CONCORD, N.C. —Families that enjoy auto racing, particularly NASCAR racing, will have a rare opportunity to get an up close look at the sport, its teams and its personalities this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The multi-purpose racing facility is hosting Charlotte SpeedFest Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame, Roush Fenway Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will all participate in the event, which coincides with the first 2011 off-weekend for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Charlotte SpeedFest will feature several autograph sessions throughout the day, headlined by “The Silver Fox” David Pearson, who will sign for fans at 2 p.m. Pearson is a 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee and three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion whose 105 victories is second on the all-time list behind Richard Petty. Pearson earned his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1961 by winning the second running of the Coca-Cola 600. He won four races at the speedway, including a sweep of both races in 1974.
Other scheduled Charlotte SpeedFest autograph sessions include motorsports artist Sam Bass from 10 a.m. to noon, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Miss Sprint Cup Paige Duke from noon to 3 p.m.
Along with the VIP appearances, fans attending Charlotte SpeedFest can take advantage of special Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket offers available only on March 12. The first 30 fans who make qualifying premium ticket package purchases will receive a free Richard Petty Driving Experience track ride. Also, fans who purchase $150 in tickets will get the opportunity to race their personal vehicle down zMAX Dragway, receive a free one-night hotel stay and a free piece of Sam Bass Racing Art.
Other SpeedFest events include:
– Free tours of Charlotte Motor Speedway and zMAX Dragway and free shuttles offered to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Roush Fenway Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.
– Free vouchers for NASCAR Hall of Fame simulator rides available at the speedway ticket office.
– Free photo opportunities with NASCAR show cars, Miss Sprint Cup, the Sprint show car and the Sprint Cup trophy.
– Free tours and behind-the-microphone photo opportunities in the Performance Racing Network studios.
– Free video game entertainment with the Coca-Cola Fan Van.
– Activities for the kids including the Powerade Play Zone with inflatable slides and bounce houses, a petting zoo, face painting and appearances by Lug Nut, the world’s fastest mascot.
– Affordable concessions plus free popcorn in the speedway ticket office.
– Live music on the Avenue of Flags at the speedway’s main entrance.
The Roush Fenway Racing gift shop and museum in Concord will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. for Charlotte SpeedFest featuring 15-percent discounts on all 2011 merchandise plus a free 3D-gaming show car simulator display.
At Hendrick Motorsports, also in Concord, the museum and team store will be open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on March 12 and feature 15-percent discounts on all regularly priced merchandise. Plus fans will receive a free Jimmie Johnson team championship hat with purchases of $50 or more. An interactive racing simulator will also be a free attraction for children of all ages.
In Huntersville, N.C., Joe Gibbs Racing’s gift shop will be open from noon to 2 p.m. and feature 20-percent discounts in conjunction with the team’s celebration of 20 years in NASCAR.
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing in Concord will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with show car and trophy displays, plus special merchandise discounts. The team will offer a free Jamie McMurray 2010 Daytona 500 victory poster with a $25 purchase and a free McMurray Daytona 500 victory hat with a $50 purchase.
In Kannapolis, N.C., Stewart-Haas Racing will offer a 20-percent discount on all merchandise in its gift shop, excluding sheet metal. Fans can get a free team shop shirt with the purchase of $50 or more.
Following Charlotte SpeedFest, fans will have a second opportunity to meet Pearson and five other NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees during The Speedway Club’s NASCAR Hall of Fame dinner at 6 p.m. Pearson will be joined by Bobby Allison, Ned Jarrett, Junior Johnson, Bud Moore and Richard Petty.
From 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. attendees can enjoy a cocktail hour and meet and greet with the racing legends, followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. For more information call The Speedway Club at (704) 455-3252.