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Race City USA speeds to Hometown Showdown Championship 

by Jessica Wells, League Communications Specialist

With a strong backing from the racing industry, local business owners and enthusiastic citizens, Mooresville captured the second annual Hometown Showdown Championship title.

More than 90 towns entered to participate in the bracket-style contest, which took place on Facebook from late February to April 10 alongside the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Each town submitted a picture that was pitted against a new opponent via the bracket each week.

The town with the most picture likes in its matchup moved on to the next round. Throughout five rounds of voting, Mooresville rallied nearly 15,000 individual likes.

According to Mooresville Public Information Officer Kim Sellers, they had the town’s buy-in before the contest ever started.

“We asked the community to send us photos that represented Mooresville, so this has been a community effort from before voting ever started,” said Sellers.

The winning photo was an aerial shot of the town’s water tower that reads, “Race City USA Mooresville, North Carolina.” Local photographer and Mooresville native Scott Brotherton submitted the photo, which he took with his quadcopter camera.

“I was out riding around the race park, and I just happened to look over at the tower. I flew up and took some pictures of it and when I got home, it was awesome,” Brotherton said. “Right when you look at the picture, it just says Race City USA and that’s what we’ve been known for so long that I think it portrays exactly what our town is.”

Mooresville made it to the quarterfinals last year and ultimately lost to Concord, who claimed the inaugural championship. This year’s picture of the water tower helped the town engage small local businesses and businesses affiliated with motorsports, which garnered thousands of likes and resulted in nearly 9,200 likes in the final round.

“We came so close last year, so we asked ourselves what can we do better this year?” Mooresville Commissioner Bobby Compton said. “Well, Scott Brotherton made that happen. That was a great picture he took. And the fire department right underneath it – I was part of that as it was being built, which made it really special for me.”

Mooresville Mayor Miles Atkins said he agrees the picture was representative of the community in many ways.

“That wasn’t just a picture of a water tower,” he said. “That really represented the heritage that’s put Mooresville on the map, and that’s motorsports. As you know, motorsports is so vital to the state, but right here in Mooresville is where people are very passionate about it.”

According to Atkins and Sellers, the welcoming, small-town feel and sense of community make contests like this a great fit for Mooresville because whenever somebody needs something, many step up to the plate.

“To me, this contest has been much more than a photograph and much more than sharing and tagging,” Sellers said. “It has been about ‘that’s what this community does.’ That’s why we continue to grow, why it’s so wonderful and why the people that live here are absolutely fabulous.”

The final round was a close matchup between Mooresville and Fuquay-Varina, and even though Mooresville took home the championship, both towns consider themselves winners.

“The mayor from Fuquay called me to congratulate me – very gracious and thoughtful mayor –and he said it’s a win for his community as well because it brought about community pride and connected our two communities,” Atkins said. “There’s a lot of value in this championship.”