NASCAR Banking 500 Pit Note #6
Hellman's "Real Fan of the Year" Named - In the first press conference of the afternoon held in the Time Warner Media Center, NASCAR drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski named Amber Fant as the Hellman's Brand NASCAR "Real Fan of the Year" contest winner. Fant and six other finalists will have their images displayed on the No. 88 NASCAR Nationwide Series Hellman's Chevrolet in tonight's Dollar General 300. All the finalists are attending tonight's events here at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Fant, who is from Holcomb, Miss., was excited to be named the winner.
"I never could dream, or think that I would be standing here," said Fant. "I just thought that showing I was a real race fan and spelling it out with product and showing my tickets to all the races I have been to showed who I am."
"We all went through a process to be involved in the Hellman's program," said JR Motorsports driver Brad Keselowski. "It's a cool idea to relate to all the fans. There are a ton of Hellman's banners out there in the infield. It seems like every corner I turn there is a Hellman's banner there. I'm excited to have all the finalists here."
"There were a lot of submissions," said Earnhardt Jr. "There was a lot of creativity. We just looked for whatever caught our eye. I was surprised that so many people wanted to participate in the program. It really shows the loyalty, the brand loyalty, and how big our fan base is."
Fant will also attend NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champions Week activities and celebrations at Las Vegas in December.
Junior Johnson Talks About Hall of Fame Induction - Legendary NASCAR driver and former team owner Junior Johnson, from Wilkes County, North Carolina, met with the media this afternoon and talked about what it meant to be inducted into the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
How does it feel to be a member of that first five?
"I've tried to figure out how to really explain it," said Johnson. "It was so awesome. I still have not gotten over the shock. It is probably the greatest thing that has ever happened to me in any venture I have entered into in my career. To be among the first five is such a one-of-a-kind type of thing. And the people that went in, from starting out to where it's at today, are the reason we are here today. And that is just unbelievable."
Talking about Bill France Sr., Johnson said, "I remember when he came into North Wilkesboro. He was trying to get organized. A lot of people there had fast cars. He was looking for fast cars to come to his races and race each other and put on a show. He laid some groundwork. Look at where we are today."
Talking about his getting the Hall of Fame vote, he said "When they got done doing the debate about who was going to be the candidate, it came down to where it was almost like ‘who did the most for NASCAR?'. Who had helped put NASCAR where it's at?"