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‘From Scranton to Charlotte - 180 mph&#82...

July 13, 2017
By: Mark Miller '18
NASCAR has been my passion for many years and it is my dream to work in the sport upon graduation.

NASCAR has been my passion for many years and it is my dream to work in the sport upon graduation. This summer, I interned with Speedway Motorsports in Charlotte, North Carolina. Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI), headquartered in Charlotte, is a leading marketer, promoter and sponsor of motorsports activities in the United States. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates eight first-class racing facilities in significant markets across the country.


I began my internship with SMI in mid-May by helping to execute two NASCAR race weekends both at Charlotte Motor Speedway – The NASCAR Monster Energy All-Star Race weekend and the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend. During race weekends, I helped manage the race day experiences of several c-suite executives and corporate partners. I also assisted with the execution of the new NASCAR Trackside Live stage which featured many NASCAR drivers from the national touring series and a concert with the country music group Big & Rich.

Throughout the summer, I have helped the SMI national sales and marketing team by performing a variety of tasks. On a daily basis, I utilized Salesforce to update the team with sponsorship reports, television and digital consumption reports and industry news. I created social audience reports to examine platform follower growth on each of SMI’s tracks social media accounts. I also researched national athletic events in detail to investigate how brands leveraged their sponsorships in sports marketing campaigns.

I recently returned from Kentucky Speedway where I assisted my supervisors in executing another NASCAR race weekend. At Kentucky, I helped with a large hospitality setup in the infield that welcomed Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Danica Patrick and other motorsports personalities. I enjoyed learning how SMI performs at another property that they own.

I have had a very enjoyable experience living in Charlotte for the summer. It is a very young city that I believe will continue to grow as the years go on. Charlotte is the hub for everything motorsports related including NASCAR headquarters, race teams and marketing agencies. On the week leading up to the events at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the city hosted a festival called “Speed Street” that welcomed country music stars Billy Currington, Jake Owen, Granger Smith and The Cadillac Three. Most recently, Speedway Motorsports and the city of Charlotte have submitted a bid for a major-league soccer team.

I had many exciting moments this summer...

The most exciting was driving around Charlotte Motor Speedway with my supervisors in a brand new Chevrolet Camaro SS. We reached speeds upwards of 135 mph.


Other special moments included making conversations with NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon as he passed by my office in route to the television broadcast booth, transporting pace cars around the speedway minutes before the start of the Coca-Cola 600, attending the driver/crew chief meeting with celebrity Channing Tatum, and racing my supervisors (and unfortunately losing) at the local go-kart track.


Whether it be Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s notorious “Pass in the Grass” at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the 1987 All-Star Race or Tony Stewart’s final career win at Sonoma Raceway in 2016, Speedway Motorsports has provided venues for NASCAR history to take place. I am thankful for the opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes view and gain insights on how this company continues to be a leading innovator in NASCAR. It will truly be a summer that I will never forget.

 

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