Two of Kasey Kahne's biggest fans traveled close to 500 miles in one day just to see him in person at the recent Chase Across America event in Roanoke.
Diane Fortune and her husband Richard Rogers made the drive from Fort Mill, S.C. The race fans left their house at 6 a.m., arriving in Roanoke a little past 9 a.m. The couple ventured home shortly after the conclusion of the event.
"He told me I had to be up at five so we could be in the car leaving at six," said Fortune.
The travelers weren't sleepy though. Fortune has been following Kahne since her interest in NASCAR began eight years ago.
"I began following him because of his ethics and his demeanor. And those blue eyes also helped," said Fortune.
Both fans agreed that this is Kahne's year to win the Sprint Cup Championship.
"We just love him to pieces. I know this will be his year. He just has to have confidence," said Fortune, with Rogers nodding along.
Kahne was in Roanoke, at the Historic Roanoke City Market, to participate in the Chase Across America, a program designed by NASCAR to celebrate the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
"We were fortunate to have Kasey Kahne join us today in our largest market," said Martinsville Speedway Track president Clay Campbell. "A large amount of our fans come from Roanoke so we were happy to bring the celebration to them."
Kahne drove on to the historic market in a Sprint Cup show car. After climbing out of the car in front of hundreds of excited race fans Kahne made his way on stage to be recognized by Roanoke Mayor David Bowers.
Miss Sprint Cup Jaclyn Roney was on hand to ask Kahne questions submitted in advance by fans.
One answer was loud and clear. Kahne wants a Grandfather Clock.
"The Grandfather Clock is a great trophy. It's one that all the drivers look at and respect," said Kahne. "It's a tough one to win and we're going to try hard to get one."
Kahne and 42 other drivers will have their chance to take home a victory and the coveted trophy when the Chase for the Sprint Cup rolls into Martinsville on October 27 for the Goody'sTM Headache Relief ShotTM 500 Powered by Kroger.
Tickets for the Goody'sTM Headache Relief ShotTM 500 Powered by Kroger start at just $37.
Advance tickets for the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, Oct. 26 are just $30 with youth 12 and under admitted free. Tickets for Pole Day, Friday, Oct. 25, are $15. To purchase tickets for the Goody'sTM Headache Relief ShotTM 500 Powered by Kroger weekend, call 877.RACE.TIX or visit www.martinsvillespeedway.com.