Defending Bank of America 500 champion Brad Keselowski, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, Charlotte Motor Speedway President Marcus Smith, Lt. Gov. Dan Forrest and Miss Sprint Cup Julianna White greeted hundreds of race fans today at City Plaza in Raleigh, North Carolina as part of the Bank of America 500 Trophy Tour presented by Coca-Cola and Walmart.

The tour kicked off with a press event featuring Gov. McCrory and Keselowski discussing the significance the Bank of America 500 has on the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and the state of North Carolina.

McCrory recalled his first NASCAR race, the Coca-Cola 600 in 1975, where his favorite driver Richard Petty took the checkered flag.

"I came to watch the race and it was one of the most incredible experiences and I've been a NASCAR fan ever since," McCrory told the crowd. "I want to encourage all the people in Raleigh to come to the Bank of America 500 Oct. 10 and 11 - Friday and Saturday night. It's a huge weekend. But don't come to the raceway and sneak in the back like I did."

Keselowski, who enters the Chase as the top seed and already has four wins under his belt this season, is looking forward to returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 11 to defend his Bank of America 500 title. It will be the first time drivers race in Charlotte under the new bracket-style Chase format that NASCAR introduced earlier this year.

"I think Charlotte is probably one of the most important races in the bracket," said Keselowski, whose appearance was part of NASCAR's day-long "Chase Across North America" event, which included stops by all 16 Chase drivers in major markets across the United States and Mexico. "Let me tell you why. In that bracket we have Talladega and we have Kansas - two tracks that really don't dictate your own fate. You see a lot of wrecks in both these races so that makes it really tough. But if you can go out and win Charlotte, win that bracket and get to the next round, that can be a huge momentum swing."

Following the media event, Keselowski participated in a fan forum with Miss Sprint Cup Julianna White.

The Bank of America 500 Trophy Tour will continue on to three more cities in advance of the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The fun, free-to-the-public, interactive racing event features appearances by NASCAR celebrities, Hall of Famers and Miss Sprint Cup; the Coca-Cola Racing show car and simulator; Charlotte Motor Speedway's Fan Van and pace car; plus the opportunity for fans to take photos with the Bank of America 500 trophy and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship trophy. Fans can also register to win a Toyota Camry, tickets to the Bank of America 500 and sample delicious Coca-Cola products.

The following schedule includes the remaining stops for the Bank of America 500 Trophy Tour presented by Coca-Cola and Walmart:

Wednesday, Sept. 24
Walmart #2265
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
3950 Grandview Dr, Simpsonville, S.C.

Monday, Sept. 29
Walmart #1842
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
4424 W. Wendover Ave, Greensboro, N.C.

Monday, Oct. 6
Walmart #4574
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
5825 Thunder Rd., Concord, N.C.

For updates and details on the special guest appearances at the Bank of America 500 Trophy Tour presented by Coca-Cola and Walmart or to purchase affordable ticket and pit pass packages, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or call 1-800-455-FANS.

Connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway by following on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CLTMotorSpdwy or become a Facebook fan at www.facebook.com/charlottemotorspeedway.