With NASCAR's national series returning to the Buckeye State for the first time since 2008, the Ohio Governor's office issued a resolution on Wednesday, recognizing July 10, 2013 as NASCAR Day.
Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor welcomed NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Marcos Ambrose, NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Regan Smith and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Darrell Wallace Jr. to the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. She acknowledged the benefits brought by NASCAR racing to her state.
"NASCAR has a strong presence in Ohio providing fans with excitement and our local communities with an economic boost," Lt. Gov Taylor said. "Partnerships between NASCAR and local raceways make Ohio an important part of the sport's culture and we look forward to what will be a great 2013 summer racing season."
Other public officials who spoke included Bonnie Burman Director, Ohio Dept. of Aging, a member of the Governor's Cabinet and an avid NASCAR fan, as well as members of the Ohio General Assembly Senator Jim Hughes, District 16 (R) and Representative Barbara Sears, District 47 (R).
In addition to holding two national series races in a year in the state for the first time since 1952, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series will host six events over the next month at Kil-Kare Raceway in Xenia, OH; Limaland Motorsports Park in Lima, Ohio and Columbus Motor Speedway in Columbus, Ohio, where the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East also will run a race on Saturday. On Sunday, another NASCAR-sanctioned event -- the Mobil 1 Mid-Season Championship Night -- will be run at Lake County Speedway in Painesville, Ohio.
"Ohio has always been a great place for racing, especially at our Home Tracks, whose drivers and fans make up the backbone of our sport," Pemberton said. "This summer will be particularly exciting with the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway and the NASCAR Nationwide Series Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio -- marking the long-awaited return of NASCAR national series racing to Ohio."
Ambrose, a four-time winner in the Nationwide Series, announced that he will be running a No. 9 Stanley Ford at Mid-Ohio.
"This will be a new challenge for everyone in the Nationwide Series, and I'm thankful for Stanley and Richard Petty Motorsports working together to give me this opportunity," Ambrose said. "I missed racing in the Nationwide Series last season, but Mid-Ohio will be a great way to come back. We have Stanley supporting us the entire weekend and we want to give them a win."
A NASCAR national series last competed in Ohio in 2008, with the running of the Camping World Truck Series event at Mansfield Motorsports Park. Trucks will roll again on Ohio soil, literally, on July 24 during the CarCash Mudsummer Classic presented by CNBC Prime's "The Profit" (9:30 p.m. ET on SPEED, MRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite Radio) in Rossburg, Ohio at Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway, which will host the first NASCAR national touring series event held on dirt since NASCAR's premiere series competed on September 30, 1970 in Raleigh, N.C. GRAND-AM Road Racing has raced at Mid-Ohio since 2000, with a one-year hiatus in 2002.
The Nationwide Series will run the first event in series history in title sponsor Nationwide Insurance's home state. Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio will host the Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 (August 17, 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, MRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite Radio). In addition to Nationwide Insurance, based on Columbus, Ohio is home to another important NASCAR partner, Goodyear, located in Akron.
NASCAR last ran multiple national series races in Ohio in 1952 when the sport's premier series, now known as the Sprint Cup Series, held events at Canfield Fairgrounds, Dayton Speedway and Ft. Miami Speedway in Toledo, Ohio.
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