Both known for innovation and being at the forefront of their respective industries, officials from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) and Charlotte Motor Speedway announced a partnership on Wednesday aimed at raising awareness of breast cancer prevention, detection and treatment. The effort begins with the Oct. 10 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, which will be entitled the Drive for the Cure 300 Presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

Considered one of the premier events on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule, the Drive for the Cure 300 will air nationally on ESPN2 at 7:30 p.m. BCBSNC has agreed to a three-year sponsorship of the race.

"We are proud to partner with the official health insurance company of Charlotte Motor Speedway, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "At the core of both of our companies is a commitment to providing an unparalleled customer experience. We are eager to get to work raising awareness about breast cancer and creating an unforgettable race day experience for fans."

The announcement was made during a press event at the speedway where officials were joined by up to 100 breast cancer survivors to paint the pit road wall pink to kick off National Breast Cancer Awareness month.

"With a long history of service in communities across our state, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina shares North Carolinians' love of racing and their passion for getting healthy and staying healthy," said Reagan Greene Pruitt, director of brand marketing and management for BCBSNC. "With one in eight women diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in life, we will all know someone affected by it - but when detected early, survival rates exceed 95 percent. Our partnership with Charlotte Motor Speedway to raise awareness of breast cancer prevention, detection and treatment is an important part of our commitment to improving the health and well-being of our customers and the communities where we live."

The 300-mile fall classic was first run at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1982, the inaugural season for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Past winners include many of NASCAR's biggest names, from Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt and Harry Gant to Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch, who has a track-record nine NASCAR Nationwide Series wins at the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway.

Adult tickets for the Drive for the Cure 300 Presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina start at just $25, while kids 13 and under are admitted free with a paying adult. Tickets can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.

Connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CLTMotorSpdwy or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/charlottemotorspeedway.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.84 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. Since 1933, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina was recognized as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.