The Nextel Challenge is run at Lowe’s Motor Speedway located in North Carolina. The history of the track is very interesting. Its current chairman O. Bruton Smith was co-founder of the facility. However, he left the facility in 1962 only to become majority shareholder, and regaining control of day to day operations, in 1975.
Under Smith, permanent living quarters were created on the Speedway grounds when forty condominiums were erected in 1984. In 1992, Lowe’s Motor Speedway became the first modern superspeedway to hold night races after lights were installed. The lights are a technological marvel that simulate daytime light with the use of mirrors.
The Nextel Challenge is the racing equivalent to major league baseball’s All-Star game. The best drivers compete in this race—the season’s race winners and past winners of the event all come out with hopes of leading the pack. The defending champion, Jimmie Johnson, summed up the race when he said, “"This is a very prestigious event - with some fun involved."
In this race, the drivers aren’t racing for points, but rather for pride (and a one million dollar check). George Pyne, Chief Operating Office for NASCAR, added, "It is invariably exciting, and provides a perfect lead-in to one of our key NASCAR Nextel Cup Series points events, the Coca-Cola 600, which is held in Concord the following week."