Members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Wounded Warriors Chapter 634 recently presented Charlotte Motor Speedway officials with a plaque commemorating the speedway’s designation as the nation’s first Purple Heart Speedway, in recognition of its long history of military tributes and outstanding commitment to honoring veterans.

The legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway, which hosts the Coca-Cola 600 each Memorial Day weekend, has made it a tradition to host elaborate pre-race shows honoring America’s service men and women, including everything from a re-enactment of the Battle of Grenada to reuniting active military home from duty with their families. Throughout the year, the speedway works with military groups on fundraising projects, conventions and other events. Last year, Charlotte Motor Speedway, in conjunction with the USO, hosted the largest homecoming event for Vietnam veterans that had ever been produced.

“We (military groups) do a lot here at the speedway,” said Mike Stubbs, commander of the Charlotte-based Military Order of the Purple Heart Wounded Warrior Chapter 634. “The courtesy we’re always shown is second to none; everything is just first-class. It means a lot to us to be able to recognize the speedway in this way.”

Marcus Smith, general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, signed a proclamation recognizing the award on Dec. 7, 2012, on the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. With the recognition, Charlotte Motor Speedway became the first motorsports facility to receive the Purple Heart Speedway designation.

“At Charlotte Motor Speedway, we take great pride in our commitment to recognizing the military, especially during our marquee events like the Coca-Cola 600,” Smith said. “We take every chance we get to honor them for their service and sacrifice. To have them reach out to honor us means a lot.”

The Military Order of the Purple Heart Wounded Warrior Chapter 634 boasts 116 members from Mecklenburg, Union, Gaston, Lincoln, Cabarrus and Rowan counties. Chapter 634 will serve as host when the state convention is held in The Speedway Club, May 10-11.

Tickets to the Coca-Cola 600 are available through the Charlotte Motor Speedway Ticket Office or online at Fans won’t miss a minute of the action with the Coca-Cola 600 Weekend Pass, which includes a ticket to LiftMaster Pole Day, the HISTORY 300 and the Coca-Cola 600, with packages starting at just $99.

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