More than 200 print and electronic journalists from 23 states and as far away as Germany will make their annual pilgrimage to the heart of NASCAR racing later this month as Lowe's Motor Speedway hosts the annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour.

An integral part of NASCAR's pre-season schedule, the 26th edition of this media event begins Monday morning, Jan. 21, and continues through Thursday afternoon, Jan. 24.

With support from sponsors Sprint and NASCAR, the Media Tour gives registered participants the opportunity to tour race shops; interview drivers, crew chiefs and team owners; and discuss the latest developments and news with motorsports industry insiders.

"We started the Media Tour in 1983 in order to generate publicity during what was traditionally a quiet period for the sport," said H.A.

"Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway.

"There is a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm this time of year as every driver has exactly the same number of points, and the Media Tour allows the journalists to convey that excitement and enthusiasm to race fans around the world."

Journalists from New York, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Miami, Fort Worth, Tampa, Toronto and Montreal are among those registered to participate, representing such media outlets as USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg News, ESPN, The Associated Press and Time magazine.

Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Dale Earnhardt, Inc., Petty Enterprises, Hall of Fame Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing are among the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams scheduled to host events.

Dodge and Ford will bring several of their Sprint Cup drivers and team owners together for media availability sessions and media members will also get their initial look at the new Windshear wind tunnel facility during an event co-hosted by Haas/CNC Racing. In addition, the Media Tour will also make its annual visit to the NASCAR Research and Development Center.

For information on the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Lowe's Motor Speedway, contact the speedway's communications department at (704) 455-3209.