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The North Carolina Motorsports Association will honor one of North Carolina’s first racing families — the Jarretts — with its Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award at the eighth annual North Carolina Motorsports Industry Awards Ceremony presented by Fifth Third Bank. The ceremony will take place Jan. 20, 2014 at the Embassy Suites in Concord, N.C.

The NCMA Motorsports Industry Awards Ceremony presented by Fifth Third Bank pays tribute to North Carolina’s $6 billion motorsports industry. Each year, the Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award recognizes a person whose contributions to racing have made an immeasurable impact on motorsports in North Carolina. Previous recipients were Benny Parsons, Richard Petty, Richard Childress, Dale Earnhardt, Junior Johnson, O. Bruton Smith and H.A. Humpy Wheeler. In addition, NCMA presents industry awards to various North Carolina entities that have positively affected the motorsports community within the state.

Ned and Martha Jarrett, along with their children Glenn, Dale, Patti and grandson Jason will be honored for their lifelong contributions to motorsports in North Carolina. Ned, Glenn, Dale and Jason Jarrett each spent time behind the wheel with Ned and Dale being named to NASCAR’s “50 Greatest Drivers” list in 1998. They will become only the second father-son drivers to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame when Dale Jarrett is honored in January. Ned, Glenn and Dale Jarrett have each worked in broadcasting, covering NASCAR’s major series. Ned Jarrett, working for CBS Sports in the broadcast booth, calling his son, Dale, to victory in the 1993 Daytona 500 is remembered as one of the greatest moments in stock car racing history.

“That isn’t just a great racing moment, it was an amazing family moment in a sport where family is the cornerstone of everything we do,” said Greg Fornelli, NCMA Chairman of the Board. “The Jarrett family epitomizes everything that is good about our sport, and while their individual accomplishments are immense, their impact as a whole is immeasurable. From their home, to the race track, the broadcasting booth and everywhere in between, the Jarrett family is the heart of racing in North Carolina. And we honor that legacy.”

In addition to honoring the Jarrett family, NCMA will also pay tribute to Jim Hunter with its media recognition award. Hunter, who passed away in 2010, spent more than 40 years working in motorsports, first as a journalist with the Columbia (S.C.) Record and Atlanta Journal-Constitution before moving to public relations positions with Darlington Raceway, Talladega Superspeedway and NASCAR. He served as president of Darlington, vice-president of International Speedway Corp. from 1993 to 2001 when he became NASCAR’s vice-president of corporate communication, a position he held until his death at age 71.

In 2014, NCMA will honor the following companies with industry awards  – DCE, Inc., Motorsports Authentics, Carolina Speedway, The Dirt Track @ Charlotte’s World Finals, Rev Racing and Stocks for Tots.

NCMA PR

The Coca-Cola Company was honored today with the 2013 NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon held in the Encore Ballroom at Wynn Las Vegas. An official partner since 1998, Coca-Cola becomes the first three-time recipient of the prestigious award. Utilizing an immersive integrated marketing approach, Coca-Cola has engaged fans, customers and employees across virtually every facet of the NASCAR ecosystem, including intellectual property, promotions, public relations, B2B, online, broadcast, at track, event marketing, social media and retail.

“Over the course of our 15-year relationship Coca-Cola has become one of the most recognized brands in our sport,” said Jim O'Connell, NASCAR chief sales officer. “Once again Coca-Cola raised the bar by creating innovative activation and an integrated marketing approach to engage with millions of NASCAR fans, embodying the spirit of the award.”

This year, Coca-Cola introduced a series of brand spots titled, “Coca-Cola Racing Family Road Trip,” featuring NASCAR stars Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick, Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano. The four-part series premiered during the Daytona 500 and its creative mirrored storylines that were playing out on the track throughout the season. 

“The Coca-Cola partnership with NASCAR is rich in history and passionately multifaceted. We’re honored and humbled to receive this prestigious award from such a valuable partner,” said Sharon Byers, senior vice president, sports and entertainment marketing, Coca-Cola North America Group. “From our Coca-Cola Racing Family members to decades of supporting local, regional and national activation, together our properties talk to a broad scope of fans. In 2013, the NASCAR partnership extended across 19 tracks, 13 current and alumni drivers, two entitlement races, activation with 36 national retail partners in over 250,000 retail locations, 2.8 million My Coke Rewards entries in NASCAR-themed sweepstakes and nearly 12,000 participants in our Coca-Cola Family Track Walks.” 

In 2013, Coca-Cola executed a number of integrated marketing campaigns designed to reach its key stakeholders, including:

·        Coca-Cola’s two entitlement races, Coca-Cola 600 and Coke Zero 400, which bookend the summer months – a particularly important selling-season for Coca-Cola.

–       Coca-Cola 600 activation included a Coca-Cola Racing Family Track Walk and iHeart Radio Trace Adkins Concert attended by 1,500 members of the military in Charlotte, N.C.

–       The “Coke Zero Enjoy Everything Island” was created on Lake Lloyd during the Coke Zero 400 in Daytona Beach, Fla., featuring games / prizes, driver interviews and live music.

·        Coke Zero teamed up with Danica Patrick to release new Enjoy Everything creative that aired during the Coke Zero 400.

·        Partnered with NASCAR’s three auto manufacturers (Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota) to create three My Coke Rewards promotions that resulted in more than 2.8 million entries and a total of 160,000 opt-ins for the auto manufacturers.

·        Implemented a sweepstakes program in 180 military commissaries across the country during the “NASCAR: An American Salute” program in May.

·        Through various retail and local market activations Coca-Cola executed more than 100 programs leveraging its status as the Official Soft Drink of NASCAR. 

·        Continued to execute an at-track recycling program that places approximately 10,000 recycling bins at NASCAR race tracks throughout the season, resulting in more than 15 million cans and bottles recycled to date, enabling NASCAR to become the largest recycler in sports.

Previous winners of the NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award include: Anheuser-Busch; Mars, Incorporated; ESPN; FOX / TNT / NBC; Gillette; Kmart; Nationwide Insurance; Office Depot; Sprint; The Home Depot; and Toyota.

This year’s awards will take place Dec. 6, returning to Wynn Las Vegas with FOX Sports 2 and NASCAR.com providing coverage from 9 p.m. – midnight ET. Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 will provide live coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The show will also re-air on FOX Sports 1 at noon ET on Dec. 8.

NASCAR PR

Carter 2 Motorsports welcomes aboard Jami Weimer to its roster of drivers for the 2014 season, beginning in December with the ARCA test session. Over 50 drivers and teams will gather in Daytona Beach, Florida to test their speed and stamina around the 2.5 mile asphalt super speedway, home of the Daytona 500, the most prestigious race in NASCAR.

Drivers must go through a strenuous application process including driver resume’s and references to be approved to lurk upon the high, 31° banks of Daytona. Once there, drivers must prove to ARCA officials of their driving abilities to be fully approved for the entire 2014 season.

Weimer began her racing career in March of 2010, driving a Bandolero with the Legends of Georgia. She quickly progressed up the ranks into the INEX Legend Car series and now completes in the Pro Truck division at various tracks around the Southeast.

“It’s every racers dream to make laps around Daytona. Ever since I was little I fantasized about this moment and for all of it to come true, it’s surreal.” Weimer stated. “I have huge expectations as this life changing weekend approaches, from learning about the cars, meeting new people, and displaying my abilities both on and off the track. I’m extremely thankful for God to bless me with this opportunity, for my family’s support, and for Roger and Dana Carter, and everyone working at C2M, to believe in me and give me a chance for this once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Carter 2 Motorsports/Jami Weimer Racing is actively seeking all levels of marketing partners for their ARCA program. They offer comprehensive sponsorship packages that will work for any budget. Packages may include some or all of the following: decal of their company’s name or any name they would like to be placed on various parts of the race car, complimentary all access passes for the entire race weekend of their choice and other hospitality amenities.

Carter 2 Motorsports/Jami Weimer Racing PR

Last year Erik Jones entered the gates of Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla. as a relative unknown, this year he returns as the defending champion of the Snowball Derby and one of the most promising young talents in all of NASCAR. However, as irony would have it, the 17-year-old will be defending his title Sunday Dec. 8 during the 46th Annual running of the prestigious event in the same machine he defeated one year ago, the No. 51 Camry for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) - which this year will have primary sponsorship from Phoenix Construction.

 

"Words can't describe how great it would be to have my name along with Rich Bickle and Augie Grill as the few to get back-to-back wins," Jones stated. "Last year's win was huge for my career and provided me with the opportunity to be here this year driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Having Phoenix Construction onboard this time around really means a lot. James Finch is a true racer who has done a lot for the sport over the years and has provided opportunities to a lot of talented drivers, so I'm honored to have him onboard our No. 51 Camry this weekend."

 

"I'm proud to be able to support a great young talent like Erik in one of the most prestigious racing events in the country," Finch said. "He made a name for himself winning the event last year and now that he has aligned with Kyle and KBM, he is going to be tough to beat this year. I'm looking forward to cheering the No. 51 on this weekend." 

 

Jones memorable triumph in last year's event, where he outdueled NASCAR superstar Kyle Busch in a side-by-side battle in the closing laps, will forever be stamped as the turning point in his racing career. Driving for his family-owned team in his first Snowball Derby attempt, the then 16-year-old led a race-high 124 laps to collect the victory over a field that included NASCAR regulars Busch, David Ragan, and Nelson Piquet Jr. along with former race winners Augie Grill, Johanna Long and Chase Elliott.

 

"It's a feeling that's hard to come by," Jones remarked about last year's win. "Winning a race like the Snowball Derby -- that has more history and prestige than most races -- really is special. It's a race where you have everyone from the local guys up to the NASCAR guys that come down to run this prestigious event. We are all on an equal playing field, which is a rare happening, so winning it as a nobody makes it just that much more special."

 

Shortly after the Michigan native's prestigious victory, Busch signed the talented youngster to a five-race schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for 2013.  The racing prodigy took advantage of the opportunity, finishing inside the top 10 in every start, including his final start at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway in November where he led a race-high 84 laps en route to becoming the youngest driver to win a NASCAR National Series event.

 

In addition to his time contributing to KBM's No. 51 Tundra's owner's championship this season, Busch added three of the biggest Super Late Model events in the country to his young driver's schedule. In his debut behind the wheel of the No. 51 Camry, Jones led the final 49 laps en route to victory in the prestigious Winchester 400. The Michigan native also drove KBM's entry in the All-American 400, but after getting caught up in a late-race accident was relegated to a 16th-place finish.

 

Jones hopes that he can close out an already impressive 2013 campaign - which saw him register wins in the Truck Series, the ARCA Racing Series and in the Super Late Model Winchester 400 -  by bringing home back-to-back Tom Dawson Trophies. 

 

"2013 has been a great year -- we were finally able to get a win in the ARCA Racing Series and then were able to follow that up with a win in the Winchester 400 and topped the year off with the win in the Truck Series race at Phoenix. If we were able to finish the year with another Derby win, I'd be just as speechless as I was last year. I really can't wait to get to the track. "

 

Jones will kick off the week of events on Wednesday for the Cat Country/WEAR TV3 Green Flag party, where he will draw for the Snowball Derby qualifying. Thursday he will strap into the No. 51 Phoenix Construction Toyota Camry for the first time during practice from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. CST. Friday will continue with practice and WXBM Pole Position Snowball Qualifying at 6 p.m. More practice will take place early on Saturday and the green flag will drop for the 46th Annual Snowball Derby 300 at 2 p.m. on Sunday Dec. 8. For more information on the schedule of events visit www.5flagsspeedway.com

 

KBM PR

Eckrich was awarded top honors for its "Operation Inspiration" campaign at this year's PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Awards contest. The campaign won Gold in the "Just Cause" category, which recognizes best community outreach initiative.

Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, launched in 2013 "Operation Inspiration", a campaign designed to honor, thank and support the military families who inspire us. Through the "Operation Inspiration" campaign, Eckrich donated a portion of product sales to Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization which supports military families and wounded warriors. Through the campaign, Eckrich also surprised several military families with well-deserved items and experiences, including a new car, mortgage-free home and special trips, many of which included surprise visits from Al Roker and NASCAR legend Richard Petty among others.

"Everyone at Eckrich is very pleased to be recognized for our 'Operation Inspiration' campaign," said Charles Gitkin, vice president, marketing, innovation and R&D for the John Morrell Food Group. "Above all, it was an honor to help America's military families and show our appreciation for them. But it's very nice to be acknowledged by PromaxBDA for our hard work and efforts. We're extremely grateful for the award."

The PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Awards contest is a celebration of the campaigns that best demonstrate excellence, creativity and strategic promotion, marketing and design, and the winners exemplify the best the industry has to offer.

This is the first time that Eckrich entered the contest. It beat Coca-Cola's "2013 NCAA Youth Activation Fueled by Powerade" campaign for highest accolades in the "Just Cause" category. Other winners included Verizon, ESPN and EA Sports.

PromaxBDA leads the global community of those passionately engaged in the marketing of television and video content on all platforms, inspiring creativity, driving innovation and honoring excellence. The association represents more than 10,000 companies and individuals at every major media organization, marketing agency, research company, strategic and creative vendor and technology provider and is considered to be the leading global resource for education, community, creative inspiration and career development in the media and media marketing sectors.

Smithfield PR

He might not be old enough to get a North Carolina driver's license, but 13-year-old Todd Gilliland is already showcasing his skills behind the wheel of a racecar.  The son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Gilliland came within two car lengths of earning a win in just his third race in a stock car Sunday, finishing second in the Southeast Limited Late Models event at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway.

 

Gilliland started the 100-lap event in fifth after topping the speed charts in practice sessions earlier in the weekend.  After initially slipping back to 13th, his No. 98 Performance Racing Warehouse/Superior Logistics Ford got more comfortable on the rough half-mile oval and started climbing through the field. 

 

By Lap 58 he had pushed his way back into the top 10 and sat in eighth.  And by Lap 79, he was battling it out three-wide for third place - a position that he won.  Gilliland passed for second position with just seven laps to go and then set his sights on the leader.

 

A Lap 95 caution for a competitor in the wall put Gilliland's final charge on hold until they could clear the track and prepare for a green-white-checkered finish.  Restarting in second, he had two laps to try to catch Christian PaHud.  He couldn't overtake the leader, but he held back the rest of the field to finish second.

 

The eighth-grader at Mill Creek Middle School in Claremont, N.C., now has two top-10 finishes in just three late model starts since September.  Gilliland just recently advanced to racing stock cars after winning the 2013 USAC World Formula National Quarter Midget Championship, winning races across the country from California to North Carolina.

 

"I'm loving racing these cars," said the young racer.  "It's still new to me but I'm having a lot of fun.  I can't wait for next year to run more tracks and get more experience."

 

He is the third generation of Gilliland racers, following his father, David, and grandfather, Butch, who also competed in the Cup Series.

 

"Our original plan was just to test Todd in the late model this year," said David Gilliland.  "But when we saw how quickly he took to it, we let him race.  And I couldn't be prouder of him.  He's showing maturity and patience that you don't expect from a 13-year-old.  He's doing things already that took me 15 years to learn."

 

Todd Gilliland Racing will now take time off for the holidays and prepare for a full season of late-model racing in 2014.  Follow the team's plans at ToddGilliland.com and on Twitter at @ToddGilliland_.

 

Todd Gilliland PR

 Two-time defending Tennessee NASCAR Whelen All-American Series State Champion Nate Monteith of Bristol, Tenn. will showcase the lone Late Model Stock Toyota Camry built by Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) Chassis in the Thanksgiving All-Star Classic between Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 at Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, N.C.

 
The partnership will allow KBM Chassis to further evaluate the first-ever Late Model Stock built by the company. In the chassis' lone start, KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch led 65 of 75 laps with the Toyota Camry en route to victory in the 2013 Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in April.

During the 2011 and '12 racing seasons at Kingsport Speedway, the 31-year-old Monteith captured back-to-back Late Model Stock titles and recorded 10 feature wins each season (22 total pole awards) to bring his career late model victory tally to 67. Along with the two Kingsport Speedway titles, Monteith also has two track championships at Lonesome Pine Raceway in Coeburn, Va.

"When you look at what Kyle Busch Motorsports has accomplished in both NASCAR and Late Model Racing, it just made me feel good that a team of their caliber wants me to race their car for a weekend and provide feedback to Kyle Busch Motorsports Chassis shop," said Monteith while taking a break preparing the Toyota Camry at his race shop.
 
"After renting a Late Model Stock the first few years for Denny's race and putting a lot of time and effort into refurbishing it, Kyle decided that we'd be better off having KBM Chassis build one in-house," said Bond Suss, KBM's Late Model Manager and Shop Foreman. "The car was really fast at Richmond and Kyle was really happy with it, so we want to have another driver evaluate it for us as we are looking to build a few more this offseason and begin providing them to a few select customers." 
 
Monteith will chauffeur the East Tennessee Distillery - Tennessee Mellomoon, Ultratech Race Development, Kyle Busch Foundation, The Joie of Seating, Driven Steering Wheels, No. 51 Toyota Camry in the upcoming Thanksgiving All-Star Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park.
 
Nate Monteith PR

Building on the success of a new creative vision and brand campaign launched in February, NASCAR edged out all other major sports leagues and governing bodies,  taking home the Titanium Award for ‘Best Spot’ at the PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Awards in New York on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

NASCAR Vice President of Marketing Kim Brink accepted the award for “Twist” – a one-minute television spot portraying the emotion, drama and duality within a sport that changes unexpectedly at a moment’s notice – on behalf of NASCAR.

“Since 2011, we have worked to renovate our brand to be more relevant for today’s audience. NASCAR is thrilled and honored to receive this prestigious award for ‘Twist,’ which celebrates the heart and passion of our sport and its drivers,” said Brink. “This piece of creative challenges widely-held existing perceptions about the sport and showcases the intrigue and unpredictable nature of NASCAR – both on the track and across the sports landscape.”

The fourth annual PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Awards honored the best strategic and creative marketing from the global community. Along with NASCAR, Turner Sports, the National Football League, MSG Media, NFL Network and the Atlanta Falcons were all named Titanium award winners at PromaxBDA’s annual Sports Media Marketing Awards. Additional special honorees included ESPN Executive Chairman George Bodenheimer, who received the Lifetime Innovator Award for his contribution as a creative leader in the field of sports marketing, and Red Bull Media House, who received the Game Changer Award for being a cultural innovator as a brand marketer, production house and digital distributor.

NASCAR partnered with Ogilvy & Mather and its Hispanic arm, Ogilvy Rojo, to create the aggressive brand campaign meant to excite both existing fans and new audiences. At the core of the campaign were nine original spots in both English and Spanish, including “Twist,” that included more than two dozen drivers and various creative treatments. Featuring new digital engagement, radio and print, this was the most comprehensive and integrated campaign NASCAR has ever launched.

NASCAR PR

Bent sheet metal, hurt feelings, last-lap action and ecstatic winners.

That’s what the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach promised. And it delivered.

The event, held on the short track on the Superstretch of Daytona International Speedway, will return to the “World Center of Racing” during Budweiser Speedweeks 2014 on Tuesday, Feb. 18. It will highlight a week full of NASCAR racing at Daytona and neighboring New Smyrna Speedway, a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track.

“Fans around the world look forward to Speedweeks to kick off the NASCAR season, and we are proud to be able to present a week of short-track action leading up to the 56th running of the Daytona 500,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president of touring & weekly series. “The anticipation for last year’s first UNOH Battle At The Beach was surpassed only by the number of people talking about the electrifying finishes. From New Smyrna to Daytona, and from the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, this week provides a direct link between our short tracks and biggest stage, and further amplifies the spotlight on the rising talent throughout NASCAR’s touring and weekly series.”

The UNOH Battle At The Beach will return to Daytona as a championship points event for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and special non-points race for the NASCAR Whelen Modified and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour competitors. Both races will be 150 laps under the lights.

“The UNOH Battle At The Beach is a great opportunity for short track racers from around the country to compete on racing’s biggest stage,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “We’re looking forward to some intense competition with two exciting main events.”

“We are extremely excited to partner with Daytona and NASCAR on this premier event,” said Steve Farmer, UNOH vice president of institutional development. “A lot of hard work went into organizing and putting this together, and we’re proud to have UNOH involved in bringing short-track stars to the ‘World Center of Racing.’ We look forward to seeing everybody in Daytona.”

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season will kick off Sunday, Feb. 16 with a 150-lap championship points race on the banked half-mile at New Smyrna as part of the track’s 48th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing.

“As we enter our second year as a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track, it’s been great to work together with Daytona and NASCAR to really put together an exciting schedule for our fans and competitors,” Robert Hart, track owner of New Smyrna. “Not only will New Smyrna host its first NASCAR touring series event, but in addition to get NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and Whelen Modified special event at Daytona, we will have a full slate of super late model and modified racing that has been a staple of New Smyrna’s World Series.”

New Smyrna will run from Feb. 14-22, highlighted by its NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model Division. The division will run eight different nights, capping off with the 100-lap 1st Bruce Gowland Memorial on Saturday, Feb. 22. Last year, Ryan Moore edged Kyle Benjamin and Stephen Nasse to win the week-long Super Late Model points title.

New Smyrna will also host modifieds on six nights, culminating with the 100-lap 29th Annual Richie Evans Memorial on Friday, Feb. 21.

Last year at the UNOH Battle At The Beach, rising star Cameron Hayley picked up his first NASCAR win in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series portion, while veteran Steve Park scored a popular win in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race.

Daytona International Speedway has reached an agreement with a number of area hotels to secure special room rates during the UNOH Battle At The Beach to make it more affordable for racers and fans to attend the UNOH Battle At The Beach. More information can be found at http://daytonahotelmotel.com/speedway-short-track

NASCAR PR

On Nov. 8, NASCAR received the 2013 Diversity and Inclusion Award (DANDI) for its efforts in fostering diversity throughout the sport at a ceremony at the New York Times Building in New York City. Eight days later, on Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway, NASCAR’s diversity efforts reached another milestone when 21-year-old NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate Kyle Larson became the first Asian-American driver to win the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in any NASCAR national series, receiving the honor in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

“Early in the last decade NASCAR made a commitment to broadening the appeal of our sport by recruiting and developing dynamic new talent on the race track and throughout our sport. As a result, we are enhancing the fan experience for NASCAR fans everywhere,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president of public affairs and multicultural development. “We take great pride in being recognized during the 2013 DANDI Awards for our ongoing efforts.”

Founded in 2012, the DANDI Awards recognizes exemplary commitment and focus on diversity and inclusion. The mission of DANDI is to celebrate the contributions of any individual, group or organization that is truly making a difference toward creating a more diverse and inclusive world.

This year’s award ceremony featured an Executive Forum on “Shifting the Paradigm from Chaos to Unanimity” where participants discussed the current state of diversity and tackled effective methods for improving diversity initiatives, programs, organizations and the profession. Notable speakers included Bruce J. Stewart, the deputy director for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion with the United States Office of Personnel Management, and Wendy Lewis, SVP of Diversity and Strategic Alliances for Major League Baseball (MLB). Ericka Dunlap, who was crowned Miss America in 2004, hosted the ceremony while Grammy-nominated producer Chuck Harmony made a special guest performance.

The MLB as well as the United States Tennis Association (USTA) were nominated for the award’s Sports category. Along with NASCAR, other category winners at the second annual DANDI Awards Ceremony included SiriusXM Radio (Communications), BBC World News (Media), Cornell University (Education), Daymond John of FUBU (Entrepreneur) and Prudential (Financial Services). Additional brands honored were Johnson & Johnson Vision Care (Diversity Commitment), Tara Griggs-Magee (Diversity Impact), Black Leaf Vodka (Diversity in Innovation) and Steve Mariotti of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (Diversity Lifetime Achievement).

NASCAR PR

Can Lee Pulliam beat Ryan Preece in an SK Modified at Stafford? Which multi-time champion is better around Langley in a stock car: George Brunnhoelzl III or Dylan Kwasniewski? Would Canadian Scott Steckly beat Spaniard Ander Vilarino at England’s Brands Hatch?

And what happens when you let fans and media behind the wheel and into the mix?

Those questions – and bragging rights– will be determined Wednesday, Dec. 11 as the NASCAR touring & weekly series’ Champions Week in Charlotte, N.C., kicks off with the first NASCAR Home Tracks Champions Challenge presented by iRacing.com.

The unique event will be held on the iRacing simulator pods at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. iRacing.com is the world’s premier motorsports racing simulation which allows drivers, race fans and gamers alike to hone their skills and enjoy the thrill of the racetrack from the comfort of their home.

The event will kick off at 1:30 p.m. with an autograph session in the Great Hall at the NASCAR Hall of Fame where the championship trophies and cars will be on display with the seven NASCAR touring series champions and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion. Fans and media will be able to sign-up to compete against the champions, including Tyler Hudson, the recently crowned NASCAR iRacing.com Series World champion, in iRacing races from 2-4 p.m.

The final championship race will begin at 4:15 p.m. and will feature all nine champions competing against one another.

Champions at the event will include:

  • Dylan Kwasniewski, Las Vegas (NASCAR K&N Pro Series East)
  • Derek Thorn, Bakersfield, Calif. (NASCAR K&N Pro Series West)
  • Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn. (NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour)
  • George Brunnhoelzl III, West Babylon, N.Y. (NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour)
  • Ander Vilarino, San Sebastián, Spain (NASCAR Whelen Euro Series)
  • Scott Steckly, Milverton, Ont., Canada (NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1)
  • Rodrigo Peralta, Querétaro, Mexico (NASCAR Toyota Mexico Series)
  • Lee Pulliam, Semora, N.C. (NASCAR Whelen All-American Series)
  • Tyler Hudson, Houston, Texas (NASCAR iRacing.com Series)

Conveniently located in Uptown Charlotte, N.C., the 150,000-square-foot NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive, entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. The high-tech venue, designed to educate and entertain race fans and non-fans alike, is owned by the City of Charlotte, licensed by NASCAR and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards will take place Friday, Dec. 13. Among those honored will be the 2013 national champion, as well as track champions from 55 tracks across the United States and Canada, state and provincial champions and top rookies.

On the following evening, NASCAR’s touring series champions will be recognized at the traditional NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards. Set for Saturday, Dec. 14, honorees will include the champions from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1, Mexico’s NASCAR Toyota Series and NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.

Both the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards and the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Series Awards will be streamed live on NASCARHomeTracks.com.

NASCAR PR