Speedway pushing to manufacture apparel in the U.S.

CONCORD, NC (WBTV) - If you pick up the official t-shirt for the Bank of America 500, you'll find it's an item made entirely in the U.S. In fact, production elements for the entire t-shirt never leave the state of North Carolina. Don Hawk, Charlotte Motor Speedway's Vice President of Business Affairs, says the push came from the top.

Marcus Smith wanted to try to find companies to make CMS logoed merchandise in the U.S. Hawk said the process costs more to make than it would to send the jobs overseas, but the cost is not passed on to the consumer and is already paying off.

"During the Coca Cola 600 weekend we sold out of t-shirts and had to order more and they had to put on a second shift and put on more people," Hawk said of Jensen Apparel who makes the t-shirts in Albemarle. Hawk says the company added 22 new jobs to deal with the extra work.

We found race fans shopping in the CMS gift shop who are more than happy to buy American made.

"I think it's fantastic that they've even thought about that, it's very important that we buy American whenever we can," said Karen Krueger of Pittsburgh.

CMS is now pushing to add more items to the list of American made.