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Lowe's makes it official: it's Charlotte Motor Speedway now

  As spectacular a show as Sprint puts on with its All-star race, maybe the Charlotte track should be marketing itself as Sprint Motor Speedway (Photo:Speedway Motorsports)

   By Mike Mulhern

   So it's going to be Charlotte Motor Speedway again.
   Lowe's, the home improvements company that spent $35 million 10 years ago for 10 years of 'naming rights' to the long-time NASCAR track, apparently balked at a pitch for a rights fee raise from $3.5 million a year to $ 9 million a year, and Lowe's has decided to drop the whole thing.
   Lowe's made the announcement Thursday afternoon.
   Lowe's jumped into the NASCAR-Charlotte game when it was rapidly expanding across the country. It not only signed up the legendary track but also wound up with now super-star Jimmie Johnson.
   Johnson says his team's sponsorship with Lowe's has another two years to run.
   Lowe's is headquartered in Mooresville, N.C.
   On top of that, tee shirt sales aren't doing any better this season, and Speedway Motorsports Inc. (NYSE:TRK), the parent company of the Charlotte-Concord track just reported a loss from continuing operations of $22.1 million for the second quarter 2009, on total revenues of $191.9 million. The decreases, the company said, "are largely attributable to losses for Motorsports Authentics, the Company’s merchandising joint venture with International Speedway Corporation."
   However the company reaffirmed its full year 2009 earnings guidance of $1.70 to $1.90 per diluted share from continuing operations.


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