nhms_tag_11RCA Records executive returns; submission deadline for contestants ends tomorrow

LOUDON, N.H. (March 12, 2013) – Bring on the contestants. New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials announced today that Dan Nelson, director of northeast promotion for RCA Records, will return to serve as the third and final celebrity judge for the annual Speedway Star singing competition on March 30.

Submissions will be accepted until Wednesday, March 13 at 5 p.m.

Nelson joins legendary NASCAR pit reporter Dick Berggren and WOKQ 97.5 FM morning wake-up show host Karen Kiley as the three judges for this year’s contest. Mark Ericson, who co-hosts WOKQ’s “Morning Waking Crew with Mark and 2K” show with Kiley, will serve as the emcee.

Previous winners of the Speedway Star competition include Alexandra Wentworth of Rollinsford, N.H. (2011) and Jillian Marie Cardarelli of Haverhill, Mass. (2012). Last year, 12-year-old Emma Joanis impressed New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s executive vice president and general manager, Jerry Gappens, so much that he invited her back to sing the national anthem at last July’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

The contestants – who are asked to submit a DVD, CD, .wav file or .mp3 file of them singing “The Star Spangled Banner” a cappella style (without music or other accompaniments) – will be competing for two spots to sing in front of thousands of fans at either the Town Fair Tire 100 on July 13 or the F.W. Webb 100 on Sept. 21 – both events are NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races, which tend to be one of the more popular races of the weekend.

Nelson, who also served as a judge during last year’s Speedway Star competition, is a resident of New Hampshire and works in conjunction with RCA Records Nashville, which serves as the label for such well-known country artists as Miranda Lambert, Chris Young and Sara Evans.

Berggren, who retired from his NASCAR pit road reporting duties after 32 years last June, is a native of Connecticut. He currently serves as the President of the Racing History Preservation Group and is the catalyst behind the creation of the North East Motor Sports Museum at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The 2013 Magic Mile season is right around the corner. Tickets may be purchased for the New Hampshire 300 on July 14 or the SYLVANIA 300 on Sept. 22 by calling the track’s ticket hotline at (603) 783-4931 or by visiting www.nhms.com.