North Carolina

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NASCAR teams impacted by North Carolina stay at home order

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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced a stay at home order for the entire state of North Carolina, beginning at 5 p.m. ET Monday because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The order is for 30 days.

The move impacts all NASCAR teams based in North Carolina.

“These are tough directives, but I need you to take them seriously,” Gov. Cooper said in afternoon news briefing.

MORE: N.C. Governor enlists Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson for COVID-19 PSA

MORE: North Carolina stay at home order

The order bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to stay at least six feet away from each other. The order requires all residents to stay at home except for essential activities. The order states: “non-essential business and operations must cease.”

The order also states that among the definitions for an essential business and operation is “Businesses that meet Social Distancing Requirements. Businesses, not-for-profit organizations or educational institutions that conduct operations while maintaining Social Distancing Requirements:

a. Between and among its employees; and

b. Between and among employees and customers except at the point of sale or purchase.”

Mecklenburg County and Cabarrus County, which are home to such race teams as Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Chip Ganassi Racing, Roush Fenway Racing and JTG Daugherty Racing, were already under a stay at home order through April 16.

By the end of the week, more than 20 states will have issued stay at home orders, including California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey and Ohio.

My Home Track: North Carolina’s Caraway Speedway (video)

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Sure, NASCAR is synonymous with Daytona Beach, the state of Florida and Daytona International Speedway.

But there is no other state that is so linked to NASCAR than the Tar Heel state, North Carolina.

Numerous racetracks, from the smallest grassroots short track to Charlotte Motor Speedway dot the state, offering a plethora of race action from amateur all the way to the best of the best.

On Friday’s My Home Track: 50 States in 50 Shows segment, NASCAR America’s Kyle Petty shared some of his fondest memories of one of his favorite short tracks, Caraway Speedway.

Check out the video above.

Michael Waltrip Racing reports more than 200 employees will lose their jobs


Michael Waltrip Racing has filed paperwork with the state of North Carolina stating that 217 employees  will lose their jobs with the team “ceasing operations.”

Employers with at least 100 full-time workers and planning a closure or mass layoffs are required to file a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification form with the state of North Carolina. Employers must provide 60 days advance notice of either a plant closing or mass layoffs.

In a letter to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Michael Waltrip Racing’s layoffs will begin Nov. 1 and continue until April 15, 2016. The letter also states that MWR is “moving forward with an orderly liquidation of its assets, which is contemplated to be completed as of April 15, 2016.  All employees have been notified of the reduction in force and ultimate closure.”

Michael Waltrip Racing announced last month that it will cease to field full-time entries in the Sprint Cup Series next season with news that co-owner Rob Kauffman has agreed to purchase minority interest in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Michael Waltrip Racing will continue to compete though the rest of this season. Twelve races remain.

Kauffman said at Bristol Motor Speedway that the team’s equipment will be sold after this season and that the shop’s “best use is as a housing development … instead of a race shop.

“Michael Waltrip Racing really wouldn’t have existed through today without substantial and continued financial support from me. I think just from a business standpoint that didn’t make sense any longer. You can’t have a top-10 budget and top-10 resources and not be in the top 10 for a sustained period of time.

“It’s a performance-related business. It’s a great sport, but a very difficult business model. From a business decision it just made sense to not go forward with that organization because it isn’t really commercially viable.’’

Clint Bowyer and David Ragan drive for Michael Waltrip Racing, while Brian Vickers is out indefinitely due to medical reasons. Bowyer is in the final spot to transfer to the Chase for the Sprint Cup with two races left before the 16-team field is set.


Governor declares May as ‘Motorsports Month’ in North Carolina


The month of May is a pretty busy one in the world of motorsports, particularly in North Carolina.

Charlotte Motor Speedway will be one of the busiest places in the state this month, with its 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder.

Things start at CMS on May 16 with the 30th anniversary of the Sprint All-Star Race.

Just over a week later on May 24, the longest and most grueling race of the year – the Coca-Cola 600 – takes place on the Memorial Day weekend.

With all the upcoming events at CMS as a backdrop, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on Friday proclaimed May as Motorsports Month in the state.

McCrory particularly recognized the Speedway’s impact upon the Charlotte area, as well as the state’s overall tourism, the economy and the thousands of jobs related to the motorsports industry.

McCrory said the two race weekends provide an estimated economic impact of $230 million, part of the Speedway’s $451 estimated economic impact yearly.

“I’m so proud that we’re the center of NASCAR,” McCrory said in a release. “This is all about jobs and having fun. That’s what racing is all about: great entertainment and bringing jobs to North Carolina. This is the centerpiece of racing throughout the world and we’re proud to be part of it.”

It’s estimated that fans from all 50 states and 15 foreign countries will visit Charlotte and CMS this month.

“May 1st is like Christmas for us here at Charlotte Motor Speedway,” CMS president/general manager Marcus Smith said in a statement. “We had no idea what my dad, Bruton Smith, was thinking when he came out here and started digging some dirt to build Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“I’m not sure he knew how big this would be, but 56 years later, here we are ready to complete the 30th anniversary of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the 56th annual Coca-Cola 600.”

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