It was declared “Paul Menard Day” in Henry County and Paul Menard was given a Key to the City of Martinsville, all as a part of NASCAR’s Chase Across North America Tour on Tuesday.
Menard, who will make his first appearance in The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, was the headliner in a parade through Uptown Martinsville and then participated in a question-and-answer session with Motor Racing Network’s Steve Post.
Menard didn’t know what to expect before climbing into his No. 27 Chevy and taking to the streets of Martinsville.
“I saw the marching band out there, so I’m looking forward to hearing them,” Menard said. “I’m still waiting on confirmation on the motor if I can rev it up real hard. You’ll probably know when I do if I can let it rip.”
While the event was a way to build excitement for the Chase and the upcoming Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 on November 1, it was also a way to give back to the people who support Martinsville Speedway not just on race weekend, but year round.
“Fans come to Martinsville Speedway from all over the country, but it’s the people right here in Martinsville and Henry County that make what we do possible,” Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said. “We wanted to give an event that celebrates the excitement of The Chase, but also lets our local fans know how much they are appreciated.”
The people who came were treated to free beverages and of course the Famous Martinsville Speedway Hot Dog™, courtesy of the Martinsville Henry County Chamber of Commerce.
Another highlight of the day was when Menard took over the Martinsville Speedway Twitter account. Menard has never had a personal Twitter, and so this was his first foray into the popular social media network.
The moderated session ended with Menard saying that he “technically” has still never sent a tweet.
Menard also talked about Martinsville Speedway and what he enjoys about coming to the half-mile track.
“Most of the guys started on short-tracks,” he said. “The quick 25 lappers; the 50 lappers, Martinsville fits that mold. It gets back to our roots.”
NASCAR's Chase Across North America program saw the Chase drivers will embark on a multi-city media tour, crisscrossing the nation to make special appearances and build excitement for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup — a 10-race culmination to the season that crowns a battle-tested champion. Starting with a 16-driver field, four drivers will be eliminated after every three races, setting up a "winner take all" championship showdown at on Nov. 22 (3 p.m. ET on NBC). The top finisher among the Championship 4 will win the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
The Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 is the first race in the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.