Every fall, local grocery chain Stater Bros. sponsors the Racefest—an event free to fans that kicks off the race weekend. Racefest 2009 was the first to be held before a Chase race at the Auto Club Speedway.
Racefest featured the official welcome to the weekend, appearances by a dozen drivers signing autographs, and posing for photos, Q & A sessions, live music, freestyle motocross with Metal Mulisha, various interactive displays and exhibits, and a chance for fans to shop at the merchandise trailers before the race weekend begins.
All Photo Credits: M Brian Ladner
A memorial stands outside the West Entrance to the FanZone honoring the former San Bernardino Sun sports editor Bryan Brewster, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2006.
One of the largest and most popular attractions was the Amp Energy booth, featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 88 show car.
The main attraction of the Amp Energy Booth—the show car by which fans could take pictures.
Two Tony the Tigers surround the stand where fans await Mark Martin.
Tickets for Mark Martin's autograph line disappeared almost immediately and the line began to form, eventually winding much of the way around the grassy park between Wolfgang Puck's Apex Restaurant and the Main Stage.
Kasey Kahne left his booth and walked down the line signing autographs along the way.
The crowd grows large as Chaser Kasey Kahne stops to pose with a wheelchair-bound fan.
Joey Logano signs a die-cast for a die-hard fan. The line for his autograph was by far the longest for any rookie in either the Nationwide or Cup Series.
Chaser Brian Vickers signs autographs alongside his Red Bull teammate Scott Speed.
Scott Speed posed for and with any fans who asked at the Red Bull Booth.
Although Michael Waltrip was originally scheduled to be signing autographs at the Coke Zero booth, David Reutimann stepped in and signed free hats for the fans.
Jamie McMurray signs autographs for fans at the Crown Royal tent.
Casey Mears signs autographs for fans at the Jack Daniels booth.
Open wheel convert Sam Hornish Jr. poses between autographs for fans at the Auto Club booth.
David Stremme takes a short break between autographs at the Penske Merchandise Hauler.
Nationwide Series Driver Justin Allgaier signs autographs next to Penske teammate David Stremme at the Penske Merchandise Hauler.
At the Vitamin Water booth, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. signs autographs for his fans.
For the NHRA fans in the crowd, the Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang was on display.
Also on display was the Pacific Street Car Association (PSCA) Pro Stock Grand Am from Hillbilly Racing.
It wouldn't be a NASCAR event without the Big E's merchandise trailer.
The Southerners, a "Honky-Tonkin Rockabilly band out of Southern California," performed on the main stage.
For those who like their exhibits a little more "hands-on," Coke Zero provided a booth where contestants could challenge each other and the clock, hitting lug nuts with an air gun on a full-size stock car.
The Go-Go Girls of RnR Entertainment pose with a fan beside the Metal Mulisha truck as it leaves the FanZone.
Fans could purchase Chase-specific merchandise at a trailer specializing in just such items.
Fans could get up close and personal with Marcos Ambrose's Kingsford Charcoal No. 47 Camry.
The Go-Go Girls from RnR pose by the No. 88 at the Amp Energy display booth.
The Canadian band Barrage, fronted by seven fiddlers, close down the entertainment on the main stage.
With the Racefest complete outside, the Auto Club Speedway tower stood all alone in the infield—its lights morphing from color to color as it flashed from pattern to pattern.