ORRVILLE – hundreds NASCAR fans From all over Ohio gathered at Jarrett Logistics to meet NASCAR’s Dale Jarrett and Dale Earnhardt Jr. and company-sponsored driver this year, Josh Perry.
The event was held outside the North Main Street headquarters in Jarrett’s #8 in front of the building.
NASCAR Xfinity Driver Berry kicked off the event by signing autographs for the first 125 people within the first hour.
As music rose on stage, attendees opened their seats and enjoyed food from Old Carolina BBQ and ice cream from Orr Valley Creamery. Some wore T-shirts with the image of Earnhardt Jr. or Dale Garrett, while others bought Berry T-shirts from the cargo tent.
NASCAR fans come from far and wide to enjoy the day
Julie Grosniklaus of Worcester came with her grandchildren to see Earnhardt Jr.
“We used to take our kids and go to the races all the time like Winton and Daytona,” she said, adding that she and her family were fans of his grandfather Ralph Dale Earnhardt Sr. and were at the Daytona International Speedway in 2001 When his car crashed.
Her granddaughter, Libby, said she remembers going to the Daytona 500 as a child.
“I have always been a good fan of NASCAR leadership, since I was born growing up around it,” said Libby Grossniklaus.
Professional magician and card shooter Rick Smith Jr. stunned the audience with his mind-reading and escape tricks. Engage attendees by asking trivia questions and awarding winners signed Dale Garrett Hero Cards.
Alex Westgerdis of Sydney was one of the winners. He wore a Dale Jarrett shirt and did not hesitate to drive for three hours to see his favorite driver.
“I’ve been a racing fan for 30 years,” he said. “Garrett is a great racer. I listen to his podcast. He’s still recognizable even though he’s not racing anymore,” Westgerdes said.
NASCAR elite take questions from
At 5 p.m. on Thursday, the moment everyone had been waiting for began as drivers took to the stage to answer the audience’s questions.
Beginning with how they got into the races, Earnhardt Jr. said he grew up around racers from both sides of his family. Both his father and grandfather were contestants. He also had mechanics on his mother’s side of the family.
“Every house I went to, every garage, every backyard had racing cars everywhere,” said Earnhardt Jr.
Jarrett and Iranhardt talked about their family history.
Ever since Earnhardt’s grandfather and Jarrett’s father raced together in the 1950s, the two families have become friends.
“They were rivals, but there was a lot of respect between them and there was a lot of things that this relationship created,” Earnhardt said.
Regarding wins and losses, Jarrett said he remembered his loss at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1998.
“We built a new car,” he said, “and it was the fastest car I’ve ever dreamed of.” But when his car started to break down, he ran out of fuel, leaving him four laps behind.
In 1999 he returned and won the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis. “A little redemption, but as you can see, I’m past 1998 now,” he said with a laugh.
The questions and answers ended after an hour but the fun didn’t happen. The drivers got off the stage and greeted the audience while signing some autographs.
Turnout included Jarrett’s employees, their families, clients and community members.
“We had our first show at 9:30 this morning. It was great to have them here on set up,” said Jess Crawford, Garrett’s Talent Acquisition Supervisor. “We definitely had the turnout we wanted and a lovely day.”