Playing Paintball with Kyle Busch at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Playing Paintball with Kyle Busch at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Playing Paintball with Kyle Busch at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Thursday, October 25, 2012

How to meet Nascar Drivers: episode #2 - Danica Patrick, Elliot Sadler, and Ricky Stenhouse

              Meeting stock car racing drivers is easier than one might think. In fact, it's one of my top five reasons that NASCAR is my favorite sport.  Here's my entry on meeting one of the sport's most famous drivers, a driver gearing up for the Nationwide Championship, as well one who is catapulting into a Sprint Cup car next year: Danica Patrick, Elliot Sadler, and Ricky Stenhouse.
Signed Sadler and Patrick Cars
            When visiting the Charlotte Motor Speedway website I noticed the picture on the right on their main page. What an easy way to meet these three drivers (and the Ninja Turtles too!). Yes, it's $20 a person, but you aren't going to find these drivers at one place at one time. I asked my rep. at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Call Quinn at  704-454-6401 and buy tix for the next race-  mention Dean Hardy and we'll both get a $50 credit!). Quinn said that they are willing to sign one item per ticket. So, either you could bring an item, or you could get their 8x10 card signed. 
Danica Patrick, Ricky Stenhouse, Elliot Sadler signatures
         A couple tips here: first, only buy tickets that you need. I bought two thinking that both of my kids would like to get pictures with the turtles, and I can bring a couple things to get signed for each driver. Well, I only bought a Sadler and a Danica Car to be signed, so I probably wasted a ticket. They would have let all four members of our family in on one ticket, plus the drivers didn't know who did and didn't have tickets- so I probably should have only bought one. Secondly, I didn't realize that there were going to be so MANY other drivers there. It was great to meet many of the other Nationwide drivers like Jeffrey Earnhardt, James Buescher, Jeremy Clements, as well as the others mentioned above. If I would have known that I might have gotten some more things to get signed.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
meet my 3 year old son
    Another tip, buy your cars and other merchandise to get signed over in the "vendors" section of the raceway. I was actually pretty surprised at the price of these 1/24 diecast cars. Some fetch over $100. Well, I'm still a Nascar Newb, so I went for the cheapest cars I could find. The Sadler car was $15 and I grabbed the Danica black and silver one for $30 (most of hers were $65!).  Now I just have to figure out  a way to display them!
The boys with Danica Patrick
     As for the actual event, they simply looked over our tickets and had us get in line. It moved pretty efficiently and most of the drivers were pretty friendly. Some even took the time to spell my sons' names on the driver's 8x10 pictures (Jeremy Clements was especially nice to my boys!) Elliot seemed a little sulky that day- while Stenhouse appeared a little introverted and hid under his massive cowboy hat, Danica was very kind and even leaned forward to take a photo with the boys (even though one of my sons didn't completely make it into the photo!). 
     Overall it was a great experience and well worth the $20. I probably should have been a little more prepared, but that's the part about being a Nascar Newb- you learn from your mistakes! In an upcoming blog, read how I was able to meet both Trevor Bayne and Kyle Busch!

If you liked what you've read, and you want to know more about our family experiences and tips for Nascar Newbs - follow this feed or my twitter account @DeanHardy23


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