For Mike Smith the role of Director of Public Relations at Martinsville Speedway is one in which he always goes the extra mile to ensure everyone, from fans to media, leaves the track having a positive experience. His hard work does not go unnoticed.
Smith was recently named the 2014 recipient of the Ken Patterson Helping Others Award by the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA), in conjunction with Talladega Superspeedway, at the NMPA’s annual awards dinner.
“Ken Patterson set the standard in working with the media and I’m beyond humbled to receive the award that honors his legacy. I’m very fortunate to work with a team at Martinsville Speedway that appreciates the media and understands their importance in what we do,” Smith said. “When I was in the newspaper business, our track’s founder H. Clay Earles always told me that next to race fans, the press was the most important people a track works for. It’s a philosophy that I hold close.”
Smith’s award was well-received by those who work with him on a daily basis.
“Mike Smith embodies everything the Ken Patterson Helping Others Award stands for. Not only is he great in his role as the Director of Public Relations, he treats everyone with the highest level of respect and compassion,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “The NMPA couldn’t have picked a more deserving person and I couldn’t be more proud to have him on my team.”
Smith started work at Martinsville Speedway in 2000, after a long career as the sports editor of the Martinsville Bulletin. It was in this role that he was first introduced to NASCAR, covering the sport for more than 20 years before working in it.
Named for the former Talladega Superspeedway Director of Public Relations Ken Patterson, the award recognizes a public relations representative in the motorsports industry who has exhibited the kind, generous qualities that Patterson always demonstrated.
Patterson died in 2004 from complications of myelodysplasia syndrome.
In addition to the award, Talladega Superspeedway will donate $1,000 in Smith’s name to the Ken Patterson Educational Trust Fund.
NASCAR racing returns to Martinsville March 29 for the running of the STP 500.
Tickets for the STP 500 weekend, including the Virginia Lottery Pole Day on March 27 and the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on March 28 and the STP 500 on March 29 are on sale and may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or visitingwww.martinsvillespeedway.com.