NASCAR's most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., is following Jay Leno's lead in showing his support for Detroit with a fan visit on Thursday May 28 to the Motor City Casino.
Tickets to the event where Earnhardt will meet, greet and answer questions from an intimate crowd of about 1,500 in the casino's Sound Board theater are being distributed to General Motors employees and members of the Michigan National Guard.Tickets also are being given away this week to listeners of WRIF, 101.1 FM.
"It's about supporting our auto workers and soldiers from this area," said Michigan International Speedway spokesman Dennis Worden. "It's like when Leno came here to put on a show because he cares about cars and the people who make them. This is a way to show some support."
Leno did two free stand-up comedy concerts last month at the Palace of Auburn Hills for laid-off auto workers. Earnhardt will participate in a fan forum with soldiers and the folks who build Chevrolets like the one he dives in NASCAR's Sprint Cup races.
WRIF's morning air personality, Meltdown, will host "Dale in the D" from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m."We will be giving away 100 tickets on air this week and at upcoming events," said Carly Ierman, marketing director at WRIF.
"We've got the only tickets, unless you are a soldier or you work for General Motors."Earnhardt is likely to be fielding questions about a couple of hot topics, including concerns about his flagging on-track performance despite last season's move to the dominant Rick Hendrick Motorsports team -- and the meteoric rise of Brad Keselowski, the young driver from Rochester Hills who drives Earnhardt's JR Motorsports entries in NASCAR's Nationwide series.
Keselowski, who has a development contract to drive a limited number of Cup races for Hendrick this season was seen as the future replacement in the car Mark Martin drives for Hendrick. But, now that Martin has signed for another full season and Keselowski won the Cup race at Tallegeda, where Kez winds up next season has the garage buzzing.
Earnhardt recorded his last victory a year ago at Michigan International Speedway. It was his first win in a 76 race winless streak and this season has been tough again. Earnhardt is in 18th place in points, far from the top 12 needed to be in the season ending chase for the championship.But the loudest applause in introductions for Saturday night's All-Star race at Lowes Motor Speedway came for Earnhardt.
WHAT: "Dale in the D"Dale Earnhardt Jr. to participate in Fan Forum with auto workers and soldiers.
WHEN: Thursday, May 28TIME: 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Motor City Casino's Sound Board Theater2901 Grand River Ave.Detroit, Mich.Parking is available in the free parking garage at Motor City Casino. (NASCAR)