DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 3, 2009) -- Three-time Daytona 500 winner Jeff Gordon is the latest driver added to the driver appearance schedule for the annual NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fests at historic Daytona International Speedway on Friday, Jan. 16 and Saturday, Jan. 17.

Gordon, a four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and driver of the No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, will make his appearance on Saturday, Jan. 17 during the noon – 4 p.m. session.
Other additions and changes to the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest schedule include 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series runner-up Carl Edwards moving to the Friday, Jan. 16 evening session and Marcos Ambrose appearing in the Saturday, Jan. 17 evening session.
Tickets, which are on sale now, 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. Gordon’s autograph session availability will go on sale beginning Monday, Jan. 5 at 9 a.m.

During NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest, race 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.
Drivers scheduled to make appearances on Friday, Jan. 16 beginning at 6 p.m. include Edwards, 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 Jon Wes Townley.
Scheduled to appear on Saturday, Jan. 17 during the noon  - 4 p.m. session include Gordon,  three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth, 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 Ambrose, 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.
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 Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 on Saturday, Feb. 7.