Join us March 12, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.!

Charlotte Motor Speedway and motorsports entities across the region are putting fans first and celebrating the area’s racing roots as only Charlotte can by offering a fun-filled day for the whole family with the first-ever Charlotte SpeedFest.

Charlotte Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and area race teams including Roush Fenway Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing will say “thank you” to race fans with a fan appreciation day taking place on March 12, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event coincides with the first 2011 off-weekend for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

“We want fans to come out on the Sprint Cup open weekend, shake off the winter blues and get fired up for another fantastic Spring Season of Speed,” said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. “Charlotte SpeedFest will give the racing community a chance to show fans how much we appreciate them by hosting a day full of memorable, racing-related fun that can only be had in Charlotte.”

Presented by 3M, Charlotte SpeedFest activities at the speedway will include:

• 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.
• Free video game entertainment with the Coca-Cola Fan Van.
• Free tours of Charlotte Motor Speedway and zMAX Dragway and free shuttles offered to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Hendrick Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing.
• Appearances and autographs by NASCAR celebrities including SPEED television personalities, Miss Sprint Cup and motorsports artist Sam Bass.
• Special one-day-only ticket offers for the May race events at Charlotte Motor Speedway, including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600, plus discounts on merchandise in the Charlotte Motor Speedway gift shop.
• 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, Sprint show car and the Sprint Cup trophy.
• Free tours and behind-the-microphone photo opportunities in the Performance Racing Network studios.
• 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 will offer 20-percent discounts at the gift shop in conjunction with the team’s celebration of 20 years in NASCAR.

Further announcements will be made in the coming weeks regarding new activities added to Charlotte SpeedFest and details will be posted at as they are confirmed.