February 10, 2020, St. Louis Region – The Leadership Council of Southwestern Illinois has announced that World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois, has been named co-recipient of the 2020 Salute to Southwestern Illinois Award along with World Wide Technology, Incorporated. The award, which will be presented at the Salute to Southwestern Illinois Award Dinner on Thursday, March 19, is presented based on WWTR’s success in driving substantial, positive worldwide media attention and significant economic growth in the area. The venue annually hosts more than 350 events, including major INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA events, which are televised throughout the world. “This is a tremendous honor and our entire organization is proud to be recognized by the Leadership Council, their executive board and the more than 500 attendees of this great event,” said World Wide Technology Raceway owner and CEO Curtis Francois. “Since the purchase of the venue in 2012, one of our main objectives was to get actively involved in our community and make a positive change for the counties and cities that incorporate the Metro East region. We’ve grown dramatically in just eight short years and are dedicated to showcasing to the world that Southwestern Illinois is a great place to work, live and attend incredible events.” "It is our honor to recognize Curtis Francois, owner of World Wide Technology Raceway,” said Dr. Ronda Sauget, Executive Director and CEO, Leadership Council SWIL. “He has created an outstanding strategic business partnership with World Wide Technology that has generated significant positive international media attention for our region. We value and appreciate how Curtis Francois and the WWT partnership is dedicated to STEM education, community engagement and economic development in SWIL. Since 2012, his entertainment facility has generated more than $350 million in economic impact for our communities. We are just so proud of the work Curtis, his team, and WWT have done in transforming the raceway into a world-class entertainment sports venue. We salute a job well done.” This year’s event, to be held on March 19, will celebrate innovation and resiliency. Awards will be presented to four military members from Scott Air Force Base, three communities, two businesses and one philanthropic group. This year’s ceremony will include a video presentation and race cars representing the major events held at WWTR. In addition, the dinner’s keynote address will be delivered by Francois and Chris Blair, WWTR’s Executive Vice President and General Manager. About World Wide Technology Raceway World Wide Technology Raceway is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 380 acres, WWTR is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. WWTR’s facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, recently-expanded 2.0-mile road course, a state-of-the-art karting facility and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue. WWTR acquired Gateway National Golf Links, adjacent to the speedway property, in 2019. WWTR was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Facility of the Year Award from the Race Track Business Conference and the 2017 Spirit of St. Louis Award from the St. Louis Attractions Association. In 2018, owner and CEO Curtis Francois received the Innovator Award from the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission in recognition of his work for restoring World Wide Technology Raceway (known then as Gateway Motorsports Park) to prominence. About Leadership Council of Southwestern Illinois The Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois is a not-for-profit member-based economic development corporation in Southwestern Illinois. The Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois works to unite the region for economic growth through its coalition of 250 board members who are leaders in business, industry, workforce, education, and government. These effective partnerships serve as a driving force behind successful economic development efforts throughout the Metro East Region. The Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois develops the regional economic development agenda. Since 1983, the organization has served as one voice, strengthening public/private partnerships throughout Southwestern Illinois to lay the foundation for job growth and business retention. The Leadership Council fosters relationships and partnerships on both sides of the river, recognizing that our efforts have an impact that affects not just Southwestern Illinois, but also the entire St. Louis Region.