Approximately 200 print and electronic journalists from 19 states and as far away as Colombia, the Netherlands and Germany will convene in the heart of NASCAR race country next week as Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts the annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour.

An integral part of NASCAR's pre-season schedule, the 27th edition of this media event begins Monday morning, Jan. 19, and continues through Thursday afternoon, Jan. 22.

With support from sponsors Sprint and NASCAR, the Media Tour gives credentialed 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.

"Our annual Media Tour is the best avenue for members of the media to gain access to a majority of the NASCAR Sprint Cup team owners, drivers and crew chiefs as they prepare to begin a new season," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Advance registration for the Tour is as strong as ever and we've got a solid lineup of teams participating again this year. It looks like everyone is gearing up for another great season of racing."

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

Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Penske Racing, Gillett Evernham Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing and Red Bull Racing are among the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams scheduled to host events.

Ford will bring its Sprint Cup drivers and team owners together for a media availability session and media members will also get their initial look at the new SPEED Channel studios. 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 Charlotte Motor Speedway, contact the speedway's communications department at (704) 455-3209.