Editorial: Charlotte’s turn on the racetrack

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 8, 2009

Charlotte’s turn
Lowe’s gave its sponsorship of Lowe’s Motor Speedway a good run ó 11 years of naming rights for some $35 million. Anyone who hadn’t heard of the North Carolina-based home improvement chain before the naming of Lowe’s Motor Speedway certainly heard its name countless times over the past decade.
Track owners with Speedway Motorsports may be sorry to lose the sponsorship, but reverting to “Charlotte Motor Speedway” puts the track back in touch with its roots. Charlotte Motor Speedway is an institution, and its name should be, too. Only two other NASCAR tracks have title sponsors ó Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., also owned by Speedway Motorsports, and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. That’s more than enough. It’s hard to imagine tracks at Talladega or Daytona being called anything else. Those names mean racing.
This is a good time to give the Charlotte name the kind of exposure Lowe’s enjoyed over the past decade. The Charlotte region is the birthplace of NASCAR and now home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. That connection needs to be reinforced, not sold out.