CONCORD, N.C. — North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory was joined by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty, Speedway Motorsports Inc. CEO O. Bruton Smith and other special guests Thursday morning at Charlotte Motor Speedway to sign a decree declaring May the month of motorsports in North Carolina.
“We’re creating more than 4,200 jobs through this great motorsports industry,” McCrory said. “Jobs are coming back to North Carolina and traveling tourism and the motorsports industry is helping lead the way.”
McCrory said when he talks to companies and manufacturers about relocating to North Carolina, he uses motorsports and NASCAR as a major selling point.
“Not only is motorsports great for traveling tourism and providing jobs, but we’re using motorsports and NASCAR as a recruitment tool to bring other industries into North Carolina. In fact, it is one of my greatest selling points,” McCrory said. “Guess what we’re selling? We’re selling the talent of NASCAR.”
Petty went further, explaining the money sponsors give him at Richard Petty Motorsports usually goes right back into the state.
“People really don’t understand how much money it (motorsports) brings to North Carolina,” Petty said. “It is unreal. Like $6 billion. I’ve got sponsors, they’re in New York or in California or in Tennessee or whatever, they bring money to North Carolina. When they bring it to me I’ve got to hire people to do different things. It just sort of goes through the process. Racing is one big draw for North Carolina.”
North Carolina is home to almost every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team as well as many NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams. Countless other businesses are based in and around Charlotte, N.C., in order to be close to the motorsports industry, making North Carolina a true international hub for those involved in motorsports.
“Charlotte right now is the center of all of our racing,” Petty said.