While fellow teams are preparing for Sunday’s first Chase race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the Richard Petty Motorsports team will be making an early morning pit stop in Connecticut to visit with employees from Hartford Distributors.
The company, located just east of Hartford, found itself at the center of a tragedy when a gunman shot and killed eight fellow employees and injured two in early August.
According to Shawn Courchesne, sports reporter at the Hartford Courant and writer of the autoracing blog, “The Backstretch,” the team’s four NASCAR Sprint Cup series hauler drivers will visit with employees on Thursday morning to give tours of the haulers and display the cars that will be run in Sunday’s Sylvania 300.
In addition, New Hampshire Motor Speedway has donated 250 tickets for employees to attend Sunday’s race at the track, according to Courchesne.
Although it may seem unexpected, the visit by Richard Petty Motorsports is a logical fit, because Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 9 Ford Fusion for the Sprint Cup series team, is sponsored by Budweiser and the Connecticut company is a beer distributor.
The event will also provide the team with some positive media attention and is a great opportunity to gain new fans.
Richard Petty Motorsports recently announced that three of their four current drivers would not be renewing their contracts with the team for the 2011-2012 Sprint Cup Series season.
The team’s stop in Connecticut is not open to the public and will take place Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. before heading to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.