By Shaun Burke
Most fans consider a drivers autograph to be a treasure; a Holy Grail if you will. They stand in the heat or rain for hours for an opportunity to catch a glimpse of their favorite driver and just hope they get a chance to say “Hi” to that driver. Well, for autograph lovers, attending a standalone nationwide race is a great opportunity to get such an autograph with little effort.
Nashville Superspeedway hosted an autograph session for an hour between final Truck Series practice and the first Nationwide practice. The drivers in attendance were a virtual who’s who of NASCAR stars. Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Ron Hornaday, Todd Bodine, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Carl Edwards and Kenny Wallace are just a few of the drivers who attended. 250 wrist bands were handed out starting at 11 am at Nashville Superspeedway. The fans then came back to get in line. Not only did each driver provide a “hero card” but fans were able to bring in their personal merchandise for drivers to sign. In addition, the fans also had an opportunity to have a casual conversion with their favorite driver.
Most people think of an autograph session as a time for fans to meet their favorite driver; however, for many drivers it is so much more. After the autograph session, I had the opportunity to talk with Justin Lofton, one of the drivers who participated in the autograph session about the importance of a driver like himself attending an autograph session. “The cool thing is since it’s an off weekend, you get all the big Cup drivers” says Lofton, “It helps the rest of us because they come out to see the drivers they know from TV. Who knows, you may be able to make one of them your fan.”
An autograph session is also a time for fans to be introduced to a product a driver is endorsing. Many fans associate a product with a certain car. Having the opportunity to meet the driver who is endorsing the product helps put a personal touch for many sponsors. It also gives the fan a chance to ask the driver about their sponsor.
The drivers participating in today’s session were:
Blake Koch Joey Logano
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Kevin Conway
Johnny Sauter Matt Crafton
Johanna Long Jeremy Clements
Todd Bodine Max Papis
Justin Lofton Ricky Carmichael
Dusty Davis Justin Johnson
Cole Whitt Justin Marks
Timothy Peters Miguel Paludo
Travis Kvapil Jason White
Kenny Wallace Kyle Busch
Joey Coulter Austin Dillon
Carl Edwards Nelson Piquet, Jr.
Cale Gale Ron Hornaday, Jr.
Ryan Truex Justin Allgaier
Reed Sorenson Brad Sweet
Mikey Kile Brian Scott
Trevor Bayne Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
And famous NASCAR Artist Sam Bass .
The next time you are at a race, be sure to check and see if there are any autograph sessions. You may look back on it as the highlight of your race experience!