Charlotte Motor Speedway was recognized Wednesday by the North Carolina Motorsports Association for contributions to the community through its Science, Technology, Engineering and Math-based educational field trip program.

Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, accepted the award, presented by NASCAR icon and former crew chief, team owner and broadcaster Ray Evernham.

"Through the STEM program, Charlotte Motor Speedway is helping to inspire tomorrow's scientists, engineers and mathematicians by being a mentor and role model that serves as a connecting piece that shows them how this relates to careers in our community where we work and live," Evernham said.

The STEM program at the speedway offers students a hands-on experience that educates, entertains and gives students the experience needed to learn about science, technology, engineering and math in the world of motorsports.

Participants cycle through five stations of activities that relate to real world, problem-based learning, which stimulates students interest and helps them better retain data with exercises that involve a Track Tour, Traction/Friction, Acceleration, Balance and Pit Stop Challenge.

As part of its commitment serving the community, Charlotte Motor Speedway has expanded its STEM program steadily each years from 13 events (reaching 579 students) in 2011-12 to 61 field trips (reaching 4,535 students) last year.

"We are honored and humbled to be recognized by the NCMA for something we strive to do every day - serve the community," Smith said. "Watching the children who take part in our STEM program learn and grow is always an exciting time, and we can't wait to see some of these youth go on to excel as scientists and engineers, and perhaps even find their way back to NASCAR for a career in the industry."

To purchase tickets and pit passes, fans should call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or buy online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.

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