Mayors, Drivers Show Support For May Race To Education Program at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Friday, May 18 2131
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.” Since the announcement, communities from Asheville to Wilmington have shown their support with special events, proclamations and driver appearances. Marcus Smith, Charlotte Motor Speedway president and general manager, was on hand Monday when the Charlotte City Council proclaimed May 17-27 as the May Race to Education and Motorsports MegaFest Weeks at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Concord Mayor Scott Padgett greeted Concord’s driver, Marcos Ambrose, outside the speedway to proclaim Race Weeks as Marcos Ambrose Days in his community. And NASCAR’s David Ragan attended a Harrisburg Town Council meeting, where he posed for photos and visited with fans who will be rooting for him to win. Other events across the state included appearances by the Charlotte Motor Speedway Fan Van and Lug Nut, the world’s fastest mascot. “Since we selected Marcos as Concord’s driver, I’ve been studying up,” Padgett said. “He’s a really good driver and I think we’ve got a really good chance (of winning) with him.” 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. CMS
Speedway Digest Staff

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