As New Hampshire Motor Speedway readies for 100,000 rabid race enthusiasts to invade its campus, track officials are expressing their gratitude to a select group of teens for making that feat possible. Thanks to over 1,700 service hours from members of Teen Challenge New England, a non-profit rehabilitation program, “The Magic Mile” is prepped, polished and prepared to welcome NASCAR fans to the largest sporting event in the region.

Teen Challenge New England-Augusta Men’s Campus (Maine) has been on site at NHMS since May 7. Over the last two months, members of the TCNE have provided support to the maintenance, events, security and restaurant teams.

“They’ve been a godsend,” said John Zudell, vice president of development & operations at NHMS. “They’re tremendous workers and first-class kids across the board.”

Their work has included painting, weedwacking, mulching and cleaning the suites in the Concord, Main and Laconia grandstands.

“We wouldn’t be ready for this weekend if it weren’t for them,” said Steve Fay, the speedway’s director of maintenance. “They’re respectful, hard-working and are a big reason we’re as prepared as we are for this week.”

Teen Challenge is structured to allow flexibility in meeting the needs of those whose lives have been shattered by addictions. Its mission is to provide youths, adults and families with an effective and comprehensive Christian faith-based solution to drug, alcohol, and other life-controlling problems in order to become productive members of society. As compensation for their time, Teen Challenge New England receives a donation from the speedway, which in turn is used to support the program.

The work program, like the one at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, provides teens with an opportunity to not only build character but resumes, too. Having a particular skill (like landscaping or security detail) makes the transition out of the program and into a career a seamless one.

“Our affiliation with New Hampshire Motor Speedway is outstanding,” said Aaron Spooner, associate director for Team Challenge Augusta. “Steve (Fay) does a great job building them up and inspiring them – and you can see the results in their work ethic and pride they have in everything they do.

“Our motto is ‘So every addict knows there is hope’ and the speedway certainly provides that hope for these individuals.”

For more details and ticket information on events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway or to purchase tickets to the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 and SYLVANIA 300 NASCAR weekends, please stop by our Ticket Office, visit the speedway website at www.nhms.com, or call our Ticket Hotline at (603) 783-4931.