Mike Smith, Director of Public Relations at Martinsville Speedway, has always gone the extra mile to ensure everyone leaves the track having a positive experience.
Apparently, his hard work has not gone unnoticed.
Smith was named the 2014 recipient of the Ken Patterson Helping Others Award by the National Motorsports Press Association at the organization’s annual Awards Dinner last night.
“Ken Patterson set the standard in working with the media and I’m beyond humbled to receive the award that honors his legacy,” said Smith. “I’m very fortunate to work with a team at Martinsville Speedway that appreciates the media and understands their importance in what we do. When I was in the newspaper business, our track’s founder, H. Clay Earles, always told me that next to race fans, the press were 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,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “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. 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 2001, 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.