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 3,000cubic 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.

Frontstretch tickets with the best views of the new HD video board and pit road start at just $49 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.  Fans can also purchase two frontstretch tickets for just $99 to the Coca-Cola 600 by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online



NASCAR is back! And Michigan International Speedway has teamed up with partners FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek, Mich., and Budweiser to celebrate.

Paint FireKeepers red on Saturday, Feb. 12, during a free Budweiser Shootout Viewing Party from 5-11 p.m. The watch party will take place in the Dacey’s Sports Bar inside the casino. The Budweiser Shootout in Daytona kicks off the start to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

Numerous prizes will be given away throughout the evening, including a grand prize trip for two to this year’s Daytona 500. The grand prize package includes airfare, hotel accommodations and tickets to the Daytona 500, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series races, which are held on Feb. 18-20.

Garage passes, a hauler tour of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet and meet and greet with Sprint Cup Series superstar Kevin Harvick are all included in the package.

“It’s great when we can team up with our partners like FireKeepers Casino and Budweiser to host an event like this to kick off the 2011 race season,” MIS Director of Corporate Partnerships Josh Burgett said. “We may not be IN Daytona, but we can celebrate like we are and host a fun party for our fans. And it’s free! It will be great to see the Sprint Cup drivers back on track in what could potentially be an exciting race with the repaved surface at Daytona International Speedway.”

Other prizes that will be given away throughout the night are MIS tickets, Budweiser Acceleration hospitality packages and non-event weekend pace car rides.

The Bud Shootout has always been a fan favorite, which features the Top-12 Chase drivers along with other past shootout champions and NASCAR rookie of the year winners in a sprint to the finish. The event is annually held the weekend before the Daytona 500.

Last season, Harvick, the August Sprint Cup Series race winner at MIS, pulled ahead of Kasey Kahne to win his second consecutive Bud Shootout. Harvick will compete in 2011 with new Budweiser sponsorship. The former Daytona 500 winner will be at MIS in June to attempt to win two straight Sprint Cup Series races, which hasn’t been done in the Irish Hills since Greg Biffle in 2005.

Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is the Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It’s the love of racing and the thrill of a great time for race fans and drivers alike.

MIS’ Value Pricing ends on February 28. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tickets for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 on June 19 and NSCS 400 on August 21 are as low as $25. Visit or call the MIS ticket hotline at 800-354-1010 today to take advantage of great pricing for 2011 events at MIS.



Battery brand Energizer will “Light Up the Night” May 21 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Energizer, with the help of fans in attendance, will attempt to set a world record for shining the most flashlights simultaneously in a sporting arena. Energizer will distribute thousands of its LED Headlights – powered by an Energizer battery - and ask fans to “flash their brights” during pre-race activities.

Representatives from Guinness World Records will record and judge the “Light Up the Night” event.

Since the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race is taking place in May – which is right before the start of hurricane season – Energizer will make a donation to a Charlotte-area disaster response group to help them get prepared in advance of severe weather. The donations will be generated, in part, by purchase of Energizer batteries and lights at Target.

“As part of our new Now That’s Positivenergy platform, Energizer is committed to making a difference in communities across the country,” said Jim Olsen, vice president of North American marketing for Energizer. “We want to help the residents of Charlotte power through whatever Mother Nature throws their way,”

The free Energizer Headlights will be available to fans while supplies last.

Energizer’s partnership with Charlotte Motor Speedway is an outgrowth of its relationship with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Energizer has done paint schemes in the past as part of the Target program with the race team. The “Light Up The Night” event kicks off the 16th year Energizer and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing have worked together.



Stock car driving legend Harry Gant will appear in the Neon Garage during NASCAR Weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Gant and Carter will meet NASCAR fans for one hour each day, March 4-6, in the Neon Garage and also will participate in a question-and-answer session on the speedway’s midway on March 5.

Gant’s driving career began in 1963 when he and his friends built a car for the Hobby division at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Before he became a household name with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series fans, Gant was a terror on the short tracks of the Southeast, winning 300 races and capturing the NASCAR national Sportsman title three times (1972-74). The native of Taylorsville, N.C. joined the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ranks in 1973 and competed in 444 events. His first Cup win came in 1982 at Martinsville, Va. and built much of his fame behind the wheel of Skoal-sponsored cars (1981-1994), earning him the nickname “The Skoal Bandit.”

He went on to win a total of 18 Cup races. Gant came close to winning the Sprint Cup Series championship on a number of occasions, finishing in the top five in points six times. He also earned 21 NASCAR Nationwide Series victories from 1982-1994.

Gant retired from racing in 1994 and was feted in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in November of that year. He came out of retirement briefly in 1995 to compete on a limited basis in the then-new NASCAR Camping World Truck Series before hanging up his helmet for good.“I’m really excited to get to Vegas,” Gant said. “The track is a first-class facility and I love to talk to the fans. I retired not too long ago and many of them remember watching me race. It should be a lot of fun.

LVMS’s NASCAR Weekend begins March 2 with two nights of World of Outlaws Sprint Car racing on the half-mile Dirt Track before moving to the 1.5-mile superspeedway for Stratosphere Pole Day on Friday, March 4, the Sam’s Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, March 5 and the Kobalt Tools 400 for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Sunday, March 4.

As part of its youth initiative, LVMS is offering young race fans a 50-percent discount on tickets and free admission to the fabulous Neon Garage fan experience (when accompanied by an adult with a race ticket).



Phoenix International Raceway’s annual Night of Champions charity event on Feb. 24 will have a twist of mystery until the winner of the DAYTONA 500 is crowned just four days prior, on February 20. The 2011 Daytona 500 champ will join NASCAR Nationwide Series driver and Valley local Danica Patrick, three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Darrell Waltrip, former IndyCar driver Lyn St. James and PIR President Bryan R. Sperber to help celebrate the start of the 2011 NASCAR season and the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™ event weekend at Phoenix.

Night of Champions will be held at Frank and Albert’s, located in the legendary Arizona Biltmore Resort, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24. Waltrip, who retired from racing in 2000 and is now a lead analyst for NASCAR on FOX, will host the event that will benefit and raise awareness for the Arizona State University College of Nursing & Healthcare Innovation and St. James’  Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation.

“This year’s Night of Champions offers a star-studded group of honorees in Darrell Waltrip, Danica Patrick, Lyn St. James and the winner of the 2011 Daytona 500,” Sperber said. “Our eyes will focus on Daytona with added interest and intrigue as we wait to find out which NASCAR star will join us to help raise charitable funds and rev up the 2011 season at PIR.”

Tickets for “Night of Champions” are $250 each, and will provide guests with the chance to spend an evening with the 2011 DAYTONA 500 winner, Patrick, Waltrip and St. James, while contributing to the advancement of women in racing and research in nursing and health care at one of Arizona's leading educational institutions.

Presenting sponsorships for the event are also available. Sponsorship packages include inclusion on all event materials and an array of exclusive experiences throughout the NASCAR event weekend at PIR.

Those interested in attending or sponsoring "Night of Champions" are encouraged to contact Liz Thomas of Phoenix International Raceway at (623) 463-5670 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Veteran NASCAR crew chief David Ingram has been tabbed to crew chief Morgan's Shepherd's #89 NASCAR Nationwide Series entry in 2011, Faith Motorsports announced February 3.

Ingram, who served as crew chief for K-Automotive Racing's #26 program in 2010 has been around the garage for quite a few years. Ingram also worked as a crew chief for McDonald Motorsports' #81 program in 2009.

"David is a young guy but he has a lot of racing experience and most of his experience has come from his working with smaller teams, which is good," Shepherd said. "He has been brought up racing with a small budget and limited crew members so he is one of those crew chiefs who can work on the car and understands that our people have to be able to do more than one thing for us to be successful."

Shepherd said his 2010 crew chief Gary Ravan is still with the Faith Motorsports program and has assumed other duties in the two-car shop which will feature Shepherd's #89 and Brett Rowe's #55 Nationwide entries.

An announcement about who will fill the crew chief role for Rowe's program and other crew assignments will be forthcoming, the team said.

Fans wishing to learn more about Ingram can access an interview done while he was crew chief of the #81 team here:



Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is holding its second “Walk Like MADD, 5K walk or RUN” at Homestead-Miami Speedway this Saturday, Feb. 5 from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event will raise funds to benefit community alcohol-education programs, victim advocacy and the DUI prevention program “The Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence.” “Walk Like MADD” is open to adults and youth of all ages, with strollers and leashed dogs welcome.

“We’re ecstatic to provide our venue to MADD this weekend to help emphasize the need for safe driving,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matt Becherer. “On Saturday, we welcome guests to walk and run the very asphalt that will host the world’s best drivers for next month’s GRAND-AM Grand Prix of Miami and this fall’s NASCAR’s Ford Championship Weekend. Homestead-Miami Speedway is the perfect spot to educate the public on safe driving.”

Saturday’s “Walk Like MADD” event at Homestead-Miami Speedway runs from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and guests can participate in a 5K run or walk around the 1.5-mile, 18-20 degree variable-banked oval. Also on site for attendees: live music, food and interactive displays to include a Black Hawk helicopter, a vehicle roll-over simulation and police-canine demonstration.



Richmond International Raceway photographer John Harrelson was named the 2010 Howard O’Reilly Photographer of the Year in a vote by the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA).   The honor was announced at an awards ceremony at the NMPA meetings in Charlotte, N.C., where Harrelson was presented with a trophy.

There are four categories used to qualify a photographer for the honor: Race Action, Portrait/Personality, Feature and Crash Action.  Points are awarded based on where a photographer finishes in each category.  Harrelson, a native of Richmond, Va. placed first in Race Action for a shot of Denny Hamlin’s pit crew speeding through a stop, second in Portrait/Personality for a shot of “The King” Richard Petty deep in thought, second in Feature for a shot of track crews chasing a cat on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway and third in Crash Action for a shot of Paul Menard and Dennis Setzer wrecking at Talladega Superspeedway.

“It’s pretty exciting to have our track photographer named the 2010 NMPA Photographer of the Year,” said track president Doug Fritz.  “John does a great job and deserves this honor.”

Harrelson, who has been the official photographer of Richmond International Raceway since 1985, has also worked with Motorsports Images and Archives and Getty Images.

“This award is such an honor,” said Harrelson as he accepted his trophy in Charlotte, NC.  “Since I was a kid in the grandstands this is all I’ve wanted to do.  To win photographer of the year and know my name is going to be on the trophy at the Darlington Stock Car Museum means the world.  I’m doing what I love and being honored for it at the same time.”

In addition to Harrelson’s honor, track photographer Geoff Burke was also awarded a plaque for placing first in the Open category with a photo of Kyle Busch celebrating a win in Victory Lane.

Along with business partner Scott K. Brown, Harrelson just built a new state-of-the-art photography studio in Ashland, VA where the two can showcase their company Pixel Factory and Harrelson Photography Inc.

NASCAR returns to Richmond International Raceway for a NASCAR Tripleheader April 28-30, highlighted by the Saturday, April 30 Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 Sprint Cup Series race. Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased online at or by calling 866-455-RACE (7223).

The weekend also features the Friday, April 29 BUBBA burger 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race “under the lights.” Friday’s tickets start at $30 in advance. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East kicks off the weekend on Thursday, April 28, when they debut at America’s Premier Short Track for a race “under the lights.” Thursday’s tickets are general admission and $10. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission sections on Thursday and Friday. For tickets and information, log on to or call 866-455-RACE (7223).




Charlotte Motor Speedway is gearing
up for a spectacular year of entertainment as the track's 2011 schedule
features more than 100 days and nights of excitement.

The speedway's 2011 season includes premier NASCAR, NHRA and World
of Outlaws Series events, as well as two gigantic Food Lion AutoFairs.
Beginning with Cirque Du Soleil on March 3, the schedule features events at
all three venues on the speedway's complex including Charlotte Motor
Speedway, zMAX Dragway and The Dirt Track at Charlotte. The 2011 season will
conclude with the second annual Carolina Christmas light show and winter
festival, Nov. 21 through Jan. 1, 2012.

"Charlotte Motor Speedway's 2011 season schedule promises to be one
of the most action packed yet," said Marcus Smith, president and general
manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "More than one million fans will visit
us to see the world's greatest drivers compete and to create memories that
will last a lifetime."

Races quickly approaching in the Spring Season of Speed, include the
NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, the World of
Outlaws Sprint Car Showdown and the Coca-Cola 600.

The speedway is offering exceptional savings through season ticket
or multi-event plans for the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekends at Charlotte Motor
Speedway, NHRA events at zMAX Dragway and World of Outlaw races at The Dirt
Track at Charlotte.

For NASCAR fans, the best value in racing is the Victory Lane Club
Season Ticket. In addition to reserved seats to all three NASCAR Sprint Cup
Series races in May and October at the speedway, members will receive $1,500
in added value including a 15 percent discount on tickets, VIP parking,
trial membership to The Speedway Club, free tickets to other select speedway
events and invitations to members-only functions.

Drag racing fans can witness the two NHRA national events at the
Bellagio of drag strips with the zMAX Dragway Season Ticket. The package
includes 10 percent savings on four-day reserved tickets to both the NHRA
Four-Wide Nationals in April and the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in
September, VIP parking, a personalized photo identification hard card and
other great values.

To see "The Greatest Show on Dirt" at one of the world's premier
dirt track facilities, fans can purchase a 2011 sprint car or late model
ticket package for The Dirt Track at Charlotte. The Sprint Car Double Down
Ticket Package includes tickets to the May Sprint Car Showdown and
November's World Finals, while the Late Model Double Down Ticket Package
includes the World Finals and October's Late Model Showdown. Both packages
not only come with a five percent discount on ticket prices, but also
include VIP parking for both events, a free ticket to Saturday of the Spring
AutoFair, a free ticket to a Summer Shootout event, plus a free pit pass for
World Finals.


Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) announced today a multi-year partnership with world-renowned mixed martial arts (MMA) apparel brand TapouT, an Authentic Brands Group company. TapouT will make its NASCAR debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 5, 2011 as sponsor of the No. 2 Chevrolet Impala in the Nationwide Series event with driver Elliott Sadler.  KHI co-owner Kevin Harvick will also carry the world renowned black and white logo on the hood of the No. 2 TapouT Chevrolet Silverado in the Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway in 2011.

This partnership marks an unprecedented expansion for the TapouT brand, which to date has only sponsored MMA fighters and events. With the rise in popularity of MMA, TapouT is now branching out into new markets and reaching new fans in other sports.

Co-founders of TapouT, Skyskrape and Punkass, believe that NASCAR and MMA fans alike will be excited about the company’s new sponsorship venture.

“I expect NASCAR and MMA fans to be in a bit of shock – in a good way,” said Skyskrape.  “TapouT has never ventured outside of MMA like this, but seeing how the fans love both sports, I think they will be the real winners here. TapouT loves doing things out of the ordinary and we think this is going to be a great partnership.”

Punkass echoed Skyskrape’s sentiments. “There are so many crossover fans that will love to see TapouT breaking ground into other competitive sports.”

Fellow MMA fan and supporter Kevin Harvick is also looking forward to the opportunity to help TapouT expand into this market.

“TapouT has become one of the most well known brands in sports,” said Harvick. “To have the opportunity to become part of the TapouT organization means a lot to not only me, but the KHI racing family. DeLana and I are very excited about this program and look forward to kicking it off in Las Vegas.”  

Elliott Sadler will be exposing the TapouT brand to the NASCAR nation for their first event in Las Vegas.

“TapouT is coming on board with us in the perfect NASCAR market to launch our partnership,” said Sadler.  “When you think of Las Vegas you think of all the historic fights that have been held in that town. I'm a huge fan of mixed martial arts and TapouT apparel. They have some really bold designs that will definitely be appealing to NASCAR fans. We're going to work very hard to get these guys into victory lane in Vegas and work really hard to market the TapouT brand to all of the NASCAR fans.”

The multi-year sponsorship includes co-branded Kevin Harvick and TapouT product launching in Spring 2011.

Credit: Kevin Harvick Inc. PR

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