When the on track action ends at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, October 28, the fun will continue as the Speedway will host FanFest, a free event giving fans an up-close look at some of the sport’s biggest stars, off the track.
Following the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series final practice for the First Data 500 at 4 p.m., FanFest will pit drivers against each other in games and contests and will rely heavily on fan participation and interaction beginning at 5:30 p.m. in The Party Plaza on the hill above Turn Four.
Denny Hamlin, Danica Patrick, Austin Dillon, Kasey Kahne, Matt DiBenedetto, Aric Almirola, Jeffrey Earnhardt, David Ragan and Reed Sorenson will be heading from Final Practice to FanFest where they will be joined by Motor Racing Network’s Kim Coon.
The drivers will be split into pairs for their activities, which will often feature fan participation or interaction.
Denny Hamlin and Danica Patrick will open the festivities with a game of ‘Two-Truths-And-A-Lie,’ a popular party game. Hamlin and Patrick will offer three statements about themselves to the fans, one of which is a lie. The fans will then have to guess which statement is not true.
Earnhardt and Almirola will be the second pair to take the stage. As voted on by the fans via social media, the duo will compete in a Sumo Suit Wrestling competition wearing large, inflatable sumo suits and attempting to push each other out of a wrestling ring.
DiBenedetto and Kahne will then take to the stage where they will join a group of fans and divide into ‘families’ for to play the popular game show ‘Family Feud.’
Kahne said he is looking forward to interacting with the fans.
“I think when the fans come out and enjoy that type of thing it’s fun to be there. It’s fun to see them and enjoy that time with them,” Kahne said. “A lot of times, they’re enjoying the race in the stands and we’re enjoying the race in the car but you’re not really interacting. To do that with a big group of fans who are excited for the Sunday show means a lot to me.”
Dillon and Coon will test their basketball skills in the next contest, drafting a team of fans for a game of ‘Hot Shot Basketball.’ The duo will root on their team before facing off in a final showdown for the title of ‘Martinsville Hot Shot.’
“It’ll be a blast. I’m looking forward to our first FanFest,” Dillon said. “We haven’t had a chance to do one yet and I’m glad it’s in Martinsville. We can have some fun. It’ll be a good time.”
The basketball goal used by Dillon and Coon will be donated to a local charity organization after the event.
Finally, Ragan and Sorenson will draft partners from the crowd to participate in a pumpkin carving contest, which will be crowd-judged.
“Fans are the most important thing we have at Martinsville Speedway, without them we wouldn’t have made in one year, let alone 70, so FanFest is a way that we can say ‘thank you’ for supporting us for so long,” Speedway President Clay Campbell said. “Adding FanFest to our schedule also gives fans an opportunity to get up-close and personal with drivers in a relaxed environment. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
FanFest will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 28 and will run until 8:30 p.m.
FanFest will be free of charge to fans. There will be special accommodations made for youth in attendance at the event so that they may experience FanFest front and center. My Martinsville members will also receive special seating.
The First Data 500 is the first race in the Round of 8 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. If the winning driver is in the Playoffs, he or she would be the first to clinch a spot in the Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Last fall, Jimmie Johnson won his ninth grandfather clock, on the way to winning his record-tying seventh NASCAR Cup Series championship.
Tickets for the First Data 500 are on sale and may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.