Beautiful weather, VIP appearances and plenty of fun, free, family entertainment brought more than 7,500 fans to Charlotte Motor Speedway today for a celebration of the area’s racing roots during Charlotte SpeedFest sponsored by ADA's "Give Kids A Smile," 3M ESPE Dental, and Henry Schein Cares.

Motorsports entities throughout the area participated in Charlotte SpeedFest, including Charlotte Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Roush Fenway Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and the Sam Bass Gallery. The event coincided with the first 2011 off-weekend for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson, SPEED personalities Kyle Petty and Randy Pemberton, Miss Sprint Cups Paige Duke and Kim Coon and Motorsports Artist Sam Bass met with fans during autograph sessions held throughout the day. Hundreds of fans took free tours of Charlotte Motor Speedway and zMAX Dragway and also rode free shuttles to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Roush Fenway Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and the Sam Bass Gallery.

Charlotte SpeedFest had plenty of activities for the kids as well, 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.

Click here for a gallery of photos.

Tickets for all Spring Season of Speed events at Charlotte Motor Speedway are on sale now. Frontstretch tickets with the best views of pit road and the world’s largest HD video board, coming to the speedway in May, start at just $49 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race or two for just $99 to the Coca-Cola 600. For more information, call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or go online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.