[media-credit name=”Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR” align=”alignright” width=”225″][/media-credit]Saturday marks the second day of NASCAR Acceleration Weekend in Charlotte North Carolina.
Thousands of dedicated race fans traveled to the Charlotte convention center for NASCAR Preview 2012. They waited in long lines starting as early as Friday morning. Lines that were full of energy and excitement to enter the convention center doors and meet their favorite drivers. The well organized event also came complete with displays of show cars, games and race simulators. You even got to meet the new Miss Sprint Cup, Kristen Beat, who hails from El Cajon, CA (Jimmie Johnson’s hometown). She joins Kim Coon and Jaclyn Roney in representing the Sprint brand in Victory Lane and around the tracks where NASCAR competes.
Drivers from all three major series showed up to the annual event to talk racing, meet with fans and sign autographs starting early on Saturday morning.
Lots of pictures were taken, hands shaken and words spoken. Here are a few snippets from some of the drivers:
On how long he will be racing: “As long as I want to.”
DALE EARNHARDT JR:
“I just kind of sat around the house… I’ve been playing Battlefield 3 mainly. That’s about all I’ve been doin’.
“I hope we don’t have to do that stuff this year (the tandem racing). It’s hard having to be in a relationship the whole race. That’s basically what it’s like. I look out for number one all the time. It gets me in trouble. On and off the track.”
“We’ll go out there and do what we can to beat Tony. What he did at the end of the year, and the show that he an Carl put on, I know people are still talking about it and I can’t get it out of my mind…”
“We’re gonna get along really well (him and brother, Kurt). ‘Cause I’m his boss. And I did tell him he can call me ‘dude’ but only a few times. So, I think it’ll be alright.”
“Why (did I get rid of the beard)? Cause I look silly. Well, I still look silly but, I looked sillier.”
“I think we’re going to get a strong dose of both (tandem and pack racing). I’m really excited about what we’re going to see when we go down to Daytona this year. I think it’s going to be one of the best Daytona 500’s ever.”
“I started racing when I was 10 years old, it was all boys and it’s still pretty much all boys. So no, I was never made to feel different or out of place by my parents. They just always empowered me to be as good as I could possibly be and to keep working hard. And not to be the best girl but to be the best driver.”
“Actually, I almost messed up . I was doing an interview over there and I almost said, I was like, ‘The 5 Hour Chev—. I mean, Toyota.’ It’s going to be different. There’s a lot of new.”
“If it doesn’t have wheels on it, I’m not a fan.”
“Matt (Kenseth) was makin’ fun of me this winter cause like, two weeks into the deal, I’m like, ‘Man, I’m ready- I need to go do something now.’ My wife wanted me out of the house… And I’m ready to go back racin’.”