Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chicagoland Speedway, Part II

If you've never attended a NASCAR race, I'm not sure I can fully describe the atmosphere. It's a bit of a circus-carnival (complete with funnel cakes). NASCAR is a huge money maker, and outside the track are rows and rows of trailers selling driver merchandise. From gaudy screen printed tees to toys for the kids to everything in between, NASCAR fans are very driver loyal, and there are plenty of people to capitalize on that loyalty.

In addition to selling merchandise, the trailers serve as a location for driver appearances, where fans can line up early in the morning in hopes of getting a ticket which allows them to come back and line up later in the day to get an autograph.

Drivers Brian Vickers (top) and A.J. Allmendinger (bottom) from Red Bull racing both signed autographs for waiting fans:

It wasn't just drivers - actor Brendan Fraser was at the track to serve as Grand Marshall for the Sprint Cup Series race and promote the new Mummy movie. He also signed autographs at driver Ryan Newman's trailer:

And then there was The King. Richard Petty, celebrating 50 years in racing, made an appearance, as well. Fans were crowded around the trailer, making photography a bit difficult:

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