DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- For three Daytona Beach-area race fans, a surprise knock on the door from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan and Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig put their coveted tickets for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 14 in their hands.
In a UPS package car, Ragan, driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford for Roush Fenway Racing, visited the houses of longtime Daytona ticket holders Mike Bruno Jr., Chief Ben Allen and Jim Barron on Tuesday with their tickets to “The Great American Race.”
In addition, both Ragan and Braig delivered goodie bags to all three ticket holders.
The special Daytona 500 ticket event with Ragan celebrates the delivery of 52nd annual Daytona 500 tickets around the world.
“It’s cool to see the fans that have been supporting NASCAR and the Daytona 500 for a number of years get excited,” Ragan said. “It’s November and they are getting excited about a race that’s in February. That shows what a big deal the Daytona 500 is. For UPS to partner and get the tickets to their rightful owners here in November, (the fans) should have something good to think about for a couple of months leading up to the 500.”
Ragan, who rode with UPS package car driver Robert Clopton, had never delivered tickets to race fans’ houses. He said the event was an eye opener to him.
“This is something that we will think about as we’re driving around the race track on that pace lap," Ragan said. "You see 150,000 people up there and you wonder how each one of them got their tickets. It’s a good thing that they are pumping this race up this early. A lot of people are talking about the 500. It’s our biggest race of the year. It’s the first one. It’s a tone setter for the rest of the season.”
For Bruno, a Ragan fan, the delivery of his Sprint Tower seats for the Daytona 500 will be something that he always will remember.
“This is unbelievable. This sport is definitely fan friendly,” said a stunned Bruno. “We definitely look forward to it every year. My father-in-law and I have been going since Sterling Marlin won his second (Daytona) 500. It’s the highlight of the year for us – February and July.”
Tickets for the Daytona 500, which start at $55, and are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.