Governor McCrory rolls out the paint and touts the impact of NASCAR in May

Speedway prepares for a big month
Published: May. 1, 2015 at 2:05 PM EDT|Updated: May. 31, 2015 at 2:06 PM EDT
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CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - Governor Pat McCrory was back in our area today, this time at the start/finish line at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Along with several other dignitaries, Governor McCrory helped paint the word "Charlotte" right below the start/finish line as part of a presentation to highlight the impact of motorsports on the region, especially in the month of May.

According to the speedway, May means a total economic impact of $230,000,000 and the support of 4,200 jobs.

"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."

Between May 15 and 24, fans representing 50 states and 15 foreign countries will visit Concord and the greater Charlotte area for events, including the Sprint All Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600.

"There are about 400,000 people who come to Charlotte for Speed Street," Charlotte Mayor Pro-Tem Michael Barnes said.  "The NASCAR Hall of Fame has its most successful month in terms of attendance during the month of May. Racing supports 25,000 jobs across this state and has, as the governor indicated earlier, over $6 billion impact and we feel that in Charlotte."

"The All Star Race itself has a $90 million impact on the region, so that's a really big deal for Charlotte," Barnes added. "A lot of cities, a lot of states would kill to get the economic impact we have because of racing in this city, in this region, and within this state."

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.

"When you think about all the activities that happen here during the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder, it is an amazing tourism extravaganza. It is something that every NASCAR fan has on their bucket list."

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