Charlotte Motor Speedway
Charlotte Motor Speedway Lowe's Motor Speedway, is a motorsports complex located in Concord, North Carolina 13 mi from Charlotte. The complex features a 1.5 mi quad oval track that hosts NASCAR racing including the prestigious Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend, the NASCAR All-Star Race, the Bank of America Roval 400. The speedway was built in 1959 by Bruton Smith and is considered the home track for NASCAR with many race teams located in the Charlotte area; the track is owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports, Inc. with Marcus G. Smith as track president; the 2,000 acres complex features a state-of-the-art quarter mile drag racing strip, ZMAX Dragway. It is the only four-lane drag strip in the United States and hosts NHRA events. Alongside the drag strip is a state-of-the-art clay oval that hosts dirt racing including the World of Outlaws finals among other popular racing events. Charlotte Motor Speedway was designed and built by Bruton Smith and partner and driver Curtis Turner in 1959.
The first World 600 NASCAR race was held at the 1.5 mi speedway on June 19, 1960. On December 8, 1961, the speedway filed bankruptcy notice. Judge J. B. Craven of US District Court for Western North Carolina reorganized it under Chapter 10 of the Bankruptcy Act. At that point a committee of major stockholders in the speedway was assembled, headed by A. C. Goines and furniture store owner Richard Howard. Goines and Robinson worked to secure loans and other monies to keep the speedway afloat. By April 1963 some $750,000 was paid to twenty secured creditors and the track emerged from bankruptcy. By 1964 Howard become the track's general manager, on June 1, 1967, the speedway's mortgage was paid in full. Smith departed from the speedway in 1962 to pursue other business interests in banking and auto dealerships from his new home of Rockford, IL, he began buying out shares of stock in the speedway. By 1974 Smith was more involved in the speedway, to where Richard Howard by 1975 stated, "I haven't been running the speedway.
It's being run from Illinois." In 1975 Smith had become the majority stockholder. Smith hired H. A. "Humpy" Wheeler as general manager in October 1975, on January 29, 1976, Richard Howard resigned as president and GM of the speedway. Together Smith and Wheeler began to implement plans for expansion of the speedway. In the following years, new grandstands and luxury suites were added along with modernized concessions and restrooms to increase the comfort for race fans. Smith Tower, a 135,000 square feet, seven-story facility was built and connected to the grandstands in 1988; the tower houses the speedway corporate offices, ticket office, gift shop, leased offices and The Speedway Club, an exclusive dining and entertainment facility. The speedway became the first sports facility in America to offer year round living accommodations when 40 condominia were built overlooking turn 1 in 1984, twelve additional condominium units were added in 1991. In 1992, Smith and Wheeler directed the installation of a $1.7 million, 1,200-fixture permanent lighting system around the track developed by Musco lighting.
The track became the first modern superspeedway to host night racing, was the largest lighted speedway until 1998 when lights were installed around the 2.5 miles Daytona International Speedway. In 1994, Smith and Wheeler added a new $1 million, 20,000 square feet garage area to the speedway's infield. In 1995, 26-year-old Russell Phillips was killed in one of the most gruesome crashes in auto racing history. From 1997 to 1999 the track hosted the Indycar Series. On lap 61 of the 1999 race, a crash led to a car losing a tire, propelled into the grandstands by another car. Three spectators were killed and eight others were injured in the incident; the race was canceled shortly after, the series has not returned to the track since. The incident, along with a similar incident in July 1998 in a Champ Car race at Michigan International Speedway, led to new rules requiring cars to have tethers attached to wheel hubs to prevent tires from breaking away in a crash. Following the crash, the catch fencing at Charlotte and other SMI owned tracks was raised from 15 feet high with 3 feet overhangs to 21 feet with 6 feet overhangs to help prevent debris from entering the stands.
In February 1999, Lowe's bought the naming rights to the speedway, making it the first race track in the country with a corporate sponsor. Lowe's chose not to renew its naming rights after the 2009 NASCAR season; the track reverted to its original name, Charlotte Motor Speedway, in 2010. In 2005, the surface of the track had begun to wear since its last repaving in 1994; this resulted in track officials diamond-grinding the track, a process known as levigation, to smooth out bumps that had developed. The ground surface caused considerable tire-wear problems in both of the NASCAR races that year. Both races saw a high number of accidents as a result of tire failure due to the roughness of the surface. In 2006, the track was repaved. Track president "Humpy" Wheeler retired following the Coca-Cola 600 on May 25, 2008, was replaced by Marcus Smith. At the end of 2008, the speedway reduced capacity by 25,000 citing reduced ticket sales. At the same time, the front stretch seats were upgraded from 18 inche
Howard Augustine "Humpy" Wheeler is the former President and General Manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, one of the premier auto racing venues owned by Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Better known as H. A. or "Humpy" Wheeler, he has long been known as one of the foremost promoters of NASCAR auto racing. During an appearance on the National Public Radio quiz show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! in July 2006, Wheeler explained the origin of his nickname. He said that when his father had played football at the University of Illinois, he was caught once smoking Camel cigarettes, earning the name "Humpy" for the camel's hump, his father's friends began calling him "Humpy Jr." Growing up through high school, college football, racing, the name "Humpy" has stuck with him. Wheeler was born in North Carolina, he began his promotional career at age nine. He was a defensive lineman for the South Carolina Gamecocks in the late 1950s, his teammates included future NASCAR communications director Jim Hunter, Jim Duncan.
Early in Humpy's career, he was the race tire rep.for Firestone Tire and represented them at the Indy 500 for several years and helped them achieve an incredible winning record that stands today. After becoming the president of Charlotte Motor Speedway, Wheeler earned the reputation for organizing publicity stunts. A few weeks after driver Cale Yarborough gave the less-than-complimentary nickname'Jaws' to rival driver Darrell Waltrip, Wheeler bought a giant dead shark, placed a dead chicken in the shark's mouth, had it driven around the track on a flatbed truck before a race at Charlotte. In 1984, the pre-race show for the World 600 was a reenactment of Operation Urgent Fury, the invasion of Grenada the previous year. In 2007, Wheeler announced that the Bank of America 500 would feature an "all-you-can-eat grandstand," where fans would pay a set ticket price, would get to eat as much as they wanted of the grandstand's food before and after the race; the publicity for this event included Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest champion Joey Chestnut at the press conference.
Wheeler has a personal record of picking the correct winner of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race 10 of the last 19 years. In 2000, much to the dismay of Dale Earnhardt Sr. Wheeler picked Cup rookie Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win and Earnhardt Jr. went on to become the first rookie to win the event. In 2005, he picked Mark Martin won the race. In 2006, he picked Carl Edwards to win, he picked Johnson to win the 2007 event. He again chose Edwards to win the 2008 event; the Coca Cola 600 held on May 25, 2008 was to be Wheeler's last race as President of the Lowe's Motor Speedway. Steve Byrnes of FOX Sports and Speed TV honored Wheeler before the race and Wheeler in turn gave a speech thanking race fans from all over the United States in addition to people from foreign countries for coming to the race: "I owe a tremendous gratitude to you for buying tickets to our facility. If we meet again may you be in the palm of God." Although he had announced that he would step down as President and General Manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway soon after the race, Wheeler had hopes of staying on as a part-time consultant in light of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Speedway in 2009.
However due to a falling out with Bruton Smith for reasons yet unknown, Wheeler's lengthy association with Lowe's Motor Speedway was unceremoniously ended. Smith thereafter wasted no time in appointing his son, Marcus Smith, as the new President and General Manager of the Speedway. During an interview on Speed TV's "Wind Tunnel" on June 1, 2008, Wheeler stated that in addition to working as a part-time consultant, one of his primary projects during retirement will be working on a book devoted to his recollections of the numerous personalities he has known over his many years as a racing promoter at Lowe's Motor Speedway and prior to that during his years in Indianapolis and at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. In an off-track but still automotive related pursuit, Wheeler provided the voice for "Tex," a 1975 Cadillac Coupe de Ville cartoon character, in the 2006 Pixar hit film Cars. On August 18, 2008, Wheeler announced the formation of The Wheeler Company, a consulting management firm focusing on general business, professional sports, motorsports.
Wheeler serves with his son Howard III serving as president. Wheeler was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame on April 27, 2006 and to the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America on August 12, 2009. In April 2011, Wheeler appeared on an episode of The History Channel's American Pickers in which he donated items to be placed in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. In October 2011, Wheeler was announced as one of the principals behind the Grand Prix of America, a Formula One race to be run in New Jersey starting with the 2014 Formula One season. In the fall of 2013, Wheeler once again made auto racing news as he announced the foundation of Speedway Benefits, a marketing and advertising partnership seeking to combine short-tracks across the United States into a single body for the purposes of contract negotiations with suppliers and business partners. Seeing such an alliance as a way to strengthen the bargaining positions of racetrack owners and to stymy the increasing power of NASCAR in North American auto racing, the organization seeks to "grow grassroots racing."
By combining more than 1000 short track venues across North Am
Lowe's Companies, Inc. doing business as Lowe's, is an American retail company specializing in home improvement. Headquartered in Mooresville, North Carolina the company operates a chain of retail stores in the United States and Mexico; as of February 2018, Lowe's and its related businesses operate more than 2,390 home improvement and hardware stores and employ over 310,000 people in North America. Lowe's is the second-largest hardware chain in the United States behind The Home Depot and ahead of Menards. Globally, Lowe's is the second-largest hardware chain, behind The Home Depot but ahead of European retailers Leroy Merlin, B&Q and OBI; the first Lowe's store, Lowe's North Wilkesboro Hardware, was first opened in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina in 1921 by Lucius Smith Lowe. After Lowe died in 1940, the business was inherited by his daughter Ruth, who sold the company to her brother Jim that same year. Jim took on Carl Buchan as a partner in 1943. Buchan anticipated the dramatic increase in construction after World War II, under his management, the store focused on hardware and building materials.
Before the product mix had included notions, dry goods, horse tack, snuff and groceries. The company bought a second location in Sparta, North Carolina in 1949. Lowe and Buchan differed on expanding the company to new areas and they split in 1952 with Buchan taking control of the hardware and building supply business and Lowe taking other joint ventures the two controlled. Buchan became the sole owner of Lowe's. In 1954, Lowe started the Lowes Foods grocery store chain. By 1955, Buchan expanded the company by opening stores in the North Carolina cities of Asheville and Durham. More stores opened through the 1950s. In 1961, Buchan died of a heart attack at age 44, his five-man executive team, which included Robert Strickland and Leonard Herring, took the company public in 1961. By 1962, Lowe's reported annual revenues of $32 million. Lowe's began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 1979. Lowe's suffered in the 1980s due to market conditions and increasing competition from the new big-box store chain, The Home Depot.
For a while, Lowe's resisted adopting the mega-store format because its management believed the smaller towns where Lowe's operated would not support huge stores. However, Lowe's had to adopt the big-box format in order to survive. Today, most Lowe's stores are part of the big-box variety, although some classic format stores remain in smaller markets. Lowe's has since grown nationally, as it was aided by the purchase of the Renton, Washington-based Eagle Hardware & Garden company in 1999, it is now the 2nd largest home improvement store chain in North America and has begun expanding outside the United States. The first store outside of United States was in Hamilton, Canada. According to their website, Lowe's has operated/serviced more than 2,355 locations in the United States and Mexico alone. On November 5, 2018, Lowe's announced that it will be closing 51 under-performing stores, 20 stores in the United States and 31 in Canada under the Lowe's and Rona names by February 2019. In November 2018, Lowe's announced.
For the fiscal year 2018, Lowe's reported earnings of US$3.436 billion, with an annual revenue of US$68.619 billion, an increase of 5.5% over the previous fiscal cycle. Lowe's shares traded at over $96 per share, its market capitalization was valued at over US$75.8 billion in October 2018. Lowe's ranked No. 40 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. In 1998, Lowe's purchased the Wilkes Mall in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, to serve as the company's headquarters. In 2002, Lowe's acquired full control over the 440,000 square foot building after the lease of the 10 remaining mall tenants vacated the property. A year Lowe's constructed and relocated the corporate headquarters to a new, 350-acre campus in Mooresville, North Carolina, a suburb of Charlotte; the new facility contains a five-story, two seven story buildings. The building has two office wings. A 7-acre lake flows underneath the headquarters building. Lowe's maintained. In 2011, Lowe's invested $10 million in improvements in renovations in the property, including a full service food court, coffee shop, health center, as well as gating the entire property with an addition of a guardhouse.
Lowe's Companies Canada is based in Boucherville, after the merger with Rona. Prior to 2016, Lowe's Canada was headquartered in Ontario. Lowe's operates customer contact centers in Mooresville and Wilkesboro, North Carolina,as well as Indianapolis, Albuquerque, New Mexico, India. Lowe's won eight consecutive Energy Star awards from 2003 to 2010, including four Energy Star Partner of the Year awards for educating consumers about the benefits of energy efficiency. On March 1, 2010, Lowe's became the first winner of the Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award in Retail, to recognize its contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by promoting energy-efficient products and educating consumers and employees on the value of the Energy Star program. In 2000, Lowe's released a policy promising that all wood products sold would not be sourced from rainforests. However, according to a 2006 report released by the Environmental Investigation Agency, wood used in flooring that Lowe's was selling had been coming from the forests of Indonesia’s remote Papua Province, where some logging was estimated to be illegal.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is an American auto racing sanctioning and operating company, best known for stock-car racing. Its three largest or National series are the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the Xfinity Series, the Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Regional series include the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, the Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Pinty's Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series. NASCAR sanctions over 1,500 races at over 100 tracks in 48 US states as well as in Canada and Europe. NASCAR has presented races at the Suzuka and Motegi circuits in Japan, the Calder Park Thunderdome in Australia. NASCAR ventures into eSports via the PEAK Antifreeze NASCAR iRacing Series and a sanctioned ladder system on that title; the owned company was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1948, Jim France has been CEO since August 6, 2018. The company's headquarters is in Florida. Internationally, its races are broadcast on television in over 150 countries. In the 1920s and 30s, Daytona Beach became known as the place to set world land speed records, supplanting France and Belgium as the preferred location for land speed records, with 8 consecutive world records set between 1927 and 1935.
After a historic race between Ransom Olds and Alexander Winton in 1903, the beach became a mecca for racing enthusiasts and 15 records were set on what became the Daytona Beach Road Course between 1905 and 1935. By the time the Bonneville Salt Flats became the premier location for pursuit of land speed records, Daytona Beach had become synonymous with fast cars in 1936. Drivers raced on a 4.1-mile course, consisting of a 1.5–2.0-mile stretch of beach as one straightaway, a narrow blacktop beachfront highway, State Road A1A, as the other. The two straights were connected by two tight rutted and sand covered turns at each end. Stock car racing in the United States has its origins in bootlegging during Prohibition, when drivers ran bootleg whiskey made in the Appalachian region of the United States. Bootleggers needed to distribute their illicit products, they used small, fast vehicles to better evade the police. Many of the drivers would modify their cars for speed and handling, as well as increased cargo capacity, some of them came to love the fast-paced driving down twisty mountain roads.
The repeal of Prohibition in 1933 dried up some of their business, but by Southerners had developed a taste for moonshine, a number of the drivers continued "runnin' shine", this time evading the "revenuers" who were attempting to tax their operations. The cars continued to improve, by the late 1940s, races featuring these cars were being run for pride and profit; these races were popular entertainment in the rural Southern United States, they are most associated with the Wilkes County region of North Carolina. Most races in those days were of modified cars. Street vehicles were lightened and reinforced. Mechanic William France Sr. moved to Daytona Beach, from Washington, D. C. in 1935 to escape the Great Depression. He was familiar with the history of the area from the land speed record attempts. France entered the 1936 Daytona event, he took over running the course in 1938. He promoted a few races before World War II. France had the notion. Drivers were victimized by unscrupulous promoters who would leave events with all the money before drivers were paid.
In 1947, he decided this racing would not grow without a formal sanctioning organization, standardized rules, regular schedule, an organized championship. On December 14, 1947, France began talks with other influential racers and promoters at the Ebony Bar at the Streamline Hotel at Daytona Beach, that ended with the formation of NASCAR on February 21, 1948; the first Commissioner of NASCAR was Erwin "Cannonball" Baker. A former stock car and open-wheel racer who competed in the Indianapolis 500 and set over one hundred land speed records. Baker earned most of his fame for his transcontinental speed runs and would prove a car's worth by driving it from New York to Los Angeles. After his death, the famous transcontinental race the'Cannonball Run' and the film, inspired by it were both named in his honor. Baker is enshrined in the Automotive Hall of Fame, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame; this level of honor and success in each diverse racing association earned Baker the title of "King of the Road".
In the early 1950s, the United States Navy stationed Bill France Jr. at the Moffett Federal Airfield in northern California. His father asked him to look up Bob Barkhimer in California. Barkhimer was a star of midget car racing from the World War II era, ran about 22 different speedways as the head of the California Stock Car Racing Association. Young Bill developed a relationship with his partner, Margo Burke, he went to events with them, stayed weekends with them and became familiar with racing on the west coast. "Barky", as he was called by his friends, met with Bill France Sr.. In the spring of 1954, NASCAR became a stock car sanctioning body on the Pacific Coast under Barky. Wendell Scott was the first African-American to win a race in the Grand National Series, NASCAR's highest level, he was posthumously inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N. C. January 30, 2015. On March 8, 1936, a collection of drivers gathered at Florida; the drivers brought coupes, hardtops and sports cars to compete in an event to determine the fastest cars, best dr
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill known as UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, or Carolina is a public research university in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is the flagship of the 17 campuses of the University of North Carolina system. After being chartered in 1789, the university first began enrolling students in 1795, which allows it to be one of three schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States. Among the claimants, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the only one to have held classes and graduated students as a public university in the eighteenth century; the first public institution of higher education in North Carolina, the school opened its doors to students on February 12, 1795. The university offers degrees in over 70 courses of study through fourteen colleges and the College of Arts and Sciences. All undergraduates receive a liberal arts education and have the option to pursue a major within the professional schools of the university or within the College of Arts and Sciences from the time they obtain junior status.
Under the leadership of President Kemp Plummer Battle, in 1877 North Carolina became coeducational and began the process of desegregation in 1951 when African-American graduate students were admitted under Chancellor Robert Burton House. In 1952, North Carolina opened its own hospital, UNC Health Care, for research and treatment, has since specialized in cancer care; the school's students and sports teams are known as "Tar Heels". UNC's faculty and alumni include 9 Nobel Prize laureates, 23 Pulitzer Prize winners, 49 Rhodes Scholars. Additional notable alumni include a U. S. President, a U. S. Vice President, 38 Governors of U. S. States, 98 members of the United States Congress, 9 Cabinet members, 39 Henry Luce Scholars, 9 World Cup winners and 3 astronauts as well as founders and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies; the campus covers 729 acres of Chapel Hill's downtown area, encompassing the Morehead Planetarium and the many stores and shops located on Franklin Street. Students can participate in over 550 recognized student organizations.
The student-run newspaper The Daily Tar Heel has won national awards for collegiate media, while the student radio station WXYC provided the world's first internet radio broadcast. In 2018, UNC was ranked amongst the top 30 universities in the United States according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, Washington Monthly, U. S. News & World Report. Internationally, UNC is ranked 33rd and 34th in the world by Academic Ranking of World Universities and U. S. News and World Report, respectively. UNC is regarded as a Public Ivy, an institution which provides an Ivy League collegiate experience at a public school price. North Carolina is one of the charter members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, founded on June 14, 1953. Competing athletically as the Tar Heels, North Carolina has achieved great success in sports, most notably in men's basketball, women's soccer, women's field hockey. Chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly on December 11, 1789, the university's cornerstone was laid on October 12, 1793, near the ruins of a chapel, chosen because of its central location within the state.
The first public university chartered under the US Constitution, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of three universities that claims to be the oldest public university in the United States and the only such institution to confer degrees in the eighteenth century as a public institution. During the Civil War, North Carolina Governor David Lowry Swain persuaded Confederate President Jefferson Davis to exempt some students from the draft, so the university was one of the few in the Confederacy that managed to stay open. However, Chapel Hill suffered the loss of more of its population during the war than any village in the South, when student numbers did not recover, the university was forced to close during Reconstruction from December 1, 1870 until September 6, 1875. Despite initial skepticism from university President Frank Porter Graham, on March 27, 1931, legislation was passed to group the University of North Carolina with the State College of Agriculture and Engineering and Woman's College of the University of North Carolina to form the Consolidated University of North Carolina.
In 1963, the consolidated university was made coeducational, although most women still attended Woman's College for their first two years, transferring to Chapel Hill as juniors, since freshmen were required to live on campus and there was only one women's residence hall. As a result, Woman's College was renamed the "University of North Carolina at Greensboro", the University of North Carolina became the "University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill." In 1955, UNC Chapel Hill desegregated its undergraduate divisions. During World War II, UNC Chapel Hill was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission. During the 1960s, the campus was the location of significant political protest. Prior to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, protests about local racial segregation which began in Franklin Street restaurants led to mass demonstrations and disturbance; the climate of civil unrest prompted the 1963 Speaker Ban Law prohibiting speeches by communists on state campuses in North Carolina.
The law was criticized by university Chancellor William Brantley Aycock and university President William Friday, but was not reviewed by the North Carolina General Assembly until 1965. Small amendments to allow "infrequent" visits failed to placate the student body when the university's board of trustees overruled new Chancellor Paul Frederick Sh