CONCORD—Twenty city leaders from across the state got the chance to win big bucks for their communities at Charlotte Motor Speedway Friday.
The mayors randomly selected a NASCAR driver competing in both the Allstar and Coca-Cola 600 races during a luncheon at the Speedway Club. The mayor paired with the winning driver could win up to $40,000 for their area schools.
Charlotte city councilman David Howard drew NASCAR's winningest driver, Kyle Busch, and could win big for Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools.
"I follow NASCAR some and I know that he has a chance to win which would mean money for our school system that makes me happy," said Howard.
Concord's own, Mayor Scott Padgett, said the city wins big every year when hundreds of thousand of races fans flood the speedway. However this year could share at least $20,000 with schools.
"Cabarrus County Schools certainly always needs money, because there's been so many cut backs," said Padgett.
If the same driver wins both races, it means $40,000 for that leader's school district. Many leaders did not know specifically how they would spend the money for education, but Salisbury City Council member Maggie Blackwell already has one school in mind.
"It's Knox middle school, our police chief and I mentor 10 at risk youth at that school," said Blackwell.
The winning city's mayor will accept a check from Victory Circle with the winning driver of the Allstar race May 19.
Final pairings are listed below:
Charlotte: Council member David Howard selected Kyle Busch
Concord: Mayor Scott Padgett selected Marcos Ambrose
Gastonia: Mayor John Bridgeman selected Clint Bowyer
Harrisburg: Mayor Tim Hagler selected David Ragan
Hickory: Mayor Rudy Wright selected Kurt Busch
Huntersville: Mayor Jill Swain selected Regan Smith
Kannapolis: Mayor Pro Tem Gene McCombs selected Jeff Gordon
Matthews: Mayor Jim Taylor selected Ryan Newman
Midland: Mayor Kathy Kitts selected Kevin Harvick
Mooresville: Mayor Miles Atkins selected Denny Hamlin
Mount Pleasant: Mayor Del Eudy selected Brad Keselowski
Salisbury: Council member Maggie Blackwell selected Tony Stewart
Statesville: Mayor Costi Kutteh selected Paul Menard
Wilmington: Mayor Bill Saffo selected Greg Biffle
Additional cities that were unable to attend the event that were paired with drivers currently locked into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race include:
Asheville: Matt Kenseth
Boone: First place winner of the Sprint Showdown
Durham: Winner of the Sprint Fan Vote
Fayetteville: Second place finisher in the Sprint Showdown
Greensboro: Carl Edwards
Greenville: Jimmie Johnson
High Point: Kasey Kahne
Raleigh: Mark Martin
Winston-Salem: Trevor Bayne