our company's rapid national expansion, and Lowe's Motor Speedway gave us the platform to introduce the Lowe's brand to millions of NASCAR fans and consumers across the country," explained Robert J. Gfeller, Lowe's senior vice president of marketing and advertising. "We've enjoyed a great partnership with SMI over the years. However marketing strategies change, and it was time after 11 years to direct our marketing resources in other areas."
    "Lowe's has been a tremendous partner for Speedway Motorsports and their corporate involvement has strengthened our sport for NASCAR fans," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway. "We look forward to moving in new directions to help them accomplish their marketing goals in 2010 and beyond."(Lowe's PR)(8-6-2009)

  • Lowe's tells speedway it won't renew deal UPDATE 2 maybe? Lowe's has decided not to renew its naming-rights deal at Lowe's Motor Speedway after this year, ending an 11-year relationship that began as the first racetrack naming-rights sponsorship. After more than a year of renewal talks, the home improvement retailer informed Speedway Motorsports Inc., the track's parent company, of its decision within the last two weeks, industry sources said. The initial 10-year, $35 million deal ran through 2008 and last year the two sides agreed on a one-year extension through 2009 when they could not finalize a long-term deal. Talks continued this year, but the two sides have not been able to reach an agreement. Sources said it's not inconceivable for Lowe's to change its mind, given that five months remain on the current deal and the unpredictable nature of the economy, but such a change of heart is considered unlikely. Barring a late agreement with Lowe's or the signing of a new corporate partner, the track is expected to go back to its former name, Charlotte Motor Speedway, in 2010. Industry sources say that SMI initially came to the table asking for close to $9 million annually, and while that number dropped over the course of their discussions, the two sides could not come together. There were other factors. Lowe's must also consider its future with driver Jimmie Johnson, who has won three straight Cup championships and stands as the sport's most dominant figure. The Lowe's deal with Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports expires at the end of 2010 and those renewal talks are expected to begin later this year. Industry sources say that Lowe's will be expected to pay a hefty increase to maintain its position as the only primary sponsor on Johnson's #48 car, which is uncommon in this time of co-primary and "tri-mary" sponsorships on a car. The most expensive sponsorships go for the mid-$20 million range annually. Lowe's also is navigating the recession, which has struck the home improvement and building sector especially hard. Lowe's earnings fell 22% in 2008 and 60% in the final quarter of the year.(Sports Business Journal)(7-31-2009)
    UPDATE: Officials from Speedway Motorsports Inc. and Lowe's insist they are still talking in the wake of a report that the home improvement chain is ending its sponsorship of SMI's flagship track. SMI president and CEO Marcus Smith said both sides are still negotiating and that he remains confident a deal will be completed soon. "We're still working on and discussing the components of another extension to continue our relationship," Smith said. "Those components have not been finalized, but the process is moving along." Lowe's spokeswoman Chris Ahern said there was "nothing to report" about the nature of the company's talks with the track. SMI owner Bruton Smith, in Kentucky for this weekend's IndyCar race at Kentucky Speedway -- which is owned by SMI -- could not be reached for comment.(Associated Press)(8-1-2009)
    UPDATE 2: Lowe's appears to be on its way out as the title sponsor of Speedway Motorsports Inc.'s Charlotte-area track. SMI owner Bruton Smith said Saturday he expects the home improvement chain to end its 11-year sponsorship of the 1.5-mile oval at the end of the season. "I think we'll miss them," Smith said. "Sometimes you're negotiating and maybe you ask too much but I don't know," Smith said. Smith directed questions on the details to his son, SMI president and CEO Marcus Smith. Bruton Smith expects the track to work to find a new title sponsor if Lowe's leaves. If a new sponsor can't be found, the track's name will revert back to Charlotte Motor Speedway. "I think race fans will like that better," Smith said. "We caught heck over that. We shouldn't have. It was a good business decision."(ESPN/AP)(8-2-2009)

  • $19.60 Holds Any Ticket for Fall Events at Lowe's Motor Speedway: In honor of Lowe's Motor Speedway's 50 years of racing, fans can now reserve any ticket for the NASCAR Banking 500 Week, NHRA Nationals and the World of Outlaws World Finals for only $19.60 by calling the speedway's ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS. The significance in $19.60 is from the speedway's maiden year, 1960, which not only marked the first Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, but the first fall race as well, when Alfred "Speedy" Thompson drove the #21 Wood Brothers Ford to Victory Lane in the inaugural National 400. Now, for only $19.60, fans can reserve their seat for the speedway's 50th fall race, the Oct. 17 NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America. In order to reserve seats for any of these events for only $19.60, fans must call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS and speak directly to a Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket agent to set up their customized payment plan. Tickets for all upcoming events at Lowe's Motor Speedway can be purchased online at lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway's ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS)(7-24-2009)

  • Council OKs Metrolina race track: Charlotte City Council approved a rezoning Monday that will allow a developer to build a $50 million race track and amateur sports complex on the Metrolina Tradeshow Expo grounds in north Charlotte. Plans for the project, called the Metrolina Speed and Sports Center, include a 40,000-square-foot facility with rooftop skateboard park, a 200-room hotel and a banked race track. The popular flea market would stay on the site. Developer Simon Weber expects the project to create 150 jobs, and he said Monday he plans to open the complex in May 2010, when the uptown NASCAR Hall of Fame opens. City Council voted unanimously to rezone the 135.3-acre Metrolina property. Weber is also planning a 100-foot buffer between the outdoor facilities and property lines and a 3.2-acre community garden to soften noise for the nearest neighbors.(Charlotte Observer)(6-23-2009)

  • Fan sues Lowe's Motor Speedway: A spectator in the stands hit by a flying car shock absorber during a race in May 2006 in what is now the Nationwide Series has filed suit against Lowe's Motor Speedway. Robert James Kaine claims a piece of metallic debris "sliced open [his] right thigh area just above the knee" late in the event, according to the complaint filed in North Carolina Superior Court in Concord, N.C. Kaine, who resides in Canada, claims his injuries are permanent. There were no further details of the injuries suffered by what Kaine identifies as a part of a shock. Kaine claims that the injuries were caused by the negligence of LMS because of inadequate fencing.(SceneDaily)(6-11-2009)

  • Race park planned for Metrolina in Charlotte: An investment group wants to revitalize the race track at the Metrolina Tradeshow Expo in northern Charlotte and make it the centerpiece of a $50 million amateur sports and tourism destination. Speedway Investment Group, based in Mooresville, NC., said Monday that the Metrolina Speed and Sport Center could generate 150 jobs in the Derita community. Simon Weber, president, said the group plans to buy 40 of Metrolina's 146 acres and complete the initial phase by April 2010, to coincide with the opening of NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte. The initial phase would include a 40,000-square-foot building with retail and a rooftop skateboard park. The property also would include a progressively banked asphalt track, a karting facility and a "drifting" course on which drivers oversteer to cause cars to lose traction and skid. Weber said the sports complex would accommodate racing configurations from go-karts to late-model stock cars. It would include outdoor and indoor radio-controlled car tracks, grandstands and 4,000 parking spaces. Tim Newman, CEO of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, said the project could complement the NASCAR hall by "celebrating parts of racing that are difficult to celebrate now." Weber said Monday that he is using institutional funding to help finance the development, which he says would celebrate Metrolina's history, embrace green technology and attract national and international sports competitions. The deal is contingent on a rezoning by the Charlotte City Council. A public hearing and vote is planned for June 15. In the 1960s, Metrolina operated as Speedworld and was also known as the Charlotte Fairgrounds Speedway. The 0.6-mile clay track was paved briefly in the 1970s and ran NASCAR-sponsored races promoted by Ned Jarrett. It was returned to dirt and operated off and on until the mid-1990s.(Charlotte Observer)(6-3-2009)

  • Gold Walls at LMS: The retaining walls at Lowe's Motor Speedway will be gold this year in honor of the speedway's 50 years of racing. A crew of eight painted the walls using 800 gallons of paint and a process called "fogging" to do the job. More than 190 man hours went into making sure the walls were gold before cars got on track.(www.coke600.com)(5-23-2009)

  • 50th Coca-Cola 600 Pre-Race Festivities to Feature Military Salute: During the pre-race show for the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, Lowe's Motor Speedway officials will salute the U.S. Armed Forces with a military demonstration, special awards, military band performances and a special presentation with Medal of Honor recipients. The pre-race festivities will also include a parade lap by Bobby Allison, an inspirational message from Franklin Graham and appearances on stage by Miss USA Kristen Dalton and "Dancing with the Stars" winner and Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson. Gates will open at 11 a.m. Below is an approximate timeline of the events:
    2:15 p.m.
    Coca-Cola 600 Grand Marshal Bobby Allison will take a ceremonial parade lap around the speedway in the No. 12 Coca-Cola-sponsored 1969 Mercury Cyclone he drove to victory in the 1971 Coca-Cola 600.
    2:27 p.m.
    Nine Medal of Honor recipients will be honored on the pre-race stage. Honorees include World War II veteran, Charles Murray Jr.; Korean War veterans Hector Cafferata Jr. and Rudolfo Hernandez; and Vietnam War veterans John Baker Jr., Robert Howard, Leonard Keller, Gary Littrell, Walter Marm and Robert Patterson.
    2:30 p.m.
    World-renowned evangelist and North Carolina-native Franklin Graham will deliver a 30-minute inspirational message to fans from the pre-race stage located at the superspeedway's start-finish line, and it will be broadcast on the speedway's public address system. Graham will deliver the invocation before the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner," and he will also assist with Motor Racing Outreach's Sunday service to the drivers and team members in the garage.
    3:00 p.m.
    Fans will be entertained by the Marine Marching Band, Navy Rock Band, U.S. Air Force Tops in Blue and the 82nd Airborne Division Chorus.
    4:40 p.m.
    The U.S. Army will conduct a military demonstration on the frontstretch involving Blackhawk helicopters, military vehicles, a Howitzer demonstration and more than 2,000 troops. The forces will secure the frontstretch ballfield and a Chinook helicopter will make a special delivery that will include a U.S. flag that was flown over the headquarters of the Multi-National Corps-Iraq.
    5:09 p.m.
    A host of VIPs will grace the pre-race stage prior to driver introductions, including Miss USA Kristen Dalton, Honorary Race Official Shawn Johnson and Grand Marshal Bobby Allison.
    5:35 p.m.
    Following driver introductions, the Black Daggers, the official U.S. Army Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team, will perform a jump over the speedway.
    Additionally, the Presentation of Colors and "21-Gun Salute" will be performed by soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg. "Taps" will be performed by the 82nd Airborne Division Bugler from Fort Bragg. During the national anthem, 100 family members of service men and women will unfurl a large American flag that's shaped like the United States on the frontstretch grass. The Air Force Tops in Blue band will perform the national anthem. The pre-race flyover will feature four F-15s from the 122nd Fighter Squadron and 159th Fighter Wing of the Louisiana Air National Guard.
    Tickets for all Coca-Cola 600 Week events are available at the gates on event days or by calling the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket services department at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS)(5-23-2009)

  • Medal of Honor Recipients honored at LMS: On Friday night, the Speedway Club at Lowe's Motor Speedway was host to a very special gathering of America's military heroes on the eve of Memorial Day weekend -- honoring nine Medal of Honor recipients whose bravery and valor earned them the military's highest award. There are just 97 living recipients of the Medal of Honor today. Winston Kelley, Executive Director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame recognized the Medal of Honor recipients and presented them with their commemorative brick for the military tribute at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The recipients:
    -- Colonel Charles P. Murray, Jr., United States Army (Retired)
    -- Private Hector A. Cafferata, Jr., United States Marine Corps (Retired)
    -- Corporate Rodolfo P. Hernandez, United States Army (Retired)
    -- Colonel Walter J. Marm, Jr., United States Army (Retired)
    -- Master Sergeant John F. Baker, Jr., United States Army (Retired)
    -- Sergeant Leonard B. Keller, United States Army (Retired)
    -- Sergeant Robert Patterson, United States Army (Retired)
    -- CSM Gary L. Littrell, United States Army (Retired)
    -- Colonel Robert L. Howard, United States Army (Retired) was unable to attend.(5-23-2009)

  • Gold-Medal Gymnast Shawn Johnson named Coca-Cola 600 race official: World champion gymnast, celebrity dancer and honor roll student, Shawn Johnson has been named an Honorary Race Official for the Coca-Cola 600. Johnson will be on hand to help celebrate the historic 50th running of NASCAR's longest race at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 24. The 17-year-old Johnson won four medals at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, then came home and won America's heart as the youngest-ever winner of the popular ABC television show "Dancing with the Stars." As an Honorary Race Official for the Coca-Cola 600, Johnson will take part in a number of activities, including interacting with fans, attending the driver's meeting and greeting all of the drivers during pre-race introductions. During weekend events, Johnson will get a true NASCAR experience when she climbs into an actual race car for a 160 mph ride-along with fan favorite and Coca-Cola Racing Family member Kyle Petty. She'll also tour the garage at Lowe's Motor Speedway where she'll try her hand at typical pit crew jobs such as jacking a car, working an air wrench and changing tires.(Coca-Cola)(5-22-2009)

  • Packed Scheduled for 50th Coca-Cola 600: As Lowe's Motor Speedway celebrates 50 years of racing with the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600, speedway officials have a number of events scheduled to honor past and present champions and race fans this weekend.
    Fans to Participate in Windstream Pole Night
    Tomorrow night Lowe's Motor Speedway officials will randomly select fans in attendance for Winstream Pole Night to wave the green flag during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying. A total of 47 Sprint Cup cars are entered and will attempt to make the 43-car field for the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600. Qualifying is scheduled for 7:10pm/et.
    International Crowd to Attend Coca-Cola 600 Week
    Race fans from all 50 states and 10 foreign countries have purchased tickets to attend race festivities at Lowe's Motor Speedway during Coca-Cola 600 Week. Ticket holders will travel from all across the United States, as well as, Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom to see Windstream Pole Night on Thursday, the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Showdown on Friday, CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 on Saturday and the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday.
    NASCAR Legends to Meet Fans
    Race fans will have the opportunity to meet past and present NASCAR personalities at the track throughout the Coca-Cola 600 Weekend. On Thursday and Saturday, past Coca-Cola 600 champions Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison and Marvin Panch and the official artist of Lowe's Motor Speedway, Sam Bass, will sign autographs in the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 3:00pm/et. Allison, Panch, Donnie Allison, Kyle Petty, Clint Bowyer, Bobby Labonte, Bass and Food Network star Tyler Florence will participate in the Coca-Cola Quarter-Mile Cookout from 12:00 to 2:00pm/et on Friday. Prior to the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, Panch and both Allison brothers will sign autographs outside of Smith Tower at 11am/et.
    Special Cars on Display at LMS
    Fans will be able to check out several special cars that are a part of Lowe's Motor Speedway's history while at the track this weekend, including: Bobby Allison's #12 Coca-Cola 1969 Mercury Cyclone that he drove to victory in the 1971 Coca-Cola 600 for Holman Moody; the 1971 Wood Brothers Racing #21 Mercury that David Pearson raced at Lowe's Motor Speedway during the 1970s when he scored 11 straight pole awards at the 1.5-mile speedway; the #3 Atlanta Olympics Chevrolet that Dale Earnhardt Sr. drove in the 1996 All-Star Race in honor of the 100th anniversary of the modern Olympic Games; and the #3 GM Goodwrench/Wrangler Chevrolet Earnhardt Sr. drove in the 1999 All-Star Race.
    Going on 50 Years
    Several Lowe's Motor Speedway event-time staffers will hit their 50 year mark with the speedway this month. Dave Suddreth has worked security in the infield since 1960. He's manned pit road and Victory Circle. Earl Springs has sold event programs at Lowe's Motor Speedway since the first race as well. Both will be on duty for the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday.
    Commemorative Posters Now on Sale
    Posters of the commemorative prints designed by Sam Bass, the official artist of Lowe's Motor Speedway, for the 25th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 event programs are now on sale in the Lowe's Motor Speedway gift shop, located on the second floor of Smith Tower, across from the ticket office. Bass' latest posters "Silver Knights!" and "Gold Rush!" are available along with copies of the commemorative souvenir programs. He will also be on hand throughout the weekend for autographs.
    Biffle, Bowyer and Johnson Join 'PRN Up To SPEED' on Sunday
    "PRN Up To SPEED" will feature one of the best driver lineups to date for the free fan forums taking place at Lowe's Motor Speedway during Coca-Cola 600 Week. Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer and three-time Coca-Cola 600 champion Jimmie Johnson will join personalities from the Performance Racing Network on the SPEED stage, located at the speedway's main entrance, between 1 to 2pm/et, prior to the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600. Past Coca-Cola 600 champions Marvin Panch, Donnie Allison and Bobby Allison will also join the PRN crew from 12:40 to 1:00pm/et for a special segment of the fan forum. Track President Marcus Smith will welcome the crowd.
    Tickets are still on sale for Thursday's Windstream Pole Night, Saturday's CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 and Sunday's historic 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600. Fans can purchase tickets at the gates on event days or by calling the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket services department at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS)(5-21-2009)

  • Windstream to Host Soldiers & Military Families for Windstream Pole Night: On Thursday, May 21, when the best drivers in the world battle for the pole at the 50th running of the Coca Cola 600, Windstream, a high-speed Internet, phone and digital TV provider, will proudly be hosting 2,500 soldiers and military families from Fort Bragg and the XVIII Airborne Corps. This marks the second consecutive year the company has donated tickets to military members for the Windstream Pole Night qualifier for the NASCAR Cup Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway (LMS). The year's 50th anniversary of the famous Memorial Day weekend race will kick off with Junior Johnson getting behind the wheel of Windstream's signature Green Truck and driving the lead Pole Night parade lap, energizing the fans and race qualifying field. The Green Truck Tour is designed to give back to the local communities that Windstream serves and educate the public about landline safety. The tour, which promotes Windstream's reliable phone, high-speed Internet and digital TV products and services, runs through November with stops in 14 states. Windstream also is donating $200,000 to eight schools in the company's service area through its Classroom Connections program. For additional information about the Green Truck Tour and its scheduled stops, visit www.greentrucktour.com.(5-19-2009)

  • Oct race at LMS renamed: The Bank of America 500 will have a new name and a new focus when drivers and fans show up this fall for the Sprint Cup Series race on October 17 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Beginning this year, the only night-time race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will be called the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America. The name change is part of a strategic marketing effort to bring greater visibility and awareness to Bank of America's popular line of My Expression NASCAR Banking products. NASCAR Banking is the only nationwide suite of NASCAR and driver-branded personal banking products - including check cards, checks and credit cards - specifically designed for race fans. Infomation on additional ways for Fans to Experience the NASCAR Banking 500 can be found at www.bankofamerica.com/RacePoints or at NASCAR-sanctioned events and race tracks.(Bank of America)(5-17-2009)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway to honor Poole's memory: On Thursday, Lowe Motor Speedway will dedicate the deadline room in its infield media center in honor of David Poole, the Charlotte Observer and ThatsRacin.com writer who died April 28. In addition to his work with the newspaper and its racing site, Poole was an author of numerous books about racing and the sport's personalities. He was a respected authority on stock car racing and his opinions were often sought by others in the media and officials of more than one racing brand. A frequent guest commentator on TV and radio, Poole also co-anchored a popular XM-Sirius program. His wife, Katy, is scheduled to be on hand to receive a special donation to one of the writer and broadcaster's favorite charities.(Charlotte Observer)(5-16-2009)

  • Jesse James to sing National Anthem at All-Star race: Mercury recording artist Jessie James will sing "The Star Spangled Banner" for the 25th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 16 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Kenny Lattimore, a Verve recording artist, will sing "God Bless America" before the start of the Sprint Showdown, the last-chance qualifier for the main event."(LMS)(5-16-2009)

  • New Amenities and Happenings at LMS for All-Star Race: May Race Weeks have arrived and Lowe's Motor Speedway is gearing up for the 25th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race with new fan amenities as well as special events.
    The Nationwide Insurance Fan Pit Stop:
    Nationwide is partnering with Lowe's Motor Speedway to help race fans have the best possible experience by hosting The Nationwide Insurance Fan Pit Stop. The massive tents Located across from Gate 7 and in the souvenir lot at the intersection of Hwy. 29 and Bruton Smith Blvd. In the morning, fans can get a breakfast biscuit and coffee for just $2 and for lunch a sandwich and beverage will be available for the same low price. The tent will open at 7:00 a.m. on the morning of the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 and close at the start of the race. On all other event days the Nationwide tent will open one hour prior to the gates and serve food through the start of each race including the 25th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
    Lowe's Motor Speedway's Fans First Welcome Center presented by Nationwide Race fans visiting Lowe's Motor Speedway during May Race Weeks will be able to stop by the Fans First Welcome Center presented by Nationwide and get all their race related questions answered by LMS employees. The Welcome Center will provide fans with maps, schedules, refreshments and the opportunity to rent the NASCAR Sprint FanView. This is a great place for first time fans to learn about the speedway and its many amenities. The Welcome Center will open three hours prior to the gates on race days and close at the start of each race.
    Lowe's Motor Speedway Fan Appreciation Crew
    The Lowe's Motor Speedway Fan Appreciation Crew will be cruising the campgrounds in a Toyota Tundra Pace Truck passing out apparel and souvenirs to the campers on speedway property Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 24.
    Going Gold
    The retaining walls at Lowe's Motor Speedway will be gold this year in honor of the speedway's 50 years of racing. A crew of eight painted the walls this week using 800 gallons of paint and a process called "fogging" to do the job. More than 190 man hours will be put in to help ensure the walls are gold before cars go on track Friday.
    Pass Time
    Pass Time is the ultimate drag racing game show. It will host NASCAR drivers, owners, crew chiefs and regional racers for two days of taping at zMAX Dragway, May 19-20. The event will give race fans the chance to watch NASCAR drivers compete at the "Bellagio" of drag strips. Gates open at 3 p.m. and tickets are just $10 for adults with children 12 and under admitted for free.
    Lowe's Motor Speedway is the home of NASCAR's biggest back-to-back weekends with the 25th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the 50th Coca-Cola 600. Ticket packages for both events are available through the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(5-15-2009)

  • Recycling Effort Expanded at LMS: Coca-Cola Recycling and Anheuser-Busch Recycling have joined forces to help race fans support the environment by recycling while attending the Coca-Cola 600 Month of May races at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The joint recycling effort is an expansion of the program Anheuser-Busch launched at the speedway last May. Almost 5,000 pounds of aluminum and plastic beverage containers were collected on speedway property during the 10-day span of events that month. An increased effort in October for the fall NASCAR races netted more than 4,000 pounds of recyclables in a four-day period. Anheuser-Busch also supplied bins to the Lowe's Motor Speedway offices for the staff to recycle year round. This year Coca-Cola and Anheuser-Busch have partnered to provide more than 400 recycling barrels that will be placed around the speedway's display areas, hospitality areas, concourse, infield and suites during the May race weeks to collect plastic and aluminum beverage containers. The recycling program will be in place May 15 - 24 at the 1.5-mile superspeedway. For the Coca-Cola 600 weekend, the Coca-Cola Recycling Education Vehicle will also be at the speedway. The 40-foot trailer features videos, games and prizes, all designed to inform and educate fans about the value of recycling in a fun and interactive setting. The recycling efforts of fans at Lowe's Motor Speedway during the May races will be rewarded with donations made to Speedway Children's Charities and the NASCAR Foundation. Ticket packages and payment plan options for all events are available through the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(5-15-2009)

  • Coca-Cola Drops Green Flag on Summer with 'Quarter-Mile Cookout' at LMS: Coca-Cola will ignite the summer barbecue season Memorial Day weekend by firing up the nation's longest grill at the site of NASCAR's longest race, the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Requiring more than 7,000 pounds of Kingsford Charcoal, the monster-sized ring of fire will measure an astonishing 1,320 feet - spanning more than four football fields in length if stretched end to end. The colossal grill will be used to cook up a feast for fans attending the "Coca-Cola Quarter-Mile Cookout" on Friday, May 22. The oval-shaped quarter-mile grill - assembled on part of the racetrack's frontstretch and pit road - will be manned by celebrity chef and Food Network star Tyler Florence, host of "Tyler's Ultimate" and author of "Dinner at My Place" and "Stirring the Pot." Joining Chef Florence will be some of NASCAR's most popular drivers, including Clint Bowyer, Bobby Labonte, Kyle Petty, and racing legend Bobby Allison, all of whom will trade their fire suits for "track aprons" as they help grill up lunch for thousands of fans. The event is free and open to all ticket and annual credential holders for the historic 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600. The action will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the racetrack near the Speedway's start/finish line. The menu will feature hamburgers and hotdogs, along with Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad pasta salads and Betty Crocker Original Supreme brownies. Tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 are available online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(5-14-2009)

  • Kevin Costner and Modern West to Perform at the Sprint All-Star Race: Actor and musician Kevin Costner and Modern West will perform a pre-race concert for the 25th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Academy Award winner Costner and his band will perform a 45-minute afternoon concert prior to the Montgomery Gentry show presented by Jim Beam in the infield between Turns 1 and 2. Admission to the concert is free with the purchase of a ticket to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
    In addition to the concert Costner will be invited to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers meeting and will serve as a celebrity judge in the Pennzoil Victory Challenge, the annual burnout contest, prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race. Costner has been a regular presence in the NASCAR community of late as part of his year- long partnership with the sport. Amongst many NASCAR related endeavors, Costner is serving as the 2009 NASCAR Day spokesperson, which will be celebrated this year on May 15th. As part of his role, he is helping The NASCAR Foundation to raise funds for its Family of Charities in an effort to help thousands of children live better lives.
    Tickets for the 25th running of the May 16th NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race start at just $25 and can be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(5-12-2009)

  • National Tailgating League hosts inaugural event at Coke 600: The National Tailgating League (The NTL), a newly formed organization created to sanction and execute organized tailgating games including Cornhole, Ladder Golf and Washer Toss competitions, announced today details for the first officially sanctioned event during Memorial Day weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In conjunction with the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600, the inaugural NTL doubles cornhole tournaments will take place on May 23 and May 24 in the campgrounds of LMS. By holding its inaugural event during Memorial Day weekend at one of the largest tailgating parties in the world, the NTL cornhole tournaments will provide fans, gamers and everyone in between with the opportunity to experience firsthand what the league is all about - bringing fans together for good times and great games while also trying to find and identify the "Cornhole King of the Campgrounds." The inaugural NTL doubles cornhole tournaments, which will take place in the campgrounds of LMS on the corner of Highway 29 and Morehead Road in Concord, NC, will consist of a morning and afternoon doubles tournament on both Saturday, May 23 and Sunday, May 24. Cornhole gamers and race enthusiasts will be playing for a host of prizes including $500 cash and race-related experiences such as tickets, suite passes and other unique experiential packages. Interested race fans and gamers that want to participate in one of the inaugural NTL doubles cornhole tournaments can reserve a spot by signing up today at www.TheNTL.com or can visit the tournament site starting as early as Thursday, May 21 prior to the Windstream Pole Night. Each of the four weekend tournaments will hold 50 teams of two and sign-ups are on a first come, first serve basis.(NTL PR)(5-7-2009)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway's 99-Cents Value Menu to Debut in May: Diligent in the pursuit of lowering the cost for fans to attend a NASCAR race, officials at Lowe's Motor Speedway provided relief at the concession stands on Wednesday by announcing a new 99-Cents Value Menu that will debut in May during the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race weekend. Through a partnership with Levy Restaurants, five concession stands throughout the speedway's concourse will carry the specially priced menu, which consists of a hot dog, hamburger slider, uncrustable peanut butter and jelly sandwich, potato chips and popcorn. In addition, the menu will include two special offers of 12 hot dogs for $10 and 10 hamburgers for $8. This effort is the latest way that Lowe's Motor Speedway has worked with business partners to reduce the overall cost of attending a NASCAR race. Earlier this year, speedway officials worked with regional visitor's bureaus and area hotels to reduce room rates and waive the minimum stay requirements at more than 90 hotels within a one hour radius of the speedway. In addition to these cost-saving measures, Lowe's Motor Speedway will offer a $20 souvenir combo that includes a t-shirt and hat, which normally retails for $48, and the popular Coca-Cola 600 Family Four-Pack returns offering fans four tickets, four hot dogs and four Coca-Cola products for only $39.75 per person. The 99-Cents Value Menu is just one of the many food items that Levy Restaurants will be providing at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May. Also making their NASCAR debut at the Sprint All-Star Race are Levy's "State Fair" creations including the deep fried grilled cheese sandwich with tomato dipping sauce, golden fried honey bun topped with powdered sugar and the deep fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Ticket packages and payment plan options for both events are available through the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(5-7-2009)


    The New Coca-Cola 600 Trophy

  • Kahne Joins LMS Officials to Unveil New Coca-Cola 600 Trophy: When Lowe's Motor Speedway celebrates the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24, the winner of the race will not only take home the lion's share of the recording-breaking nearly $6.7 million purse, he will also receive the priceless new trophy speedway officials unveiled Monday. Defending Coca-Cola 600 champion Kasey Kahne ('06, '08) joined Speedway Motorsports Chairman Bruton Smith and Lowe's Motor Speedway President Marcus Smith to reveal the trophy to the public for the first time in The Speedway Club. More than 120 man-hours of work went into the design and construction of the finished piece of artwork that weighs 225 pounds. The trophy is 18 inches wide and 31 inches tall. The base was cut from black Oscuro marble and the center was bored out to relieve weight and accommodate the vertical portion of the trophy. The first World 600, 50th Coca-Cola 600 and Lowe's Motor Speedway Fifty Years of Firsts logos are engraved across the front of the base. In the center of the base sits the familiar prize that winners of the Coca-Cola 600 have received since 1981. The piston was cast in Everdur bronze and plated with 22-carat gold. Surrounding it are 10 monolithic columns of fine crystal that were hand-etched with the winners' names and dates from the past 49 Coca-Cola 600s. The name of the winner of the 50th Coca-Cola 600 will be added to both a crystal column and the marble base. The new trophy was conceptualized by Efron Design and constructed by Innocast Execuline. Coca-Cola 600 ticket prices start at just $39.75 per person with a Coca-Cola four-pack purchase and are available through the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(5-5-2009)

  • Sam Bass unveils artwork for LMS program covers: Renowned motorsports artist Sam Bass, along with officials from Lowe's Motor Speedway, today unveiled two original paintings that will grace the covers of souvenir programs for two of the most significant events in the track's history: the 25th edition of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the 50th running of the iconic Coca-Cola 600. A high impact illustration entitled "Silver Knights!" appears on the cover of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race souvenir publication, while the Coca-Cola 600 program features an equally poignant artwork called "Gold Rush!" Of course, the titles allude to the silver and golden anniversaries of the two prestigious events. The most recent collaboration between Bass and the Concord, N.C. speedway extends one of the longest running streaks in all of motorsports. A record 59 consecutive covers have been designed by Bass - NASCAR's first officially licensed artist - dating back to the inaugural All-Star Race and Coca-Cola's first year as the title sponsor of the 600. Sam Bass's personal studio and motorsports art gallery in Concord, N.C., are adjacent to Lowe's Motor Speedway. He is the first officially licensed artist of NASCAR. For more information please call (704) 455-6915, or log on to www.sambass.com, where you can view the covers of the programs.(LMS PR)(5-5-2009)

  • Kahne, Keselowksi, and Flair selling tickets Monday at Lowe's: Race weeks at Lowe's Motor Speedway are only days away and to help drop the green flag on the exciting month of motorsports at the home of stock car racing, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski, and 16-time World Heavyweight Champion, the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, will sell tickets at the speedway ticket office Monday beginning at 5 p.m. Fans that come to the ticket office Monday and purchase tickets for the 25th NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race or the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 will receive the popular "All-Star Slugfest" poster that features several drivers' heads on wrestlers' bodies and meet the drivers and the "Nature Boy." Flair will staff the ticket office from 5-7 p.m., while Kahne will be there from 5-6 p.m. and Keselowski from 6-7 p.m. At 7 p.m. PRN's "Fast Talk," the popular nationally syndicated radio program, will broadcast live from the front of the ticket office with host Doug Rice and special co-host, the most recent qualifier for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Keselowski. Fans are invited to attend the live broadcast and participate in the program which will include a special guest appearance by pro-wrestling legend, Flair, and phone-in interviews from NASCAR's top stars. Ticket packages for both events are available through the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(5-3-2009)

  • "Big One" Ticket Buster Monday at Lowe's Motor Speedway: Officials at Lowe's Motor Speedway are ready to roll the dice on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday afternoon at Talladega, and the fans will be the winners. Starting Monday at noon, Lowe's Motor Speedway will sale 1,000 tickets combined to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 16 and the May 24 Coca-Cola 600 at a price equal to the number of cars involved in the biggest wreck at Talladega. Fans must call 1-800-455-FANS or come to the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office to take advantage of the special offer. "The talk around the Talladega race is always about 'The Big One,'" said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway. "But Sunday, if only a few drivers get caught up in the biggest wreck, the deal on Monday is that much sweeter. Plus, it gives the fans a chance to save some real money on another 'Big One,' the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600." Following the race, Lowe's Motor Speedway officials will announce the special price for the Monday ticket offer. Ticket packages and payment plan options for both events are available through the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(4-26-2009)

  • Hamlin Makes Special Delivery to Unsuspecting Race Fan: Lowe's Motor Speedway officials and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver #11-Denny Hamlin surprised Concord resident Ken Vogl with a special delivery of four tickets to the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 today. "This certainly wasn't expected," said Vogl, who is a self-professed fan of Hamlin. "I knew that someone from the speedway was delivering some tickets that I had supposedly won, but I had no idea they would be delivered in a pace car by Denny Hamlin! I've been a fan of Denny's since before he was racing in Cup, so to have a chance to meet him and get tickets to the Coca-Cola 600 all at once is a dream come true." The ticket giveaway was a compliment to Hamlin's "Win Denny's Seats" program, where he is giving away tickets to each Sprint Cup Series race in 2009 to NASCAR fans who sign up on his Web site. Tickets for the May 24 Coca-Cola 600 are available for as little as $49. Convenient payment plan options and multi-day ticket packages are also available. Fans can call 1-800-455-FANS for more details or log onto www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(4-22-2009)

  • LMS Unveils New Sprint All-Star Race Ad: Lowe's Motor Speedway unveiled a new ad this week for the May 16 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race featuring several drivers' heads on the bodies of professional wrestlers. The ad included Dale Earnhardt Jr. who requested his image feature an Indian headdress reminiscent of his wrestling hero Wahoo McDaniel. Billed as the "All-Star Slugfest: A Night of Fractured Fenders and Shattered Dreams," Dale "Wahoo" Junior and Kyle "Rowdy" Busch headlined the advertisement. The speedway also engaged Ric Flair, 16-time World Wrestling Heavyweight Champion and Honorary Race Director for the Sprint All-Star Race, to film a segment highlighting the drivers featured in the ad. Tickets for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 16 start at only $25 and can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com. Convenient payment plan options and multi-day ticket packages are also available.(LMS PR)(4-13-2009)

  • One Lucky Fan Will Ride 'Shotgun' in 2009 Pennzoil Victory Challenge: Speedway officials announced that one lucky fan will become a passenger during the second annual Pennzoil Victory Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 16, in advance of the 25th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. One fan in attendance will be randomly selected to ride "shotgun" with a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver in the return of the popular Pennzoil Victory Challenge, which pits drivers against one another to see who can deliver the best tire-smoking burnout. The inaugural Pennzoil Victory Challenge was an instant hit with fans and this year's version promises to be even more exciting. The new format will allow drivers a longer freestyle demonstration and a panel of judges will score each driver's creativity. The driver with the highest score from the panel will be declared the winner, with $10,000 awarded to their designated charity and a reserved spot in the 2010 Pennzoil Victory Challenge.
    The driver lineup has been expanded from five drivers to seven, and the first official entry is the driver of the #29 Pennzoil Chevy, Kevin Harvick, who finished fourth in the inaugural Pennzoil Victory Challenge last year. Each driver will compete in stock cars identically prepared by the Richard Petty Driving Experience. While more participants and the complete panel of judges will be announced at a later date, the first official judge is 16-time World Wrestling Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair, who will also serve as Honorary Race Director for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
    The Pennzoil Victory Challenge will be televised live during SPEED's pre-race coverage on May 16. The pre-race lineup for NASCAR's all-star spectacular will also include a one-hour concert performed by country music award-winning duo Montgomery Gentry presented by Jim Beam, and the NASCAR Sprint Showdown. Such a lineup makes the 25th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race the best entertainment value in motorsports with tickets starting at only $25. Tickets to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race as well as all of the other great events in May, including the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24, can be obtained online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com, or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(4-10-2009)

  • LMS to donate portion of April 3-11 Ticket Sales: Lowe's Motor Speedway will honor Autism Awareness Month by contributing $10 from every ticket sold to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 from April 3 - April 11, to Autism Speaks. "Autism affects millions of families around the world, including many of our great fans," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway. "We've worked with local non-profit groups that help children with autism and their families through Speedway Children's Charities. Now we've decided to significantly expand those efforts to help Autism Speaks increase awareness of the disorder and raise funds to help find a cure. FOX and SPEED are working with us this weekend to help get the word out to race fans so we can try to raise as much as possible for this great cause." Lowe's Motor Speedway's contribution will help fund autism research, awareness, advocacy and family services. For more information about Autism Speaks, please visit www.AutismSpeaks.org. Fans interested in helping a great cause and attending two of the best events on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule can call the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS and tell their ticket services representative that they want to help find a cure for Autism. Fans can also log onto www.lowesmotorspeedway.com and click on the Autism Speaks logo.(LMS PR)(4-4-2009)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway Takes Trackside Luxury Camping to the Next Level: Setting a new standard in trackside camping, Lowe's Motor Speedway officials revealed plans for a new luxury RV lot that will be located just outside the apex of Turns 1 and 2, overlooking the 1.5-mile superspeedway. The camping lot will feature the largest motor home spaces in all of NASCAR and give campers a spectacular view of Lowe's Motor Speedway's legendary quad-oval. Each space will include 10 race tickets, a 10-foot viewing area in front of the RV space, live race feeds via closed-circuit television, catering options from Levy Restaurants, a concierge service, wireless Internet access and fully-equipped water, electrical and sewer hookups. The trackside luxury camping lot will feature 18 total camping spaces with three different sizes available. The smallest 10 spaces are 30-by-60 feet, which will match the largest current camping spaces in NASCAR. Two larger sizes are offered as well-five 36-by-60 feet spaces and three giant spaces measuring 40-by-60 feet each. Construction is underway and will be completed in time for the May NASCAR event weekends. All trackside luxury camping spaces are on sale now for the 25th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 16, and 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24. Spaces are available on an annual or weekend basis, including the Bank of America 500 on October 17. Additional information about trackside luxury camping can be obtained by contacting the Lowe's Motor Speedway corporate sales department at 704-455-3203. Tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 start at $49, while tickets for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race begin at only $25 and can be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(3-19-2009)

  • Speedway President Didn't Get Degree, School Says: Speedway Motorsports Inc.'s Marcus G. Smith, president and chief operating officer of the second- largest U.S. auto-racetrack operator, didn't graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as the company asserted, the school said. "The university registrar's office does not show that this person has earned a degree from this university," spokesman Mike McFarland said in a March 16 interview. Smith attended for four years, majoring in journalism and mass communications, according to school records, McFarland said. Privacy laws prohibit disclosing why a student didn't graduate, he said.
    "I attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1992 through 1996 and believe I had the proper credits for graduation," Smith said yesterday in a statement when asked for comment. "I'm checking with the university now for clarification." Smith, a son of Chief Executive Officer O. Bruton Smith, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in advertising from North Carolina, Speedway said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing in May. He was previously executive vice president of national sales and marketing. The discrepancy in Smith's background was discovered by Barry Minkow, co-founder of the Fraud Discovery Institute, a San Diego-based licensed private investigator. Minkow, 42, served more than seven years in federal prison for fraud while running ZZZZ Best Co.(Bloomberg)(3-19-2009)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway's Fund-Racing Program: Lowe's Motor Speedway officials have launched a new program, Fund-Racing, that will generate money for non-profit organizations that partner with the speedway to sell tickets to race events.Non-profit groups can earn from $4 to $14 per ticket sold to a variety of race events, including the North Carolina Education Lottery 200, NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Windstream Pole Night, CARQUEST Auto Parts 300, Bojangles' Pole Night, Dollar General 300, Bank of America 500 and the Summer Shootout Series. Through the program, participating non-profit groups are provided with an offer code for a special page on the Lowe's Motor Speedway Web site. Every ticket sold through the Web site with their specific code will generate money for the organization. Additionally, order forms are available for one-on-one sales. Several local organizations have already signed up to participate, including Abilities Unlimited of the Carolinas, Hendrick Marrow Foundation, Independence High School Band Boosters, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Motor Racing Outreach. The Fund-Racing program is a year-round fundraising opportunity. No contract, commitment or minimums are required for an organization to participate. For more information about Fund-Racing, or to register for the program, non-profit groups should call (704) 455-3294 or e-mail fundracing@lowesmotorspeedway.com.(3-15-2009)

  • '50 Years of Firsts' History Display To Open Coca-Cola 600 Month of May: An interactive 50 Years of Firsts display will open with an appearance by Kasey Kahne to kick off the Coca-Cola 600 Month of May as part of Lowe's Motor Speedway's 50th year celebration. Kahne, the 2008 Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 defending champion, will join speedway officials at 1:00pm/et on Monday, May 4, to open the 17,424 square foot display located near the speedway's main entrance at Highway 29 and Bruton Smith Boulevard. The exhibit will be open daily through Sunday, May 24, in conjunction with the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office operating hours and admission will be free of charge.
    The display will feature a variety of artifacts, memorabilia and race cars from five decades of NASCAR stock car racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway, including Bobby Allison's 1969 #12 Mercury that he drove to Victory Lane in the 1971 World 600 and David Pearson's 1971 #21 Mercury that he won the 1973 National 500 pole award in, setting off an 11-race pole award streak at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Fans will also be able to view the 1959 Charlotte Motor Speedway articles of incorporation signed by Bruton Smith and Curtis Turner; the trophy Joe Lee Johnson received for winning the first World 600 in 1960; artifacts from many drivers including Janet Guthrie and Alan Kulwicki; plus a video chronicling the 50-year evolution of NASCAR's most innovative speedway.
    The display will also include video vignettes of the 32 greatest moments in racing history at Lowe's Motor Speedway, a victory lane backdrop for fan photos and an autograph area for fans to meet NASCAR drivers and personalities during race weeks. Lowe's Motor Speedway officials are working with the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Memory Lane Museum in Mooresville, N.C., and many of the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams to obtain additional items for the exhibit. Tickets for the NASCAR race events at Lowe's Motor Speedway including the May 16 Sprint All-Star Race and May 24 Coca-Cola 600 are on sale now and can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(3-15-2009)

  • Charlotte-Area Hotels Reduce Race Week Room Rates: In a collaborative effort, regional tourism bureaus and officials at Lowe's Motor Speedway have worked with area hotel operators to secure lower room rates for race fans attending the 25th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 16, and the 50th Coca-Cola 600 on May 24. More than 80 hotels within approximately one hour of the 1.5-mile superspeedway have agreed to reduce their race week room rates by 15 percent and waive their minimum stay requirements. The full list of participating hotels is available online for fans to reference at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com/hotels. The speedway's ticket services representatives also have the full listing of hotels and can advise fans that call 1-800-455-FANS. In order to obtain the discounted rate, race fans must call the hotels directly and request the Speedway Special when making reservations. In addition to the lower hotel rates, cost savings extend to the speedway as well. The Coca-Cola 600 Family Four Pack, which includes four race tickets to the Coca-Cola 600, four hot dogs and four Coca-Cola brand soft drinks, is available for just $39.75 a person. Similarly, the Rite Aid Family Four Pack includes four tickets to the Sprint All-Star Race, four hot dogs and four Coca-Cola brand soft drinks for the low price of $24.75 a person. The May Super Ticket special is also available, allowing fans the opportunity to see Windstream Pole Night qualifying, the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 Nationwide Series race and the Coca-Cola 600, all for as low as $89. Fans can also choose from a wide selection of affordable grandstand seating options with payment plans available to reserve a ticket for the Sprint All-Star Race starting at just $8 per month. Payment plans for a ticket to the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 are as low as $16 per month. Race fans are reminded that Lowe's Motor Speedway offers 164 acres of free parking and numerous affordable camping options are also available. Coolers, limited to 14 inches in any direction, are also permitted in the grandstands.(LMS PR)(3-5-2009)

  • Drivers to Conduct Fan Forums at Speedway Motorsports Races: NASCAR drivers and Speedway Motorsports are teaming up to bring fans closer to their favorite drivers than ever before. The new "PRN Up To SPEED" program will bring NASCAR's top names out for fan forums at the SPEED Stage during each of the 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekends at Speedway Motorsports' seven speedways across the country. The Performance Racing Network's on-air personalities will emcee question-and-answer sessions with some of the sport's biggest personalities at the SPEED Stage leading up to SPEED's regularly scheduled weekend programming.
    "PRN Up To SPEED" will kick off Sunday at 9:30am/et, at the SPEED Stage located in the Las Vegas Motor Speedway midway. The stellar lineup will include Las Vegas-native Kyle Busch, legendary NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, and four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon. Each Speedway Motorsports track [Atlanta, Bristol, Infineon, Las Vegas, Lowe's, New Hampshire, Texas] that hosts a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will hold "PRN Up To SPEED" sessions during their respective race weekend. The location of the SPEED Stage may vary from track to track, but at all Speedway Motorsports facilities, the stage is always located in an area where access is free of charge for fans.(SMI PR)(3-1-2009)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway to Set Guinness World Record: Lowe's Motor Speedway will set a Guinness World Record at the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24, by giving 50,000 fans a total of $2.5 million in giveaways. Speedway staff will present the first 50,000 fans through the gates on race day with a commemorative adidas sport bag. The black bags will feature the 50th Coca-Cola 600 logo and contain prizes, merchandise and coupons from various track sponsors. In celebration of the speedway's 50th year of racing, the retail value for each bag and its contents will be $50, making the grand total $2.5 million in prizes, and creating a world record for the largest prize giveaway at a sports event. Tickets for the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24 start at just $49. Additional information for this event and all events at Lowe's Motor Speedway can be obtained online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(2-22-2009)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway Offering '5 for $50' Ticket Promotion: As a kickoff to the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Lowe's Motor Speedway is offering a special "5 for $50" promotion for the first 1,700 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 tickets sold Tuesday from 5 - 9 p.m. The 1,700 tickets available are in honor of Matt Kenseth's win in this year's season-opener in his #17 car. Kenseth scored his first Cup Series victory in the 2000 Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The tickets available with the "5 for $50" special are located in the Jewel Box and Toyota Fourth Turn Terrace grandstands. Tickets for the special promotion will be available at the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office from 5 - 9 p.m. or by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267). The first 50 fans who purchase the "5 for $50" special at the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office Tuesday night will also receive a Matt Kenseth die-cast collectible car. Additional information about tickets for all Lowe's Motor Speedway events can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(2-17-2009)

  • All Remaining Bank of America 500 Tickets Go on Sale TODAY: With renewals completed, all remaining tickets for the Oct. 17 Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, the only Saturday night race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, will go on sale Monday, Feb. 16 at 9 a.m. With prices ranging from $49 to $135, a wide selection of affordable grandstand seating options are available, including a limited number of premium frontstretch seats. The lower-level sections of the Chrysler, General Motors and Ford grandstands along the frontstretch feature individual, stadium-style seating. The extremely popular October Super Ticket will again be available, offering tickets to all four of the Bank of America 500 Week events for the low price of $99. The Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office will be open Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additional information about tickets for all Lowe's Motor Speedway events can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(2-16-2009)

  • Online Fan Vote to Decide Greatest Racing Moment in LMS: As Lowe's Motor Speedway celebrates 50 years of racing, fans will determine the greatest racing moment in the speedway's history by logging onto www.coke600.com to vote for their favorite Lowe's Motor Speedway memory. The top moments in Lowe's Motor Speedway history have been narrowed down to 32 and condensed into short video clips that fans can view prior to making their choice. The online selection process pairs those memorable video clips in a bracket-style voting system with new video matchups revealed each week. The moment that receives the most votes in each bracket pairing will advance to the next round until only the top vote-getter remains. The greatest racing moment in Lowe's Motor Speedway history as selected by the fans will be announced during the week leading up to the 25th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 16.(LMS PR)(2-3-2009)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway Launches Coca-Cola 600 Web Site: As Lowe's Motor Speedway prepares for the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24, speedway officials have launched a new Web site, www.coke600.com, to keep fans up-to-date on all he special festivities planned around NASCAR's only 600-mile race. Tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24 start at just $49, and can be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(1-31-2009)

  • LMS follows TMS's lead UPDATE: Sirius Speedway has learned that Lowe's Motor Speedway will follow the lead of Texas Motor Speedway, removing a large number of seats in the track's South Grandstand to make way for a luxury RV lot. Destruction of the South Grandstand is reportedly set to begin Monday, with construction of the new lot to follow. Calls to the speedway for confirmation were not immediately returned, but ticket agents began contacting affected season ticket holders earlier Tuesday.(Sirius Speedway)(12-17-2008)
    UPDATE: Lowe's Motor Speedway is taking out some seats in turns 1 and 2 to make room for about 20 luxury motorhome spots. A few thousand seats will be removed, according to speedway President Marcus Smith. In its 2008 annual report, the track reported that it had approximately 162,000 seats, including suites. "We had a lot of demand for high-end camping from fans and sponsors and people who love to camp," Smith said. "We haven't seen any fall-off with camping, even with high gas prices [last summer]. We're very appreciative of our camping fans. We want to give them what they want, and they are asking for more amenities. At some of these high-end RV and motorcoach areas, you have got big stone fireplaces and just amazing amenities." Those who purchase a spot will be able to look over the track between Turns 1 and 2. "We had to carve out a few seats, and they're actually our worst seats in terms of quality seating in the first turn," Smith said. "We took those out and we're flattening the ground and we're going to come back with a very nice-end camping area." Texas Motor Speedway, another track under the Speedway Motorsports Inc. banner, recently began work on a similar project. "What we're doing there in Texas will produce more income [and] the same here," SMI Chairman Bruton Smith said of the Charlotte changes.(SceneDaily)(1-26-2009)

  • Montgomery Gentry to Perform at Sprint All-Star Race: Grammy-nominated and country music award-winning duo Montgomery Gentry will perform a pre-race concert presented by Jim Beam for the 25th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Saturday night, May 16, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The duo will perform a one-hour afternoon concert in the infield between Turns 1 and 2. Admission to the concert is free with the purchase of a ticket to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Tickets for the 25th running of the May 16 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race start at just $25 and can be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(1-23-2009)

  • Bobby Allison named Grand Marshal of Coke 600: Fans will be witness to history even before the green flag drops on the 50th Coca-Cola 600, as Coca-Cola and Lowe's Motor Speedway pay tribute to the legends who have made the race one of NASCAR's crown jewels over the last half century. Thrilling memories will be on display as every former winner of the Coca-Cola 600 is honored during a special celebration prior to the milestone 50th running of NASCAR's longest race. Serving as Grand Marshal - and representing all 26 drivers who have taken the checkered flag at the Coca-Cola 600 - will be NASCAR legend Bobby Allison, a three-time winner of the race (1971, 1981 and 1984). Named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers and a member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, Allison won 84 races in his storied career, tying him for third place all-time with Darrell Waltrip. In addition to delivering the most famous words in motorsports - "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines" - Allison is set to take a ceremonial victory lap around Lowe's Motor Speedway in the actual Coca-Cola-sponsored 1969 Mercury Cyclone he drove to victory in the 1971 Coca-Cola 600. The car is currently on display at the Memory Lane Museum in Mooresville, N.C. "The Coca-Cola 600 has always been one of the most grueling events on the NASCAR schedule and I can honestly say that every winner of this race was a tremendous competitor," said Allison. "I'm proud to serve as Grand Marshal, to be a part of Coca-Cola's rich tradition with NASCAR and represent all the drivers who have made it to Victory Lane at this great race." Many of NASCAR's greatest drivers are among the winners of the Coca-Cola 600, including Richard Petty, David Pearson, Donnie Allison, Dale Jarrett, Rusty Wallace, Buddy Baker, Marvin Panch and Fred Lorenzen. The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest continuous race sponsorship in NASCAR. Traditionally the Coca-Cola 600 attracts approximately 180,000 fans to Lowe's Motor Speedway on Memorial Day Weekend. This year's race will be broadcast live on FOX on Sunday, May 24. Tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 are available online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(1-21-2009)

  • LMS Offers Free Ride-Along w/purchase of Coke 600 Tix: Fans purchasing tickets to the May 24 Coca-Cola 600 will have the opportunity to take a complimentary ride-along in a stock car courtesy of the Jeff Gordon Racing School on Wednesday, Jan. 21, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Lowe's Motor Speedway. A $129 retail value, this unique opportunity puts fans in the tire tracks of NASCAR legends such as Richard Petty, David Pearson, Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon. The complimentary rides for ticket holders will begin at 4 p.m. on Wednesday and are available until 8 p.m. while supplies last. Fans purchasing tickets or those who have already purchased tickets to the Coca-Cola 600 are invited to check in at the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office upon arrival on Wednesday. After receiving a voucher for the Jeff Gordon Driving School, they will report directly to the school's trailer, located at Victory Circle. This offer is only valid for one ride per account and is available while supplies last on Wednesday. Tickets for the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24 start at only $49 and tickets for the 25th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 16 start at only $25. Additional information for this event and all events at Lowe's Motor Speedway can be obtained online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(1-20-2009)

  • Bruton making changes to Kentucky, expects Cup date: SMI Motorsports owner and CEO Bruton Smith, the new owner of the Kentucky Speedway, and a guest Sunday night on 700 WLW's KOI Auto Parts Racing Report from 7-9pm, told me [Seg] that he was at the track Monday and Tuesday with architects and enginers. Smith said they will move 3-4 million yards of dirt to improve parking at the Sparta track, change some roads, build a bridge and completely re-do the infield. The existing garages will be torn down and a Las Vegas Speedway type infield will take its place.(700 WLW's KOI Auto Parts Racing Report)
    AND Smith still wants a Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway, but absolutely will not take one away from New Hampshire Motor Speedway, another track he owns. Where will he pull one from? He's not saying, but speculation is Kentucky could replace the fall race at Lowe's Motor Speedway.(Tom Jensen Online)
    AND II Speedway Motorsports Chairman Bruton Smith said he doesn't think the former owners of Kentucky Speedway can win their antitrust lawsuit against NASCAR. Smith wants the case either settled or dropped so that he can request NASCAR realign a Sprint Cup date to that track. Currently, the case is in a U.S. appeals court in Cincinnati on whether there is enough evidence to have a trial on the antitrust claims. Last year, a U.S. District Court judge ruled there wasn't enough evidence for trial. "I don't think they'll be successful on this appeal," said Smith, who bought the track in December from the former owners, who wanted to continue pursuing the lawsuit. "All the lawyers that I've talked to know they won't. But they still appealed it."(SceneDaily)(1-20-2009)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway's NASCAR Sprint Media Tour: Approximately 200 print and electronic journalists from 19 states and as far away as Columbia, the Netherlands and Germany will convene in the heart of NASCAR race country next week as Lowe's Motor Speedway hosts the annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour. An integral part of NASCAR's pre-season schedule, the 27th edition of this media event begins Monday morning, Jan. 19, and continues through Thursday afternoon, Jan. 22. With support from sponsors Sprint and NASCAR, the Media Tour gives credentialed participants the opportunity to tour race shops; interview drivers, crew chiefs and team owners; and discuss the latest developments and news with motorsports industry insiders. Journalists from New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Miami, Fort Worth, Tampa and Montreal are among those registered to participate, representing such media outlets as USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg News, ESPN, The Associated Press, Time magazine and Sports Illustrated. Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Penske Racing, Gillette Evernham Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing and Red Bull Racing are among the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams scheduled to host events. Ford will bring its Sprint Cup drivers and team owners together for a media availability session and media members will also get their initial look at the new SPEED Channel studios. In addition, the Media Tour will also make its annual visit to the NASCAR Research and Development Center.(LMS PR)(1-15-2009)

  • Bruton Smith's daughter charged with DWI: The daughter of NASCAR racing mogul Bruton Smith has been charged with DWI in connection with a crash last week that left her seriously injured. Anna Smith remains hospitalized at Carolinas Medical Center. On Tuesday, Huntersville police charged her with DWI and driving with a revoked license. The accident on Dec. 10 happened on Gilead Road near Beatties Ford Road around 5 a.m. Authorities found Smith's wrecked vehicle off the road in a field. Smith was reportedly thrown about 40 feet from the car.(WCNC.com)(12-16-2008)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway Christmas Tree Lighting: Bruton Smith, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports Inc., Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, and Scott Smith, president of the Charlotte chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, will light a one-of-a-kind Christmas tree at the main entrance [Avenue of Flags in front of Smith Tower] to Lowe's Motor Speedway [located at the intersection of Bruton Smith Blvd. and Highway 29 in Concord, NC] and distribute grants to local organizations on behalf of Speedway Children's Charities. The money will assist nonprofit charities making a direct and significant impact in the lives of children in need. The public is invited to attend the ceremony at 6:00pm/et on Monday, December 1st, that will include lighting a 50-foot Christmas tree, holiday music, refreshments and appearances by Lug Nut, the world's fastest mascot, and Santa Claus.(LMS PR)(11-30-2008)

  • Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out Sale at LMS for 3 days: Shoppers will descend on Lowe's Motor Speedway the weekend of Nov. 28-30, in anticipation of fantastic savings on 2008 merchandise when Lowe's Motor Speedway hosts the Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out Sale. The event will not only offer fans great deals, but the chance to drive around the legendary 1.5-mile quad-oval. The 16th annual day-after-Thanksgiving sale offers each fan that spends at least $50 on tickets or souvenirs, or donates $25 to Speedway Children's Charities, the opportunity to drive their personal vehicle around the speedway for three laps on Friday, Nov. 28. This once-a-year opportunity puts fans in the tire tracks of NASCAR legends such as Richard Petty, David Pearson and Dale Earnhardt.
    Shoppers who spend at least $50 on tickets or souvenirs, or donate $25 to Speedway Children's Charities on Saturday and Sunday will receive a free souvenir gift and a tour of zMAX Dragway. Each tour is good for two people. The gift and tours will be redeemable at the gift shop.
    Tickets for the 25th annual NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 16 and the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24, are the perfect gift for those with NASCAR fans on their holiday shopping list. The Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office will be open throughout the event. As a special weekend-only offer, each ticket purchased for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race or the Coca-Cola 600 will be accompanied by a free ticket ($12 value) for Windstream Pole Night qualifying on Thursday, May 21. Each ticket buyer will also receive a free gift valued at $10 or more.
    In addition to numerous track souvenirs, Lowe's Motor Speedway offers a wide selection of driver apparel along with memorabilia from NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup. Hats and T-shirts start at only $2. There will also be a special die-cast trailer offering a wide assortment of deeply discounted die-cast cars, including special cars autographed by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    NASCAR souvenir rigs will blanket the track's front entrance offering drastically reduced prices on a wide variety of memorabilia, T-shirts, hats, posters and die-cast cars. Nearly 20 vendors featuring merchandise from top NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, including Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, and Tony Stewart, are expected.
    Event hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Information concerning the Nov. 28-30 Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out at Lowe's Motor Speedway can be obtained by contacting the Lowe's Motor Speedway gift shop at (704) 455-3202 or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(11-24-2008)

  • Lowe's Extends Naming Rights Contract with Lowe's Motor Speedway: Lowe's Companies, Inc. will continue as title sponsor of Lowe's Motor Speedway in 2009, executives from both companies announced. The home improvement retailer, based in Mooresville, N.C., obtained naming rights for the legendary track, formerly known as Charlotte Motor Speedway, in 1999. Lowe's will retain naming rights at the superspeedway as well as marketing exclusivity in the home improvement category through a one-year contract extension. Tickets for all May 2009 NASCAR events at Lowe's Motor Speedway, including the 25th running of the Sprint All-Star Race on May 16 and the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24, can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(11-5-2008)

  • LMS executive Lauri Wilks resigns: Lauri Wilks, executive vice president of management and administration at Lowe's Motor Speedway and vice president of communications for Speedway Motorsports Inc., resigned those positions Tuesday [Oct 14th]. Wilks, who had been with the track and SMI since 1993, said she wants to take a break from her career in motorsports to spend time with her family. She helped form Speedway Motorsports Inc. and take it public in 1995 and worked in investor relatiosn and as corporate secretary for that company. She became part of the track's management team in 2005 and was promoted to the job she is leaving in late 2007. Wilks departure is another major change in the management structure of Lowe's Motor Speedway and Speedway Motorsports in what has been an eventful year. Track president and general manager H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler retired in May, saying he was not doing so entirely on his own schedule and terms. Roger Slack, vice president for events and a Wheeler protégé, left the track in August.(Charlotte Observer)(10-17-2008)

  • LMS could lose fall race? Bruton Smith could have a reason to take the fall NASCAR race at Lowe's Motor Speedway to one of his other tracks. All of which adds up to a scary potential October surprise for Cabarrus County leaders locked in an incentives brouhaha with Smith and his company, Speedway Motorsports Inc. Smith acknowledges he's baffled and angry that he still has no deal - or money - for road improvements near the track. He declined comment on the possibility of relocating the fall race that ran this weekend. But the notion concerns Cabarrus and Concord leaders as they struggle to reach detente with Smith and SMI. He has plenty of possible sites for a move: Smith has touted his Las Vegas Motor Speedway for many years as an ideal candidate for a second major NASCAR race date. The Kentucky track that SMI expects to acquire by year end currently has no Sprint Cup date. The basis for the speculation centers on Smith's reluctance to make $200 million in improvements to the 167,000-seat Lowe's Motor Speedway unless the incentives deal for the road work can be reached. When Cabarrus County, the city of Concord and SMI reached agreement on the $80 million incentives package last November, they had a loose outline of a deal. Since then, the two sides have argued over terms in the final agreement. The biggest sticking point: how long it takes for SMI to be repaid. Smith and SMI want that to happen within three years. The county and city favor a timeframe that could extend up to 40 years. Both sides say the terms being discussed by the other party differ from what was agreed on last year. "I'm surprised and shocked and it makes me wonder who do you trust," Smith says. "I have done everything I promised to do." SMI opened a $60 million drag strip adjacent to the speedway in September. It hosted sellout crowds for NHRA races. Last month, Smith's company billed the city of Concord and Cabarrus County $2.8 million for engineering work it funded for road improvements as well as sound barriers near the new drag racing complex. The fight that led to the incentives package erupted last year when Concord officials battled Smith over building the drag strip, citing noise concerns for neighbors. They later relented, but not before Smith considered moving the speedway. That spurred the incentives package. Concord Mayor Scott Padgett and Cabarrus County Commission Chairman Jay White both say a deal can be worked out if all the parties sit down and negotiate. No additional talks are scheduled.(in part from the Charlotte Business Journal)(10-15-2008)

  • Cindy McCain Named Honorary Race Director for Bank of America 500: Cindy McCain, wife of U.S. Senator and presidential candidate John McCain, will visit Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday, Oct. 11, and serve as Honorary Race Director for the Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500. She is scheduled to attend the NSCS driver/crew chief meeting that afternoon and will participate in driver introductions prior to the start of the race.(LMS PR)(10-10-2008)

  • Fans Race to Recycle at LMS: Race fans will have an opportunity to support the environment, their favorite drivers, as well as Speedway Children's Charities Oct. 8-11 at the historic Lowe's Motor Speedway. Partnering with Lowe's Motor Speedway and Bealer Distributing, the local Anheuser-Busch wholesaler, Anheuser-Busch Recycling Corporation (A-BRC) is supplying more than 250 Budweiser Recycling containers in the concourse, vendor display areas, infield and suites to recycle plastic and aluminum containers. In addition, campers at the four main campgrounds-Fleetwood, Country Crock, Lower Peninsula and Infield campgrounds-will receive A-BRC blue recycling bags as they enter those facilities and will be encouraged to leave their recyclables at their camp sites for pickup. A Budweiser Recycle Team will reward campers who "get caught recycling" with Anheuser-Busch branded items, including T-shirts, hats and can coolies. The recycling program will be in place Oct. 8-11 at the 1.5-mile superspeedway, for the Armour Foods Vienna Sausage Showdown-presented by Ferris Commercial Mowers (Oct. 8); Bojangles' Pole Night (Oct. 9); the Dollar General 300 (Oct. 10); and the Bank of America 500 (Oct. 11). All proceeds from the Anheuser-Busch recycling program will be given to Speedway Children's Charities (SCC), which provides funding for hundreds of non-profit organizations throughout the nation that meet the direct needs of children. The Anheuser-Busch Recycling promotion during Speed Week in May 2008 raised more than $2,100 for SCC. For more information, visit www.ourpledge.com..
    Tickets for the Bank of America 500 Week events at Lowe's Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(10-8-2008)

  • Olympic Gold Medalist Aaron Peirsol Grand Marshall at LMS: Bank of America announced that five-time Olympic gold medal swimmer Aaron Peirsol will serve as the honorary grand marshal for the Bank of America 500 Sprint Cup Series race Saturday, Oct. 11 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. A veteran of three Olympic Games, Peirsol excelled this summer in Beijing, bringing home gold in the 100 meter men's backstroke and the 4 x 100 meter medley relay, as well as a silver medal in the 200 meter men's backstroke. In his career, he has amassed a total of five gold and two silver medals. During the race, Aaron Peirsol will be among the stars to visit the fans in the Bank of America Turn 4 Club seating section at LMS, along with Sprint Cup Series drivers including Juan Pablo Montoya and Reed Sorenson. Fans have a few more days, until Oct. 8, to receive two free tickets to the Turn 4 Club by simply opening a NASCAR Banking checking account and applying for a NASCAR Banking credit card. Fans can visit one of 64 participating area Bank of America banking centers to sign up for the unique NASCAR-themed check cards, checks and credit cards and receive their tickets. Affordable tickets for the Oct. 11 Bank of America 500, round five of the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup, are available by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455 FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(10-4-2008)

  • Record $6.6 Million Purse at LMS: Drivers will battle for a share of the record $6.6 million total purse during the Bank of America 500 Week at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The schedule of events features Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and World of Outlaws Late Model Series competition. The $5,291,863 in total awards for the Bank of America 500 is $106,767 more than was up for grabs in the same event last year and $3,362,232 more than competitors raced for in the 500-mile event 10 years ago. Featuring nearly 15 Sprint Cup Series drivers battling the Nationwide Series regulars, competitors in the Dollar General 300 on Friday night, Oct. 10, will be chasing $1,302,794 in posted prize money and awards, an increase of $34,603 from last year. Tickets for all Bank of America 500 Week events are available by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at lowesmotorspeedway.com.(10-3-2008)

  • LMS Pit Pass Program Includes Show Cars, Randy Lajoie; Driver Intros/Concert: Bank of America 500 ticket-holders can enhance their race day experience on Oct. 11 with the purchase of a new-and-improved pre-race pit pass or upgrade to VIP access at the Start/Finish Line for driver introductions and the Jessica Simpson pre-race concert. For $100, fans can purchase a pre-race pit pass that allows a self-guided tour on pit road from 2 to 6 p.m. on race day. As an added benefit, several Sprint Cup show cars, including Dale Earnhardt Junior's #88 and the #18 driven by Kyle Busch, will be parked on pit road for photo opportunities. Plus, two-time Nationwide Series champion Randy Lajoie will be on hand to meet fans and explain the nuances of 800-horsepower stock cars. NASCAR crew members will also talk to fans from select pit boxes about going over the wall during a race. For $150, fans can upgrade to a driver intros/concert pass that will include the pre-race pit pass plus VIP access on the track at the Start/Finish Line where Jessica Simpson will perform a 40-minute pre-race concert starting at 5:50 p.m. followed by Sprint Cup Series driver introductions. Individual tickets to the Bank of America 500, which start at just $29, must be purchased separately. For complete details or to purchase tickets, pre-race pit passes or driver intro/concert passes, fans should call the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(9-26-2008)

  • Free tix for LMS race in Oct: Bank of America announced the Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 race on October 11 at Lowe's Motor Speedway will give fans an unprecedented opportunity to get closer than ever before to all the racing action and their favorite drivers. Through October 8, 2008, race fans can receive two free tickets to the Bank of America Turn 4 Club seating section at Lowe's Motor Speedway by simply opening a NASCAR Banking checking account and applying for a NASCAR Banking credit card. Fans can visit one of 64 participating area Bank of America banking centers to sign up for the unique NASCAR-themed check cards, checks and credit cards and receive their tickets to the exclusive grandstand hospitality experience.(BOA Site)(9-18-2008)

  • Jessica Simpson to Perform Concert at Oct. 11 Bank of America 500: Singer/songwriter, actress and reality television star Jessica Simpson will return to her country music roots on Saturday night, Oct. 11, with a concert performance at the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Simpson will perform a 40-minute pre-race concert and sing the national anthem at the Sprint Cup Series race. The concert performance is free with the purchase of a ticket to the Bank of America 500. Tickets for the Oct. 11 Bank of America 500, round five of the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup, start at just $29 and can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455 FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(9-12-2008)

  • Kyle Busch Tops Tony Schumacher In Battle of Top Guns at zMAX Dragway: Kyle Busch and Tony Schumacher, the top drivers this season from NASCAR and the NHRA, dueled Tuesday at zMAX Dragway @ Concord to promote the upcoming playoff events at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In the coming weeks, the legendary motorsports complex will become the world's first to host both the NHRA Countdown to One with the Sept. 11-14 NHRA Nationals and the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup with the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 11. Racing identically prepared Toyota Camry pace cars, Busch and Schumacher matched up for a best two-out-of-three on the concrete quarter-mile dragway. The only advice that the five-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Schumacher gave his opponent was, "Don't wait to leave on green." Apparently, that advice was more than enough, as "Rowdy" Busch beat "The Sarge" Schumacher off the line and onto victory to go up 1-0. Schumacher, ready for revenge, was a little too anxious at the start of the second race, red-lighting to give Busch the win by default. But a last minute amendment to the rules by Lowe's Motor Speedway President and General Manager Marcus Smith, gave the competitors one more race, winner take all. Busch used a .102-second reaction time to again beat Schumacher off the line and onto victory with the best pass of the day, a 14.544 elapsed time and top speed of 97.33 mph. Afterward, Busch celebrated by honking the horn and feigning a bow out the side of the car window. Despite the loss, Schumacher was all smiles, joking that after only three races, "I already don't like him."(LMS PR)(9-4-2008)

  • Special Tix offer at LMS: Time Warner Cable, in partnership with Lowe's Motor Speedway, is pleased to extend a special NASCAR Sprint Cup Bank of America 500 ticket offer to all Time Warner Cable Customers. Seats are located in The Diamond Tower Terrace rows 23 to 46. To order, log on to lowesmotorspeedway.com or call 1-800-455-FANS and tell the ticket agent this is the Time Warner Cable Pit Crew offer.(8-29-2008)

  • New Driver Select Seating Sections Fans Unique Opportunity for LMS: Birds of a feather can now flock together at Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Oct. 11 Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race thanks to the speedway's new Driver Select seating sections. For the first time, Lowe's Motor Speedway officials are offering a $69 two-day ticket package in six designated driver sections where fans can enjoy two NASCAR races surrounded by fans of their favorite driver. Each ticket package includes a seat in a driver's section for the Dollar General 300 Nationwide Series race on Friday night, Oct. 10, and the Bank of America 500 Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, Oct. 11. The $69 price represents a savings of $37 if the same tickets were purchased separately.
    Represented in the Driver Select seating sections are defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson; four-time champion Jeff Gordon; series points leader Kyle Busch; NASCAR's most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.; two-time champion Tony Stewart; and Kasey Kahne, who will attempt to become the first driver to sweep all three Sprint Cup Series races at Lowe's Motor Speedway in a single season. In addition to the innovative Driver Select sections, Lowe's Motor Speedway is offering several exciting upgrades to help fans make their experience at the world's greatest speedway even more enjoyable. Information on the Driver Select sections or any of the other special ticket packages available for the Oct. 11 Bank of America 500 can be obtained by calling the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(8-20-2008)

  • Fans can buy tix from drivers for Bank of America 500: Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch and David Ragan along with 1989 series champion Rusty Wallace will be among those selling tickets when Lowe's Motor Speedway hosts Bank of America 500 Celebrity Ticket Sales Days Aug. 11-13. Race fans will be able to purchase tickets for the Oct. 11 Bank of America 500 from Sprint Cup drivers and other NASCAR personalities from 5 to 7 p.m. during each of the three days. The event will take place in the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office, located on the second floor of Smith Tower. Fans will also have the opportunity to take pictures of family and friends alongside the sterling silver NASCAR Sprint Cup championship trophy and free hot dogs and Cokes will be available while supplies last. The Bank of America 500 is round five of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and tickets start at just $29.
    The celebrity ticket seller schedule:
    Monday, Aug. 11
    5 to 6 p.m., Rusty Wallace, 1989 NASCAR champion and ESPN broadcaster
    6 to 7 p.m., Kurt Busch, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge
    Tuesday, Aug. 12
    5 to 6 p.m., Kasey Kahne, driver of the #9 Budweiser Dodge
    6 to 7 p.m., Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway
    Wednesday, Aug. 13
    5 to 6 p.m., Matt Kenseth, driver of the #17 DEWALT Ford
    6 to 7 p.m., David Ragan, driver of the #6 AAA Ford
    For those unable to attend one of the Bank of America 500 Celebrity Ticket Sales Days, tickets for all October races at Lowe's Motor Speedway can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(8-11-2008)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway Lowers Cost of Bank of America 500 Race Experience: Working with area hotel operators, its souvenir and concession vendors and corporate sponsors, Lowe's Motor Speedway has reduced the overall cost for fans to attend the Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, Oct. 11. In an unprecedented move for a NASCAR race market, 35 hotels located within approximately 30 miles of Lowe's Motor Speedway have agreed to reduce their nightly race week room rates by 15 percent and waive their minimum stay requirements. In conjunction with Circle K and Coca-Cola, Lowe's Motor Speedway has introduced the Circle K Family Four-Pack for just $159. The unique race-day experience includes four reserved Diamond Tower seats for the Oct. 11 Bank of America 500 along with four hot dogs and four 20-ounce Coca-Colas. The $159 price represents a savings of 30 percent if the same tickets and concession items were purchased separately. In addition, each person purchasing the Family Four-Pack will receive a coupon for a free 12-pack of Coke Zero that may be redeemed at a participating Circle K store. A special souvenir package, featuring a Lowe's Motor Speedway T-shirt and hat that would normally sell for $48, will be available for just $20. At concession stands, fans will find four new combination packages reflecting 10 to 25 percent savings on their favorite items.(Lowes Motor Speedway PR)(7-23-2008)

  • Smith's son named president and GM of LMS: Marcus Smith was named the new president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway on Wednesday. The 34-year-old son of Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith also was named president and CEO of SMI. Smith will replace H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, who a week ago announced he was stepping away from his position after 32 years. "He is the right guy," the elder Smith said. "He's done such an outstanding job since he's been there. He's probably raised more funds for the corporation than anybody. He's by far exceeded the budgets of marketing and everything else." Marcus, the executive vice president of SMI, was voted into the position by the SMI board of trustees. "I've worked in every department at the speedway," Smith said at Wheeler's announcement. "I've picked up trash, sold tickets, sold souvenirs, painted plenty of walls. I've been around racing since I was a kid, and I love it, and watch it or listen to it on PRN [Performance Racing Network] radio every Sunday." Smith expects to be a different kind of leader than Wheeler, who not only ran day-to-day activities at the track but helped develop the mental strength of young drivers in a boxing ring at his home. "I'm not a boxer, but I've boxed with Humpy as well," Smith said. "We were in a gym somewhere and he just wore me out. He'll definitely teach you to keep your left up. He's great." Smith attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he initially studied to be a doctor. He began working as a sales associate at SMI in 1996 and was promoted to manager of new business development in 1999. He served as vice president of business development at SMI from 2001-2004 and was named to his current position in 2004. "He knows what he's doing," Bruton siad. "I'm so proud of him. I've never met anybody that didn't like him."(ESPN.com)
    AND Humpy: H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler agreed to a five-year consulting deal with Lowe's Motor Speedway on Wednesday, a week after an awkward split with track he served for 32 years. Wheeler said when he announced he was stepping aside as president and general manager of LMS that he did not leave entirely on his own terms. He said he wanted to ease out of the position, but that Speedway Motorsports chairman Bruton Smith would not agree to that. "He offered me a small remuneration for a consulting agreement so I could get my stock options, which were underwater anyway, but I declined because I had to sign a very restrictive agreement, which I was advised against doing," Wheeler told ESPN.com last week. Wheeler talked of working as a consultant with NASCAR or even SMI rival International Speedway Corporation. But three days after his final race at LMS, on the day Marcus Smith was named his successor, he opted to stay with the company.(ESPN.com)(5-29-2008)

  • Smith wants NASCAR to put Kentucky race on 2010 schedule: Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith has set 2010 as his new target date to get a Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway. Smith announced last week that SMI had agreed to purchase the 1.5-mile track and intended to have a Cup date by next season. NASCAR officials said it was too late in the 2009 scheduling process to make that happen. While SMI's deal gives it an out if a Cup date isn't acquired, Smith has no plans to exercise that option. "I am obligated to do that," he said of getting a Cup date. "I will bring a Cup date to that place. It's a fabulous market. Our sport needs to be there. NASCAR has a point [about it being late]. But we're right there on getting this done." Asked what he thought of NASCAR chairman Brian France saying the market is well served without a Cup date," Wheeler said, "Ignore it. Cause it's not true. Sometimes words are spoken in haste." Smith continues to search for a way to add not only a Cup date for Kentucky but a second Cup date for Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He declined to speculate on reports that Pocono Speedway is not for sale. He said an appeal by Kentucky Speedway against NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation also needs to be settled. "I have nothing to do with that lawsuit," he said. "Their people, they entered an appeal. We'd like to see that go away, The quicker the better."(ESPN.com)(5-29-2008)

  • Gossage not interested in Humpy's job Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage has no desire to take over for Lowe's Motor Speedway president Humpy Wheeler, who announced Wednesday he was retiring as president of the track after this weekend's Coca-Cola 600. "As long as I'm in racing, I'll be here in Fort Worth," Gossage said Wednesday. Gossage said he's confident the SMI board of directors will find the right person to replace Wheeler. He said he has a person in mind he would like to see take over at the track but didn't want to say who it was. "The board of directors will come up with a person who is in the best interest of the track," Gossage said. "It won't be me." Gossage worked for Wheeler in Charlotte from 1989 until leaving for TMS in 1995.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(5-24-2008)

  • Athletes Join NASCAR Drivers to Launch New Collectible Olympic-Themed Cans: Before the green flag drops to start this weekend's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, one pit crew performance will stand head and shoulders above the rest - literally. Seven-foot, six-inch international basketball star Yao Ming and two-time U.S. Olympic taekwondo gold medalist Steven Lopez will be introduced to the world of NASCAR as honorary pit crew members for Kyle Petty's #45 Coca-Cola team - including the opportunity to join the crew in conducting simulated pit stops. In return, the two Olympians will give members of the Coca-Cola Racing Family a glimpse into their world - with Yao challenging some of NASCAR's top stars at basketball and Lopez teaching Taekwondo moves to a few drivers. Yao and Lopez will be on hand to mark the launch of Coca-Cola's new summer program celebrating the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, which invites fans to "Connect With the World Over a Coke." The program features a series of limited edition, Olympic-themed collectible cans bearing the iconic Coca-Cola logo in different languages. The five different cans highlight the languages of Ethiopia, Russia, Thailand, the U.S. and China, giving Americans a "taste" of how Coca-Cola is recognized around the world. With new designs appearing every few weeks, the cans mark the first appearance of the Coca-Cola script in different languages in the U.S.(Fast Horse PR)(5-24-2008)

  • Humpy Wheeler to retire from LMS/SMI UPDATE 2: Humpy Wheeler, the "P.T. Barnum" of NASCAR promotions, will retire and step down as president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, The Associated Press has learned. This weekend's Coca-Cola 600 will be Wheeler's last race for Lowe's Motor Speedway, two people familiar with the decision told the AP. They requested anonymity because an official announcement, which could come as early as Wednesday, has not yet been made. It was not immediately clear who will succeed Wheeler, who has managed the track for the past 33 years and was named president in 1980. Candidates include track owner Bruton Smith's son, Marcus, the executive vice president of sales and marketing for Speedway Motorsports Inc., and Lauri Wilks, executive vice president of management and administration for LMS. Nicknamed "Humpy" because of the camel's hump on a pack of Camel cigarettes his father was caught smoking, Wheeler was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006.(Associated Press/Jenna Fryer/ESPN.com)(5-21-2008)
    UPDATE: Speedway Motorsports, Inc. announced today that H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, chief operating officer and president of Speedway Motorsports and president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, is retiring from both positions following the Coca-Cola 600. A decision will be made on Wheeler's successor in the near future by the Speedway Motorsports, Inc. board of directors. "While it is with sadness that I announce my retirement from Speedway Motorsports and Lowe's Motor Speedway, it is time for me to move on to other things," said Wheeler. "I have devoted my entire life to racing and I don't intend on leaving it, just serving it in different ways. I have made arrangements with a well-known author to co-write a unique book interweaving my various experiences in the sport with the wonderful human drama and rich characters that abound in it. I will resume the 'Humpy Show' on SPEED Channel and look forward to being chairman of the Charlotte Regional Partnership in 2009. I also look forward to other endeavors, including lecturing and working with the motorsports management program at Belmont Abbey College."(LMS PR)(5-21-2008)
    UPDATE 2: The announcement was scheduled to be made next Wednesday, but was pushed up after a disagreement between Wheeler and Bruton Smith, the chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc. that owns LMS. "The suddenness was not my idea," Wheeler said. "I would have liked to have stayed around a little bit, just eased out a little easier. ... Maybe in a part-time role." The 69-year-old promoter that was hired by Smith before the October race in 1975 said no part-time offer was made. Asked if he was given that option Wheeler said, "No." Asked if he would remain with the track in any capacity Wheeler bluntly said, "None." Smith, who did not attend the press conference that was thrown together quickly after news of the retirement leaked out Tuesday night, said Wheeler was offered the chance to stay as a consultant. "To my knowledge, nothing has changed," he said. Smith said Wheeler was offered a consultant's salary for five years beyond the $12,500 a month that SMI has agreed to pay him over the next 10 years. He added that Wheeler holds 151 shares of stock options with the company and that he has to stay involved to execute them. Smith said he did not attend the press conference because he was not invited and because he didn't want to take away from Wheeler's moment. "It was his press conference," he said. "Not mine."(see full stor yand comments at ESPN.com)
    AND Marcus Smith, the executive vice president of sales and marketing for Speedway Motorsports Inc., is the leading candidate to be voted to replace Lowe's Motor Speedway president and general manager H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler next week. Several sources close to the situation said the son of SMI owner Bruton Smith is the "appropriate choice" to replace Wheeler. Marcus Smith, attending Wednesday's news conference to announce Wheeler's retirement, was noncommittal.(ESPN.com)(5-21-2008)

  • Memorial Day Salute: Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 pre-race entertainment will feature an active and patriotic "Salute The Troops" theme. Among the planned activities are the presentation of 1,500 soldiers, plus an assault demonstration. Participating troops hail from Fort Bragg and represent the XVIII Airborne Corps, the 82nd Airborne Division, the United States Airborne Army Special Operations Command and the North Carolina National Guard. The 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus will perform, as will the Golden Knights - the U.S. Army Parachute Team. Members of the Rolling Thunder motorcycle group, which advocates for Prisoners of Wars and those Missing In Action, will ride a parade lap and make a special POW/MIA flag presentation. Also scheduled to appear - and perform - are NHRA Funny Car legend John Force, 200 bagpipers and Toyota's Tundra Monster Truck.(5-21-2008)

  • Prerace participants for Coca-Cola 600: Lowe's Motor Speedway officials have announced a lineup of special guests, including country music artist Darryl Worley, who will participate in pre-race ceremonies leading up to the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series event Sunday. Worley will sing the national anthem prior to the Coca-Cola 600. The singer wrote "Have You Forgotten?" after a USO trip to entertain troops in Afghanistan. Dr. Robert H. Schuller, founder of the Orange Grove, Calif.-based Crystal Cathedral church, will lead race fans in the pledge of allegiance before the Coca-Cola 600. Dr. William Thierfelder, president of Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C., will deliver the invocation before the race. The multi-faceted Thierfelder is a licensed psychologist who was a medalist at the 1981 U.S. Track & Field Indoor National Championship, trained as a high-jumper for the 1984 Olympics and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee's Sports Psychology Registry. Tickets for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 start at $39 and can be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS)(5-20-2008)

  • Windstream gives away Pole Night tix: Windstream Corp., a phone, broadband and digital TV provider, announced that it will host 2,500 soldiers and military families from Fort Bragg and the XVIII Airborne Corps at the upcoming Windstream Pole Night qualifier for the Cup Series Coca Cola 600 on Thursday, May 22 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "The soldiers and families in Fort Bragg and of the XVIII Airborne Corps have made enormous personal sacrifices for our country and it is our privilege to thank them for their service," said Stacy Hale, vice president of Windstream operations for the Carolinas. "We hope they take this time to enjoy a night with their families and experience all the excitement Windstream Pole Night brings." The Green Truck Tour is designed to give back to the local communities that Windstream serves and educate the public about landline safety.(Windstream PR)(5-15-2008)

  • Dole Named Honorary Race Director For Coca-Cola 600: Senator Elizabeth Dole has been named honorary race director for the May 25 Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series event at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Coca-Cola and speedway officials also announced that Richard Thompson, speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates, will serve as the honorary starter, waving the green flag to send the 43 drivers on their 600-mile journey. In her role as honorary race director, Dole will attend the pre-race drivers' meeting, preside over pre-race ceremonies and visit the control tower during the race. A native of nearby Salisbury, N.C., Dole has served five United States Presidents and was elected in 2002 to serve the people of North Carolina in the U.S. Senate. After being discharged from the military, Thompson earned a criminal justice degree from Marshall University. He then graduated with honors from the West Virginia University College of Law and returned home to Lavalette, W.Va., to establish his practice. Tickets for the May 25 Coca-Cola 600 start at just $39 and can be purchased by visiting www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or calling the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS)(5-8-2008)

  • Record $6.6 Million Purse for May 25 Coca-Cola 600: Sprint Cup Series drivers will battle for a record $6.6 million during the May 25 Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway while total posted awards for the track's schedule of May events is nearly $14.7 million. Nine races will be run at Lowe's Motor Speedway and The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway between Friday night, May 16, and Sunday evening, May 25, and each carries a record purse with a total of $14,692,658 up for grabs. Already one of the richest races on the NASCAR circuit, the $6,648,557 in total awards for the Coca-Cola 600 is $78,929 more than was posted for last year's event and $4,219,759 more than competitors raced for in the 600-mile event 10 years ago. Competitors participating in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Sprint Showdown on Saturday night, May 17, will compete for a record $4,308,251 with the All-Star Race winner guaranteed a minimum of $1,012,975. In addition to the posted prize money, $1,780,853 in television awards for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will be distributed through the Sprint Cup Series Car/Champion Owner Program. Tickets for all May events, including the May 17 Sprint All-Star Race and the May 25 Coca-Cola 600, can be obtained online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS)(5-6-2008)

  • 3 Doors Down to Rock Lowe's Motor Speedway: NASCAR's All-Star Weekend adds another group of all-stars as multi-platinum recording artists 3 Doors Down will perform a 75-minute concert prior to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 17, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The concert begins at 3:30 p.m. in the infield between Turns 1 and 2. Admission to the concert is free with the purchase of a ticket to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Tickets for the May 17 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and May 25 Coca-Cola 600 can be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling the track ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS)(5-6-2008)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway to Install Additional SAFER Barriers: Lowe's Motor Speedway crews will install 340 feet of additional SAFER barriers along the track's inside backstretch retaining wall prior to the May 17 Sprint All-Star Race and the May 25 Coca-Cola 600."The hard licks that Jeff Gordon and Michael McDowell took earlier this season reminded us all that bizarre and unexpected things can happen in racing," said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway. "This additional SAFER barrier will add more protection on our backstretch for May, and we're looking at some additional improvements back there as well." Wheeler also said engineers are researching alternatives to the current opening in the inside backstretch wall at LMS, which is used during races for staging emergency response vehicles. The concrete wall just past that opening is currently protected by encapsulated polystyrene blocks that are bolted to the wall. In April 2004, more than 6,100-linear feet of SAFER barriers, which utilize foam blocks positioned behind rolled steel tubing, were installed at Lowe's Motor Speedway. That project included placing the energy-absorbing barriers in front of approximately 4,000 feet of outside retaining walls in the turns; 1,351 feel along the frontstretch quad-oval; and 796 feet on the insides of Turns 2 and 4. The original installation included 476 feet of SAFER barriers along the inside concrete wall on the backstretch, starting at the exit of Turn 2. The new installation will continue those barriers down the backstretch toward the inside of Turn 3. Tickets for the May 17 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and May 25 Coca-Cola 600 can be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling the track ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(Lowe's Motor Speedway)(4-30-2008)

  • Burnouts and Donuts Highlight Pre-Race Show For Sprint All-Star Race: Top Sprint Cup Series drivers will prove who can execute the best burnout and donuts during the inaugural Pennzoil Victory Challenge prior to the Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday night, May 17, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The timed-competition will include five drivers who must demonstrate four essential skills of any victory celebration: a tire-smoking burnout; spectacular donuts; precision driving into "Victory Lane;" and, as with anything in racing, speed. Clint Bowyer, a first-time Sprint All-Star Race participant and driver of the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevy, is the first official entry for the inaugural event. Other participants will be announced at a later date. The Pennzoil Victory Challenge will take place on the frontstretch of the 1.5-mile superspeedway at 6:15 p.m., just prior to the start of the Sprint Showdown. Each driver will be in similarly prepared Richard Petty Driving Experience cars wrapped with Sprint All-Star Race decals. A $10,000 donation will be made to the winner's designated charity. The inaugural Pennzoil Victory Challenge will be televised live during SPEED Channel's pre-race coverage of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.(LMS PR)(4-23-2008)

  • Davidson Basketball Coaches Named Co-Grand Marshals; Ice Road Trucker Hugh Rowland to Visit Sprint All-Star Race: Bob McKillop, the head men's basketball coach at Davidson College, and his assistants, Matt Methany, Jim Fox, Tim Sweeney and Jeremy Henney, will serve as Co-Grand Marshals for the Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. McKillop and his staff will attend the NASCAR drivers' meeting, be introduced during pre-race ceremonies and join selected Sprint customers to say "Gentlemen, start your engines." Hugh Rowland, star of The History Channel's "Ice Road Truckers," will also be a VIP guest during the Sprint All-Star Race weekend activities. The rugged Canadian, nicknamed "polar bear," will attend the NASCAR drivers' meeting, be recognized during pre-race ceremonies and greet race fans at The History Channel's display booth. Rowland will also square off against the fastest driver from the Freightliner Hauler Challenge, a driving skills competition that pits the drivers of the NASCAR team haulers against each other on race-day morning. (LMS PR)(4-23-2008)

  • Yellow walls return for All-Star race: In preparation for the May 17 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, the retaining walls at Lowe's Motor Speedway are once again being painted Sprint yellow. This is the second consecutive year the inside and outside walls have been changed from their traditional white to bright yellow for the sport's annual all-star event. It will take 286 man hours to complete the painting project which started late Sunday evening and was finished Wednesday. Eleven men from JKS Motorsports are applying 575 gallons of Sprint-yellow paint to the inside and outside retaining walls using rollers and four gas-powered sprayers. "The yellow wall is really psychedelic. It reminds me of the '60s," veteran driver Kenny Wallace said after the walls were painted yellow for the first time. "You get used to a look for 20 years-I've been racing here since 1989-and now it's different. But it's neat. It adds a lot of color to the place." Tickets for the May 17 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race start at just $30 and can be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS)(4-11-2008)

  • Wheeler Encourages NASCAR to Schedule an Open Sprint Cup Test at LMS: Looking to increase competition, H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, is encouraging NASCAR to host an open Sprint Cup Series test at the 1.5-mile superspeedway prior to the May 17 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race . "It's our intention to have the best racing possible here during the month of May and I have always believed that preparation is the key to great racing," Wheeler said. "You can compute, work the post machine and microscope the car until your tools bleed, but nothing, absolutely nothing, is as valuable as track time. So, we have offered NASCAR at least two days, May 5-6, to bring the teams in so they can test the new car. We'll have the track open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. so they can experiment with chassis set-ups during both daytime and nighttime conditions," Wheeler added. "Then, if further testing is needed, dates closer to the May 17 Sprint All-Star Race can be provided." If NASCAR accepts Wheeler's offer, the test session would take place on Monday and Tuesday following the Saturday night race at Richmond International Raceway and prior to teams heading to nearby Darlington Raceway for another Saturday night event. Tickets for all May events at Lowe's Motor Speedway, including the May 17 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the May 25 Coca-Cola 600, can be purchased by calling the track ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(4-10-2008)

  • LMS Value Menu Details Affordable Options for May Races: As the debate continues over whether this country is truly in a recession, consumers, including NASCAR fans, are looking for value with each purchase. With that in mind, Lowe's Motor Speedway officials have created a special Value Menu which details affordable ticket prices and packages available for the track's May NASCAR races. Lowe's Motor Speedway's May schedule includes two action-packed weekends of NASCAR action, highlighted by the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday night, May 17, and the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday evening, May 25. In addition to several affordable individual race tickets, the Lowe's Motor Speedway Value Menu includes specially priced tickets for children, group discounts, race and room hotel packages, a grandstand with all-you-can-eat concession items and affordable camping opportunities. Fans are also reminded that the speedway offers 154 acres of free parking and coolers are welcome in the grandstands. A three-step payment plan is also available for fans purchasing tickets prior to the close of business on Sunday, March 30. To obtain additional information about the Lowe's Motor Speedway Value Menu or to purchase tickets for any May event, visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or call the ticket services department at 1-800-455-FANS.
    Lowe's Motor Speedway Value Menu - Affordable NASCAR Race Tickets:
    Individual tickets for the May races start at incredibly low-prices:
    May 16, N.C. Education Lottery 200 Truck Race and Sprint All-Star Race Qualifying: $20
    May 17, NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race: $30
    May 22, Windstream Pole Night (Coca-Cola 600 Qualifying): $12
    May 24, CARQUEST Auto Parts 300: $17
    May 25, Coca-Cola 600: $39
    600 Super Ticket: Three Coca-Cola 600 Week NASCAR events for one low price - $89.
    CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 Family Four-Pack: Two adult and two children's tickets, four hot dogs and four Coca-Colas - $59.
    All-You-Can-Eat Grandstand: Combine a NASCAR Sprint Cup race ticket with all the hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, chips, peanuts and Coca-Cola soft drinks you can eat and drink. Tickets start at just $59.
    Children's Tickets: Ages 12 and under get in for just $10 for any Nationwide Series or Sprint Cup Series race in our smoke- and alcohol-free family grandstands. On Windstream Pole Night, bring your child to see his/her favorite driver qualify for the Coca-Cola 600 and ages 6 to 12 get in for just $1.
    Group Discounts: Buy 20 or more tickets to the Craftsman Truck, Nationwide Series or Pole Night events and save 10 percent.
    Military Discount: To honor members of the U.S. Armed Forces, Lowe's Motor Speedway offers specially priced tickets at $20 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and $30 for the Coca-Cola 600. Call with your military I.D. number and take advantage of the savings.
    Affordable Campsites: Dry campsites located within a half-mile of the track start at just $100 for the entire race week. Convenient shuttle service on race days is included. Call (704) 455-4445 for camping options.
    Payment Plans: Reserve your tickets in March and make just three easy payments to get your May tickets.
    Race and Room Hotel Packages: Starting at $350 (for two) or book hotel rooms starting at $92 per night (no minimum stay). Shuttle service also available from select hotels. Visit www.racepackage.com.
    FREE Parking: Available on 154 acres of speedway-owned lots near the track.
    Bring Your Cooler: Coolers measuring 14 inches by 14 inches are allowed in the grandstands, so pack your food and drinks to save money.
    Lowe's Motor Speedway Value Menu offers are based on availability. Certain restrictions on seating sections may apply. Call the ticket services department at 1-800-455-FANS for details.(LMS PR)(3-10-2008)

  • All Remaining Bank of America 500 Tickets on sale: With renewals completed, all remaining tickets for the Oct. 11 Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Lowe's Motor Speedway went on sale at Monday, Feb. 11. Priced from $29 to $135, a wide selection of grandstand seating options are available, including a limited number of premium frontstretch seats. The lower sections of the Chrysler, General Motors and Ford grandstands along the frontstretch have been renovated and now feature individual, stadium-style seats with backs and arms. Tickets in those sections will also be on sale. The Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office will be open extended hours Monday operating from 8am to 6pm. Additional information about tickets for all Lowe's Motor Speedway events can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(2-12-2008)

  • Fans Help Wheeler Install First New Frontstretch Seat at LMS: The first phase of Lowe's Motor Speedway's $200 million renovation project marked a major milestone today with the installation of the first of 22,850 new seats along the frontstretch of the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway. The plastic back and bottom of the seat were installed by H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, with assistance from Coca-Cola 600 ticketholders Larry and Jeff McCorkle, of Huntersville, N.C., and Johnny Bustle, of Cornelius, N.C. A new steel-and-aluminum structure is being built over the lower concrete bleacher sections of the Chrysler, Ford and General Motors grandstands along the track's front straightaway. The sections being covered were the track's only frontstretch seats when the facility hosted the inaugural Coca-Cola 600 on June 19, 1960. "The original concrete bleachers now serve as the foundation for the new grandstands being built directly over them," Wheeler explained. "Where fans formerly sat on concrete, they will now have comfortable, stadium-style seats with backs and arms." The massive new structure includes more than one-million pounds of steel and aluminum. It features 20-inch wide seats and the width of each row has been increased to give fans additional leg room. Handrails are being added down the center of each aisle and the aisles will be wider for easier entry and exit. Additional handicap-seating accommodations are also part of the project. Seats in the renovated sections of the General Motors, Chrysler and Ford grandstands are now on sale, starting at $65 for the May 17 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and $80 for the May 25 Coca-Cola 600. Tickets can be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(2-8-2008)

  • NHRA for sale - Bruton interested? NASCAR interested? NHRA drivers and crews will spend part of the season wondering who is going to buy the series. HD Partners Acquisition Group was set to purchase the NHRA and its assets for $121 million, but the company's board voted down the deal last week, citing the uncertain economic climate. No one is sure when or if the series will be sold this season. Bruton Smith, head of Speedway Motorsports Inc. (which owns Texas Motor Speedway), had expressed an interest in buying the series. He is building a drag strip at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. "We'll wait, and sometime down the road we'll probably take a look at it," Smith said this week. "I see that the sport is growing. We'll see."(Dallas Morning News), and also heard NASCAR could be interested in the series and is looking in to it.(2-7-2008) .

  • NASCAR Fans to Help "Humpy" Wheeler Install the First New Frontstretch Seat at LMS: The initial phase of Lowe's Motor Speedway's $200 million renovation project will mark a key milestone Thursday, Feb 7th at 10:30am/et when Coca-Cola 600 ticketholders help H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler install the first of 22,850 new seats along the frontstretch of the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway. A new steel-and-aluminum structure is being built over the lower concrete bleacher sections of the Chrysler, Ford and General Motors grandstands. The massive structure will feature 20-inch wide stadium-style seats with backs and arms, and the width of each row has been increased to give fans additional leg room. The unique green color of the seat uprights will be very familiar to area media members as they have been recycled from the Charlotte Coliseum. H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway Coca-Coca 600 ticketholders Larry and Jeff McCorkle, of Huntersville, N.C., and Johnny Bustle, of Cornelius, N.C., are scheduled to assist with the seat installation.(LMS PR)(2-6-2008)

  • LMS Employee of the Year Award: Susan McKee has been named Lowe's Motor Speedway's 2007 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 among 12 Employee of the Month award recipients. A native of Charlotte who now lives in Concord, N.C., McKee joined the speedway staff in 1988. She works in the finance department where she serves as the track's systems administrator and benefits coordinator. As the 2007 Employee of the Year recipient, H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway presented McKee with a $1,000 bonus, a reserved parking space and the keys to a Toyota Camry company pace car to use throughout 2008.(LMS PR)(1-23-2008)

  • Engineer to study LMS road needs: Lowe's Motor Speedway officials plan to hire an outside engineering consultant to study major infrastructure plans around Lowe's Motor Speedway deemed very time consuming by N.C. Department of Transportation engineers, said county officials. At a meeting this week, the DOT engineers offered alternatives for the realignments of Bruton Smith Boulevard and Morehead Road, citing the two projects as very time consuming, said County Manager John Day. However, Day said, the DOT's alternative suggestions for the two projects would not meet the goal of original plans in decreasing traffic congestion in front of the speedway. Day, DOT engineers, speedway construction officials and City Manager Brian Hiatt met Wednesday to discuss a $97 million list of infrastructure improvements proposed at the speedway. The Morehead Road and Bruton Smith Boulevard projects, totaling an estimated $33.5 million, are part of the list, which also includes the replacement of the Rocky River Bridge. The list must be tweaked to fit $80 million in incentives being shared among Concord, Cabarrus and the state. The incentives are part of an agreement with Speedway Motorsports CEO Bruton Smith to keep the track in Concord after a skirmish with the city over a $60 million drag strip had Smith looking elsewhere in the Charlotte region. Day said speedway officials told him plans for the drag strip planned for a site near track had been submitted to county inspectors.(Independent Tribune)(12-15-2007)

  • Christmas lights ignite fire at Bruton Smith's house: Firefighters put out a small fire about 9 p.m. [Friday night] at the home of the Lowe's Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith. An electrical short in the wire of outdoor Christmas lights caused a spark that lit the shrubbery in front of Smith's south Charlotte house, fire officials said. A passerby saw the flames and flagged down a police officer, who called firefighters. Battalion Chief Tom Link said Smith was home at the time of the fire, but "he actually didn't know (about the fire) until we tried to get to the door."(Charlotte Observer)(12-8-2007)

  • Speedway Boulevard Name Change Approved: Goodbye Speedway Boulevard; hello Bruton Smith Boulevard. At the city of Concord's request, the N.C. Transportation Board unanimously voted Thursday morning to rename the road from Interstate 85 to Lowe's Motor Speedway, a Department of Transportation spokeswoman said. Smith owns the track. Concord made the request after the billionaire threatened to move the speedway to elsewhere in the Charlotte region, following a dispute with Concord over his plans to build a drag strip nearby.(Charlotte Observer)(12-7-2007)

  • SCC Distributes $700,000 to 66 Organizations: Over 50,000 children in the Charlotte region will benefit from the more than $700,000 distributed by Speedway Children's Charities Thursday night during the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Lowe's Motor Speedway. H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, was joined by Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Tom Sadler, executive director of Speedway Children's Charities, in awarding the grants to 66 local organizations. Speedway Children's Charities raised the record amount through individual and corporate donations along with various fundraising activities throughout the year.(LMS PR)(12-7-2007)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway Christmas Tree Lighting: What: H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, and Scott Smith, president of the Charlotte chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, will light a one-of-a-kind Christmas tree at the main entrance to Lowe's Motor Speedway and distribute in excess of $700,000 to 64 local organizations on behalf of Speedway Children's Charities. The money will assist nonprofit charities making a direct and significant impact in the lives of children in need. The public is invited to attend the ceremony that will include lighting a 50-foot Christmas tree; holiday music; refreshments and appearances by Lug Nut, the world's fastest mascot; and Santa Claus. Festivities begin at 6:30pm/et on Thursday, Dec. 6 with the tree lighting scheduled for 6:52pm/et at the Avenue of Flags in front of Smith Tower at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The track is located at the intersection of Speedway Blvd. and Highway 29 in Concord, NC.(LMS PR)(12-2-2007)

  • Smith to Concord: 'We're here forever': A news conference today [Monday] touting billionaire Bruton Smith's decision to keep Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord was long on congratulations and short on details about $80 million in incentives for him. But after nearly two months of anxiety over the track's fate -- which Smith disclosed last Wednesday -- Smith turned to Concord Mayor Scott Padgett at the news conference and said, "Mayor, I'll tell you, we're here forever." Smith stressed he had been seriously considering moving his track out of Concord. He first threatened to move elsewhere in the Charlotte region last month, after the Concord City Council initially thwarted his plans to build a $60 million drag strip. Council members said they had little information about the project and heard of neighbors' concerns about noise. But city leaders quickly backpedaled from their opposition in the face of Smith's assertions. "We took it very seriously," said John Cox, head of the Cabarrus County Economic Development Corp. Cabarrus leaders quietly put together the incentive proposals this month, based in part on a "wish list" from Smith. Some have criticized the incentives to keep Smith as a bad approach to economic development. But Padgett said incentives are a fact of life for every state now. Much of the incentives are centered on improving roads around the speedway. Local leaders are pitching the road improvements as a boon for the entire area, not just the speedway. Smith did not detail his planned expansion, although Padgett said it would help solidify the area as the center of motorsports. Smith said he has been planning the changes for 1 1/2 years.(Charlotte Observer)(11-27-2007)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway will stay in Concord: Lowe's Motor Speedway will remain open in Concord, a speedway spokesman said late this afternoon. No details were immediately released. The speedway spokesman said more information would be released Monday. Speedway Motorsports Chairman Bruton Smith had said he would decide before Thanksgiving whether an incentives deal in the range of $70 million would convince him to spend $100 million to $200 million to renovate the 47-year-old speedway and build a $60 million drag strip at the racing facility. Concord City Council members initially blocked Smith from building his planned drag strip near the speedway, saying they were worried noise from the hot rods could carry into nearby neighborhoods. Smith then threatened to move Lowe's Motor Speedway, one of the county's biggest taxpayers, When Smith announced the Thanksgiving deadline, officials assumed "he would have everything he needs to do what he needs to do," said Cabarrus Economic Development leader John Cox. Cabarrus leaders have offered Smith incentives, which were outlined in an e-mail County Manager John Day sent to commissioners, county officials have said. The options include extending the George Liles Parkway to U.S. 29, replacing the U.S. 29/Rocky River bridge, providing structures to decrease noise from the drag strip and giving Smith property and sales tax rebates based on the amount of investment on the drag strip and speedway improvements.(Charlotte Observer)(11-21-2007)

  • [LMS] Speedway incentive package could surpass $70 million: Incentives aimed at keeping Bruton Smith from closing Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord could exceed the figure previously disclosed by Cabarrus County leaders, the chairman of the county's board of commissioners said Monday. Bob Carruth said local officials were continuing to work with Smith's staff, and that any incentives package ultimately must be approved by commissioners, the Concord City Council and state officials. But Carruth acknowledged that the total list of projects that emerged after Smith threatened to close Lowe's isn't guaranteed to stay below $70 million. "It just keeps going up and down," he said. "Those numbers could come out different based on the flavor of the moment." Regardless, Carruth added, "we're not giving the store away." Concord Mayor Scott Padgett said he didn't know the total cost of incentives being discussed Monday. A specific number may be hard to determine, Padgett said, since the options include road widening and a bridge replacement -- state transportation projects that often see budget increases over time. "I think the focus is more on projects than costs," Padgett said. "I don't know if they'll come up with definite figure before it's settled." Carruth, Smith and others said an agreement on incentives and the speedway still could come by Thanksgiving. Smith said he's waiting on information from Concord and wants to decide soon so he can respond to overtures from other communities where he could build a new speedway to replace Lowe's. While declining to give specifics, Smith said some offers were more attractive than what Concord and Cabarrus have pitched, but that his staff's negotiations with those areas were "probably not" as intense as those with Concord and Cabarrus. With Thanksgiving approaching, Carruth said he anticipated a resolution by the time he leaves Wednesday for vacation. "Hopefully," he said, "I get to enjoy my weekend."(Charlotte Observer)(11-20-2007)

  • Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out at Lowe's Motor Speedway: NASCAR enthusiasts and Christmas shoppers will have the opportunity to fulfill their dream of driving around Lowe's Motor Speedway during the Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out on Friday, Nov. 23. Shoppers spending $50 or more on merchandise or race tickets during the annual day-after-Thanksgiving event will be allowed to drive their personal vehicle two laps around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway. As a special bonus, fans will receive a free Windstream Pole Night ticket for each 2008 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Challenge or Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup race ticket they purchase. This one-day sale offer is good only from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office or by phone at 1-800-455-FANS. Lowe's Motor Speedway will offer a full line of NASCAR memorabilia and apparel at reduced prices with many items selling for only $1. A wide variety of hats and T-shirts will be available starting at just $3. In addition, more than a dozen NASCAR souvenir rigs are expected to be on hand, offering driver and team merchandise at drastically reduced prices. When: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 23. Information concerning the annual Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out can be obtained by contacting the Lowe's Motor Speedway Gift Shop at (704) 455-3204. More info at lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(11-19-2007)

  • LMS's Gappens heading to NHMS [NHIS]: Speedway Motorsports Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bruton Smith has promoted Jerry Gappens to the position of Executive Vice President and General Manager at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. On Nov. 2, Smith announced Speedway Motorsports Inc. had reached an agreement to purchase New Hampshire International Speedway from Bob and Gary Bahre. The $340 million transaction should close early in the first quarter of 2008, and the name of the facility will become New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Gappens, 46, has worked in the motorsports industry for 25 years and brings a successful 15-year track record of promoting SMI events to Loudon, N.H. Most recently, Gappens served as senior vice president of events and marketing for Lowe's Motor Speedway, SMI's flagship facility located near Charlotte, N.C. Gappens was responsible for promoting a wide array of annual events hosted at the multi-use motorsports complex, including three Nextel Cup race weekends and three major car shows. A Windfall, Ind., native, Gappens joined LMS in 1993 as publicity director. He was promoted to director of communications in 1995 and named vice president of promotions and public relations in 1996. In 2002, Gappens was honored as NASCAR's Most Valuable Public Relations Representative. He was promoted to senior vice president of events and marketing at LMS in 2005. Prior to joining Lowe's Motor Speedway, Gappens worked as an account executive for Sales Consultants, a national contingency search firm in New Jersey. He also worked with National Speed Sport News, a leading weekly motorsports publication, for eight years and served as a pit reporter for ABC Sports' coverage of the Indianapolis 500; various CART, NASCAR and IROC races; and the Monaco Grand Prix Formula One event. Active in various civic and charitable organizations, Gappens has served on several boards in the Charlotte region, including the Charlotte Visitors and Convention Bureau, Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce, UNC-Charlotte Athletic Foundation, Speedway Children's Charities and the 600 Festival. Gappens, who will relocate from Charlotte to New Hampshire, has two sons, Denny (22) and Wes (21). In 2008, New Hampshire Motor Speedway will host two NASCAR Sprint Cup races, the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 on June 29 and the Sylvania 300 on Sept. 14. Ticket information can be obtained by calling (603) 783-4931 or online at www.nhis.com.(LMS PR)(11-14-2007)

  • Commissioners work to meet Bruton's "wish list": Millions of dollars are on the line as Cabarrus County leaders try to keep the county's biggest money maker where it is. Christmas may come early for Lowe's Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith. Cabarrus County Commission Chairman Bob Carruth said, "It was a wish list that his folks had put together of what they needed there." The list is spelled out in an e-mail leaked to the media. It details exactly what Smith wants to keep Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord. There are also ideas from the County Commission, the Concord City Council and the economic development folks on how to fulfill the $75 million request. Mostly it comes down to improvements to every major road around the speedway, tax rebates, and help building a structure to deal with the noise from the proposed drag strip. Raising property taxes is one thing commissioners are considering as a way to pay for the package, but the commission chairman said that is a last resort. He's also hoping to get help from the state, and should find out about that after a meeting Wednesday morning. "We need to do everything we can to hang on to this," Carruth said. Tuesday night's meeting is a closed door meeting because it is basically a business deal and there is potential competition in the region. The Commissioners will take their proposal to Smith Wednesday and he is expected to make a decision before Thanksgiving.(WCNC.com)(11-13-2007)

  • OFFICIAL - SMI buys New Hampshire track, renames it: Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE:TRK) has agreed to purchase New Hampshire International Speedway from Bob and Gary Bahre for $340 million in cash. The agreement was announced today by O. Bruton Smith, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2008. To align with other SMI-owned speedway brands, the track will be renamed New Hampshire Motor Speedway following completion of the acquisition. The speedway, which opened in 1990 and hosts two Nextel Cup Series events each year, is located about one hour north of Boston in Loudon, N.H. According to the latest census numbers, the population within 200 miles of the speedway is more than 18 million people. The venue is easily accessible via Interstate highways from all metro areas in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada. Located on approximately 1,100 acres, the multi-use complex is the largest sports facility in New England and features a 1.058-mile oval speedway, with chair-back seating for 92,000 spectators, and a 1.6-mile road course. The speedway hosts the only Nextel Cup Series, Busch Series, and Craftsman Truck Series events held in the six-state New England region. Both Nextel Cup Series races regularly sell out and exceed the NFL Super Bowl in attendance. "This is a wonderful opportunity for our company to grow our business as we continue to invest in this sport and the motorsports industry," said Smith. Smith added that he has offered Bob Bahre the opportunity to remain associated as a consultant with the track that he built. In addition to the major NASCAR races, the track hosts several regional professional racing series, including the NASCAR Grand National Division, NASCAR Busch East Series and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Amateur series events complete the schedule with SCCA sports cars, motorcycles, World Karting Association go-karts and racing schools. New Hampshire Motor Speedway will join a strong portfolio of SMI facilities. The company also owns and operates Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn., Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.; Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.; and Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Texas. With this acquisition, the company will own race tracks in the West, Northeast, Southeast and Southwest, including four of the nation's top-10 metropolitan markets. The breakdown includes: the sixth-largest market (Infineon/San Francisco); the fifth-largest market (Texas/Dallas-Ft. Worth); the seventh-largest market (New Hampshire/Boston); the ninth-largest market (Atlanta); the 25th-largest market (Lowe's/Charlotte); the 41st-largest market (Las Vegas); and the 92nd-largest market (Bristol/Tri-Cities). Speedway Motorsports, Inc. will promote 13 NASCAR-sanctioned Sprint (formerly NEXTEL) Cup races in 2008 and nine NASCAR-sanctioned Nationwide (formerly Busch) Series events. Combined seating for the seven SMI facilities will exceed 850,000 permanent seats.(SMI PR)(11-2-2007)

  • SMI buying NHIS? UPDATE2: There is talk of an announcement on Thursday that will go a long way toward determining if Lowe's Motor Speedway will remain in its present location or go on the road to a neighboring community, as Smith has threatened. It all started in August, when Smith announced plans for a mega-drag strip complex on land adjacent to Lowe's Motor Speedway. SMI and city / county government had been discussing an economic package that could offer as much as $2.4 million for the construction of the strip, plus address the reported $200 million in improvements to LMS that Smith has been contemplating. On Friday of last week, Concord City Council reversed its earlier zoning decision, but that doesn't mean Smith will necessarily stay put. The announcement on Thursday will likely give the answer. Compare Smith's likely success in his quest to both improve his product by adding a drag strip and get help with needed improvements to infrastructure with the International Speedway Corp.'s failure to build a racetrack on Staten Island in New York City. Smith, if he chooses to make the improvements to the current facility, will have come out of the ruckus with tax incentives and possibly even a road (Speedway Boulevard) named in his honor. Thursday's rumored announcement will tell the tale.(NASCAR.com) and have heard that Smith could be buying the New Hampshire track, which could be the announcement....from a Charotte Observer article in part: [Bruton] Smith did give a couple of interviews on Charlotte radio stations on Wednesday [Oct 31]. He told WBT-AM (1110) and WFNZ-AM (610) that he has a "big" announcement planned for 2pm Friday. Presumably, that would come at Texas Motor Speedway, the track he owns near Fort Worth where NASCAR's top three series will be racing this weekend. What (David Poole) called Smith to ask about Wednesday was whether he'd made a deal to buy New Hampshire International Speedway. Smith told (Poole) he has heard that John Henry and Jack Roush, the owners of Roush Fenway Racing (and, in Henry's case, of the Boston Red Sox) were interested in buying that track. Smith said he has also heard that George Gillett, Ray Evernham's partner, might want it. Or that Kentucky Speedway owner Jerry Carroll wants it. What (Poole) asked him, though, was whether he's bought it, or has a deal to buy it. He tried to change the subject again, then finally said, "It's unfortunate that you weren't able to get up with me for a comment today." But he also said that I might be able to reach him later this week [at Texas].(11-1-2007)
    UPDATE 2: sources with knowledge of the deal indicated last night that O. Bruton Smith, CEO and chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., had entered into an agreement to purchase New Hampshire International Speedway from Bob Bahre, the track's 80-year-old chairman who is among a rare breed in NASCAR: the independent track owner/operator. A press conference is expected to be held tomorrow at Texas Motor Speedway, one of six SMI-owned racing venues that stage 10 Nextel Cup events. With the acquisition of NHIS, that stands to grow to 12 Cup dates. Efforts to reach Bahre last night were unsuccessful. Reached last night, NHIS spokesman Fred Neergaard said, "There's nothing new to report." An SMI source, however, indicated Smith had reached an accord with Bahre, but was not clear as to the terms. SMI's racing empire includes Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., and Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which host one Cup event, and Bristol Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., and Texas, which host two Cup dates. Texas won its second Cup date as part of a lawsuit settlement stemming from a complaint brought by Francis Ferko, an SMI shareholder, against NASCAR and International Speedway Corp. Smith acquired his first Texas date and Bahre his second NHIS date after they partnered in 1996 to purchase North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway and split its two Cup dates. NASCAR, though, must approve and sanction all dates and race locations before any changes are made to the schedule. NASCAR, which has released its 2008 Sprint Cup schedule, has signed agreements with tracks for all 36 races next season. It had long been speculated that if NHIS were to be sold to Smith, it would take him no time to strip the track of its Cup dates. But, the SMI source suggested, that may not be the case. While NHIS could lose its July date to Las Vegas, SMI could salvage NHIS's spot on the NASCAR schedule by swapping Chase dates with Texas, thus making it the start of the Chase.(Boston Globe)(11-1-2007)

  • Concord City Council Lifts Drag strip restriction: Bruton Smith got his way Friday night. The billionaire owner of Lowe's Motor Speedway had threatened to move his track after Concord barred him from building a drag-racing strip on his property. On Friday, council members voted unanimously to remove that restriction. But it's not clear whether Smith wants to make up with the motorsports city. "I think that would show a lot of friendship," Smith said Friday afternoon when asked whether a vote in his favor that night would keep the speedway in Concord. But he said he would continue to consider suitors in other cities.(Charlotte Observer)(10-27-2007)

  • Bruton Smith Boulevard? They've offered to let him build his drag strip. They may offer him a tax break. Now Cabarrus County officials are offering billionaire Bruton Smith the ultimate form of civic love if he keeps Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord: his own road. Concord City Council members and Cabarrus County commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to ask the state to change the name of Speedway Boulevard to Bruton Smith Boulevard.(Charlotte Observer)(10-25-2007)

  • Smith: '90 percent chance' I'll move speedway, Track would be razed, sold: Lowe's Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith now says there is a "90%" he will move his track out of Concord for another site around Charlotte. And if he leaves Concord, Smith said, he will raze the track and sell the property piecemeal. Smith's comments to the Observer on Monday are the latest twist in an episode that began when the city of Concord moved to stop work on a $60 million drag strip on speedway property. After the City Council's Oct. 1 vote to rezone the property to ban drag strips, Smith threatened to move the track. Last week, the city reversed its position on the drag strip and started talking about offering incentives to help reduce noise from the drag strip, a concern among neighbors. Smith said he would feel obligated to buy back the 52 condominiums at the speedway from their owners. A final decision on the move won't be made until after the Concord City Council revisits the issue Oct. 26, Smith said. That meeting will be held at 6 p.m.; it originally had been scheduled for Oct. 24. Local officials are continuing to try to persuade Smith to stay put. Several state lawmakers approached him at Saturday's Bank of America 500 race, telling him how much they appreciated his being in North Carolina, said state Rep. Linda Johnson, R-Cabarrus. Smith declined to encourage speculation that he was considering a move to Rock Hill, saying he has not disclosed where he is looking to move. He did say he was considering about 20 sites within an 18-mile radius of Charlotte/Douglas International Airport. Smith also has said he is willing to spend $350 million to abandon the Concord track and build another elsewhere in the Charlotte area.(in part from the Charlotte Observer)
    AND Concord's planning and zoning commission unanimously gave its blessing to a controversial drag strip near Lowe's Motor Speedway Tuesday night, the latest move by the city to try to keep the track from leaving. The board mirrored the City Council's retreat from its earlier opposition to the project. In a vote Oct. 1 that halted the $60 million drag strip project, the City Council banned drag strips as a permitted use on Smith's property, citing neighbors' concerns over noise. A public hearing, previously set for Oct. 24. is now scheduled for 6 p.m. Oct. 26. The planning board, after a 13-minute discussion Tuesday, recommended that the city council change its zoning ordinance back to allow drag strips on speedway property. Preliminary plans show the drag strip across from the speedway, north of The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway on U.S. 29, south of Tom Johnson Camping Center and beside the Rocky River.(Charlotte Observer)(10-17-2007)

  • Concord now wooing Smith's drag strip: A week ago, Concord ordered Lowe's Motor Speedway to stop building a planned drag strip, and frustrated speedway owner Bruton Smith was threatening to leave town. Now, local officials may give the speedway a tax break to build the strip. The Concord City Council voted unanimously Thursday night to ask city staff to come up with a tax incentives package for the $60 million drag strip and for improvements Smith has floated for the race track. "Clearly this is an opportunity to demonstrate our good faith," Councilman Hector Henry said. The move comes two days after council members voted to reverse their earlier opposition to the drag strip. Just days before Saturday's Bank of America 500 race, Mayor Scott Padgett said Concord "is doing what it can to show once again that we are very proud of motorsports."(Charlotte Observer)(10-12-2007)

  • Concord backs off drag strip ban: Concord may allow a drag strip after all, after a vote by the city council Tuesday that could put an end to the standoff between the city and Lowe's Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith. Smith had threatened to move LMS out of Concord after the city put a stop to a proposed drag strip adjacent to the speedway by amending the area's zoning laws. In a work session meeting Tuesday, the City Council voted to ask the Planning and Zoning Commission to consider amending the speedway's zoning district to allow drag strips. Two weeks ago the council said no to Smith's drag strip because of environmental and noise issues. Smith in turn threatened to move Lowe's Motor Speedway, if he couldn't build the drag strip on his property.(wcnc.com)(10-10-2007)

  • NASCAR to wait and see on LMS possible move: The dust-up over a proposed drag strip at Lowe's Motor Speedway involves plenty of people -- not only speedway owner Bruton Smith and Concord city leaders, but also business recruiters and real estate brokers in other counties. It doesn't, however, involve NASCAR, the organization's top boss said Friday. Despite the possibility that Lowe's -- one of racing's most prominent and popular venues -- could be replaced by another speedway, NASCAR chief executive Brian France said he doesn't plan to get involved in what he considers a local dispute. "I'm not familiar with all the issues," Brian France said. "They'll figure out what they need to do." France, NASCAR's chairman and chief executive, was in Charlotte to appear on CNBC's "Power Lunch" program. The visit capped a week that began with Concord officials changing the zoning for the proposed drag strip because of potential noise for nearby residents. The next day, a defiant Smith said he might build another speedway elsewhere in the region, leading to several land offers -- including a public overture from Rowan County officials, just north of Cabarrus. Finding a large piece of land near major highways could be difficult and expensive. But Smith said Friday that his office has received 15 to 20 offers, that he has visited three potential sites, and that his representatives have visited several others. "We're being offered a lot of land," he said. "It's amazing." Although Lowe's Motor Speedway has about 2,000 acres, Smith said he could build a new track on as little as 500 acres. As for location, he said it should be about the same distance from Charlotte/Douglas International Airport as Lowe's -- roughly 20 miles.(Charlotte Observer)(10-6-2007)

  • Bruton Smith searching for new speedway site [in Charlotte]: Nearly a half-century after he built his first speedway near Charlotte, Bruton Smith has threatened to shut it down and build another one in the region. But the Charlotte area's dramatic growth will make it hard to find a location comparable to Lowe's Motor Speedway, the Concord track owned by Smith's Speedway Motorsports. Among available sites in the region, few are close to the speedway property's massive size -- roughly 2,000 acres. Those that are lie much farther from Charlotte and major highways than Lowe's, located near the Mecklenburg-Cabarrus line near Interstates 85 and 485. A new track also could need new or improved water and sewer lines and roads -- something Concord has spent millions of dollars to upgrade in recent years, in large part because of Lowe's. Still, Smith says he is committed to checking his options for a new speedway in the Charlotte market. His team looked at two sites Wednesday, he said, and representatives for two other sites have called him. "I don't have an option on those properties so I can't say where they are," Smith said. But, he added, "we will be in this area, and fans will have a bigger and better place to go." The prospect of building a new track emerged from a blow-up between Smith and Concord leaders over a proposed drag-racing strip at Lowe's. Smith wants to build the $60 million strip and began grading the site last month. But the Concord City Council, concerned about noise in nearby neighborhoods, on Monday unanimously voted to change the zoning to ban drag strips. On Wednesday, Smith said Speedway Motorsports has been exploring possible renovations to Lowe's for almost a year, and that a Charlotte architectural firm said upgrades could cost about $200 million. Although they hope to resolve the dispute, Concord officials said talk of closing Lowe's by itself won't force them to reverse the drag-strip vote. "I don't see us caving into any threats about moving the speedway," Mayor Pro Tem Jim Ramseur said. "If Mr. Smith wants to spend $300 million in retribution, there's nothing we can do about that." Smith has the money to build almost anything he wants. Forbes magazine last month named him to its list of the 400 richest Americans and estimated his worth at $1.5 billion.(more at Charlotte Observer)(10-4-2007)

  • Smith to move LMS? Bruton Smith, owner of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., said Tuesday that if Concord [NC] does not work with him on a controversial drag strip, he'll take Lowe's Motor Speedway somewhere else. Smith told Eyewitness News he is already looking for plots of land in the Charlotte area. He said he'll close Lowe's and build a new speedway and his own airport so that race car drivers will easily be able to fly in and out of town. Concord doesn't look like it's going to be a place for him to grow, he said, so if city leaders don't change their minds, he will take his business and go. Smith said he's dumbfounded that the Concord City Council voted against a proposed drag strip near the speedway on Monday night, effectively changing the area's zoning rules. Workers had already started grading the land to make way for the strip. Dozens of residents showed up at the city council meeting to protest the strip so close to their homes. Others argued the economic benefits of such a motorsports attraction. Smith will have to take the city to court in order for the decision to be reversed. He wants Concord to undo an annexation, which made the speedway, and the land around it that had been zoned for motorsports, part of the city limits. "Either they go, or we go," he said. Eyewitness News contacted the mayor of Concord and told him what Smith had to say. He said he had no comment.(wsoctv.com)(10-2-2007)

  • Dry conditions mean restrictions for visiting race fans: Race fans at Lowe's Motor Speedway are being warned about drought conditions in the Concord/Charlotte, NC area. Starting Wednesday, staff from the city of Concord and from the track will begin passing out flyers to campers, telling them about regulations for fires in the campground. They're also warning fans about the dangers of carbon monoxide.(wcnc.com)(10-10-2007)

  • Honorary Grand Marshal for LMS Cup race announced: Ms. Johnnie Fink, a pediatric dental assistant from Kannapolis, N.C., was selected by a panel of celebrity judges to serve as Honorary Grand Marshal of the 2007 Bank of America 500. She will officially start the race this Saturday night, Oct. 13 by saying the famous words: "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines," in front of more than 160,000 race fans at Lowe's Motor Speedway. This is the second year Bank of America has hosted the contest to give fans the opportunity to be Honorary Grand Marshal, with Fink winning the American Idol-style competition that saw 16 contestants give their best rendition of the command to start engines. Celebrity judges for the competition held at the first-ever Bank of America 500 Fan Fest in Uptown Charlotte included: defending Bank of America 500 Champion Kasey Kahne, NASCAR driver / television personality Kenny Wallace, Carolina Panthers right tackle Jordan Gross, Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, Lowe's Motor Speedway President & CEO H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, Charlotte Bobcats President & CEO Fred Whitfield, NASCAR.com writer Raygan Swan and Bank of America associate Ken Bailey.(Bank of America/Ketchum PR)(10-10-2007)

  • Bank of America 500 Pre-Race Show: A death-defying automobile stunt, a concert by three of country music's fastest rising stars and a more fan-friendly format for driver introductions will be among the highlights of pre-race festivities for the Bank of America 500 Nextel Cup Series race Saturday night, Oct. 13, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. While towing a camper trailer behind a 1979 Buick, veteran stuntman Chris "Crash" Morena will launch from a 40-foot steel ramp and attempt to sail 150 feet through the air before crashing into a collection of parked cars.
    Coordinated by legendary stuntman Brian Carson, a Hollywood pyrotechnic team plans to detonate an explosive blast in the recreational vehicle while Morena is in mid-flight. A series of pyrotechnic blasts will also go off around the landing area.
    The pre-race concert, produced by CMT, will include performances by Brent Keith, Carter's Chord and Flynnville Train. It will take place on two stages positioned near the start/finish line. Keith first garnered national attention on "Nashville Star," a television talent competition, and was then selected to perform the title track for "Dale," the feature film documenting the life of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt.
    Carter's Chord and Flynnville Train are up-and-coming groups that have been signed by Show Dog Nashville, the independent record label established by recording star Toby Keith. Carter's Chord features the singing and songwriting sisters Becky, Emily and Joanna Roberts who perform a unique brand of country blues infused with sibling harmonies. Flynnville Train is a five-piece band, led by vocalist Brian Flynn, which draws on country, hard rock and blues inspirations.
    For the first time, driver introductions for the Bank of America 500 will be brought closer to the fans. Each of the 43 race cars will be paraded onto the speedway's frontstretch and the drivers will be introduced while standing beside their cars. After each driver is introduced, he will be paraded around the 1.5-mile track in the back of a Toyota Tundra pickup truck.
    The Bank of America 500 pre-race show, which starts at 5:40 p.m., will also include a Toyota Tundra Monster Truck, the fire-breathing antics of Robosaurus and the Oregon Aero SkyDancer skywriting team. Whiskey Falls, another up-and-coming country music act whose self-titled debut album was released in September, will perform "The Star-Spangled Banner." The grand marshal for the Bank of America 500 will be selected Tuesday, Oct. 9, during the inaugural Bank of America 500 Fan Fest in uptown Charlotte. Tickets for the Oct. 13 Bank of America 500, round five of the 10-race Chase for the Nextel Cup, start at just $39 and can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(10-9-2007)

  • Smith could file suit against Concord Monday: As NASCAR fans begin arriving on their pilgrimage to Concord for the Bank of America 500, many are wondering if this could be one of the last times they'll see a race in Concord, NC. Sources close to the speedway said owner Bruton Smith could file a lawsuit against the city Monday in his continuing struggle to build a drag strip near the Lowe's Motor Speedway. Smith has threatened to move his business elsewhere if the city will not let him build the drag strip. Neighbors said they don't want the drag strip to be built because of the noise it will create. We've contacted Smith's attorney, but he would not comment on whether or not they will file suit Monday.(wcnc.com)(10-8-2007)

  • Record $6.5 Million Purse during Bank of America 500 Week Events: Drivers competing in the Oct. 10-13 Bank of America 500 Week schedule of events at Lowe's Motor Speedway will battle for the lion's share of a record $6.5 million purse. The $6,526,587 in posted prize money and awards is $128,806 more than was up for grabs in the same events last year and represents a 166% increase over the $2.4 million drivers raced for just 10 years ago. The Bank of America 500 Nextel Cup Series race on Saturday night, Oct. 13, will be worth a record $5,185,067, an increase of $106,596 over last October's race. The Dollar General 300 on Friday night, Oct. 12, will be chasing $1,268,191 in posted prize money and awards, an increase of $24,460 from last year. The Jani-King Southern Showdown presented by Ferris Commercial Mowers on Wednesday night, Oct. 10, at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway will be highlighted by a 50-lap feature for the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and $73,300 in posted awards will be up for grabs. Tickets for all Bank of America 500 Week events are available by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(10-3-2007)

  • Buy a Bank of America 500 Ticket, get a Lottery Ticket: Purchasing a ticket to the Oct. 13 Bank of America 500 Nextel Cup Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway between now and Tuesday could be a life-changing experience. Race fans buying tickets between 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 28, and the close of business on Tuesday, Oct. 2, will receive a North Carolina Education Lottery Powerball ticket. Powerball is an exciting, multimillion-dollar game with jackpots starting at $15 million and increasing until won. There are nine ways to win with a single Powerball ticket. Bank of America 500 tickets purchased during this period will have a special redemption code that will allow fans to pick up their North Carolina Education Lottery Powerball ticket at the speedway. The Powerball ticket will be good for the drawing on Saturday night, Oct. 13. The redemption area will be located in front of Smith Tower and the Avenue of Flags, adjacent to the speedway's main entrance. Ticket holders must be 18 years of age or older to receive a lottery ticket. Tickets for the Oct. 13 Bank of America 500 can be purchased by calling the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(10-1-2007)

  • Bojangles' Pole Night at LMS combines thrills with short-track fun: Bojangles' Pole Night on Thursday, Oct. 11, at Lowe's Motor Speedway will combine the high-speed thrills of Nextel Cup Series qualifying with the slam, bam fun of short-track racing. Following qualifying on the 1.5-mile superspeedway, action moves to the frontstretch quarter-mile oval for a School Bus Slobberknocker and a CRASHCar Trailer Race of Destruction. Robosaurus, the world's first "car-nivorous monster," will also be on hand to demonstrate its amazing car-crushing capabilities. If purchased in advance, adult tickets for Bojangles' Pole Night are just $12 while admission is only $1 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for those 5 and younger. Nextel Cup Qualifying features a record $38,900 in posted awards with $23,900 earmarked for the pole winner. Tickets for Bojangles' Pole Night can also be purchased as part of the four-race $99 SUPER Ticket which includes the Jani-King Southern Showdown World of Outlaws late model race at The Dirt Track on Wednesday night, Oct. 10; the Dollar General 300 Busch Series race on Friday night, Oct 12; and the Bank of America 500 Nextel Cup Series event on Saturday night, Oct. 13. Tickets can be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(9-24-2007)

  • Montana Raceway Park's Siderius: LMS's Promoter of the Year: Michelle Siderius, promoter of Montana Raceway Park in Kalispell, Mont., will be honored as the Lowe's Motor Speedway Promoter of the Year during pre-race festivities for the Dollar General 300 Busch Series race Friday night, Oct. 12, at Lowe's Motor Speedway.Located just south of Glacier National Park in Montana's picturesque Flathead Valley, Montana Raceway Park is the only paved quarter-mile oval in the Treasure State. This season, Siderius and her staff presented a schedule that combined a wide variety of weekly racing divisions along with numerous special events. The track's marquee race, the Coors Light Montana 200, features super late models and is annually the state's largest motorsports event. Another season highlight is Legend Thunder, a regional qualifying race that attracts Legends Car and Thunder Roadster competitors from across the United States and Canada.Siderius' parents, John and Sharon Slack, built Montana Raceway Park in 1991 and sold the facility to their daughters and son-in-law-Siderius and Marie and Aaron AuClaire-in 2004. Having been a family business since the first race, Siderius and her partners continue to focus on events and activities that create a family atmosphere for fans and competitors. Former recipients of the Lowe's Motor Speedway Promoter of the Year Award include Earl Baltes, Ralph Capitani, Ned Jarrett, Bill Donoho, Dick and Bob Bahre, Charles PoweII, Mickey Swims, Todd Fisher, Frank Plessinger and Tom Curley.(LMS PR)(9-21-2007)

  • All-You-Can-Eat Grandstand at Lowe's Motor Speedway: Race fans will have the opportunity to "Feast with the Beast" during the Bank of America 500 Nextel Cup Series event Saturday night, Oct. 13, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. With assistance from Joey Chestnut, winner of the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest and the world's #1 ranked competitive eater, speedway President H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler introduced the track's All-You-Can-Eat Grandstand. This new concept is the latest in a long list of fan-related innovations Lowe's Motor Speedway has brought to the NASCAR experience. The menu for the All-You-Can-Eat Grandstand consists of hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, popcorn, peanuts, soft drinks and water. A special buffet-style concession area will open one hour prior to the start of the Bank of America 500 and will remain open for two hours after the green flag is waved. The All-You-Can-Eat Grandstand is comprised of three sections in the spacious Diamond Tower Terrace and Jewel Box, overlooking Turn 2 of the 1.5-mile superspeedway. Tickets start at just $59 and are also available for $79, $89 and $99, depending on seating location. When entering Gate 20 on race day, fans with tickets for the All-U-Can-Eat Grandstand will be given a special wristband that will allow them into the Feast with the Beast concession area operated by Levy Restaurants. The Bank of America 500 on Saturday, Oct. 13, is round five of the 10-race Chase for the Nextel Cup and traditionally plays a pivotal role in deciding who claims the series championship. Tickets for the Bank of America 500, including the All-U-Can-Eat Grandstand, can be purchased by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(9-6-2007)

  • Remaining Tickets for 2008 Coca-Cola 600/All-Star race on sale Sept 4th: With renewals completed, all remaining tickets for the May 25 Coca-Cola 600 and May 17 Sprint All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway go on sale Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 9am/et. Priced from $39 to $135, a wide selection of grandstand seating options are available for the 49th running of the Coca-Cola 600, including a number of premium frontstretch seats. Tickets for the 2008 edition of the Sprint All-Star Challenge, NASCAR's annual all-star race, range in price from $30 to $85. The Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office will be open from 9am to 7pm/et Tuesday. Tickets can be obtained online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS. They can also be purchased by visiting the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office on the second floor of Smith Tower. Also available are tickets for the May 16 Charlotte Tailgate 200 Craftsman Truck Series race; CTC Pole Night Qualifying on Thursday, May 22; and the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 Busch Series race on Saturday night, May 24.(LMS PR)(8-31-2007)

  • Softer Tire at LMS: Goodyear likely will bring a softer tire for the October race at Lowe's Motor Speedway and is looking at even softer left-side compounds for when the car of tomorrow [COT] hits that track next May. The track, resurfaced in 2006, has posed problems for Goodyear, which has had to bring a hard tire to keep from having tire failures. "We ran the softer left-side in October, and then with the larger fuel cell, we went a little tougher again in May," said Goodyear engineer Mark Keto. "We're going to go back to last fall's left sides, at least that's what it looks like." Four teams tested at the track last week for next season with the car of tomorrow. "We were trying to see how they react - we were looking to see if we could get them more grip," Keto said. "We tested some left sides but mostly rights. It was just kind of a first look at what the car was going to do. They ran comparable speeds to what the current car ran in May. We're trying to get a better understanding. We haven't seen a lot of track time on the intermediate speedways." Keto said that the next intermediate track COT tire test will be Aug. 21-22 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Tentatively scheduled for that test are #29-Kevin Harvick, #9-Kasey Kahne, #36-Jeremy Mayfield and #7-Robby Gordon, Keto said.(SceneDaily.com)(8-12-2007)

  • NASCAR RaceDay Personalities to race buses at LMS: A School Bus battle of epic proportions will be waged Tuesday [Aug 7] night during the final round of the 14th annual Summer Shootout Series on the frontstretch quarter-mile oval at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Members of SPEED Channel's "NASCAR RaceDay" crew, including Jimmy Spencer, Hermie Sadler, John Roberts, Wendy Venturini and Rutledge Wood, are among those scheduled to wheel the behemoth creations in a winner-take-all race. Last year Venturini left the rest of her "NASCAR RaceDay" colleagues in the dust as the daughter of two-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Bill Venturini used a bump-and-run maneuver to claim the victory. Prior to trading paint on the race track, the "NASCAR RaceDay" personalities will sign autographs on the grandstand concourse beginning at 6:15pm/et. A full slate of Legends Car, Bandolero and Thunder Roadster racing is also on tap and championships will be decided in each of the eight divisions. For information, visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(8-6-2007)

  • Coca-Cola 600 likely to keep name: The Coca-Cola 600 likely will keep its name and won't have to share the specific Coke brand with another NASCAR race despite a major sponsorship deal announced Monday. Coca-Cola North America and International Speedway Corp. signed a 10-year agreement to bring Coke brands to 10 ISC race tracks. The deal also gives Coca-Cola the naming rights for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race held in July at the Daytona International Speedway. The annual race -- this year's was Sunday -- was the Pepsi 400 for several years. In the Charlotte region, the Coca-Cola 600 has been held every May for more than 20 years at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord. Speedway Motorsports owns the speedway and five others and is the biggest rival to ISC, which owns Daytona and a dozen other tracks. Financial terms of the deal between Coca-Cola and ISC weren't released. Officials with both companies said Monday that the new name for the July race in Daytona hasn't been decided. The first Coca-Cola 600 was in 1985 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, said Lauri Wilks, a spokeswoman for the facility and Speedway Motorsports. The speedway's first 10-year deal with Coke was the longest in motorsports history, Wilks said.(Charlotte Observer)(7-12-2007)

  • October SUPER Ticket Offers Four Major Races for Only $99 at LMS: A limited number of Lowe's Motor Speedway's extremely popular SUPER Tickets are now available for Bank of America 500 Week Oct. 10-13, offering four nights of major-league auto racing for just $99. The SUPER Ticket allows race fans to attend the Bank of America 500 Nextel Cup Series event on Saturday night, Oct. 13; the Dollar General 300 Busch Series race on Friday night, Oct. 12; Bojangles' Pole Night on Thursday night, Oct. 11; and the Southern Showdown World of Outlaws Late Model Series event at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway on Wednesday night, Oct. 10. Priced at just $99, the SUPER ticket represents a whopping 28-percent savings off the $137 retail value if the same seats for the four races were purchased separately. The $99 SUPER Ticket will be available while supplies last and can only be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(6-29-2007)

  • Black #3 wins at LMS Dirt Track Friday night: Defending World of Outlaws Sprint Series champion Donny Schatz had to take a backseat to 16-year-old Austin Dillon Friday night as a sell-out crowd of more than 14,000 people filled the grandstands at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Eckerd Outlaw Showdown. Schatz passed Paul McMahan for the lead with just three laps remaining and went on to win the 30-lap sprint car finale, while Dillon, grandson of Nextel Cup Series team owner Richard Childress, put a familiar black #3 back in victory lane by winning the Goodyear Fastrak Challenge late model feature. "I don't think I've been more nervous trying to win the Daytona 500," Childress said with pride. "Seeing the black #3 back up there and my family running it, it's just great. He did a great job tonight and I'm proud of Austin." Schatz, who started fifth in the 26-car World of Outlaws feature, passed McMahan for the lead on lap 27 and went on to claim his first victory at the four-tenths-mile clay oval since Oct. 5, 2000. Dillon started seventh in the 24-car Goodyear Fastrak Challenge late model finale and took the lead on lap 20 of the 25-lap race following a side-by-side battle with veteran Jack Pennington and Timbo Mangnum. Clint Bowyer, who drives for Childress in the Nextel Cup and Busch Series, started 16th and passed Pennington for second on lap 23. He chased Dillon under the checkered flag to claim the runner-up money while Pennington settled for third.(LMS PR)(5-26-2007)

  • Coca-Cola 600 Pre-Race Spectacular to Celebrate the U.S. Military: Continuing a Memorial Day weekend tradition that started 30 years ago, Lowe's Motor Speedway's pre-race spectacular for the Coca-Cola 600 Nextel Cup Series race on Sunday, May 27, will celebrate the men and women of the U.S. Military and pay tribute to those who have served their country. The program begins with performances by the 82nd Airborne Division Chorus and the U.S. Army Drill Team, followed by the arrival of the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team. The U.S. Army will then "secure" the frontstretch during a demonstration that will include troops in full combat gear, military ground vehicles, helicopters and the firing of an M109 Howitzer gun.
    Once the frontstretch is "secured," 1,500 uniformed troops from Fort Bragg will march into the track and assemble at the start/finish line. Following driver introductions, the Fort Bragg Honor Guard will present the colors prior to the playing of Amazing Grace and the firing of a 21-gun salute. Taps will then be played and country music star LeAnn Rimes will sing the national anthem.
    The flyover will feature four F-22 fighter jets from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia. General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be among the military personnel and their families on hand for the race. Pace became the 16th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Sept. 30, 2005. He serves as the principal military advisory to the President, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council. Pace is the first Marine to serve in this capacity. The Coca-Cola 600 military pre-race spectacular starts at 3:15pm/et and continues until the green flag is waved to start the 600-mile classic at 5:40pm/et. Tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 27, are still available and can be purchased by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(5-22-2007)

  • Coca Cola 600 Grand Marshal and Stater named: Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen has been named grand marshal for the May 27 Coca-Cola 600 Nextel Cup Series event at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Coca-Cola and speedway officials also announced that Senator and Republican presidential candidate John McCain will serve as the honorary starter, waving the green flag to send the 43 drivers on their 600-mile journey. In his role as grand marshal, Bredesen will preside over pre-race ceremonies and give the command, "gentlemen, start your engines." Now in his second term as governor, Bredesen is focused on raising high school and college graduation rates, boosting the economies of Tennessee's smaller and mid-sized communities, strengthening public education and promoting access to health care and healthier lifestyles for all state residents. Tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 27, are still available and can be purchased by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(5-21-2007)

  • LMS prepare for the Fantastic - Times 4: For 47 years, the Coca-Cola 600 Nextel Cup Series race has thrilled racing fans around the world with incredible feats of speed, prowess and endurance. This Memorial Day weekend, the "600" meets the "4" when the stars of the new motion picture FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER visit the legendary race in search of the Silver Surfer. Specific details of the showdown will be provided soon-but racing organizers and Twentieth Century Fox promise something truly "fantastic." The Coca-Cola 600 will be broadcast live on Sunday, May 27, on FOX at 5:00pm/et. Scheduled to appear at Lowe's Motor Speedway are the film's principal stars Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis. The four stars will serve as honorary race officials and take part in various activities around the track prior to the main event. Tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway are available online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or via phone at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(LMS PR)(5-21-2007)

  • 1,000 N.C. Soldiers & Military Family receive free tix to CTC Pole night at LMS: When the Star-Spangled Banner is played at the start of CTC Pole Night on Thursday, May 24, it will have special meaning for nearly 1,000 North Carolina National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve soldiers and their families attending as guests of CT Communications (CTC; Nasdaq: CTCI). CTC has donated these tickets to members of the U.S. armed forces in honor of their loyalty and service to the country. This year's race weekend will prove particularly memorable for service members. During the 10th annual CTC Pole Night qualifying event and the Coca-Cola 600 race, many teams will display logos from each branch of the military on the hoods of their cars. Similarly, Lowe's Motor Speedway will continue its 30-year tradition of honoring military men and women. Additional details are available online at www.ctc.net/polenight. Tickets for CTC Pole Night are $12 in advance and can be purchased lowesmotorspeedway.com.(CTC PR)(5-17-2007)

  • Record $6.5 Million Purse for May 27 Coca-Cola 600: Nextel Cup Series drivers will battle for a record $6.5 million during the May 27 Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway while total posted awards for the track's schedule of May events is more than $14.5 million. Eight races will be run at Lowe's Motor Speedway and The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway between Friday night, May 18, and Sunday evening, May 27, and each carries a record purse with a total of $14,524,532 up for grabs. Already one of the richest races on the NASCAR circuit, the $6,569,628 in total awards for the Coca-Cola 600 is $136,947 more than was posted for last year's event and $4,481,404 more than competitors raced for in the 600-mile event 10 years ago. Competitors participating in the Nextel All-Star Challenge and the Nextel Open on Saturday night, May 19, will compete for a record $4,264,364 with the Challenge winner guaranteed a minimum of $1,011,125. In addition to the posted prize money, $1,780,853 in television awards for the Nextel All-Star Challenge will be distributed through the Nextel Cup Series Car/Champion Owner Program. Busch Series drivers will battle for a record $1,249,138 during the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 on Saturday night, May 26, and the Quaker Steak & Lube 200 presented by Circle K Craftsman Truck Series event on Friday night, May 18, adds $544,474 to the total prize money. SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT Series competitors will race for $30,125 during CTC Pole Night on Thursday, May 24, and the inaugural Kobalt Tools Crew Chiefs race prior to the Nextel All-Star Challenge on Saturday, May 19, is worth $10,000. The World of Outlaws Sprint Series returns to The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway on Friday night, May 25, for the Eckerd Outlaw Showdown. The late model stock cars of the Goodyear Fastrak Challenge are also on the card and the two divisions will race for $75,950 in posted awards. Tickets for all May events, including the May 19 Nextel All-Star Challenge and the May 27 Coca-Cola 600, are still available and can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(5-17-2007)

  • Fan wins starter job for Nextel Challenge: Jerry Brandom of Delray Beach, Fla., will be waving the green flag for the Nextel All-Star Challenge, having been selected from thousands of entries in the SPEED CFO (Chief Flag Operator) sweepstakes. Brandom and a guest of his choice will be flown to Charlotte for the weekend's events, receiving a pace car ride and VIP garage tour. Before climbing the tower at Lowe's Motor Speedway to start the All-Star race, Brandom also will have the opportunity to attend the Nextel All-Star Challenge drivers meeting.(SPEEDtv PR)(5-15-2007)

  • CATS LMS Race Express Adds Second Location: After a successful launch in October, Charlotte Area Transit System's [CATS] LMS Race Express has been expanded to include round-trip transportation from two CATS Park and Ride locations to Lowe's Motor Speedway for the May 19 Nextel All-Star Challenge and May 27 Coca-Cola 600. Buses will now originate from Carolina Place Mall at exit 64B off I-485 in Pineville, N.C., and Northlake Mall at exit 18 off I-77 north of Charlotte. LMS Race Express buses will utilize priority routes to enter and exit the speedway. For the Nextel All-Star Challenge on Saturday, May 19, they will depart from each Park and Ride location approximately every 30 minutes between noon and 4 p.m. On Sunday, May 27, for the Coca-Cola 600, they will leave approximately every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Both drop-off and pick-up locations at Lowe's Motor Speedway will be near the track's main entrance. Return trips will begin approximately one hour following the checkered flag. Tickets for the LMS Race Express are $20 per person and can be purchased online at www.racepackage.com/2007lmsexpress or by calling the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS. Tickets will also be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Park and Ride lots on race days. No restroom facilities are available on the buses and no smoking or drinking of alcoholic beverages is permitted. In addition, no storage space is available for passenger items. However, each rider is permitted one cooler, which is limited to 14 inches in any direction. Tickets for all May NASCAR events at Lowe's Motor Speedway are still available and can be purchased by calling 1-800-455-FANS or by visiting www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(5-14-2007)

  • LMS Introduces Speedway Ambassadors: Lowe's Motor Speedway has developed two new elements to help fans enjoy their race-day experiences during the track's upcoming schedule of NASCAR races, including the May 19 Nextel All-Star Challenge and the May 27 Coca-Cola 600. Working in conjunction with Motor Racing Outreach, Lowe's Motor Speedway has developed the Speedway Ambassadors, a program consisting of 30 volunteers who will be available to efficiently assist race fans with problems or questions. Each Speedway Ambassador will have the authority to make on-the-spot decisions concerning fan-related issues. The Ambassadors will be positioned at entry gates prior to events and will move into the grandstands before pre-race activities commence. The Speedway Ambassadors will be available to assist fans during the May 19 Nextel All-Star Challenge, the May 26 Carquest Auto Parts 300 and the May 27 Coca-Cola 600. Speedway officials have also worked with the North Carolina Highway Patrol to expand the area in which officers will control traffic during event days. In addition to controlling traffic on Speedway Blvd. from I-85 to the track, highway patrol officers will now also monitor and control traffic flow on Concord Mills Blvd., in front of Concord Mills mall. Tickets for all May NASCAR events at Lowe's Motor Speedway are still available and can be purchased by calling 1-800-455-FANS or by visiting www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(5-14-2007)

  • Humpy to Make Pick for All Star Challenge: H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, will reveal his prediction of who will win the May 19 Nextel All-Star Challenge during a press conference Tuesday at Charlotte Bobcats Arena in uptown Charlotte. Wheeler, who has correctly picked 10 of the last 18 All-Star race winners, will announce his selection with assistance from Mental Illusionist Lawrence Gregory.(LMS PR)(5-12-2007)

  • Lowe's Bans Talladega Violators; Will Increase Security: LMS track officials announced that the 14 individuals charged with disorderly conduct for throwing items on the race track following the April 29 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event at Talladega Superspeedway have been permanently banned from attending races at Lowe's Motor Speedway. [Additional] precautions [the track will take] include placing security personnel every 200 feet to watch the grandstands for unruly behavior, using video cameras to monitor grandstands and the use of tactical-style rapid-response teams.(LMS PR)(5-5-2007)

  • Michael Jordan to Serve as Grand Marshal for Nextel All-Star Challenge: NBA great Michael Jordan will serve as Grand Marshal for the May 19 NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge. Jordan, the managing member of basketball operations for the Charlotte Bobcats, will give the command, "Gentlemen, start your engines." Jordan has overseen all of the basketball decisions for the Charlotte Bobcats since joining the front office in June 2006.(Lowes Motor Speedway PR)(5-2-2007)

  • Auto Fair at Lowe's Motor Speedway this weekend: UPDATE: A 52-foot limousine crafted from a jet airplane, NBA star LeBron James' customized Hummer H2 and Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s 1967 Camaro are just a sampling of the radical rides that will be featured during the Apil 12-15 Food Lion AutoFair at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Unique Autosports, the automotive customizing business owned by Will Castro and featured on SPEED's "Unique Whips," is bringing seven of the most radical rides to ever roll out of its Holbrook, N.Y., facility. Among the customized beauties on display from Unique Autosports will be NBA star LeBron James' Hummer H2; NASCAR champion Tony Stewart's "Smokedeville" hearse and bright orange Lamborghini; Atlanta Braves outfielder Andruw Jones' 1968 Buick Electra and Cadillac Escalade; and a pair of Nissan SUVs owned by fashion designer Marc Ecko. For more info, visit the Lowe's Motor Speedway web site.(4-10-2007)
    UPDATE: The Jet Limo constructed from a Boeing 727 airplane scheduled to appear during the April 12-15 Food Lion AutoFair at Lowe's Motor Speedway was not able to exit Mexico and will not be on hand for the four-day automotive extravaganza.(LMS PR)(4-10-2007)

  • "Buy and Drive" Puts Fans in Driver's Seat at Lowe's Motor Speedway: Race fans will have the opportunity to put themselves in the driver's seat Wednesday night, March 21, at Lowe's Motor Speedway during a special "Buy and Drive" event. Fans that purchase four or more tickets to any May NASCAR race event at LMS will be allowed to drive their personal vehicles three laps around the 1.5-mile superspeedway. Tickets start at just $29 for the May 19 Nextel All-Star Challenge and $39 for the May 27 Coca-Cola 600. The speedway ticket office will be open Wednesday from 9am to 9pm. Fans will receive a voucher at the time of their qualifying ticket purchase and must redeem it from 5 to 9pm on Wednesday evening. Drivers must have a valid driver's license and the vehicle must have valid registration, tag and proof of insurance. As a special bonus, the first 125 ticket buyers Wednesday get a pair of tickets to "Dale-The Movie" coming to the Charlotte area this May. For more information, contact the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket services department at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(3-18-2007)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway Ticket Office Open Extended Hours: With the NASCAR racing season shifting into high gear, Lowe's Motor Speedway has made it more convenient for race fans to purchase tickets for the track's schedule of May events, including the May 19 NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge and the May 27 Coca-Cola 600. Ticket agents are now on hand to assist race fans from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Fans can purchase tickets during these hours by calling 1-800-455-FANS or in person on the second floor of Lowe's Motor Speedway's Smith Tower. Tickets are also available online 24 hours a day at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com. Lowe's Motor Speedway offers a variety of camping options at affordable prices for the Nextel All-Star Challenge and Coca-Cola 600 race weeks. Dry camping sites in the Rock City, Tim Flock, Peninsula, Country Crock and Morehead Farms campgrounds start at $100 per space per NASCAR race week. Camping sites can be reserved by contacting the Lowe's Motor Speedway camping office at (704) 455-4445.(LMS PR)(2-24-2007)

  • All Remaining Bank of America 500 Tickets Go on Sale Monday, Feb. 5: With renewals completed, all remaining tickets for the Oct. 13 Bank of America 500 Nextel Cup Series event at Lowe's Motor Speedway go on sale Monday, Feb. 5. Priced from $19 to $135, a wide selection of grandstand seating options are available, including a limited number of premium frontstretch seats. The lower portions of the Chrysler, General Motors and Ford grandstands will be renovated prior to the Bank of America 500 and the new chairback seats in those sections will also be on sale. The Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office will be open extended hours Monday operating from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com. In addition to the Bank of America 500, tickets will also be available for the Oct. 12 Dollar General 300 Busch Series race; Bojangles' Pole Night qualifying on Thursday, Oct. 11; and the Southern Showdown, a 360 OTC World of Outlaws Late Model race, on Wednesday night, Oct. 10, at The Dirt Track. Tickets for all 2007 events at Lowe's Motor Speedway, including the May 19 Nextel All-Star Challenge and the May 27 Coca-Cola 600, are now available and can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(2-4-2007)

  • $4 Million Frontstretch Grandstand Renovation at LMS: A $4 million renovation of the frontstretch grandstand that includes replacing the current concrete and aluminum bleachers with spacious stadium-style seats is among several capital improvement projects planned this year at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The design and procurement phase of the grandstand renovation is underway and construction will begin following the May 27 Coca-Cola 600. It is scheduled for completion prior to the Oct. 13 Bank of America 500. The $4 million frontstretch grandstand project involves renovating the lower portions of the Ford, General Motors and Chrysler sections, all of which were part of the original grandstand when the track opened in 1960. The renovation is the first phase of a multi-year plan to rebuild the track's frontstretch. This phase includes the construction of a steel and aluminum grandstand which will be placed over the old concrete structure. The new section will include approximately 18,000 stadium-style seats, more walkways, added depth between rows and additional handicap-accessible seating. Other capital projects underway as Lowe's Motor Speedway prepares for its 48th season of NASCAR racing include the construction of a new infield care center and the addition of a modern office/warehouse. The track's souvenir shop is also being renovated and an expansion of the administrative offices on the seventh floor of Smith Tower is nearing completion. All of these projects are slated to be finished before the track's May events, which start with the May 19 Nextel All-Star Challenge. The new 3,200-square-foot Carolinas HealthCare Infield Care Center will be located inside Turn 4 and is designed to meet the medical needs of both fans and competitors. A new medical heliport adjacent to the care center is also part of the plan. Tickets for all 2007 events at Lowe's Motor Speedway, including the May 19 Nextel All-Star Challenge and the May 27 Coca-Cola 600, are now available and can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(2-2-2007)

  • LMS = Beast of the Southeast: Long recognized as one of the meanest race tracks on the NASCAR schedule, Lowe's Motor Speedway has emerged a true beast. And capitalizing on that tough reputation, speedway officials have launched a marketing campaign that brands the 1.5-mile quad-oval as "The Beast of the Southeast." Speedway officials will use The Beast of the Southeast logo and theme in print and electronic advertising; as part of multiple direct-mail campaigns; and on the track's web site. An extensive line of The Beast of the Southeast souvenirs is also being developed. Tickets for all 2007 events at Lowe's Motor Speedway, including the May 19 Nextel All-Star Challenge and the May 27 Coca-Cola 600, are now available and can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(2-1-2007)

  • LMS Employee of the Year Award announced: Angie Crisco has been named Lowe's Motor Speedway's 2006 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 among 12 Employee of the Month award recipients. A native of Charlotte who now lives in Albemarle, N.C., Crisco is a ticket sales associate and renewal supervisor in the track's ticket services department. She joined the speedway staff in 1998 after working in various race-time capacities for seven years.(LMS PR)(1-5-2007)

  • Speedway Motorsports distributes to Speedway Children's Charities:
    Lowe's Motor Speedway: More than 50,000 children in the Charlotte region will benefit from the more than $589,000 distributed by Speedway Children's Charities Thursday night during the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Bruton Smith, founder of Speedway Children's Charities and chairman and chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., was joined by H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway; Scott Smith, president of the Lowe's Motor Speedway chapter of Speedway Children's Charities; and Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Tom Sadler, executive director of Speedway Children's Charities, in awarding the grants to 66 local organizations. Speedway Children's Charities raised the money through individual and corporate donations along with various activities throughout the year, including the world premiere of the Disney-Pixar movie "CARS." The local organizations use the money in meeting the emotional, medical or educational needs of children. In addition to the grant distribution, the gala holiday ceremony included the lighting of Lowe's Motor Speedway's unique 50-foot Christmas Tree; Christmas songs performed by rising country music artist Ansel Brown; and a visit by Santa Claus.(LMS site)
    Speedway Children's Charities is the primary charitable arm of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., which owns and operates Infineon Raceway. Speedway Children's Charities is a non-profit organization with the purpose of raising funds to be distributed to qualified children's organizations. Founded in 1984 by Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., Speedway Children's Charities originated at Lowe's Motor Speedway in North Carolina. Fifty-five youth groups will receive funding from Speedway Children's Charities in 2006.(12-8-2006)

  • New Season Pass Offer at LMS: For the first time, Lowe's Motor Speedway is offering a Season Pass featuring a frontstretch grandstand seat for each of the eight events during the track's three NASCAR weekends. The Season Pass, which includes tickets for the May 19 Nextel All-Star Challenge, May 27 Coca-Cola 600 and Oct. 13 Bank of America 500 Nextel Cup Series races, is available at a variety of prices ranging from $253 to $524 depending on seat location. Lowe's Motor Speedway's 2007 Season Pass includes a frontstretch grandstand seat for eight events. In addition, each 2007 Season Pass account holder will be issued a special first-in/first-out parking permit which will allow them to park in a designated speedway lot during each of the Nextel Cup Series events. Season Pass holders will also be eligible to purchase pre-race pit passes for the discounted price of $80 each. The 2007 Season Pass can be purchased only by contacting the Lowe's Motor Speedway group sales department at (704) 455-3294.(LMS PR)(12-4-2006)

  • Matt Long Earns Lowe's Motor Speedway's 2006 Honors: Matt Long has been named Lowe's Motor Speedway's 2006 Salesperson of the Year. This is the second consecutive year Long, a native of Cambridge, Ohio, who now lives in Concord, N.C., has earned the prestigious honor. He joined the Lowe's Motor Speedway corporate sales staff in 2003 after interning with the department in 2002(LMS PR)(12-1-2006)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway Christmas Tree Lighting: What: Speedway Motorsports Chairman and CEO Bruton Smith will light a one-of-a-kind Christmas tree at the main entrance to Lowe's Motor Speedway [in Concord, NC] and distribute in excess of $589,000 to 66 local organizations on behalf of Speedway Children's Charities. The money will assist nonprofit charities making a direct and significant impact in the lives of children in need. The public is invited to attend the ceremony that will include lighting a 50-foot Christmas tree; holiday music; hot chocolate and apple cider; an appearance by Lug Nut, the world's fastest mascot; and Santa arriving in a stock car. When: Thursday, Dec. 7. Festivities begin at 6:15pm/et with the formal program starting at 6:30pm/et.
    Where: Avenue of Flags in front of Smith Tower at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The track is located at the intersection of Speedway Blvd and Highway 29.(LMS PR)(11-29-2006)

  • Friday's Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out Offers Fans the Chance to Drive around Lowe's Motor Speedway: Over 1,500 race fans are expected to follow in the tire tracks of NASCAR stars Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon as they drive their personal vehicles around Lowe's Motor Speedway Friday, Nov. 24, during the 14th annual Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out. Those spending at least $50 on merchandise or 2007 race tickets, or donating $25 to Speedway Children's Charities, can enjoy this once-a-year opportunity. Fans who wish to drive around the track may pick up a ride card beginning at 8 a.m. when the Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out opens. For every $10 spent at the ticket office, gift shop or souvenir haulers, a sticker is placed on the ride card. Once five stickers have been affixed, the card can be redeemed for a ride voucher at the Lowe's Motor Speedway gift shop. The Lowe's Motor Speedway gift shop will offer a full line of NASCAR memorabilia and apparel at reduced prices with many items selling for just $1. A wide variety of hats and T-shirts will also be available, starting at just $3. Tickets for the May 19 Nextel All-Star Challenge and the May 27 Coca-Cola 600 are the perfect gift for those with NASCAR fans on their holiday shopping list and the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office will be open throughout the event. Gift certificates redeemable for any 2007 race ticket purchase are also on sale. As a special one-day offer, each ticket purchased for the Nextel All-Star Challenge or the Coca-Cola 600 will be accompanied by a free ticket ($12 value) for CTC Pole Night qualifying on Thursday, May 24. For information on the Nov. 24 Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out, contact the Lowe's Motor Speedway gift shop at (704) 455-3202 or the marketing and public relations department at (704) 455-3209.(LMS PR)(11-21-2006)

  • Soap Box Derby Racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway: Children can have their own racing experiences at Lowe's Motor Speedway with the Levi Strauss Signature Fit Pit during the NASCAR race weekend - October 12-14. Boys and girls, ages 7 to 14, have the opportunity to race Soap Box Derby cars on a racetrack outside of the Fit Pit. As the title sponsor of the All-American Soap Box Derby, the Levi Strauss Signature brand has incorporated the ultimate family activity into its nationwide Fit Pit tour. The All-American Soap Box Derby is a youth initiative of NASCAR. The Fit Pit also features technology for families to find their perfect jeans fit. In 14-seconds, Intellifit's award-winning body scanner sizes a fully-clothed person and then produces a personalized recommendation for the perfect pair of Levi Strauss Signature jeans. NASCAR fans can finish their shopping at the provided online kiosks by visiting Target.com and Walmart.com. The Levi Strauss Signature Fit Pit is located in the Fan Zone.(Alan Taylor PR)(10-13-2006)

  • CATS "LMS Race Express" Added as Race Day Option at LMS: To accommodate race day crowds approaching the population of a major North Carolina city, one of the nation's most extensive traffic management plans has been developed for the Oct. 11-14 Bank of America 500 Week activities at Lowe's Motor Speedway. With four major race events on tap for the week, local, state and speedway officials are preparing for approximately 300,000 fans, driving more than 110,000 vehicles over the four-day period. The traffic plan includes more than 500 people working to move vehicles safely to and from the speedway in a timely fashion for the Bank of America 500 on Saturday night, Oct. 14. The workforce includes more than 180 uniformed officers from the North Carolina Highway Patrol, 50 traffic specialists from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, 10 officers from the Concord Police Department and more than 200 employees from Lowe's Motor Speedway.
    As a new part of the traffic plan, the Charlotte Area Transit System [CATS] will operate express buses to provide round-trip transportation to the Bank of America 500 on Saturday, Oct. 14. The express service will utilize 20 buses and originate from the CATS Park and Ride location at Carolina Place Mall, located south of Charlotte in Pineville, N.C. Tickets for the LMS Race Express are $20 per person and are available in advance by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com. Tickets will also be available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis at the Park and Ride lot on race day.
    The LMS Race Express will utilize a priority route to enter and exit the speedway. Express buses will leave Carolina Place Mall starting at noon on race day and take Interstate 485 and Highway 49 to the speedway. The final departure to the track is scheduled for 4 p.m. The return trips will begin approximately one hour following the conclusion of the race. Buses will exit on Highway 29 to I-485. Both drop-off and pick-up locations will be near Lowe's Motor Speedway's main entrance.
    Speedway officials are also distributing detailed maps and suggested routes in and out of the speedway to ticket holders via direct mail prior to their arrival. Recommended routes direct fans to parking areas closest to their respective seating areas. This information is also posted at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com. In addition to personnel, the traffic management plan utilizes more than 20 NCDOT traffic cameras, more than a dozen electronic informational signs along routes to the speedway, 2,500 traffic cones, 50 portable light towers at major intersections and more than 1,200 acres of parking. Tickets are still available to all Bank of America 500 Week events by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(10-13-2006)

  • Bruton Smith Assigns Extra Security to Assist Brian Vickers during Bank of America 500 Week: In the aftermath of the controversial finish Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway Chairman Bruton Smith has assigned extra security for driver Brian Vickers during this week's Bank of America 500 activities at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Monday, the speedway ticket office was inundated with calls from race fans angry about the finish in which Vickers initiated a wreck that took out race leader Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and second-place Jimmie Johnson on the final lap. "We want to make sure Brian has an uninterrupted weekend here and that he is able focus on his driving duties," Smith said. "We will offer security escorts in and out of the speedway and anywhere he feels he needs our assistance. We've done this in the past as well, I think the last time was for Rusty (Wallace) when he knocked Darrell (Waltrip) out of the way to win the all-star race back in 1989. We added security at his house and track the week of the Coca-Cola 600." Tickets are still available for all events and can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(10-10-2006)

  • "American Idol" Star Kellie Pickler to Sing National Anthem at LMS: "American Idol" finalist and country music recording sensation Kellie Pickler will return to her home state Saturday night, Oct. 14, to perform the national anthem prior to the Bank of America 500 Nextel Cup Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Pickler, who grew up approximately 20 miles from the speedway in Albemarle, N.C., recently hit the airwaves with her debut single, "Red High Heels." Her first CD, "Hometown Girl," will be released on Oct. 31 by 19 Recordings/BNA Records. Pre-race ceremonies for the Bank of America 500, the only night race in the 10-race Chase for the Nextel Cup, begin at 5:40pm on Saturday, Oct. 14, and the 500-mile battle is scheduled to start at 7:20 p.m. Tickets for Bojangles' Pole Night on Thursday, Oct. 12; the Dollar General 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday night, Oct. 13; and the Bank of America 500 are still available and can be purchased at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(10-9-2006)

  • Super Bowl Veteran Marc Koretzky Helping LMS Improve Traffic Flow: Marc Koretzky, a logistics and transportation expert who has helped organize five Super Bowls, is working with Lowe's Motor Speedway to ensure fans enjoy their experience during the track's Oct. 11-14 Bank of America 500 Week races. Koretzky, a 30-year-old native of New Orleans, has been assisting track officials since early August as they develop and implement new procedures to improve traffic flow during the speedway's major events. "As NASCAR keeps growing, if you're inside the circle, you only see it from an inside perspective," Koretzky explained. "What I am able to do is bring a different perspective and ideas on how we can look at doing it other ways." Koretzky has been working closely with Doug Cremer, the speedway's director of guest services and logistics, and his staff. They have developed a strategic plan that includes reorganizing the track's parking lots along with revising traffic patterns in and around the speedway. They have also been working with Charlotte Area Transit System officials to develop a shuttle bus system. Implementing a regional shuttle bus system that will transport fans to and from the speedway's NASCAR events is another major element of the new logistics plan. The preliminary plan for the Bank of America 500 calls for shuttle buses to operate from Carolina Place Mall in Pineville, N.C. Koretzky estimates 800 fans will utilize the service, but he envisions it expanding to other areas for future races. Tickets for all October races at Lowe's Motor Speedway, including the Bank of America 500 Nextel Cup Series event, are still available and can purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(10-7-2006)

  • Susquehanna Speedway Park's Fisher to Receive LMS Promoter of the Year Award: Todd Fisher, promoter of Susquehanna Speedway Park in Newberrytown, Pa., will be honored as the Lowe's Motor Speedway Promoter of the Year during pre-race festivities for the Dollar General 300 NASCAR Busch Series race Friday night, Oct. 13, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In a region saturated with dirt-track racing, Fisher has devised a formula that attracts both fans and competitors for two nights of action-packed racing each week at the four-tenths-mile dirt track. Running from mid-April through early November, Fisher and his staff at Susquehanna Speedway Park host nearly 50 events with divisions ranging from winged sprint cars to school buses. Former recipients of the Lowe's Motor Speedway Promoter of the Year Award include Earl Baltes, Ralph Capitani, Ned Jarrett, Bill Donoho, Dick and Bob Bahre, Charles PoweII, Mickey Swims, Frank Plessinger and Tom Curley. Tickets for the Dollar General 300 on Friday night, Oct. 13, start at just $17 and can be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(10-7-2006)

  • Racing Legends to be honored at LMS Pre-Race Ceremony: Bank of America and Lowe's Motor Speedway (LMS) announced their plans to honor past champions from this marquee event on the NASCAR schedule prior to the Bank of America 500 on Saturday, October 14. The special, pre-race ceremony will showcase many of the greatest moments at LMS, and will celebrate the thrilling achievements of both former and current drivers, including Junior Johnson, Fred Lorenzen, Buddy Baker, Charlie Glotzbach, Bobby and Donnie Allison, Richard Petty, Benny Parsons, Darrell Waltrip, Harry Gant, Rusty Wallace, Geoffrey Bodine, Ernie Irvan, Dale Jarrett and Jeff Gordon. The 20-minute pre-race celebration at the Bank of America 500 includes a video tribute to Lowe's Motor Speedway and its winning drivers, and an honorary lap around the track on a customized float. In addition, lucky race fans and Columbus, NC residents, Mickey Jackson, and his five-year-old son, Kalob, will serve as Honorary Grand Marshals and give the command to start engines alongside the celebrated legends, after winning the Bank of America 500 Honorary Grand Marshal contest.(see full list of names and profiles at the LMS site)(9-30-2006)

  • $6.3 Million in Posted Awards at LMS, Tix Still Available: NASCAR drivers competing in the Oct. 14 Bank of America 500 and the Oct. 13 Dollar General 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway will be battling for a record $6,322,231 in posted prize money. The record awards for the Nextel Cup and Busch Series events are part of a $6,397,781 purse announced today for the four nights of racing that comprise the Oct. 11-14 Bank of America 500 Week schedule of events. The record NASCAR purse of $6,322,231 represents an increase of $188,425 over the prize money posted for the same two races just one year ago and is $1.5 million greater than was paid for the October events just five years ago. The Bank of America 500 on Saturday night, Oct. 14, will be worth $5,078,500, an increase of $118,116 over last October's NEXTEL Cup event. It's also the first time posted awards for the 500-mile fall classic have topped $5 million. Tickets for all Bank of America 500 Week events are available by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(9-28-2006)

  • 2007 Coca-Cola 600 Tickets Go on Sale Monday: Tickets for all 2007 May NASCAR events at Lowe's Motor Speedway, including the 48th running of the Coca-Cola 600, go on sale Monday, Sept. 18, at 8:00am/et. Fans are encouraged to buy early in order to secure the best seats for the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR's only 600-mile event, set to take place on Sunday, May 27. Tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 start at just $39. Fans can also purchase tickets to the Nextel All-Star Challenge, NASCAR's annual all-star event, scheduled for Saturday night, May 19. With a minimum of $1 million earmarked for the winner, the Challenge is the richest race per mile in motorsports and, with tickets starting at just $21; it's a bargain for the fans. In addition to the two Nextel Cup races, the month of May will include the Quaker Steak & Lube 200 Craftsman Truck Series race on May 18, CTC Pole Night qualifying on May 24 and the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 Busch Series race on May 26. Tickets for all 2007 May events can be obtained by calling the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket services department toll-free at 1-800-455-FANS, online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or through Ticketmaster outlets.(LMS PR)(9-17-2006)

  • Lucky Race Fan Earns Spot as Honorary Grand Marshal at LMS in Oct: Racing fan and Columbus, NC resident Mickey Jackson, and five-year-old son, Kalob, earned the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver the 'gentlemen, start your engines' command live at this year's Bank of America 500. Bank of America today announced Mickey as the winner of the Bank of America 500 Honorary Grand Marshal contest, a consumer promotion supporting the company's title sponsorship of the October 14 race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. For winning the contest, Mickey earns the title of "Honorary Grand Marshal" of the Bank of America 500 and the opportunity to deliver the race-start command, a VIP experience on race day for him and a guest, including pit passes, seats in Bank of America's newly created, exclusive fan section in the fourth turn terrace at Lowe's that provides access to a private food court, food and beverage vouchers - and a gift pack of Bank of America 500 racing merchandise. The contest challenged 25 final participants to audition their best race-start command by impressing a panel of celebrity judges with their delivery, creativity and enthusiasm. The panel of judges included legendary driver Buddy Baker, Lowe's Motor Speedway President and General Manager H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, PRN Talent Kent Bernhardt and Bank of America Racing Platform Executive Jill Gregory. The Bank of America 500 Honorary Grand Marshal contest is just one part of a larger integrated marketing program that the company has deployed to support its title sponsorship of the October 14 race. Other program components include: A Celebration of Champions; and Exclusive Fan Hospitality; Consumer Programs.(LMS PR/Site)(9-15-2006)

  • Fans to Audition to be the Honorary Grand Marshal at Oct Cup race at LMS: Two dozen lucky race fans will audition their best "start your engines" command before a panel of celebrity judges on Thursday, September 14, 2006 from 12:00 to 1:00pm/et for the chance to become the "Honorary Grand Marshal" of the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on October 14. As the Official Bank of Lowe's Motor Speedway, Bank of America created the "Honorary Grand Marshal" contest to celebrate the inaugural Bank of America 500 with race fans throughout the region. Kara Edwards of WSOC-FM will serve as contest emcee and Lowe's Motor Speedway President H.A "Humpy" Wheeler, NASCAR Legend Buddy Baker, PRN Anchor Kent Bernhardt and Bank of America Racing Platform Executive Jill Gregory will judge contestants' auditions on their delivery, creativity and overall passion for the sport. On race day, the "Honorary Grand Marshal" will announce the start of the race on national television, in front of 160,000 race fans and alongside some of NASCAR's biggest legends whose achievements at Lowe's Motor Speedway will be celebrated prior to the race.(LMS PR)(9-13-2006)

  • "NASCAR RaceDay" Personalities Race School Buses at LMS UPDATE Wendy Wins: A School Bus battle of epic proportions will be waged Tuesday night during the final round of the 13th annual Summer Shootout Series on the frontstretch quarter-mile oval at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Members of SPEED Channel's "NASCAR RaceDay" crew, including Jimmy Spencer, John Roberts, Wendy Venturini and Rutledge Wood, are among those scheduled to wheel the behemoth creations in a winner-take-all slobberknocker that is sure to leave metal mangled and hearts broken. Prior to banging bumpers on the race track, the "NASCAR RaceDay" personalities will sign autographs on the grandstand concourse beginning at 6:15pm/et. A full slate of Legends Car, Bandolero and Thunder Roadster racing is also on tap and championships will be decided in each of the seven divisions. More info at lowesmotorspeedway.com.(PR)(8-8-2006)
    UPDATE: In the School Bus slobberknocker, Wendy Venturini of SPEED Channel's "NASCAR RaceDay" program piloted a purple bus, complete with pink flames, to victory thanks to a bump-and-run move that would be the envy of any Nextel Cup driver. With water spraying from her damaged radiator, Venturini rammed leader Kenny West's Stock Car Steel and Aluminum bus in Turn 4 of the final lap. The collision knocked West's bus sideways, and Venturini took advantage. She drove to the outside, bounced off the wall and beat West to the checkered flag. Other competitors in the wild-and-crazy School Bus battle were "NASCAR RaceDay" personalities John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer and Rutledge Wood along with Lug Nut, the world's fastest mascot.(LMS PR), Highlights from the school bus race can be seen on NASCAR Raceday this Sunday between 11:00am - 1:00pm/et.(8-9-2006)

  • Judge Rules in favor of LMS in bridge collapse: Four NASCAR fans injured in the post-race collapse of a pedestrian bridge in 2000 cannot seek damages from Lowe's Motor Speedway, the state's Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. The three-judge panel unanimously determined that the lawsuits, filed in 2004, came too long after the bridge was constructed in September 1995. State law protects manufacturers from negligence lawsuits after six years under the premise that a product, such as a walking bridge, will eventually deteriorate and fail over time. More than 100 people were injured, some seriously, on May 20, 2000, when an 80-foot section of the walkway fell 25 feet onto a highway in Concord. Fans were crossing to a nearby parking lot after a NASCAR all-star race. Investigators have said the bridge builder, Tindall Corp., used an improper additive to help the concrete filler at the bridge's center dry faster. The additive contained calcium chloride, which corroded the structure's steel cables and led to the collapse. Most of the rest of the nearly 50 lawsuits filed against the speedway have been settled out of court and it is expected the few remaining lawsuits to conclude by the end of the year. The lead lawyer representing the fans who took their cases to the appellate court said they will consider appealing to the state Supreme Court to win the right to jury trials.(ESPN.com/AP)(7-6-2006)

  • October SUPER Ticket Offers Four Major Races for Only $99 at LMS A limited number of Lowe's Motor Speedway's extremely popular SUPER Tickets are now available for Bank of America 500 Week Oct. 11-14, offering four nights of major-league auto racing for just $99. The SUPER Ticket allows race fans to attend the Bank of America 500 Nextel Cup Series event on Saturday night, Oct. 14; the Dollar General 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday night, Oct. 13; Bojangles' Pole Night on Thursday night, Oct. 12; and the Jani-King Southern Showdown late model event at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway on Wednesday night, Oct. 11. Priced at just $99, the SUPER Ticket represents a $48 savings if the same seats for the four races were purchased separately. The $99 SUPER Ticket will be available while supplies last and can only be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(6-21-2006)

  • Bruton Smith Honored as Entrepreneur of the Year in the Carolinas: Bruton Smith, founder and chairman of Speedway Motorsports and Sonic Automotive, was honored Thursday night as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year in the Carolinas during a black-tie gala at The Westin hotel in Charlotte. Smith was selected from among 24 finalists by an independent judging panel comprised of area business, academic and civic leaders. Smith is now eligible for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2006 national awards program. Winners in several national categories, as well as the overall winner, will be announced Nov. 18 in Palm Springs, CA. Celebrating its 20th year, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards program recognizes the leaders and visionaries who are creating and building world-class businesses. Awards are given to entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.(LMS PR)(6-17-2006)

  • Air Force Airman to be honored at Coke 600: Air Force Senior Airman Dan Acosta, will be attending the Coca-Cola 600 NEXTEL Cup race on 28 May at Lowe's Motor Speedway. SRA Acosta was wounded in Western Baghdad on Dec. 7, 2005. He was part of an EOD team assigned to locate and disarm an explosive device, which his team did, and they located a second device, but missed the third, which was tripped and as a result of the explosion lost his left arm and severely injured both of his legs. He is currently undergoing rehabilitation and wants to eventually return to his EOD unit. SRA Acosta will be the Air Force recipient of the Stonewall Jackson Award for Patriotism that will be given out during the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race activities. Also attending the race will be Lt. Gen Dennis Larsen. Lt Gen Larsen is the Vice Commander, Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. AETC recruits, trains and educates more than 370,000 men and women for the Air and Space force and the nation. In addition, the #21 Wood Brothers Ford Fusion, which the Air Force is an Associate Sponsor, will be running a special Air Force primary paint scheme.(Air Force PR)(5-25-2006)

  • Carrie Underwood to sing National Anthem and perform at Coke 600: Carrie Underwood, whose hit single "Jesus, Take the Wheel" spent six consecutive weeks at #1 on the Hot Country Songs Chart, will headline the pre-race show at the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. Carrie Underwood's pre-race performance is included with admission to the Coca-Cola 600. Affordable tickets for the event are still available online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(5-22-2006)

  • NASCAR sticking with smaller fuel cells for Coke 600: While the cars in the Nextel All-Star Challenge had the smaller fuel cells in them Saturday night, the true test of the change will come in the May 28 running of the Coca-Cola 600. Although drivers have lobbied against the 13-14 gallon fuel cell being used instead of the 22-gallon one, NASCAR will go with the smaller fuel cell. The sanctioning body made that decision before testing earlier this month so that drivers could get the weight in their cars adjusted during their test sessions. "That deal is going to happen," Nextel Cup Series Director John Darby said after the all-star race. "Even now that we've raced it, we had short runs and everything. We still don't have enough true live race data to pull it off."(SceneDaily.com)(5-22-2006)

  • USO's Powell Jr. Grand Marshal, WV Governor Manchin Honorary Starter for Coke 600: Edward Powell Jr., president and chief executive officer of United Service Organizations (USO), has been named grand marshal for the May 28 Coca-Cola 600 Nextel Cup Series event at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Coca-Cola officials also announced that West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin III will serve as the honorary starter and will wave the green flag to send the 43 drivers on their 600-mile journey. In his role as grand marshal, Powell will preside over pre-race ceremonies and give the command, "gentlemen, start your engines." Powell has led the USO since January 2002, carrying out the mission of the international, non-profit organization to enhance the quality of life of U.S. armed forces and their families worldwide. Tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday evening, May 28, start at $49 and can be obtained online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by contacting the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(5-19-2006)

  • NC Historic Marker to commemorating 1st race: North Carolina Lt. Governor Beverly Perdue and other dignitaries will be part of a very special ceremony to dedicate a new State of North Carolina Historic Marker commemorating the first NASCAR Strictly Stock race, forerunner of the Nextel Cup Series on Wednesday May 17, 2006 at 10:00am/et at the site of the old Charlotte Speedway on Little Rock Road, between I-85 and Wilkinson Blvd. off Exit 32 on I-85
    Directions: From I-85 south, take the Little Rock Rd. exit (exit 32). Turn left off the exit and pass the Courtyard by Marriott hotel on the right. The ceremony site will be on the right just past the Courtyard.
    From I-85 north, take the Little Rock Rd. exit (exit 32). Turn right off the exit and pass the Courtyard by Marriott hotel on the right. The ceremony site will be on the right just past the Courtyard.(PR)(5-16-2006)

  • Humpy Picks Edwards to win All-Star Race: H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, thinks #99-Carl Edwards, just four years removed from those rough-and-tumble short-track wars, will collect the $1 million prize Saturday night for winning the 22nd running of NASCAR's NEXTEL All-Star Challenge annual all-star spectacular. Wheeler named Edwards as his selection Monday during his annual pick-the-winner press conference in downtown Charlotte. Known for his promotional flair and Karnac-type ability, Wheeler has correctly picked the winner of the Nextel All-Star Challenge 10 times in the past 17 races. Its three-segment format-40 laps, 30 laps and 20 laps-and the $1 million first-place prize combine to make the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge NASCAR's most unique race. Staying with his short-track theme, Wheeler selected former USAC open-wheel star #9-Kasey Kahne as his dark horse pick. Even though he finished second to Mark Martin in last year's Nextel All-Star Challenge, #38-Elliott Sadler has not visited victory lane since 2004 and thus is not qualified for this year's all-star race. Wheeler says the Emporia, Va., native will remedy that by winning the NEXTEL Open. Veteran #21-Ken Schrader is Wheeler's dark horse selection for the Open. On-track activities for the Nextel All-Star Challenge kick off Friday night with qualifying for the Nextel All-Star Challenge and the NEXTEL Open. In addition to qualifying, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will compete in the Quaker Steak & Lube 200. Tickets start at $20. Tickets start at $21 and may be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(5-16-2006)

  • Record $14.2 Million Purse for May Races at LMS: Nextel Cup Series drivers will battle for a record $6.4 million during the May 28 Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway while total posted awards for the track's schedule of May events is more than $14.2 million. Six races will be run at Lowe's Motor Speedway and The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway between Friday night, May 19, and Sunday evening, May 28, and each carries a record purse with a total of $14,227,498 up for grabs. Already one of the richest races on the NASCAR circuit, the $6,432,681 in total awards for the Coca-Cola 600 is $153,032 more than was posted for last year's event and $2,095,632 more than competitors raced for in the 600-mile event just five years ago.
    Competitors participating in the Nextel All-Star Challenge and the Nextel Open on Saturday night, May 20, will be competing for a record $4,200,450 with the Challenge winner guaranteed a minimum of $1,005,000. In addition to the posted prize money, $1,780,853 in television awards for the Nextel All-Star Challenge will be distributed through the Nextel Cup Series Car/Champion Owner Program.
    NASCAR Busch Series drivers will compete for a record $1,227,316 during the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 on Saturday night, May 27, and the Quaker Steak & Lube 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event on Friday night, May 19, adds $524,098 to the total prize money. The World of Outlaws Sprint Series returns to The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway on Wednesday night, May 24, for the Eckerd Outlaw Showdown. The nomadic sprint car series' first appearance at the four-tenths-mile oval since 2003 will pay competitors $62,100.
    Tickets for all May events, including the May 20 Nextel All-Star Challenge and the May 28 Coca-Cola 600, are still available and can be obtained by calling (800) 455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(5-11-2006)

  • Star-studded guests to perform duties in pre-race events for All-Star Challenge: Sprint Nextel announced that rock groups Train and Red Hot Chili Peppers and perennial all-pro receiver Steve Smith will participate in pre-race festivities for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 20. Pat Monahan, lead singer of the Grammy Award-winning rock band Train, will perform the National Anthem prior to the start of the Nextel All-Star Challenge. Warner Bros. Records artists Red Hot Chili Peppers will join the pre-race activities serving as Grand Marshals, which calls for them to give the famous command, "Gentleman, start your engines." In addition, the band will perform a live set, billed as the Red Hot Pit Stop, between the first and second segments of the 90-lap race. STAR Motorsports' Steve Smith, a wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers, will serve as Honorary Starter by waving the green flag to start the Nextel All-Star Challenge. Smith, a six-year NFL veteran, was an integral part of the Panther's playoff run in 2003 that resulted in a trip to Super Bowl XXXVIII. Tickets for the May 20 running of the Nextel All-Star Challenge are available by calling the speedway ticket office at (800) 455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com. (LMS PR), more on my All-Star Race page.(5-10-2006)

  • All-Star Challenge Concerts: The Grammy Award-winning rock group Train will roll into Lowe's Motor Speedway for a high-octane performance presented by Miller Lite prior to the Nextel All-Star Challenge on Saturday, May 20. Train will perform a one-hour concert on the Miller Lite Rock 'n' Racing stage located between Turns 1 and 2 in the Lowe's Motor Speedway infield. Gates open at 1:30 p.m. and local band, Charity Case, will take the stage at 1:45 p.m. A second warm-up act will follow with Train's performance scheduled to begin at 3:30. Concert admission is free with the purchase of a ticket for the Nextel All-Star Challenge, NASCAR racing's annual all-star event.
    AND A live performance by the Red Hot Chili Peppers will highlight new activities in the Nextel All-Star Challenge in 2006. The Warner Bros.Records artists will play a set between segments of the all-star event. Their performance comes on the heels of the legendary band's long-awaited double-album release Stadium Arcadium which hits stores May 9. The album features the new hit single "Dani California." The "Red Hot Pit Stop" will take place during the intermission between the first and second segments of the 90-lap event. Additionally, the event will be broadcast for fans in the stands on NEXTEL Vision screens and on the new NASCAR NEXTEL FanView. The device, available trackside during the Nextel All-Star Challenge, is a next-generation race scanner that integrates the audio of today's race-day scanners with live video, race statistics and audio replay, providing at-track race fans with unprecedented access to race and entertainment action. Tickets for the Nextel All-Star Challenge are available at Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at www.LowesMotorSpeedway.com or by calling (800) 455-FANS.(LMS PR)(4-13-2006)

  • Humpy Retiring? Humpy Wheeler, president of Lowe's Motor Speedway and a legend among track promoters, is 66 and may be considering retirement. That has led to speculation that TMS president Eddie Gossage may replace him in Charlotte. "Not going to happen," Gossage said. "First, I think Humpy will still be doing this after I quit, and I'm 47. I think he will get rolled out in a wheelchair with a blanket over his lap and still be running the show there. But I'm staying put no matter what happens. I birthed this baby [TMS]. I'm not leaving." Gossage worked under Wheeler before coming to TMS.(Dallas Morning News)(4-9-2006)

  • Food Lion AutoFair at LMS: The Food Lion AutoFair runs Thursday, April 6 through Sunday, April 9 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The Food Lion Pavilion features several unusual vehicles with land, sea, and air capabilities, including The Flying Red Baron from "Monster Garage," Steve Green's Tornado Attacker and an amphicar. Other attractions include unique cars from the Lane Motor Museum, the "Globe of Death" motorcycle stunt show, a tribute to the Turbocharger, collector car auction conducted by Tom Mack Classics on Friday and Saturday and a concert by The Marshall Tucker Band on Sunday.
    Garry Hill Automotive Fine Art, Inc. will be exhibiting at the Food Lion Auto Fair at Lowe's Motor Speedway in the Busch Garage April 6th-9th. The show will feature many driver autographed art prints documenting the greatest races and greatest driver moments with a focus on the history of stock car racing. For a complete overview of the Food Lion AutoFair click here.(4-7-2006)

  • Goodyear to test again at Charlotte: Goodyear officials confirmed Thursday that it will conduct another tire test at Lowe's Motor Speedway next Tuesday, a week after a two-day test on the newly resurfaced 1.5-mile oval. Rick Heinrich, project manager for Goodyear, said Wednesday that the tires showed a little more wear than Goodyear would have liked, but that could be expected as Goodyear attempts to create a compound that will work on the track. Lowe's Motor Speedway underwent a $3.5 million repaving job after tire problems plagued races there last season. Track president H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler said it is too early to predict whether tire wear will be an issue during the May races. All of the Nextel Cup teams are scheduled to test May 1-3 and then Busch Series teams will test May 8-10. "It's going to be a challenge, and I'm not sure that we really are going to now exactly what we've got as far as the track is concerned until we have all of the cars come in here in early May," Wheeler said. "We have no idea right now about a second groove because everybody is staying down low."(SceneDaily.com)(3-31-2006)

  • CARS to premiere at LMS in May: Disney.Pixar's exciting new computer-animated feature "CARS" will stage its World Premiere on Friday, May 26th at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC in one of the most unique and elaborate movie events of all-time, it was announced today by Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. Paul Newman, Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, Larry the Cable Guy, NASCAR legends Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip, and others from the voice cast of the film will be joined by a host of stars from the racing world and 30,000 guests that are expected to attend the "CARS" World Premiere, taking place at the same location as that weekend's famous Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race. The screening of the film represents the first multi-screen digital cinema premiere ever, with Texas Instruments and its DLP CinemaR technology serving as Disney's event technology partner in providing the digital cinema projectors. A series of four giant custom-built outdoor movie screens (115-feet wide and 50-feet tall) will be constructed at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Turn #2 of the track. Each screen will have three DLP Cinema 2K digital projectors dedicated to it. A state-of-the-art sound system is also being created and installed for the event. Tickets for the premiere will be made available for purchase by the general public starting today. Proceeds will benefit Speedway Children's Charities, and Association of Hole in the Wall Gang Camps. For tickets, call 1-800-455-FANS, visit the Lowe's Motor Speedway box office, or order online here.
    To cap off the weekend, the #96 DLP HDTV car will be wrapped as the film's lead character "Lightning McQueen" for the NEXTEL Cup series race in Charlotte the same weekend.
    Lightning McQueen (voice of OWEN WILSON), a hotshot rookie race car driven to succeed, discovers that life is about the journey, not the finish line, when he finds himself unexpectedly detoured in the sleepy Route 66 town of Radiator Springs. On route across the country to the big Piston Cup Championship in California to compete against two seasoned pros, McQueen gets to know the town's offbeat characters -including Doc Hudson (a 1951 Hudson Hornet with a mysterious past, voiced by PAUL NEWMAN), Sally (a snazzy 2002 Porsche voiced by BONNIE HUNT), and Mater (a rusty but trusty tow truck voiced by LARRY THE CABLE GUY) - who help him realize that there are more important things than trophies, fame and sponsorship.
    The all-star vocal cast also includes free-wheeling performances by Tony Shalhoub, Michael Keaton, Cheech Marin, George Carlin, Katherine Helmond, and John Ratzenberger. Delivering more fun and authenticity to the cast for "CARS" are vocal performances from some of the all-time greatest names from the racing world including the legendary Richard Petty, plus "drive-on" roles by Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Darrell Waltrip (who holds the record for five-wins at the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600), and Michael Schumacher, the ace German Formula 1 racing legend, who is a seven-times world champion, and is widely considered to be the best Grand Prix racing driver of all-time.(LMS PR)(3-24-2006)

  • Racing Surface Repaving Complete at LMS: Contractors have finished repaving the racing surface of the 1.5-mile oval at Lowe's Motor Speedway and Jeff Black, the Speedway Motorsports, Inc., paving engineer overseeing the project, says the result is "the best of any track we've ever done." Sunmount Corp., of Roanoke, Texas, completed work on the racing surface Monday night and Goodyear is scheduled to conduct a tire test March 28-29. With paving crews now working on the aprons and pit road, workers have begun re-installing the SAFER barriers which were removed when the $3.5-million project started in early January. The repaving of the racing surface required in excess of 10,000 tons (20 million pounds) of asphalt which included a special polymer that increases the material's softening point. The new surface was applied in two layers, a two-inch "binder" went down first followed by a 1.5-inch "finish" layer. An additional 4,000 to 6,000 tons of asphalt will be used to repave the aprons and pit road. Nearly 100 NASCAR teams are expected to participate in six days of testing on the new surface during early May. NEXTEL Cup cars will be on track May 1-3 with Busch Series teams slated to test May 8-10. Tickets for each of Lowe's Motor Speedway's 2006 NASCAR events, including the Nextel All-Star Challenge on Saturday night, May 20, and the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday evening, May 28, can be obtained online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(3-16-2006)

  • Tire Testing at Lowe's coming up: The repaving at Lowe's Motor Speedway is expected to be finished this weekend. Goodyear has scheduled a tire test there March 28 and 29. Scheduled to test are #21-Ken Schrader, #29-Kevin Harvick, #10-Scott Riggs and #43-Bobby Labonte, along with Bobby Hamilton in his Craftsman Truck.(Roanoke Times)(3-11-2006)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway Resurfacing Fast Facts: The resurfacing of Lowe's Motor Speedway marks the third time the entire 1.5-mile oval has been repaved since the track opened in 1960. The first new layer of asphalt was applied in 1973 and the most recent repaving came prior to the 1994 season. In between the track's corners received fresh coats of asphalt in 1979 and 1987. Including design, surveying, safer barrier removal and re-installation, track milling, repairs to the concrete retaining walls and paving, officials estimate the resurfacing project will require 25,000 to 30,000 man hours. In excess of 10,000 tons (20 million pounds) of asphalt will be used to coat the racing surface from the white line to the outside retaining wall. That's equivalent to the weight of 5,882 Nextel Cup cars. If placed bumper to bumper, those 5,882 cars would circle the 1.5-mile track 12.5 times. The repaving of the racing surface will be done in two layers using a special polymer in the asphalt mix. The first layer will be 2 inches in depth and the final layer of asphalt will be 1.5 inches thick. .An additional 4,000 to 6,000 tons of asphalt will be used to resurface the aprons, pit road and the turns of the frontstretch quarter-mile oval. To ensure a smooth racing surface, engineers utilized three-dimensional digital surveying techniques, technology not available when the track was built in 1960 or last repaved in 1994. Sunmount Corp., of Roanoke, Texas, is the contractor repaving Lowe's Motor Speedway. Tickets for each of Lowe's Motor Speedway's 2006 NASCAR events, including the Nextel All-Star Challenge on Saturday night, May 20, and the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday evening, May 28, can be obtained online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS)(3-2-2006)

  • All Remaining Bank of America 500 Tickets on sale: With renewals completed, all remaining tickets for the Oct. 14 Bank of America 500 NEXTEL Cup Series event at Lowe's Motor Speedway go on sale Wednesday, Feb. 8. Priced from $19 to $131, a wide selection of grandstand seating options are available, including a limited number of premium frontstretch seats. The Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office will be open extended hours Wednesday, operating from 8am to 8pm. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at lowesmotorspeedway.com. Refreshments will be available in the ticket office lobby for those purchasing tickets at the track. In addition to the Bank of America 500, tickets will also be available for the Oct. 13 Dollar General 300 NASCAR Busch Series race; Bojangles Pole Night qualifying on Thursday, Oct. 12; and the Charlotte Late Model Nationals on Wednesday night, Oct. 11, at The Dirt Track. The extremely popular SUPER Ticket is also available, offering tickets for each of the four Bank of America 500 Week events for the low price of just $99.(LMS PR)(2-8-2006)

  • May Megaticket Offers Three Coca-Cola 600 Week Events With the introduction of Lowe's Motor Speedway's May Megaticket, race fans can now attend three NASCAR-sanctioned events, including the prestigious Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday evening, May 28, for the low price of $89. The May Megaticket allows race fans to attend the Coca-Cola 600 NEXTEL Cup Series event on Sunday evening, May 28, the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 Busch Series race on Saturday night, May 27, and CTC Pole Night on Thursday, May 25. Priced at just $89, the May Megaticket represents a $23 savings if the same seats for the three events were purchased separately. Only a limited number of May Megatickets are available and track officials encourage fans to take advantage of this special offer as soon as possible. The $89 May Megaticket will be available while supplies last and can be purchased online at lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket services department at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(2-7-2006)

  • Bruton to make offer to buy NHRA: Speedway Motorsports [SMI] track owner Bruton Smith [Lowe's Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Bristol, Texas, Infineon Raceway] says SMI will make a formal presentation in the next seven to ten days to purchase the National Hot Rod Association [NHRA]. The proposal was to be made last week however due to the death of the wife of NHRA director Wally Parks the meeting was postponed. "I hope that (the presentation) will mean something", said Smith, "but we haven't bought it yet. I expect to buy it but when I don't know. They approached me about selling to me...that was the first indication and of course I got interested and so I'm still interested. They do what we do but in a different way...they forget to turn left...they go straight but they sell tickets and that's what we do. If I buy it we'll be doing the same thing." If SMI completes purchase of the drag racing series Smith says the headquarters would be moved from Glendora, California to Las Vegas.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(1-31-2006)

  • $3 Million Resurfacing Project Includes an "Attitude Adjustment" for Lowe's Motor Speedway: A $3 million resurfacing project underway at Lowe's Motor Speedway will include work in the turns of the 1.5-mile oval that officials say will give the 46-year-old track an "attitude adjustment." Work started Jan. 16 and will be completed prior to the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on Saturday night, May 20, and the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday evening, May 28. "We are going to remold the track to take some of the meaness out of it," said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway. "This is one of the meanest tracks on the NEXTEL Cup circuit and by that I mean it can bite you when you least expect it. Meaness in a race track comes from a number of factors including: how rough the surface is; the difficulty of the entry and exit points in the turns; the ability of the drivers to look ahead; and spots where the racing groove narrows," Wheeler continued. "Although we've had a few exceptions, rookies don't normally do well here because the track is quite difficult and there's even a few seasoned veterans who have never really gotten the hang of it."
    Wheeler said track officials spent several months consulting with engineers and motorsports industry insiders before deciding on a resurfacing plan they believe will promote side-by-side racing and passing without completely reinventing the track's personality. Engineers will utilize three-dimensional digital surveying techniques and computer-controlled paving machines, technology not available when the track was built in 1960 or last repaved in 1994. "Repaving a high-banked race track is one of the most difficult jobs in the asphalt industry," Wheeler said. "Using the relatively new process of three-dimensional digital surveying to define elevations that are accurate to an eighth of an inch along with computerized-paving machines will significantly improve the resurfacing process. The tracks in Texas and Atlanta benefited greatly from this technology. We are also going to use a special polymer in the asphalt mix which will better absorb heat and give the surface more traction," added Wheeler. "We believe doing all these things will result in a track that will produce the best possible racing for fans and competitors."
    In excess of 10,000 tons of the special asphalt mixture will be required to cover the entire 1.5-mile speedway and pit road. The paving is scheduled to be completed by March 27, allowing time for a Goodyear tire test prior to the May 1-3 Nextel Cup Series testing session. The resurfacing project marks the third time the entire 1.5-mile oval has been repaved since the track opened in 1960. The first new layer of asphalt was applied in 1973 and the most recent repaving came prior to the 1994 season. In between, the track's corners received fresh coats of asphalt in 1979 and 1987. Sunmount Corp., of Roanoke, Texas, is the contractor that will repave Lowe's Motor Speedway. Sunmount is the industry leader in resurfacing high-banked race tracks and its resume includes six high-profile facilities including Atlanta Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. The company will also repave Talladega Superspeedway this summer. To obtain information or purchase tickets for any Lowe's Motor Speedway event, visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or call the track's ticket services office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(1-25-2006)

  • Toyota, LMS agree to sponsorship deal: Beginning this season, Toyota will serve as the "Official Vehicle, Car and Truck" of Lowe's Motor Speedway as part of an exclusive, multi-year agreement that was announced today by Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (SET) and Lowe's Motor Speedway. The sponsorship calls for the California-based automobile manufacturer and its Florida-based Southeast distributor to partner with Lowe's Motor Speedway in all major events at the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway, including Nextel Cup, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series races, as well as all events at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway. The agreement provides Toyota with the ability to use the track for annual "ride-and-drive" events, new product launches, owner's events and other activities throughout the year. In addition, Toyota vehicles will be used as the "official" pace vehicle for all speedway events, including the May 20 Nextel All-Star Challenge and the May 28 Coca-Cola 600. Additional benefits include extensive signage, race tickets and hospitality, and prominent advertising space allocated in the track's publications.(LMS PR)(1-25-2006)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway joins forces with Habitat for Humanity: Lowe's Motor Speedway is joining forces with Habitat for Humanity Cabarrus County to build a home for a Concord family. The construction project, which will begin Saturday, Jan. 21, is being made possible by the speedway and several of its sponsors, including Lowe's and Nationwide. The first two weeks of construction will take place at Lowe's Motor Speedway where volunteers will frame, roof and side the house. The house will then be moved to Magnolia Crossing, Habitat Cabarrus' new neighborhood in Concord, where construction will be completed over the next couple of months. Magnolia Crossing is a mixed-income subdivision located off of Evans Street where up to 10% of the homes will be built by for-profit builders. The Brooks family will help build and then buy the speedway home. Rebecca Brooks has three sons, Kamari, Brandon and Zavier (4, 3 and 6 months respectively). Brooks, who is eagerly awaiting the completion of the house, says she will finally have "a place to call my own, a place for my kids to play outside and to be safe." Brooks also is eagerly anticipating the lower housing costs, which she says can help her afford clothing and shoes for her sons. This is the second house Lowe's Motor Speedway and its sponsors have built in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity Cabarrus County. The first house was constructed in 2004. Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 3,000 communities in 100 nations have built and sold more than 200,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.(LMS PR)(1-19-2006)

  • LMS Renames Trophy in Honor of Track Founder Smith: The perpetual trophy honoring winners of the Coca-Cola 600 Nextel Cup Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway has been renamed in honor of speedway founder O. Bruton Smith. The Bruton Smith Trophy is on display in the second-floor lobby of the track's Smith Tower. It features the familiar manganese sculpture, which has been awarded to each NEXTEL Cup Series race winner at Lowe's Motor Speedway since 1981, atop an oak base which bears two brass plagues inscribed with the name of each Coca-Cola 600 winner. "This is quite an honor," Smith said when the trophy bearing his name was unveiled during a recent gathering of speedway employees. "We are extremely proud that the Coca-Cola 600 has grown into one of the world's most prestigious sporting events, and this trophy pays tribute to the 25 men who have won the race." While building Lowe's Motor Speedway in 1960, it was Smith who decided to make the track's inaugural race a 600-mile event. "Bigger is always better," Smith said about his concept of hosting a 600-mile stock car race. "I just thought it would be unique to run 600 miles. The extra 100 miles made it a bigger, more demanding event."
    "The single most important thing I've learned from Bruton in the 30 years we've worked together is to do things in a big way," said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway. "The Coca-Cola 600 is a testament to his way of thinking and it is only fitting we name the trophy in his honor." The 2006 edition of the Coca-Cola 600 will be run Sunday evening, May 28. Tickets, starting at just $39, can be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(1-15-2006)

  • May testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway...and repaving UPDATE: Nextel Cup drivers are scheduled to test on May 1-2 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. Since the May events at Charlotte will be held at night, testing will be held until 9:00pm/et each evening. Fans can watch the Charlotte test session free of charge from the track's main grandstand.(Paraphrased from Gordonline.com), also hearing that the track will be repaved with a scheduled start of Jan 16th thru March.(1-5-2006)
    UPDATE:Prep work is well underway at Lowe's Motor Speedway for the track resurfacing project which is slated to be completed in March. SAFER barriers have been taken down and milling of the track is necessary before new asphalt can be applied. Goodyear will then conduct a tire test to find the proper tire specifications prior to the Nextel Cup Series and Busch Series teams scheduled test in May. Lowe's Motor Speedway's engineering staff met with several drivers to get their input last November at Atlanta including Jeff Gordon. Lowe's Motor Speedway Senior Vice President of Events Jerry Gappens says "The issue really what we saw in '05 was the tires and the track not getting along so well and of course the teams push those tires to the limits too so you had a combination of things that contributed to some of the issues that we had. There's not an alarming issue like you've seen in the past with the configuration of some tracks...this is just a matter of putting a new surface down which the facility is probably due for."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(1-13-2006)

  • More than 50,000 Local Charlotte Children Benefit: More than 50,000 children in the Charlotte region will benefit from the $505,728 distributed by Speedway Children's Charities Tuesday night during the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Lowe's Motor Speedway. O. Bruton Smith, founder of Speedway Children's Charities and chairman and chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., was joined by North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Scott Smith, president of the Lowe's Motor Speedway chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, in awarding the grants to 68 local organizations. The money, raised through various activities along with individual and corporate donations throughout the year, aids the organizations in meeting the emotional, medical or educational needs of area children. Many area agencies are direct benefactors of Speedway Children's Charities, including Camp CARE (summer camp for children with cancer), Armed Services YMCA (mentoring and tutoring program for children of servicemen), and Holy Angels (residential services and innovative programs for children who have varying degrees of mental retardation and physical disabilities). This year, Speedway Children's Charities distributed approximately $2.4 million to 399 organizations.(LMS PR)(12-8-2005)

  • Tree Lighting & Speedway Children's Charities Grant Distribution at LMS: North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall will join Speedway Motorsports Chairman and CEO Bruton Smith to light a one-of-a-kind 50-foot-tall Christmas tree at Lowe's Motor Speedway and distribute $505,728 to 68 local organizations on behalf of Speedway Children's Charities. The money will assist nonprofit charities making a direct and significant impact in the lives of children in need. The public is invited to attend the ceremony that will include lighting a 50-foot Christmas tree; holiday music; hot chocolate and apple cider; an appearance by Lug Nut, the world's fastest mascot; and Santa arriving in a stock car. The event takes place on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Festivities begin at 5:45 p.m. with the formal program starting at 6:15 p.m at the Avenue of Flags in front of Smith Tower at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The track is located at the intersection of Speedway Blvd and Highway 29.(LMS)(12-5-2005)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out - Nov 25: Bargains and thrills will be the order of the day Friday, Nov. 25, when Lowe's Motor Speedway hosts the Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out, offering holiday gifts at bargain-basement prices and the opportunity to drive around the 1.5-mile superspeedway. The 13th annual day-after-Thanksgiving event, which runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., offers each fan who spends at least $50 on souvenirs or tickets or donates $25 to Speedway Children's Charities the opportunity to drive their personal vehicle two laps around the track. Tickets for the May 20 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge and the May 28 Coca-Cola 600 are the perfect gift for those with NASCAR fans on their holiday shopping list and the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office will be open throughout the event. As a special one-day offer, each ticket purchased for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge or the Coca-Cola 600 will be accompanied by a free ticket for CTC Pole Night qualifying on Thursday, May 25. In addition to numerous track souvenirs, Lowe's Motor Speedwayoffers a wide selection of driver apparel along with memorabilia from the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. Non-racing apparel, focusing mainly on women's clothing, will also be available. Souvenir prices will start at just $1 with T-shirts selling for as little as $3. NASCAR souvenir rigs will blanket the track's front entrance offering drastically reduced prices on a wide variety of memorabilia, T-shirts, hats, posters and die-cast cars. Nearly 30 vendors featuring merchandise from top NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers, including Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart, are expected. Information concerning the Nov. 25 Souvenir and Ticket Blow-Out at Lowe's Motor Speedway can be obtained by contacting the Lowe's Motor Speedway gift shop at (704) 455-3204 or the Lowe's Motor Speedway marketing and public relations department at (704) 455-3209.(11-15-2005)

  • Race at LMS almost shortened: #48-Jimmie Johnson might not have won his fourth consecutive points race at Lowe's Motor Speedway had NASCAR officials shortened Saturday's event as they considered because of numerous tire problems. The 336-lap race never had more than 30 laps of green-flag racing between cautions -- many for accidents caused by blown tires. NASCAR president Mike Helton said series officials debated what to do, including shortening the race, as the carnage raged.(Roanoke Times)(10-17-2005)

  • LMS to be repaved, maybe rebanked: Plans are in place to begin repaving Lowe's Motor Speedway by March, track president Humpy Wheeler said Friday. Wheeler said the decision to repave the track already has been made. Details such as the type of surface to be used and whether to redesign the bankings are unsettled. "And there's colors," Wheeler said of the possibilities that exist now that didn't when the track was paved 15 years ago. Asked if he would considered going with his school colors, the former South Carolina football player said, "That's a great idea. The first groove black, the second groove garnet." Wheeler said the repaving process would take 2-3 weeks. That would give Goodyear, the official tire sponsor of NASCAR, the 30 days it requires to schedule testing before the all-star race and Coca-Cola 600 in May. Wheeler said the decision to repave basically had been made before drivers began complaining about the surface, which had been ground twice to smooth out rough spots, during a test session last month. "It's been 15 years since it's been paved," he said. "And that's about the end of (the life of the pavement)." Wheeler admitted speeds have increased more than he imagined with the grinding process.Every driver that made the Cup field on speed broke the 188 mph barrier. None did before this race a year ago.(The State)(10-15-2005)

  • Bojangles' Pole Night Fast Facts at LMS
    Date: Thursday, Oct. 13, 2005
    Time: 7:10pm/et
    Location: Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
    Purse: $38,600
    Winner's share: $23,600
    2004 Pole Sitter: Ryan Newman (28.590 seconds, 188.877 mph)
    Event Record: Ryan Newman (28.590 seconds, 188.877 mph, Oct. 14, 2004)
    NEXTEL Cup Track Record: Ryan Newman (27.981 seconds, 192.988 mph, May 26, 2005)
    Television/Radio: SPEED Channel will provide live coverage of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup qualifying during Bojangles' Pole Night. The telecast begins at 7:00pm/et. The Performance Racing Network (PRN) will provide live coverage to its affiliate radio stations beginning at 6:45pm/et.
    Ticket Info: Tickets for Bojangles' Pole Night are $12 in advance and will be $20 the day of the event. To purchase tickets or obtain additional information, call 1-800-455-FANS or visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(10-13-2005)

  • Coca-Cola 600 Tickets go on sale Oct. 16: Race fans attending Saturday night's UAW-GM Quality 500 will have the first opportunity to purchase the best remaining seats for 2006 races at Lowe's Motor Speedway, including the May 20 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge and the May 28 Coca-Cola 600, as part of a special Super Sunday Promotion. Speedway officials announced that all remaining tickets for next year's May NASCAR events will go on sale at 9 a.m. Sunday. Fans not at the speedway Sunday can call the toll-free ticket hotline at 1-800-455-FANS. In addition to the Coca-Cola 600, tickets will also go on sale for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, Quaker Steak & Lube 200 Craftsman Truck Series race, CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 Busch Series event and CTC Pole Night. Super Sunday will also provide race fans who purchased tickets tothis week's NASCAR events the opportunity to renew their 2006 tickets with a 10-percent early-bird discount and reserve their seats for the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 14, 2006. As an added convenience to fans staying on property, the speedway will provide shuttle service from campgrounds to the ticket office Sunday morning. Parking lots near the ticket office will be open free-of-charge for fans staying in area hotels. Ticket renewal orders can also be processed on Super Sunday by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(10-13-2005)

  • Actor Larry Hagman Named Honorary Race Director: Legendary actor Larry Hagman, who played J.R. Ewing in the hit television series "Dallas," will serve as the Honorary Race Director for the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race Saturday night, Oct. 15, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Hagman started his career as a stage actor and performed in several Broadway productions before turning his attention to the small screen. He became a television star in 1965, landing the role of Major Nelson on "I Dream of Jeannie." But it was the role of J.R. Ewing on Dallas that earned Hagman a place in the annals of television history. Off screen, Hagman is involved in numerous civic and philanthropic activities. He was chairperson of the American Cancer Society's great American Smokeout from 1981 to 1992. A liver transplant recipient, Hagman also works to heighten awareness of the importance of organ donation. In his role as Honorary Race Director for the UAW-GM Quality 500, Hagman will attend the pre-race drivers' meeting, greet drivers and dignitaries during pre-race ceremonies and visit the control tower.(LMS PR)(10-12-2005)

  • National Anthems at LMS: Arista Nashville recording artist Phil Vassar will sing the national anthem prior to the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race Saturday night, Oct. 15, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Vassar skyrocketed to country music stardom in 2000 with the release of his self-titled debut album which featured a quartet of top-10 hits including "Just Another Day in Paradise," "Carlene" and "Six-Pack Summer." Vassar's most recent album, Shaken Not Stirred, serves a bridge from today back to his childhood in Lynchburg, Va.
    The Charlotte Chapter of the Singing Men of America will perform the national anthem during pre-race ceremonies for the Dollar General 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday night, Oct. 14, and Justin Crouse, an employee at Lowe's corporate headquarters in Mooresville, N.C., will sing the national anthem prior to Bojangles' Pole Night qualifying on Thursday, Oct. 13.(LMS PR)(10-12-2005)

  • Montgomery Gentry at Lowe's before Cup race Sat: Montgomery Gentry, the Country Music Association's 2000 Duo of the Year, will bring its hard-charging music to NASCAR as part of the UAW-GM Quality 500 pre-race show, Saturday night, Oct. 15, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Montgomery Gentry will perform a one-hour concert presented by Miller Lite on the frontstretch of the famed 1.5-mile superspeedway. The duo's smash hit, "Something To Be Proud Of," is currently No. 1 on Billboard's country singles chart. Tickets for all events during UAW-GM Quality 500 Week, including round five of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, can be purchased by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(10-12-2005)

  • Freedom Calls Foundation to Connect Families at LMS: The Freedom Calls Foundation and Lowe's Motor Speedway will give 20 families the opportunity to communicate with loved ones serving in Iraq prior to the UAW-GM Quality 500 NEXTEL Cup Series race Saturday night, Oct. 15. The Freedom Calls Foundation, a New York City based charity, was formed by Ed Bukstel and John Harlow to allow front-line troops to communicate with loved ones at home. Prior to the Dollar General 300 Busch Series race on Friday night, Oct. 14, each participating family will have 20 minutes to interact with their loved one in Iraq via the Freedom Call Foundation's video conferencing system. Joe Nemechek, driver of the #01 Army Chevrolet, and Greg Biffle, who pilots the #16 National Guard Ford, are scheduled to meet with family members and will interact with the troops during several of the video conference calls. The video conferences will be recorded and highlights will be shown on the NEXTEL Vision screens prior to the NEXTEL Cup Series race on Saturday night, Oct. 15, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. All families participating in the Freedom Calls have been invited to attend the Dollar General 300 and UAW-GM Quality 500 as guests of Lowe's Motor Speedway. Details about the Freedom Calls Foundation, including contribution information, can be obtained at www.freedomcalls.org.(LMS PR)(10-12-2005)

  • Death-Defying Automobile Stunts Highlight Pre-Race Show at LMS: Veteran stuntman Mark Hager will attempt to cheat death twice Saturday evening, Oct. 15, as he performs a pair of spectacular automobile stunts during the pre-race show for the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The two stunts Hager will attempt are known as The Sky Crash and The T-bone. The Sky Crash, slated to take place at 5:15 p.m. near Turn 1 of the superspeedway, will see Hager jump his car through the air, hitting a stationary car and sending him into a series of violent end-over-end flips. Approximately 15 cars will be positioned to cushion the blow as he tumbles down the race track. Following a one-hour concert by country music super duo Montgomery Gentry, Hager will return and perform the T-bone near Turn 4. He will jump a car into what he calls a "steel wall" of approximately 15 automobiles, triggering a giant explosion which will surround him with a giant ball of fire. Hager will have to withstand violent impacts during both stunts and he is already preparing physically. He has found that stretching and staying active plays a very important role on how his body is affected by the violent collisions. A 15-year stunt veteran, Hager has performed more than 500 shows nationwide. He has three world records, including a 213-foot school bus jump at Lowe's Motor Speedway in 1995. His resume also includes dozens of television and motion picture credits, ranging from automobile jumps and precision driving to motorcycle stunts and fire burns. He jumped the famed General Lee for The Dukes of Hazzard movie, performed at the Disney Lights Motors Action Automotive Stunt Show and spent the summer performing stunts as part of a touring thrill show. Details on Hager and his stunt company, Dangerous Moments, can be obtained online at www.dangerousmoments.com.(LMS)(10-11-2005)

  • Get Yer Humpy Bobbleheads: In celebration of H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler's 30th year as general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, the first 5,000 fans through the gates for the Dollar General 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday, Oct. 14, will receive a "Humpy" bobblehead. In addition, Wheeler has autographed two of the bobbleheads and the fans receiving those will get to meet the legendary auto racing promoter. The "Humpy" bobblehead is five inches tall and features Wheeler standing on a base that includes Lowe's Motor Speedway's familiar red, white and blue globe logo. The bobblehead give-away starts when spectator gates open at 2 p.m. and continues while supplies last. Frontstretch tickets for the Dollar General 300 on Friday night, Oct. 14, start at just $17 and can be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS)(10-11-2005)

  • Drivers Eye Record $6.1 Million in Posted Awards at LMS: NASCAR drivers competing in the Oct. 15 UAW-GM Quality 500 and the Oct. 14 Dollar General 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway will be battling for a record $6,133, 806 in posted prize money. The record awards for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series events are part of a $6,184,306 purse announced today for the four nights of racing that comprise the Oct. 12-15 UAW-GM Quality 500 Week schedule of events. The UAW-GM Quality 500 on Saturday night, Oct. 15, will be worth a record $4,960,384, an increase of $23,843 over last October's NEXTEL Cup event at the 1.5-mile superspeedway. Featuring several NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers battling the Busch Series regulars, competitors in the Dollar General 300 on Friday night, Oct. 14, will be chasing the lion's share of a record $1,173,422 in posted prize money and awards, an increase of $52,141 from last year. Tickets for all UAW-GM Quality 500 Week events are available by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(10-4-2005)

  • Limited Number of Premium Frontstretch Seats Available at Lowe's: A limited number of premium frontstretch seats for the UAW-GM Quality 500, round five of the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, on Saturday night, Oct. 15, at Lowe's Motor Speedway have been released by The Speedway Club and are now on sale through the speedway ticket office. Seats in the enclosed Clubhouse are available for $218 each and include a one-month membership in The Speedway Club, the first facility to offer country club style amenities in a motorsports environment. The climate-controlled Clubhouse is located directly across from pit road and features television monitors, padded chairs, a cash bar and casual dining service. Each Clubhouse ticket holder also receives a pre-race pit pass and will have a prime view of the Montgomery Gentry concert presented by Miller Lite and the spectacular stunt show. In addition to seats in the enclosed Clubhouse, a limited number of tickets are also available in The Speedway Club's outdoor Veranda. Located on the Turn 1 side of the start-finish line, Veranda seats offer a spectacular view of the racing action along with television monitors and a cash bar. Veranda tickets are $156 each. Premium frontstretch seating options are also available for Bojangles' Pole Night on Thursday, Oct. 13, and the Dollar General 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday night, Oct. 14. The premium frontstretch tickets are available only from the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office and can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS)(9-30-2005)

  • Restrictor Plates at Lowe's Motor Speedway? UPDATE: With less than rave reviews of the ever-changing track surface at Lowe's Motor Speedway from Chasers Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle and Mark Martin afer a test last week, NASCAR officials are considering running restrictor plates on the cars in the October 15 race at Charlotte. Stewart and Biffle wrecked two cars apiece during the tests. After plowing his car at 170 mph into the Turn 2 wall, Biffle felt the aftereffects last weekend at Dover. "From the eye, the track looks good," Biffle says. But the tire compound doesn't work well with the track's new surface. NASCAR doesn't expect any relief until the track is repaved after the race.(Sporting News/Lee Spencer)(9-26-2005)
    UPDATE:After laser-grinding the Lowes Motor Speedway track to help get another year of wear out of the 1.5-mile layout, track President Humpy Wheeler says the surface will have to be repaved for 2006. Wheeler said "I think what we've gotta do though is to study real hard, not just go pave over what we've got. I think we probably need to change some of the banking a little bit. Maybe put a different asphalt mix in to make it more stable and get ready for the new car NASCAR is going to bring out. That graduated banking has been around for a long time and it is affective in creating a second groove. What we want to do here is to make sure we have a second groove so you can have passing and lead swapping." As for a published report concerning the use of restrictor plates after the track is repaved Wheeler said "I'm all for it, let's do it! It just makes better racing. You slow the cars down and you always have better racing. I don't think they're gonna do it...but...keep the rumor going! !"(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(9-28-2005)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway to be re-paved: Lowe's Motor Speedway president H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler said Thursday that despite a crash-marred, two-day NASCAR Nextel Cup test session this week, he thinks "everything is going to be OK" for UAW-GM 500 weekend on Oct. 13-15. But, Wheeler said, there's "no question" the track will need to be repaved next year. There was a Cup Series record 22 yellow flags in the May Coca-Cola 600 race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, the first Cup event held after the track's surface was smoothed out using a diamond-grinding technique called levigating. Since May, areas that had been ground were reground, and additional areas - primarily in the low groove on the exit of Turn 2 and the frontstretch - were ground for the first time. Six cars crashed in two days of testing, with points leader Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle, who is second, each wrecking twice. Mike Bliss and Boris Said also wrecked Tuesday. Wheeler said when teams return next month, they might have to scuff in their tires - run a couple of laps to break them in - set their cars up a little tighter than they're used to and take a lower line into Turn 1. Levigation was used as an alternative to repaving, which is expensive and often leads to a one-groove track for at least the first couple of years. Because all areas of a repaved track have practically the same amount of grip, drivers choose the low groove because it's the shortest way around. That limits passing. "I think there's no question sometime in 2006 we will be repaving the track," Wheeler said. "We need to make sure when we do it we make the right mix. There are new asphalt polymers that are doing for race tracks what Tifton Bermuda grass has done for golf courses. We will also look at the possibility of changing some of the banking. The challenge is how we can create a second groove that's as fast as the first groove, and we need to find out if there is a way to do the second groove and make it just as fast."(ThatsRacin.com)(9-23-2005)

  • Promotions at Lowe's: Two Lowe's Motor Speedway executives, Jerry Gappens and Dan Farrell, have been promoted to senior vice president positions. The promotions were announced by H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of the motorsports facility.
    Gappens, 44, was promoted to senior vice president of events and Farrell, 37, was named senior vice president of corporate sales. In addition to guiding the marketing and public relations efforts, Gappens will now oversee management of the speedway's events. A Windfall, Ind., native, Gappens joined the speedway in January 1993 as publicity director. He was promoted to co-director of public relations in July 1995, director of communications in November 1995 and was named vice president of public relations in October 1996. In 2002, Gappens was honored as the NASCAR industry's Most Valuable Public Relations Representative.
    Farrell is responsible for Lowe's Motor Speedway's corporate sponsor revenue inventory, including event sponsorships, corporate suites and hospitality, signage and block ticket sales. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., [and a Buffalo Bills fan] Farrell joined the speedway in May 1999 as director of sales for the Performance Racing Network. He was promoted to vice president of corporate sales in January 2003. Prior to joining the speedway, Farrell spent five years as an account executive for Capitol Sports Network in Raleigh where he sold advertising for Duke and North Carolina State University sports, the Carolina Panthers Radio Network and the Carolina Hurricanes Television Network.(LMS)(8-15-2005)

  • Rusty featured on Bojangles' Pole Night Ticket at LMS: In celebration of Rusty Wallace's final race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, the driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite machine is featured on the collectible ticket for Bojangles' Pole Night on Thursday, Oct. 13. Production of the Rusty Wallace collectible ticket, the 27th in a series of Lowe's Motor Speedway Pole Night ducats, was limited to just 6,000. The ticket, printed in vibrant four-color on quality stock, sells for $15 in advance and will be $20 the day of the event. This season has been designated "Rusty's Last Call," as the second-generation racer from St. Louis, Mo., concludes one of the most successful careers in NASCAR history. Time trial runs during Bojangles' Pole Night on Thursday, Oct. 13, will determine the 43-car starting field for the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on Saturday night, Oct. 15. The wild and crazy CRASHCars, a revolutionary new entry-level stock car division, and a giant firework extravaganza are also on the schedule. (LMS PR)(7-28-2005)

  • Non-Smoking, Non-Alcoholic Family Seating at Lowe's: Lowe's Motor Speedway officials have designated a portion of the massive Diamond Tower Terrace grandstand for family seating, offering a smoke- and alcohol-free environment for the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event on Saturday night, Oct. 15. This is the first time in its 46-year history that the speedway has offered an outdoor non-smoking and non-alcoholic seating option for a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event. The Diamond Tower Terrace grandstand overlooks turn two, offering a breath-taking view of drivers such as Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson as they battle door-to-door in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. Tickets in the new family seating area are just $10 for children ages 12 and under while adult tickets start at $65. Tickets in this new family seating area can only be purchased through the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS. They are not available online. Family priced seating in a non-alcoholic environment is also available for the Dollar General 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday night, Oct. 14. Located in the Charlotte Observer Family Grandstand overlooking turn four, these seats are priced at $10 for children ages 12 and under and $25 for adults. Additional information on family friendly seating options and affordable pricing for all October events at Lowe's Motor Speedway can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(Lowe's Motor Speedway PR)(7-14-2005)

  • Bank of America and Motorsports UPDATE 2 race at Lowe's: Bank of America will hold a press conference Wednesday, June 29 at the Bank of America Corporate Center, to announce a Motorsports sponsorship. No word on which racing series, which teams or anything else.(6-28-2005)
    UPDATE: Bank of America Corp. will become title sponsor of the fall NASCAR race in Charlotte as part of a sweeping sponsorship the bank plans to unveil at a press conference at its uptown headquarters Wednesday, according to sources familiar with the deal. At Lowe's Motor Speedway, the bank will take over as title sponsor for the fall Nextel Cup series race beginning next year. Those rights typically cost $1.5 million to $3 million. In addition, experts say, the bank will become a sponsor at several other tracks owned by locally based Speedway Motorsports Inc. A BofA spokeswoman working on Wednesday's press conference declines discussing the announcement. Lowe's Motor Speedway officials weren't immediately available for comment, though the speedway sent out an advisory late Tuesday promoting the bank's sports sponsorship announcement without providing any details on its contents. Terms of the agreements haven't been released, though the race-title deal is believed to be a five-year agreement. (Charlotte Business Journal)(6-28-2005)
    UPDATE 2: Bank of America, one of the world's largest financial institutions, announced an agreement with Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI) to serve as title sponsor of the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. The agreement with SMI also entitles Bank of America to be an official sponsor of five SMI raceways throughout the country. Through its multi-year agreement with SMI, Bank of America will serve as the official title sponsor of the Bank of America 500 beginning in October 2006 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, NC, and as an official sponsor of SMI raceways in five U.S. cities: Atlanta Motor Speedway in Atlanta; Infineon Raceway near San Francisco; Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas; Lowe's Motor Speedway; and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Bank of America will leverage its agreement with SMI through racing-themed mass-market promotions and client entertainment and reward programs. It will also host track day camps at each of the SMI raceways. The agreement also entitles Bank of America to place ATMs on-site, prominently display signage throughout the SMI raceways and designate the grand marshal for the Bank of America 500.(LMS PR)(6-30-2005)

  • Major Changes at Lowe's Motor Speedway coming: Bruton Smith, chief executive and chairman of the board of Speedway Motorsports Inc., wouldn't reveal details Friday, but said there would be "a lot of things'' done to the Lowe's Motor Speedway surface before the series returns there in October. Many drivers complained about the track surface in May. The track underwent a grinding process called levigation. The change was intended to create more side-by-side racing. Instead, the Coca-Cola 600 had a series-record 22 cautions -- 16 for accidents and spins. "You'll be hearing about" the changes, said Smith, whose company owns Lowe's Motor Speedway, along with five other tracks that host Cup races. "We've had engineers out there for the past week, so we're making some decisions and they're going to be the right ones. I liked [levigation], but I think it created some problems. But still, it made for a heck of race. That's what we're after. I'm not worried about cost. I want to make sure [the changes] are right.''(Roanoke Times)(6-25-2005)

  • Summer Shootout Race-A-Thon to Benefit Victory Junction Gang Camp/Jayski Computer Lab: As the 2005 Lowe's Motor Speedway Summer Shootout Series fast approaches, the #19 Bandolero Outlaws race team is gearing up for a season of giving. Jay Adamczyk, owner of the famed website Jayski.Com has agreed to support the team and driver Jason Haynes. In 2004, Jayski tried his hand at Bandolero racing, driving a car prepared by Haynes and the #19 race team. Since Jayski supports the efforts at the Victory Junction Gang Camp through his Jayski Computer Lab, the #19 team has put together some big plans to earn generous donations for the camp.
    During the 10 week Summer Shootout, business sponsors can pledge financially to the camp. In exchange sponsors will receive decal placement and exposure on the Bandolero car and Lowe's Motor Speedway. Companies will sponsor feature laps completed (minimum $1 per lap), feature wins ($200), and the series championship ($1,000). The maximum amount based on 20 lap features, would be $3,200. Companies already involved include Action Performance Co. and Goodyear Gemini Auto Service Centers of Charlotte. All of the proceeds from sponsors will go directly to the camp. Any business wishing to be a part of this effort can contact Lauren Haynes [contact info on my Racing Charities page. On behalf of Victory Junction Gang Camp, Jayski, and the Haynes family thank you for your support and we invite everyone to visit us at the 2005 Hardee's Summer Shootout Series @ Lowe's Motor Speedway every Tuesday night from June 14 - August 16.
    SUMMER SHOOTOUT INFO: Radical school bus racing and CRASHCars, a new entry level division that features character-themed race cars, are among the highlights of the 12th annual Hardee's Summer Shootout which kicks off June 14 and runs 10 consecutive Tuesday nights through Aug. 16 on the frontstretch quarter-mile oval at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In addition to the special attractions, each night of the Hardee's Summer Shootout features a full slate of Legends Car, Duragloss Thunder Roadster and Bandolero racing. Tickets are still just $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6 to 12 while those under 6 are admitted free.
    CRASHCars will be in action seven times during the 10-week series while a trio of school bus races is also on the schedule. A giant fireworks extravaganza on Tuesday night, June 28, will kick off the area's Independence Day celebration. More than 200 race cars are expected to jam the pit area each Tuesday night during the Hardee's Summer Shootout as drivers from across the Southeast participate in Legends Car, Thunder Roadster and Bandolero competition. Legends Car racing is divided into three categories based on a driver's experience. The Centex Homes Pro division features veteran drivers while the Cabarrus Family Medicine Semi-Pro category is for those new to Legends Car competition. The Verizon Wireless Masters division is for drivers 40 years of age and older. The Bandoleros are also divided into three divisions with competitors grouped by age. The Lucas Oil Bandits is for racers ages 8 to 11 with the Young Guns featuring drivers ages 12 to 15. The Outlaws division is for drivers 16 years of age and older. Rules and entry information for the CRASHCar division can be obtained by calling the Lowe's Motor Speedway events department at (704) 455-3205.
    Tickets for the Hardee's Summer Shootout are available in advance at the speedway ticket office and at Gates 4 and 5 the night of the event. Parking is free. Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with preliminary action at 5:25 p.m. Feature racing begins at 7:30 p.m. and concludes by 10:30 p.m. Contact the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS for information or visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.
    June 14 Opening Night! - RACEceiver presents SCHOOL BUS RACING?plus a full racing card featuring Legends Cars (Centex Homes Pro, Verizon Wireless Master and Cabarrus Family Medicine Semi-Pro divisions), Bandolero Cars (Lucas Oil Bandits, Young Guns and Outlaws divisions) and the Duragloss Thunder Roadsters.
    June 21: Amoco Ultimate presents CRASHCars?plus a full racing card featuring Legends Cars, Bandolero Cars and Thunder Roadsters.
    June 28: Amoco Ultimate presents a FIREWORKS Extravaganza plus CRASHCars (fans racing their own cars in one-lap grudge races)?plus a full racing card featuring Legends Cars, Bandolero Cars and Thunder Roadsters. Double Points?Double Trouble! First night of the Red, White & Blue Series!
    July 5: CRASHCars?plus a full racing card featuring Legends Cars, Bandolero Cars, and Thunder Roadsters.
    July 12: Thomas Built Buses presents SCHOOL BUS RACING?plus a full racing card featuring Legends Cars, Bandolero Cars and Thunder Roadsters.
    July 19: Amoco Ultimate presents CRASHCars?plus a full racing card featuring Legends Cars, Bandolero Cars and Thunder Roadsters. Double Points?Double Trouble! Night two of the Red, White & Blue Series!
    July 26: CRASHCars...plus a full racing card featuring Legends Cars, Bandolero Cars and Thunder Roadsters.
    August 2: CRASHCars?plus a full racing card featuring Legends Cars, Bandolero Cars and Thunder Roadsters.
    August 9: CRASHCars?plus a full racing card featuring Legends Cars, Bandolero Cars and Thunder Roadsters. Double Points?Double trouble! Final night of the Red, White & Blue Series!
    August 16: Championship Night! Stock Car Steel & Aluminum presents School Bus racing?plus a full racing card featuring Legends Cars, Bandolero Cars and Thunder Roadsters.(LMS)(6-8-2005)

  • National Anthem at the Coca-Cola 600...more traditional planned: Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 will offer a more traditional do, re, mi in the celebration of the red, white and blue. Anthony Hamilton's soulful detour Saturday night from the standard melody of "The Star-Spangled Banner" was about as familiar to the Lowe's Motor Speedway race fans as a right turn. Though the Charlotte native was cheered after his performance, the subsequent reviews on the Charlotte Observer's letter page were withering. Gentlemen, stop your engines. In fact, Hamilton's version before the Nextel All-Star Challenge was interpretive, respectful and artfully done. But he swerved from the traditional melody at the start, and he was still a car length away by the time he dropped the checkered flag on "the home of the brave." Race officials, though complimentary of Hamilton's passion and artistry, promise to have the anthem back between the lines, especially at Sunday's 600, the climax of Charlotte's two-week grip on the NASCAR world. As one spokeswoman put it Thursday: "If it's not a traditional version, somebody will be in big trouble."
    Miss Clemson, Kate Moon, will handle the honors at the Saturday race. And eight "American Idol" finalists will stand before the mic Sunday. "We've encouraged them to stick to a more traditional performance," said speedway spokesman Jerry Gappens. The speedway heard from about 100 critics after Hamilton's performance, Gappens said. That's not exactly a quorum, considering more than 100,000 people were on hand for the race and millions more watched on TV. But in this case the nays will have it, it being an anthem that Francis Scott Key might recognize. Phone calls Thursday to Hamilton's publicity agents in New York weren't returned.(Charlotte Observer)(5-27-2005)

  • Smith plans to keep All-Star race at LMS: Speedway Motorsports owner Bruton Smith will continue to work to keep the Nextel All-Star challenge at Lowes Motor Speedway. During a Q & A with reporters Smith was asked if he would consider moving the event if it stayed in the SMI family of facilities. Smith said "We're not going to move it to another one. We will not do that." Even Las Vegas? "We will not do that." But doesn't Vegas need another date? "Yeah, but it won't be that one."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(5-25-2005)

  • Bruton Smith Pledges $50 Million in Personal Funds for Monorail: Citing an immediate need to accommodate the explosive growth in development and tourism from Charlotte north to Concord, Lowe's Motor Speedway founder and chairman O. Bruton Smith today unveiled a new concept utilizing a monorail-style transport to create the Charlotte-Concord Gateway. Pledging $50 million of personal funds to jumpstart the project, Smith's concept utilizes the elevated monorail-style transport along current state-owned roads and right-of-ways to connect the proposed NASCAR Hall of Fame to University City, Lowe's Motor Speedway and Concord Mills. The monorail system would run from the NASCAR Hall of Fame up North Tryon Street through UNC-Charlotte and University City along U.S. Highway 29 to the speedway and across Speedway Blvd. to Concord Mills. Smith believes this concept could be implemented in a more timely fashion than the proposed Northeast Corridor Light Rail Project, which is not scheduled for completion until 2017-2018 and ends at Interstate 485. Smith says that is too long to wait and it needs to include the speedway and Concord Mills areas. He also feels by elevating the system, it will be more efficient. According to studies, the line has potential for strong ridership, connecting Center City's 55,000 workers to University City's 40,000 employees, 25,000 students and the rapidly developing southwest Cabarrus County area. In addition, more than 20 million people a year visit the Charlotte-Concord Gateway area because of conventions uptown, major events at the speedway and shopping at Concord Mills.(LMS PR)(5-25-2005)

  • Spectacular Aerial Pre-Race Show Set for Coca-Cola 600: Building on a rich tradition of spectacular pre-race shows, Lowe's Motor Speedway officials outlined details today for an All-American Spectacular pre-race show for the May 29 Coca-Cola 600 that will include circus-style aerial thrill acts performed at heights exceeding a 14-story building. With Cirque-style chorography, five aerial thrill acts will offer non-stop entertainment for race fans attending the 46th running of Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race. The acts include the "Human Cannonball" as stuntman Dave "The Bullet" Smith Jr. soars 150-feet along the front straightaway; "Galaxy Girl" who will perform death-defying maneuvers some 140-feet in the air on a high mast; and the Nock Air Helo Trapeze will feature the world's only trapeze extreme team performing aerial stunts on a high-wire mounted below a moving helicopter. Stunt aerialists will also perform on Sway Poles reaching 60 feet into the air and the entertainment is rounded out by five giant Space Wheels, which extend 40-feet into the air and feature breath-taking performances. The circus aerial acts are part of the speedway's extensive pre-race entertainment that includes performances by the "American Idol" finalists, "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest, several celebrities and a strong salute to our country's armed forces. All pre-race entertainment is included with a ticket to the Coca-Cola 600. Tickets are available through the speedway ticket office by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(5-24-2005)

  • Busch Grand Marshal and Starter at Lowe's: CARQUEST Auto Parts announced that Al Duebber will serve as Grand Marshal and Richard Robb will be Honorary Starter for the NASCAR Busch Series CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 on Saturday, May 28 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Each year, CARQUEST presents its Excellence Award and selects a TECH-NET Professional/ASE Technician of the Year to those deserving professionals in their chosen field. These awards are unique and act as an industry benchmark as they recognize not only superior performance, but also the continued education of the auto service dealer. Duebber, a 32-year veteran of the automotive repair industry, is the recipient of the 14th annual CARQUEST Excellence Award, which recognizes an independent automobile service business that exemplifies the professionalism and image of people working in the auto service industry. Robb, a 29-year veteran of the automotive repair industry, is the 2004 TECH-NET Professional/ASE Technician of the Year. This annual award recognizes an ASE Certified Master Technician who excels on the ASE automobile certification exams and works at a TECH-NET Professional Service Center. With L-1 certification, Robb owns Hi-Tech Automotive in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. For the nearest CARQUEST location, visit www.CARQUEST.com.(PR)(5-24-2005)

  • Sad News - man dies at LMS: A Charlotte man died after a race at Lowe's Motor Speedway this weekend. Friends said Chris Keistler, 46, passed out after Saturday's All-Star race and never woke up. Jeremy Karle believes his buddy died from alcohol poisoning. David Hampton heads Cabarrus County's paramedic teams and said rescue crews rarely see cases of alcohol poisoning among race fans. "I can't remember the last one that we actually dealt with," he said. The most common alcohol-related call comes when the weather is warm and fans drink too much beer and not enough water. But Hampton said race fans having fun do not always see trouble before it's too late. The Medical Examiner is waiting for a toxicology report to determine Keistler's exact cause of death. Friends said he was single and did not have any known health problems.(NBC 6/WCNC)(5-24-2005)

  • Skydiver at LMS, MORE: been getting questions about a supposed skydiver accident at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday night before the Nextel All-Star Challenge. I was not there,just saw the little bit of TV coverage, have not heard or seen anything out there but was told that is was announced on LMS's PA system that it was NOT a person that crashed/went into the parking lot, but did not specify what it was.
    MORE Spectators and media alike thought a tragedy unfolded in Saturday's pre-race festivities when an unopened parachute plummeted to the infield ground. Fortunately, the chute had no skydiver attached to it and fell harmlessly to the ground. At the time, no one knew what had happened and spectators gasped at the thought of a skydiver taking a fall. An announcement from NASCAR shortly before the start of The Open put fans and media at ease.(Gaston Gazette)
    AND there was concern about the cut-away canopy that landed outside LMS last night. The jumper was not happy with the way his primary canopy opened so he "cut-away" and deplyed his reserve. The jumper landed safely, on target, and on time, in the speedway along with the other two parachutists.(5-22-2005)

  • Will the All-Star Challenge stay at LMS? Fans were handed buttons as they walked through the gates at Lowe's Motor Speedway that read, "Racing was built here. Racing belongs here." Even as local and racetrack officials intensified their efforts to keep the Nextel All-Star Challenge at the 1.5-mile speedway, speculation continued to grow it might be moved. The merger between Nextel Communications and Sprint, which will be finalized later this year, triggered a lot of talk the race could be moved around on a rotating basis. Fueling the speculation is the fact NASCAR is owned and controlled by the France family - the same people who own International Speedway Corp. Lowe's is a member of rival Speedway Motorsports Inc., while the tracks in Richmond and Kansas City are owned by ISC. In short, the France family would make millions by moving the all-star race to one of their tracks. Nextel officials, however, still love Charlotte. They are impressed with the community's passion for the sport and the way speedway officials have fought to keep back-to-back races in the area in May. The decision to keep the race at Lowe's doesn't belong to Nextel. "That's one of things that's NASCAR's call," said Michael Robichaud, Nextel's senior director of sports and entertainment marketing. "We expect it to stay here, we expect it to continue to grow as an event, to grow and learn from what we learned this year and take it a few steps forward. Hopefully it will be here next year, but I haven't been privy to next year's schedule. These are the best fans, they love the sport. We love it here. It's been great to us here." Nextel officials not only aren't part of the scheduling process, they apparently aren't even given a preview of the schedule. Nextel didn't learn its all-star race was returning to Lowe's until the schedule was released to the public last May.(Augusta Chronicle)(5-22-2005)

  • Sam Bass All-Star Race and Coca Cola 600 Program Covers: In a day and age when longevity is sometimes nothing more than a nine-letter word, one of auto racing's longest-running streaks is still going strong. Motorsports artist Sam Bass just finished designing and painting his 45th and 46th consecutive souvenir program covers for Lowe's Motor Speedway, extending a tradition that began way back in 1985. An original artwork entitled "All-Star Wars!" will grace the cover of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge program, while the Coca-Cola 600 publication is to feature a composition cleverly referred to as "Bottle Rockets!" Both illustrations are available as limited edition prints and fine art posters.
    "ALL-STAR WARS!" If you've ever attended the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, you know that the competition is out of this world. And that's just what you'll see in "All-Star Wars!" as a fleet of NASCAR's bravest warriors engage in all out combat against an intergalactic backdrop. Centerpiece of the illustration is a shot of Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- eyes wrought with intensity-- tightly gripping the steering wheel in the heat of battle. Meanwhile, more than a dozen of the cars contesting the annual speedfest are streaking across the starscape locked in a futuristic dogfight. It's 25th century excitement in the here-and-now!
    "The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge is such an epic event, and when it comes to action and excitement, the sky's the limit," said Bass, the first artist officially licensed by NASCAR. "I thought it would be fun to illustrate the race as the larger-than-life battle that it has become. With this kind of star power you never know what's going to happen next!" Edition size for "All-Star Wars!" is limited to only 500 prints, signed and numbered by the artist.
    "BOTTLE ROCKETS!" The world's most recognizable beverage container and motor racing's most distinctive trophy share the spotlight in "Bottle Rockets!" The classic contoured Coke bottle takes center stage in the illustration, with the trademark Lowe's Motor Speedway trophy visible inside and the official Coca-Cola 600 logo overhead. That scene is flanked on either side by a "comin'-at-ya" shot of 10 Coca-Cola Racing Family competitors running at full throttle. In the foreground is a banked view of defending race winner Jimmie Johnson's Lowe's Chevrolet. Below that are side views of the cars of retiring icons Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin, with the "Rusty's Last Call" and "Salute To You" tour logos prominently displayed.
    "I've been fortunate to illustrate every Coca-Cola 600 program cover since it began its title sponsorship in 1985," Bass explained. "Their products and the drivers they partner with are icons of the sport, as well as fan favorites. I really appreciate Coca-Cola for allowing my art to be part of the family."
    The edition size for "Bottle Rockets!" will be 600 signed and numbered prints. Prints or posters of either "All-Star Wars!" or "Bottle Rockets!" may be ordered by calling the Sam Bass Gallery at 1-800-556-5464. Or order online at www.sambass.com.(LMS PR)(5-21-2005)

  • Pamela Anderson to serve as Grand Marshal: Pamela Anderson will serve as the Grand Marshal of the 21st NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 21. Currently producer and star of the FOX comedy series STACKED, which was recently renewed for its second season, Anderson was born in Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, and began her Hollywood career in 1991 when she was hired to play "Lisa" on Home Improvement. The following year Anderson received her most famous role, playing "C.J. Parker" on Baywatch. In 1998, she worked as the executive producer and star of V.I.P. A film actress as well, Anderson has starred in movies including The Taking of Beverly Hills, The Evolution of Mr. E., and Barb Wire.(LMS)(5-18-2005)

  • Anthony Hamilton to sing National Anthem: R&B Vocalist Anthony Hamilton will sing the National Anthem prior to the start of the 21st NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 21. Hamilton is a native of Charlotte, N.C., and started his music career at the age of 10 in his church choir. In 1993, Hamilton moved to New York City to pursue a music career. His break came when he received the lead singing spot on the Nappy Roots track "Po' Folks," which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2003 in the Best Rap/Song Collaboration category. He was then signed to Jermaine Dupri's So So Def label where he released Comin' from Where I'm From. His latest album, Soulife, is scheduled to be released in June 2006.(LMS)(5-18-2005)

  • Road Improvements and Pre-Race Shows Combine To Improve Traffic Flow for NASCAR Events With the completion of Charlotte-area interstate widening projects and spectacular pre-race shows on tap, Lowe's Motor Speedway officials expect smooth traffic flow for the May 21 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge and May 29 Coca-Cola 600. In recent years, fans traveling to the Charlotte region have encountered ongoing road construction along Interstates 77 and 85. But this year, both major arteries will pump race fans quickly toward the speedway, thanks to the completion of 68 additional miles of highway in the form of four additional lanes on I-85 and eight additional lanes on I-77. Since Speedway Boulevard linked the speedway's main entrance to I-85 in 1999, enhancements to improve traffic ingress and egress have been made on an almost annual basis. In 2001, Highway 29 in front of the speedway was expanded to five lanes and overhead directional signs were added. In 2002, all unreserved parking in speedway-owned lots became free of charge to get fans in the lots and off the roadways faster. In 2003, Interstate 485 provided another major artery to the speedway area by looping northbound race traffic around Charlotte to U.S. Highway 29. In addition, the speedway spent $1.5 million paving parking lot aisles to weatherproof parking areas. For the upcoming race weekends, traffic engineers will consistently monitor flow patterns from highway cameras and use electronic message boards to steer fans toward less-congested routes. The message boards will be in key locations from the South Carolina border to as far north as Greensboro, benefiting not only out-of-state traffic but also thousands of in-state race fans from the Raleigh/Durham and Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High-Point areas. Charlotte area fans are encouraged to use U.S. Highways 29 and 49 to reach the track.
    On Saturday, May 21, rock group The Black Crowes will perform a pre-race concert at 3 p.m. as a prelude to the 7:30 start of the NEXTEL Open and the 9 p.m. NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. For the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 29, gates open at noon so fans can enjoy a spectacular pre-race show headlined with a musical performance by the "American Idol" finalists from the hit FOX television program. Show host Ryan Seacrest will emcee the performance. An extreme aerial circus with a human cannonball and a high-wire helicopter trapeze act is also on the pre-race agenda along with Robosaurus, the car-eating mechanical dinosaur. The Coca-Cola 600 will start at approximately 5:40 p.m. Each pre-race show concert is included in the price of admission to its respective event. Tickets are still available for all May events at Lowe's Motor Speedway and can be obtained online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS)(5-18-2005)

  • Ticket sales off at LMS: Lowe's Motor Speedway has sold just over 100,000 seats for the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29, speedway President Humpy Wheeler told the Observer on Wednesday. That's a "few thousand" behind last year's sales at this time, he said, declining to be more specific. The track is one of the largest in racing, with about 170,000 seats. The 600 is traditionally on Memorial Day weekend, capping off almost two weeks of racing. Wheeler attributed the drop to high gas prices, the economy and bad memories of a rain-shortened race two years ago. Officials are expected to update ticket sales sometime this week.(ThatsRacin.com), for info on buying tickets, go to lowesmotorspeedway.com.(5-12-2005)

  • CTC Pole Night Ticket Celebrates Martin's 13 Victories at Lowe's: Celebrating Mark Martin's final start in the Coca-Cola 600 and his amazing 13 victories at Lowe's Motor Speedway, the Batesville, Ark., native is featured on the collectible ticket for CTC Pole Night on Thursday, May 26. In recognition of the #6 that has adorned Martin's race cars for many years, production of the Mark Martin collectible ticket, the 26th in a series of Lowe's Motor Speedway Pole Night ducats, was limited to just 6,000. The ticket, printed in vibrant four-color on quality stock, sells for $15 in advance and will be $20 the day of the event. Martin has designated this season his "Salute To You" Tour as he concludes one of the most successful careers in NASCAR history. Since making his NEXTEL Cup Series debut in 1981, Martin has won 81 races in NASCAR's top two divisions with 10 of those coming at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In one of the most spectacular drives ever through lapped traffic, Martin held off teammate Matt Kenseth to win the 2002 Coca-Cola 600. He also has three victories in the UAW-GM Quality 500 along with six NASCAR Busch Series triumphs at the 1.5-mile superspeedway. In addition, Martin's Lowe's Motor Speedway win total includes the 1998 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge and he is the only driver to win an International Race of Champions event at the track, claiming victories in 1996 and 1997.
    Time trial runs during CTC Pole Night on Thursday, May 26, will determine the 43-car starting field for the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on Sunday night, May 29. The Lowe's Motor Speedway debut of the CRASHCars, a revolutionary new entry-level stock car division, and a giant fireworks extravaganza are also on the schedule. The limited-edition Mark Martin CTC Pole Night ticket, along with tickets for all May events at Lowe's Motor Speedway, can be ordered online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(5-6-2005)

  • Grand Marshals of the Coca-Cola 600: Idol's: The stars of the hit FOX television program, "American Idol," will take the stage as part of the pre-race show at the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. Joining the Idols for the pre-race activities and driver introductions will be the show's popular host, Ryan Seacrest. American Idol finalists will perform the national anthem, plus several other songs prior to the race on Sunday, May 29. As part of the festivities, 12 children of North Carolina servicemen and women currently serving overseas will participate in the show as Grand Marshals. Ryan Seacrest and the Idols will also appear on the Coca-Cola stage at Food Lion Speed Street on Saturday, May 28. Television coverage of the 2005 Coca-Cola 600 is scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m. EDT on FOX. The race is set to start around 5:40 p.m., and can also be heard on the radio on the Performance Racing Network (PRN).
    Affordable tickets for the event are still available online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(5-5-2005)

  • Triple Play Ticket Package Available at LMS: The All-Star Triple Play ticket package now available from Lowe's Motor Speedway offers race fans the opportunity to hit a home run with big savings on tickets for three spectacular events during NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge Week. Priced at just $54, the All-Star Triple Play represents a 15% savings if tickets for these three events were purchase separately. The All-Star Triple Play package includes: Admission to the inaugural NASCAR NEXTEL Pit Crew Challenge on Thursday night, May 19, at the Charlotte Coliseum. A frontstretch ticket for NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Qualifying and the Quaker Steak & Lube 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Friday night, May 20, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. A great seat in the Diamond Tower Terrace for the star-studded NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on Saturday night, May 21.
    For race fans wanting to "turn two," a second money-saving NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge Week package is also available. The All-Star Double Play offers two action-packed nights for one low price. The Double Play includes a ticket to the NASCAR NEXTEL Pit Crew Challenge and a Diamond Tower Terrace ticket for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge for the incredible price of $39, a savings of 10 percent. The All-Star Double and Triple Play packages are not available online. They can only be purchased by calling 1-800-455-FANS or visiting the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office.(LMS)(4-14-2005)

  • All-Star Race Likely Back at LMS in 2006: NASCAR's Nextel All-Star Challenge race is likely to return to Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte in 2006, but NASCAR isn't ready to say the race will remain there in the future, The Charlotte Observer reports. The paper says a vice president from Nextel, which sponsors NASCAR's Cup series as well as the all-star race, said that the company was happy with the Charlotte area's efforts for the race and indicated the event would likely come back in 2006. But NASCAR Vice President Jim Hunter said nothing has been decided about the long term. "Every year, we revisit the idea of moving the all-star race," he said. The story says the all-star event creates an estimated $94 million impact on the region's economy in travel and tourism dollars.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-7-2005)

  • Bruton looks to buy the NHRA UPDATE: Bruton Smith, president and chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports, said last week he wants to acquire the National Hot Rod Association, a California-based drag race sanctioning organization. The association presents 23 national drag racing events, including the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. It also conducts a racing series for import cars and 47 regional races, and it sanctions more than 100 drag strips across the country. "This is something I'm very interested in," Smith said. "If the powers that be decide we can buy it, we want to buy it. I've gotten a lot of phone calls from racers who said they would appreciate it if we did that, and I think it fits with what we do." When asked about a sale, NHRA's vice president of public relations and communications, Jerry Archambeault, read a brief statement in which he denied the association was talking to Smith. But Smith said he recently talked about a deal with Wally Parks, the organization's founder and a member of its board of directors. Smith said he also discussed the possibility with association President Tom Compton last year. In addition to Bristol Dragway, Speedway Motorsports owns NHRA drag strips in Las Vegas and Sonoma, Calif. NHRA owns and operates drag strips in Gainesville, Fla.; Pomona, Calif.; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis and Atlanta. Any purchase would include the tracks, all racing series, sanctioning agreements and a television agreement with ESPN.(Bristol Herald Courier)(4-3-2005)
    UPDATE: A source close to the scene, who preferred to remain anonymous, gave Racing Milestones a little background: "Smith won't be building any more tracks for NASCAR competition. If any are built, it will be ISC doing it. So that leaves SMI with no growth opportunity. That means there's nothing to spike the stock, not a good position if you want to grow." Racing Milestones source went on. "So what's the next best option? NHRA. Why? Because Smith not only would get NHRA, but their tracks, too. I don't see a sale of NHRA, but the sanctioning body might unload a couple of tracks in a hurry." How many millions will he have to part with for NHRA? Who knows? A little history. When former racer and track owner Billy Meyer bought IHRA from Larry Carrier back in 1988, all he got was contracts for the various races and Drag Review. There were no tracks included in the sale. Then Meyer became interested in obtaining NHRA or merging the two sanctioning bodies. So maybe if Smith wants to learn the obstacles he faces in obtaining a non-profit sanctioning body such as NHRA and turning it into a for-profit deal, he might contact Meyer. And what does NHRA have to say about all this? It's probably best explained in a release by Jerry Archambeault, the sanctioning body's vice president of communications and public relations, which is simply: "NHRA is not in discussions with Bruton Smith regarding the purchase of NHRA."(Racing Milestones)(4-6-2005)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway to Conduct Accident Care Team Training Session: In preparation for the May races at Lowe's Motor Speedway, including the May 21 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge and May 29 Coca-Cola 600, the track's emergency services department will host an Accident Care Team training session April 2-3. The course, open to all emergency services personnel, teaches proper techniques for responding to motorsports emergencies. It covers basic to advanced medical, fire and rescue scenarios involving a variety of racing vehicles ranging from go-karts to NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series stock cars. Participants will receive hands-on training in fire control, medical scenarios and extrication from experienced rescue personnel, including members of Lowe's Motor Speedway's highly regarded safety crew. The National Fire Protection Association 610 standards will also be covered.
    The two-day session is free for all certified North Carolina firefighters and emergency medical technicians along with safety crew members from NASCAR-sanctioned race tracks. There is a $55 fee for out-of-state students and those not affiliated with an emergency services agency. Participants need to bring their own personal protection equipment. For information on the ACT training session, contact the Lowe's Motor Speedway emergency services department at (704) 455-4028.(LMS)(4-1-2005)

  • Testing dates set at Lowe's Motor Speedway: Lowe's Motor Speedway has scheduled 35 hours of open testing for NASCAR Craftsman Truck, Busch and NEXTEL Cup Series teams in preparation for the track's slate of May races, including the May 21 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge and the May 29 Coca-Cola 600.
    The testing schedule:
    April 26, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    May 3-4, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    May 9-10, NASCAR Busch Series, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    Many of the bumps in the track's racing surface were removed recently during an asphalt grinding process and the testing sessions mark the first, and only, opportunity for teams to experiment with the new surface prior to the May events. Lowe's Motor Speedway's frontstretch grandstand will be open free of charge during each testing session. Fans should enter through Gate 5A next to the ticket office on the second floor of Smith Tower.(LMS)(3-22-2005)

  • Food Lion AutoFair at Lowe's Motor Speedway; One of Lowe's Motor Speedway's giant parking lots will be transformed into a county fair-style amusement park April 7-10 as the inaugural Food Lion AutoFair Carnival offers fun for adults and children of all ages. Located at the intersection of Speedway Blvd. and Highway 29 in the speedway's silver parking lot, the Food Lion AutoFair Carnival will feature more than a dozen rides along with a variety of games and concessions. Combining traditional country themes with contemporary entertainment, the midway will include a Ferris wheel, a tilt-a-whirl, a merry-go-round, Tubs of Fun, the Castlemania Fun House and much more. More info at lowesmotorspeedway.com.(3-27-2005)

  • Sponsorships Available at LMS: A limited number of individual and corporate lap sponsorships are still available for the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on Sunday evening, May 29, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Priced at $250 per lap, a sponsorship includes two pre-race pit passes and two collectible tickets for CTC Pole Night on Thursday, May 26. In addition, each lap sponsor's name is featured in the souvenir program and included on the entry form supplied to all NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams. Each pre-race pit pass must be accompanied by an event ticket which is sold separately. Pit road access is limited to individuals 16 years of age and older and NASCAR's dress code is strictly enforced. Coca-Cola 600 lap sponsorships can be purchased by contacting the Lowe's Motor Speedway corporate sales department at (704) 455-3203.(LMS)(3-22-2005)

  • SMI looking to beef up attendence at LMS: Speedway Motorsports Inc. is moving aggressively to tackle declining attendance at its flagship [Lowe's Motor Speedway] track here [Concord/Charlotte, NC] in the heart of NASCAR country. While the Concord-based company's overall performance remains strong -- and attendance continues to climb at its five other tracks -- Lowe's Motor Speedway took an overall 10% dip in ticket sales during 2004. Although SMI President Humpy Wheeler says increases in sponsorship sales and other areas largely offset the ticket decline, the speedway is moving to stem further erosion. "When you get to a facility over 150,000 seats, I don't care where it is, you have to stay on top of it," he says. "It's real hard (to sell that many seats) all the time." Before last fall's NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Lowe's, speedway officials slashed prices on 38,000 of the track's 171,000 permanent seats, or 22% of capacity. At the same time, the speedway cut prices for the spring 2005 races, including reductions of as much as 50% on some seats. In all, 46,000 seats, or 27% of capacity, will be less expensive for the Coca-Cola 600 in May compared with 2004 rates. Since those moves took effect, Wheeler, still concerned over sluggish demand, has taken several more steps aimed at boosting fan interest. The measures include: Hiring a full-time advertising agency, Knoxville, Tenn.-based The Tombras Group, to create ticket-sales campaigns for print and broadcast outlets. The agency works on similar campaigns for SMI's tracks in Bristol, Tenn., and Atlanta. Doubling the amount spent on direct-mail campaigns to $250,000 annually. Enlisting an electronic-marketing expert to ramp up Internet-based sales and marketing. Boosting the ticket-office sales staff to 16 employees.(Charlotte Business Journal)(3-8-2005)

  • LMS Offers High-Speed Family Entertainment: The cars and stars of NASCAR will invade Lowe's Motor Speedway for two of the sport's most exciting weeks of auto racing in May and numerous family specials are in place, offering high-speed entertainment at affordable prices. The action-packed May schedule includes NASCAR racing's all-star event, the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on Saturday night, May 21, and the longest event in major-league auto racing, the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday evening, May 29. Family priced seating in a special non-alcoholic section is available for the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 on Saturday night, May 28. Tickets in the non-alcoholic grandstand for the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 are just $10 for children 12 and under and $25 for adults. Children affiliated with any form of Scouting, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc., can enjoy the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 free of charge from a seat in Lowe's Motor Speedway's South Grandstand. Each Scout must wear his or her uniform and Scout Packs are encouraged to attend as a group. One Pack leader will be admitted free-of-charge with six Scouts. Family priced seating is also available for the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on Sunday, May 29. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon are just a sampling for the 43 drivers that will be in action. Children 12 and under can watch the race from a seat in the Fourth-Turn Terrace for just $10 while accompanying adults are admitted for only $49. Family priced specials are also available for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup qualifying during CTC Pole Night on Thursday, May 26. More than 50 drivers will give it their best shot in timed runs around the 1.5-mile oval with the fastest-and bravest-earning the No. 1 starting spot for the Coca-Cola 600. Children under 6 will be admitted free to CTC Pole Night and just $1 gains entry for those ages 6 to 12. Adult tickets are $12 in advance.(LMS PR)(3-2-2005)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway to Renovate Racing Surface UPDATE: With a goal of creating more side-by-side racing during the May 21 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge and May 29 Coca-Cola 600, engineers are using a combination of Global Positioning System technology and three-dimensional laser mapping to smooth the 1.5-mile racing surface at Lowe's Motor Speedway. H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, and several engineers involved in the process will be on hand Tuesday to discuss the high-tech methods being used to smooth the track's racing surface. Wheeler will also detail why he decided to diamond grind the track rather than repave it.(LMS PR)(2-21-2005)
    UPDATE: With a goal of producing more side-by-side racing during the May 21 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge and May 29 Coca-Cola 600, engineers are using a combination of Global Positioning System technology and three-dimensional laser mapping to smooth the 1.5-mile racing surface at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
    "Basically what we've got is a beautiful golf course but the putts aren't going exactly where we want. So we are smoothing out the greens," said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway. "When we paved the track in 1994, we used a polymer in the pavement that was fairly new at the time. It has held up remarkably well, but like all high-banked race tracks it has developed deviations. We talked extensively about repaving the track but right now the way the race cars are set up, new pavement tends to create a one-groove track," said Wheeler, noting single-file racing is not what fans expect at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "When the grinding process is complete, the track is going to be so much smoother that I think it will make a tremendous difference in the racing."
    The track grinding process began with engineers using a three-dimensional laser to map the track. So precise that it can detect bumps not visible to the naked eye, this system generated an extremely accurate 3-D map of the track's racing surface. "This map is so accurate that it shows imperfections in the racing surface that even the best driver could never feel," Wheeler explained. Engineers then attached a Global Positioning System receiver to a street vehicle Wheeler drove numerous laps around the track. Driving the same lines used by NASCAR competitors, the GPS utilized a satellite to produce a digital map of Wheeler's exact location as he circled the 1.5-mile track.
    "There are three distinct grooves on this type of race track," Wheeler said about his laps around the speedway. "One is what I call a qualifying groove, which is the fastest. The second is a passing groove and it's just to the outside of the qualifying groove. Then there's a third groove up high that I call the Richard Petty groove. We originally identified seven places we wanted to grind," Wheeler continued. "But after I got on the track, the places that had been ground were so smooth I said let's go ahead and do all of the turns." Employees of Penhall Company, a highly respected leader in the grinding industry, began the track milling process early last week using a computer-controlled diamond-grinding machine. Work is expected to be completed late this week.
    The renovated racing surface places added importance on the track's open testing days. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup teams are scheduled to test May 3-4 in preparation for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on Saturday night, May 21, and the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday evening, May 29. NASCAR Busch Series teams will be on the track April 26-27 preparing for the May 28 CARQUEST Auto Parts 300.(LMS PR)(2-24-2005)

  • Lowe's Motor Speedway Ticket Office Now Open Weekends: With annual renewal requests fulfilled, Lowe's Motor Speedway officials announced today that fans can now purchase tickets for any of the track's 2005 events, including the May 21 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge and the May 29 Coca-Cola 600, seven days a week. Operating hours for the track's ticket office have been extended with agents on hand from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Fans can purchase tickets during these hours by calling 1-800-455-FANS or visiting the ticket office on the second floor of Lowe's Motor Speedway's Smith Tower. Tickets are also available online 24 hours a day at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com. Tickets for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, NASCAR's annual all-star event, on Saturday night, May 21, start at just $33 while tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on Sunday evening, May 29, can be purchased for as low as $49.(LMS PR)(2-10-2005)

  • Major Renovation Underway at The Speedway Club: The Speedway Club at Lowe's Motor Speedway is undergoing its first major renovation since the facility opened in 1987. Located high above the Lowe's Motor Speedway frontstretch, The Speedway Club has more than 4,000 members who look to the club to assist in entertaining friends and clients in the region's most unique setting. The restaurant portion of The Speedway Club is currently closed, but banquet and meeting facilities are still operating. The club will also continue to serve a buffet lunch on Tuesdays from 11:30am to 2:00pm/et and its famous Surf and Turf dinner will be available each Tuesday from 6:00 to 9:00pm/et. These meals will be served on the fifth floor. Several other special events, including the traditional Daytona Brunch on Feb. 20 and the Feb. 26 Chocolate Lovers Dining Stations and Presentations, are also on tap. In addition, the First Floor Café is now operating from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Smith Tower lobby. The morning menu includes Starbucks coffee and pastries while soups, wraps and numerous other items are available during lunch hours. For membership information or premium seating options to all NASCAR events at Lowe's Motor Speedway, contact The Speedway Club sales department at (704) 455-3240.(LMS PR)(2-10-2005)

  • LMS Public Relations Dept adds: Kevin Druckenbrod, a 10-year veteran of the radio promotions industry, has joined Lowe's Motor Speedway's marketing and public relations department as a communications specialist. In his new position, Druckenbrod, 29, will spearhead the speedway's electronic marketing; execute on- and off-site promotions with advertising partners; and manage the speedway's web site. Druckenbrod previously worked in a variety of promotional capacities for Charlotte radio station WKKT. He most recently served as internet producer for WKKT's parent company, Clear Channel Charlotte, managing web sites for its five area radio stations. Tickets for May 21 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, NASCAR racing's annual all-star event, and the May 29 Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event are now on sale and can be obtained online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(2-7-2005)

  • News coming on the All-Star Race: Lowe's Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler said to expect some announcements in the next couple of weeks about the annual NASCAR Nextel All-Star race, held each May at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Although he offered no details, Wheeler said the city of Charlotte and Cabarrus (N.C.) County both have made major commitments to the continued success of the race.(Speed Channel's Media Tour Notes)(1-26-2005)

  • Promotion at LMS: Scott Cooper has been promoted to the newly created position of director of marketing and public relations for Lowe's Motor Speedway. The promotion is part of a restructuring which merges the speedway's marketing initiatives into the public relations department. Cooper had been senior manager of promotion and media relations since joining the speedway in 1999. In his new position, Cooper, 37, will oversee the speedway's advertising, direct marketing and promotional efforts. He will also implement and manage an electronic-marketing campaign; serve as the company's primary liaison with its advertising agency; and continue to assist with selected public relations duties. Cooper will continue to report to Jerry Gappens, whose title has changed to vice president of marketing and public relations. A graduate of the University of North Carolina, Cooper resides in Charlotte with his wife Susan and their two children.(LMS PR)(1-25-2005)

  • LMS Rewards Hickory Sanitation Workers Who Returned $5,100: Edwin Workman and Todd Little, the Hickory sanitation workers who returned $5,100 they discovered in a bag of discarded clothing while working their route, will be rewarded with VIP experiences during the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge Saturday night, May 21, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. After discovering the money-51 $100 bills-the men returned the money to the house where they had picked up the bag. H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, was so impressed with the men's honesty he decided to reward them. Wheeler phoned the men Monday with an invitation to attend the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on Saturday night, May 21. Each man will receive two VIP tickets, a reserved parking space and a pre-race pit tour. Wheeler also told the men he plans to introduce them during pre-race ceremonies. Tickets for the May 21 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, NASCAR's annual all-star race, start at just $33 and are available by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(1-19-2005)

  • Local Charlotte Groups show support for All-Star Challenge: A local organizing committee of tourism groups, political leaders and motorsports companies kicked off a campaign Thursday to boost support of the Nextel All-Star Challenge, which will again be held at Lowe's Motor Speedway next spring. The fund-raising effort includes the speedway as well as tourism-related groups from Charlotte, Cabarrus County, Iredell County and others. No fund-raising goal was disclosed at a luncheon held at the speedway. The funds will be used to create promotional campaigns and events. Leaders are hoping to convince sanctioning body NASCAR not to relocate the race, which generates an estimated $94 million economic impact, according to speedway-commissioned studies. The All-Star Challenge will run May 21 at the speedway. Related events uptown and across the region are aimed at giving the nationally telecast race a higher profile. It drew nearly 150,000 fans in 2003. NASCAR officials have mulled moving the race around the country, similar to what is done in baseball, basketball and hockey. Decisions on the race site will be made on a year-to-year basis, NASCAR says.(Charlotte Business Journal)(12-17-2004)

  • LMS offering Special tix prices for the holidays: Lowe's Motor Speedway is once again offering those with race fans on their holiday lists a stress-free shopping alternative. By making one simple, toll-free call to 1-800-455-FANS, individuals can avoid the stress traditionally associated with holiday shopping by purchasing race tickets for family and friends. Good seats are available for each of Lowe's Motor Speedway's May NASCAR events. The slate includes: the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge-NEXTEL Cup racing's annual all-star event-on Saturday night, May 21; the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300-one of the premier events on the Busch Series schedule-on Saturday night, May 28; and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing's longest race-the Coca-Cola 600-on Sunday evening, May 29. Specially priced children's tickets are also available in certain grandstands. For information, or to order tickets, the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST) Monday through Friday at 1-800-455-FANS. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(12-4-2004)
    AND CONGRATS: to Tracy Rich, who has been named Lowe's Motor Speedway's 2004 Salesperson of the Year. Rich, of Charlotte, N.C., joined the Lowe's Motor Speedway sales and marketing staff in August of 2002. Now in his third year with the speedway, Rich secured over $1 million in new business during 2004. His accomplishments included signing RBC Centura as the track's Official Bank and securing naming rights for the new state-of-the-art Time Warner Media Center.(LMS PR)(12-4-2004)

  • Friday Night Coverage Of Hardee's Summer Shootout Begins TONIGHT: Race fans will be able to fulfill their "need for speed" during the winter months as highlights of Lowe's Motor Speedway's 11th annual Hardee's Summer Shootout will be televised by SPEED Channel on 10 Friday evenings beginning Dec. 3 and concluding Feb. 11. The 10 one-hour programs, featuring action from each of the series' 10 weeks, will air at 8:00pm/et and repeat at midnight. The telecasts will run on consecutive Friday nights from Dec. 3 through Jan. 21 with the final two rounds slated to air on Feb. 4 and 11. Veteran broadcasters Brian Drebber and Dave Sadowksi will call the action with Doug Rice, the voice of Performance Racing Network, reporting from the pit area. The Hardee's Summer Shootout telecasts will feature Legends Car, Bandolero and Thunder Roadster racing as well as entertaining special attractions such as School Bus Races, One-on-One Spectator Races and Road Hawg action. In addition, the telecasts will chronicle the exploits of driver and veteran SPEED Channel broadcaster Ralph Sheheen. Sheheen drove the SPEED Channel-sponsored entry to an eighth-place finish in the Thunder Roadster point standings. His car carried an on-board camera throughout the series and radio conversations between Sheheen and his crew chief, Curt Andrews, were recorded. The telecasts will also introduce viewers to several second- and third-generation racers such as Chrissy Wallace, Tyler Green, Corey Lajoie, Brandon McReynolds and Ryan Blaney. Not to mention Jayski friends Jason Haynes, Ryan Zeck and Bret Hylton.(LMS PR)(12-3-2004)

  • Update on LMS Dirt Driver: Jimmy Weller III has made remarkable progress since his accident at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's motor speedway on October 13th during a USAC race. Jimmy has overcome two surgeries and has been moved to physical therapy unit at The Carolina's Medical Center, where he has been a patient for over two weeks now. Doctors are happy with his progress and they anticipate that he will be released from the Charlotte Institute of Rehabilitation on Wednesday December 1st at that time Jimmy will be moved to his home near Youngstown, Ohio. After returning home Jimmy will continue to receive physical therapy at a facility near his home until he is completely rehabilitated. Jimmy has been able to read the hundreds of cards and go thru the generous gifts that his friends and race fans from all over the country have sent him. Cards can continue to be sent to Jimmy at the Charlotte facility unit the end of this week. Starting next week all cards can be sent to Jimmy Weller III 299 Warner Roa! d, Hubbard, Ohio 44425. Jimmy and the entire Weller Family would like to "Thank" everyone for all their prayers, cards and support during this difficult time over the past month. We will continue to update you on Jimmy's progress once we return home. (Weller Racing PR)(11-25-2004)

  • Holiday Shoppers Race to Souvenir Blow-Out Friday at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
    What: Lowe's Motor Speedway's 12th annual Souvenir Blow-Out offers shoppers a wide variety of racing merchandise at unbeatable prices, plus the chance to drive two laps around the track in their personal vehicle. With thousands of race fans canvassing the grounds and taking laps on the 1.5-mile superspeedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway will be one of the region's busiest shopping venues on the day after Thanksgiving.
    When: Friday, Nov. 26; 8:00am to 6:00pm.
    Where: Lowe's Motor Speedway is located in Concord, N.C., 12 miles north of downtown Charlotte on Highway 29. Take Exit 49 off I-85.
    Details: The Souvenir Blow-Out provides an excellent backdrop for mid-day television live shots and photo opportunities on the busiest shopping day of the year. The SpongeBob SquarePants race car will also be on hand, offering a unique visual.
    Additional Information: More than a dozen NASCAR souvenir rigs featuring quality merchandise such as jackets, hats, T-shirts and die-cast cars from top drivers are expected to be on hand for the Souvenir Blow-Out. Some items will be priced as low as $1. Race fans will have a chance to purchase a variety of inaugural NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series memorabilia. Holiday shoppers spending at least $50, or making a $25 donation to Speedway Children's Charities, will be allowed to drive their personal vehicles two laps around the 1.5-mile superspeedway.(LMS PR)(11-23-2004)

  • UPDATE II on driver injured at LMS: Jimmy Weller III, injured in a USAC sprint car event at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway on Wednesday night, Oct. 13, remains in the Intensive Care Unit of Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, but his condition continues to improve. Weller, 18, of Liberty, Ohio, suffered severe head trauma in the accident along with two cracked vertebrae. He underwent successful surgery on Thursday, Oct. 28, to repair the damaged vertebrae. The ventilator, which was assisting Weller's breathing, has been removed and he is now breathing on his own. According to family members, Weller is beginning to talk and has been moving his arms and legs.(LMS PR)(10-29-2004)

  • SMI Named in Forbes List: Speedway Motorsports, Inc., a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States, is among the 200 Best Small Companies in America according to an annual ranking by Forbes magazine. The annual feature, which appears in the Nov. 1 issue of the prestigious magazine, includes companies with revenues from $5 million to $750 million (small by Forbes standards), net profits greater than 5 percent and share prices above $5 as of Oct. 1. Speedway Motorsports became the first company in motorsports history to go public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1995. In addition, the Company announced it has completed the exchange of all outstanding unregistered 6¾% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2013, that were issued in a private transaction on July 7, for new registered 6¾% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2013.(LMS PR)(10-27-2004)

  • Update on Sprint Car Driver injured at LMS: Jimmy Weller III, injured in a USAC sprint car event at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway on Wednesday night, Oct. 13, remains in the Intensive Care Unit of Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, but his condition continues to improve daily. Weller, 18, of Liberty, Ohio, suffered severe head trauma in the accident. He remains heavily sedated, but is awake and, according to his family, is responding to commands. He is still breathing with the assistance of a ventilator, but his breathing has improved considerably and doctors hope to remove the ventilator in the next day or two.(LMS PR)(10-21-2004)

  • Humpy steps in when ASA doesn't pay purse: Not NASCAR, but....The debut of the American Speed Association at Lowe's Motor Speedway may be over, but controversy remains. Reed Sorenson, 18, won the Aaron's 99 Thursday night, but after the race, drivers and team owners were notified the sanctioning body did not have the money on hand to pay the more than $92,000 purse. Speedway president H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler stepped in and guaranteed the purse money to the teams that participated in the race, then after the race ended, he sent his track security officers and other workers to the ASA garage to secure the ASA's hauler and other equipment as "collateral." An ASA spokesman declined to comment on the situation. "We sent them the purse last week, which is normal practice, the sanctioning fee and all that and it's customary and a long held practice to pay the purse as soon as the race is over," Wheeler said. "When we found out (before Thursday night) they had not brought the purse with them, obviously the drivers were going to race. It was ASA's responsibility to pay the purse and if they didn't, somebody had to pay it, and that would be us." As of Friday afternoon, Wheeler had not recovered any of the extra money and his track workers still held the ASA equipment. "I've know they have a tough time financially. I was hoping if I sent them the money, at least the purse would show up and it didn't," Wheeler said. "You can't do that."(ThatsRacing.com)(10-16-2004)

  • National Anthem: Daniel Rodriguez, America's Beloved Tenor, will sing the National Anthem for Saturday night's UAW-GM QUALITY 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Rodriguez recently retired from the New York City Fire Department. He was introduced to the world following the 9-11 tragedy. Earlier this week he sang "God Bless America" at the New York Yankees game, and has previously performed the anthem at several World Series games.(LMS Pit Notes)(10-16-2004)

  • Record $6.2 Million Purse Posted for UAW-GM Quality 500 Week: If the total prize money for Lowe's Motor Speedway's UAW-GM Quality 500 Week Oct. 13-16 was laid end-to-end in $1 bills, the money would circle the 1.5-mile superspeedway nearly 402 times, covering almost 603 miles. The record purse of $6,236,982 represents an 11.6-percent increase over the prize money posted just one year ago and is $2.5 million greater than what was paid for the October races in 2000. The UAW-GM Quality 500 on Saturday night, Oct. 16, will be worth a record $4,936,541, an increase of $671,792 over last October's NEXTEL Cup event at the 1.5-mile superspeedway. Featuring several NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers battling the Busch Series regulars, competitors in the Lowe's presents The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300 on Friday night, Oct. 15, will be chasing the lion's share of a record $1,121,281 in posted prize money and awards.
    When the cars and stars of the American Speed Association make their Lowe's Motor Speedway debut in the Aaron's 99 during Bojangles' Pole Night Thursday, Oct. 14, they will be racing for a total of $138,260. The second annual Mopar Sprint Car Nationals on Wednesday night, Oct. 13, at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway will see the USAC sprint cars and O'Reilly Southern All Star Racing Series late models compete for a record $40,900 in posted awards.
    Tickets for all UAW-GM Quality 500 Week events are available by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(10-12-2004)

  • Keeping, buidling motorsports industry in Mooresville is now a high priority: Following Gov. Mike Easley's assertion here this week that the $5 billion generated by the motorsports industry in North Carolina each year could be grown despite other states' bids to strip it away, area leaders say Mooresville is at the forefront in keeping - and building -- racing businesses. "We were the first Chamber to go to PRI," Melanie O'Connell Underwood said, referring about the Mooresville-South Iredell (MSI) Chamber of Commerce's visit to the world's largest motorsports trade show, Performance Racing Industries, in Indianapolis. As the MSI economic developer, she helps lure businesses here, and a major component of those are motorsports-related, like race teams, marketing firms, and parts suppliers. That warranted a trip to PRI. "After we went, Texas, Virginia and other states started going," she said. Now, MSI has a booth at the show. But that's not all that the area is doing to preserve and grow racing jobs, she said. "We were the first to offer incentives to race teams," she said. Mooresville, for example, recently gave tax incentives to Penske Racing South for buying and retrofitting the former Matsushita building in Mooresville Business Park. But other states are getting wise to North Carolina's 30th largest industry. Underwood said South Carolina offered free land and no employment taxes for 10 years to a motorsports-related company looking to make a $40 million investment in a facility. "Where could I go to give people free land?" Underwood said. "I can't give land to them or any other industry." Despite that, racing has been growing in this state for years.
    "The industry has asked for nothing, NASCAR has asked for nothing," said N.C. Rep. Karen Ray of Mooresville, who is also head of the motorsports caucus in the General Assembly. "What has happened is the state now recognized the investment that the NASCAR and racing has put in North Carolina."
    And Easley spoke about that on Tuesday at the Mooresville Citizens Center during the North Carolina Motorsports Association's (NCMA) annual meeting. A study funded by the Rural Economic Development Center, the Golden LEAF Foundation, and the NCMA showed that motorsports brings big money to the state. In all, motorsports accounts for more than 24,000 jobs in N.C. with an average pay (wage and benefits) of $61,017. Easley plans cater to that industry's needs by forming a task force to see what it wants for an ideal business environment. Composed primarily of people in racing, that group will make recommendations on where to put efforts. "What I think is critical for North Carolina as we move forward to enhance this industry for the state is that we be methodical, have a business plan, and do it right," Ray said. "We're crawling before we walk, and that plays a big part for how you do it correctly. When you leave North Carolina and you ask somebody what North Carolina is famous for, they'll tell you, 'Racing,' " Ray said. (Mooresville Tribune)(10-9-2004)

  • NC Governor's visit will unveil results of motorsports impact study: Gov. Mike Easley will pay a visit to Mooresville next week for the annual meeting of the North Carolina Motorsports Association (NCMA). Easley is expected to speak Tuesday about the results of an economic impact study for the motorsports industry in North Carolina. The yearlong study analyzed the financial benefits that auto racing has and could bring to the state. N.C. Rep. Karen Ray of Mooresville was instrumental in landing the annual meeting here for the first time. A representative for Iredell and Catawba counties in the N.C. General Assembly, she has brought auto racing, and especially NASCAR, to the forefront of initiatives in Raleigh. That includes sponsoring a bill for stock car racing license plates, helping form a racing caucus in the General Assembly to promote racing, and now, bringing the NCMA annual meeting to Mooresville. "A good cross section of motorsports industry people will be present at the meeting, from (NCMA Chairman) Richard Petty to small businesses," Ray said. Anyone can become a member of the NCMA [ncmotorsportsassociation.org], she added.(Mooresville Tribune)(10-2-2004)

  • Richard Petty Driving Experience LMS Offers: Fans attending the UAW-GM Quality 500 Week events at Lowe's Motor Speedway will be able to take their racing experience to a new level as the Richard Petty Driving Experience offers race car rides around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway. The Ride-Alongs will be conducted from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17, the day after the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on Saturday night, Oct. 16. Rides cost $149 each and reservations are required.
    Each Ride-Along participant will receive three laps in a 600-horsepower NASCAR NEXTEL Cup-style stock car at speeds approaching 160 mph. The cars will be driven by professional Richard Petty Driving Experience instructors.
    For information or to secure a seat for the Ride-Along session, contact the Richard Petty Driving Experience at 1-800-BE-PETTY. UAW-GM Quality 500 Week runs Oct. 13-16 at Lowe's Motor Speedway and concludes Saturday night, Oct. 16, with round five of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. Tickets are available for all events and can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(10-1-2004)

  • Hagerstown's Frank Plessinger Earns LMS Promoter of the Year Award: Frank Plessinger, the longtime owner and promoter of Maryland's Hagerstown Speedway, will be honored as the Lowe's Motor Speedway Promoter of the Year during pre-race festivities for the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event on Saturday night, Oct. 16.
    Under Plessinger's guidance, the half-mile dirt track annually hosts one of the country's most diversified schedules. With a season stretching from late February to the end of October, Hagerstown Speedway's weekly schedule features late model stock cars, but its array of special events ranges from flat-track motorcycles to Monster Trucks to World of Outlaws sprint cars. Celebrating its 57th season, Hagerstown Speedway hosts such premier national events as the Hub-City National 150 for late model stock cars and the Hub-City Classic for the Grand National motorcycles of the American Motorcyclist Association. An Easter egg hunt, fireworks, a Father's Day celebration, demolition derbies, enduro races and an Octoberfest Camping Party, complete with food and musical entertainment, are just a sampling of the track's many special events. Former recipients of the Lowe's Motor Speedway Promoter of the Year Award include Earl Baltes, Ralph Capitani, Ned Jarrett, Bill Donoho, Dick and Bob Bahre, Charles PoweII, Mickey Swims and Tom Curley. Tickets for the UAW-GM Quality 500, round five of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, on Saturday night, Oct. 16, start at just $29 and can be obtained online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(9-26-2004)

  • Collectible Bojangles' Pole Night Ticket Celebrates 35th Anniversary of RCR: In recognition of Richard Childress Racing's 35th anniversary, team owner Richard Childress and highlights from his remarkable career are featured on the collectible ticket for Lowe's Motor Speedway's Bojangles' Pole Night on Thursday, Oct. 14. Childress first showed his entrepreneurial spirit selling peanuts at Bowman-Gray Stadium, a legendary short-track in his hometown of Winston-Salem, N.C. By the time he was 17, Childress had earned enough money to purchase a race car and he moved from the grandstand to the track. Production of the collectible ticket, the 25th in a series of Pole Night ducats, was limited to just 7,500. The ticket, printed in vibrant four-color on quality stock, sells for $15 in advance and will be $20 the day of the event. Time trial runs during Bojangles' Pole Night on Thursday, Oct. 14, will determine the 43-car starting field for the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race on Saturday night, Oct. 16. Qualifying for the Oct. 15 Lowe's presents The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300 Busch Series event and the Charlotte debut of the American Speed Association late model stock cars are also on the schedule. The limited-edition Bojangles' Pole Night ticket, along with tickets for all October events at Lowe's Motor Speedway, can be ordered online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(9-22-2004)

  • Driver to be inducted into Dirt Track Walk of Fame at LMS: Dirt late model racing veteran Freddy Smith will be inducted into The Dirt Track Walk of Fame prior to the Golden Corral Dirt Late Model Championship Saturday night, Sept. 18, at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway. Smith will join 18-time World of Outlaws sprint car champion Steve Kinser, DIRT modified legend Bob McCreadie, longtime sprint car ace Sammy Swindell, DIRT founder Glenn Donnelly, late model legend Mike Duvall and the late AMA motorcycle star Will Davis in the Walk of Fame. To purchase tickets, call 1-800-455-FANS or visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(9-5-2004)

  • Tix at Lowe's Motor Speedway Lower: With the goal of a packed house for its race in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Lowe's Motor Speedway has reduced ticket prices in various seating areas for the UAW-GM Quality 500 on Saturday night, Oct. 16. The fall race has not sold out since the speedway expanded its permanent seating capacity to nearly 167,000 to accommodate crowds for the Memorial Day Weekend Coca-Cola 600. Speedway officials have now reduced ticket prices in areas of typically unsold inventory for the October event.
    Ticket prices in the Diamond Tower Terrace, normally priced at $98 and $110, have been reduced to $65, $75, $85 and $95. Select frontstretch seats, normally priced at $96 and $101, have been reduced to $39. Fourth Turn Terrace seats, normally $119, are now $49, $59 and $85. Substantial savings are also available in the South Grandstand (between Turns One and Two) where ticket prices have been reduced from $96 to as little as $29 depending on location.
    In addition, the speedway is offering a four-race SUPER Ticket package for only $99. Designed to encourage out-of-state race fans to visit the Charlotte region, the SUPER Ticket includes admission to the Mopar Sprint Car Nationals at The Dirt Track (Oct. 13), Bojangles' Pole Night (Oct. 14), The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300 presented by Lowe's (Oct. 15) and the UAW-GM Quality 500 (Oct. 16).
    Tickets for all UAW-GM Quality 500 Week events can be obtained by calling the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(9-1-2004)

  • Not NASCAR but... With the Summer Sho