DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 18, 2008) – Race fans will receive a sneak peek of DIRECTV Speedweeks 2009 as well as the new NASCAR racing season on Friday, Jan. 16 and Saturday, Jan. 17 with the annual NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fests at historic Daytona International Speedway.
Fans can get their “racing fix” prior to DIRECTV Speedweeks 2009 and the 51st annual Daytona 500 with numerous activities with their favorite drivers from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series in the Sprint FANZONE located in the heart of “The World Center of Racing.”
Among the activities planned for both days include:
  • Interactive fan forums
  • Autograph sessions
  • Show cars, displays, music
  • Online auction
  • Blood drive
In addition, Richard Petty Driving Experience will be on track with ride and driving packages available. The ride-only packages can be purchased on-site while the driving packages must be purchased in advance at 1-800-BE-PETTY.
Tickets, which go on sale Saturday, Dec. 20 at 9 a.m., are $15 with autograph session availability limited to only 100 people per driver in advance. To purchase tickets and request access to the special autograph sessions, call 1-800-PITSHOP.
Drivers scheduled to make appearances on Friday, Jan. 16 beginning at 6 p.m. include 50th running of the Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman, two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton, Kyle Busch, Reed Sorenson, Aric Almirola, Casey Mears, Greg Biffle, Travis Kvapil, David Gilliland, former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Mike Skinner and John Wes Townley.
Scheduled to appear on Saturday, Jan. 17 during the noon - 4 p.m. session include three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth, 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup runner-up Carl Edwards, Mark Martin, Denny Hamlin, David Ragan, Colin Braun, Erik Darnell, Paul Menard and Alex Garcia.
In the 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. session on Saturday, Jan. 17, drivers scheduled to appear include former Daytona 500 winners Dale Earnhardt Jr., Michael Waltrip and Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and three-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr.
Additional drivers and more details about the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fests will be released in the coming weeks
“We’re excited to be able to announce the dates to the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fests,” Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said. “These two days are going to be a great opportunity for the fans to interact with the drivers and get pumped up about the upcoming DIRECTV Speedweeks and the new NASCAR season.”
DIRECTV Speedweeks 2009 is highlighted by the season-opening 51st annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 15. Other events include the Camping World 300 Nationwide Series race on Saturday, Feb. 14, the Daytona 250 Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, Feb. 13, the Gatorade Duel At Daytona qualifying races on Thursday, Feb. 12, Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented by Kroger on Sunday, Feb. 8 and the Budweiser Shootout and ARCA 200 on Saturday, Feb. 7.