Last weekend I went to my first NASCAR race. I organized a customer event for our customer advisory board in Charlotte, NC, and then hoped to entertain them during the Bank of America 500 at the mecca of all race tracks, Charlotte Motor Speedway. This was supposed to be THE place to immerse yourself in the NASCAR experience. Many of the NASCAR teams call Charlotte home so most of the culture resonates in and around the Charlotte area.

Out of our entire group only one had been to a NASCAR event. I don’t recall which race or track this was since it really didn’t make an impression on him other than “it is loud.” Anyhow, none of us knew much about it so we brought an expert with us just so she could talk the talk and answer questions when they came up. She has been to several NASCAR events and follows the drivers. Experiencing a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway was on her bucket list so we paid her way out there in exchange for NASCAR chatter and jargon. We all had questions and they were all over the place from how NASCAR started and how much a car is supposed to weigh to average speeds around the track. Our expert was very knowledgeable and was a great help.

Little did I know that our first experience with NASCAR would blow her away. She was floored the entire time even though she had been to several events. I was very surprised to hear what our expert had to say after we got back to Dallas,

"Very cool! That was really a fantastic event. You guys rocked! Thank you so much for not knowing squat about NASCAR so I could go! I’ve been to umpteen NASCAR races and that blew em all out of the water. I can only imagine how cool that must have been for someone who had never been. Seriously well done!!! From what I heard from your customers, all were extremely happy with level of service, special attention to detail, the surprises and the experience as a whole."

The thank you notes from all of the customers were amazing. Never have I had such a response for a work related event. Normally, I get the “courtesy” thank you at the conclusion of a sales or marketing function but the feedback that I got via email after our weekend really stunned me. Here are some of the actual customer quotes regarding their experience at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

"As usual, ITKO has outdone itself!!! What a great event last week and with such a great group of people both ITKO and clients…. good planning by all to pick NASCAR. A big thank you to Scott and his team for all they do to make this happen."

"Hey guys. Thanks for inviting me, and for taking good care of me and everyone else. Your event team is a force of nature."

"I want to let all 3 of you know that I really appreciate what you did for the CAB. A lot of extra touches that are just really cool. Those details build so much loyalty with everyone, and I wanted to thank you for it."

"I had a great time and really appreciate this."

"Please extend my thanks and appreciation to Lauren, Beki, Scott, MJ, and the rest of the ITKO team for your hospitality this past weekend. My son and I really had a most excellent time. You guys went way beyond anything we were expecting! It was our first trip to a NASCAR event, and you've probably ruined any future races for us after the suite, passes, guests, food, drink, etc… My son asked me to express his thanks separately, that's how good a time he had. His description of the weekend – EPIC!"

"I wanted to thank you and your peers again for hosting us at the NASCAR race Saturday night. I had a great time and it was really a once in a lifetime experience!"

If that isn’t enough to get to Charlotte then maybe you need to read from the top again. The people that attended our function get invited to all kinds of high-priced functions like The Masters, The Superbowl, World Series since they hold the purse strings to corporate dollars and the thrills they experienced in Charlotte trumped them all.

I want to thank the Charlotte Motor Speedway team that worked with us and helped us pull off an amazing weekend. They are an outstanding group of people that I feel went above and beyond expectation.

  • Thank you, Dan Farrell, for putting up with our antics and providing the extra services.
  • Big thanks goes to Karl Booker our sales contact. Not only did Karl deliver everything as expected but also provided service to us on race day at a moments notice. He knows the best spots at the track to see the action. (My clothes still have rubber on them from being so close to the action)
  • Our event coordinator and service delivery lead, Colette Zielinski, is the best. She made us feel like family.
  • Thanks to “Couch man“. We hope you enjoy your new sponsor.
  • Thanks to the FedEx team that introduced me to Denny Hamlin #11.

If you have the opportunity to go to Charlotte to watch a race. You MUST go and you MUST take me. (I know all of the cool spots). If you have any questions or want to hear more, please feel free to contact me. I would be happy to scream in your ear about how much fun we all had. Here is a short video we made regarding the experience in Charlotte. Enjoy.

- Scott King