FYI WIRZ: NASCAR's Sprint Puts Up 3 Million Reasons for Drivers and Fans

Dwight Drum@@racetakeCorrespondent IIISeptember 5, 2011

Winner's circle at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Winner's circle at Atlanta Motor Speedway

After many months in planning, the marketing folks at Sprint announced a grand prize NASCAR program with three hefty rewards called the Sprint Summer Showdown—$1 million for the driver (motivation), $1 million for charity (beneficial) and $1 million for a fan (spectacular).

The Showdown period presented by HTC EVO™3D featured five Sprint Cup races leading up to the Atlanta Motor Speedway Labor Day Weekend event.

Winners from those five races, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard and Marcose Ambrose, became eligible to win a million dollars for themselves and a million for their chosen charity.

One of those drivers must win the AdvoCare 500 at AMS to claim the bundle of bucks.

One lucky fan can claim a $1 million check if their chosen driver is first to cross the finish line.

Qualified fans were randomly selected from a pool of entrants who correctly picked the winner for each of five races.

Since Keselowski won two races during the promotion period two fans were selected to split the prize and receive a half million dollars each should Keselowski win the AMS race.

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The biggest showdown when race day arrived wasn’t engine preparation, but worry over Tropical Storm Lee and its sweeping feeder bands.

Rain chances for the night race turned gloomy early and threatened the scheduled 7:30 p.m. race start. Ultimately the rains prevailed and the race was postponed.

No plans evade extreme weather conditions so NASCAR will attempt to complete the race on Tuesday at 11 a.m. or Wednesday. The Monday after the Richmond race is also an option.

Monday racing was not an option owing to high probability of rain and flooding.

Whenever the race is started and completed much will be on the line.

Kasey Kahne snatched the pole for the 325 lap race but he doesn’t have $1 million bonus riding with him. He commented on his status.

“I wish I was one of those guys going for the million for what Sprint put up there — it’s awesome for charity, for a lucky fan, for the team," Kahne said.

“All that stuff is really neat. We’re not one of those guys, but we need to win if we want to make the Chase. Atlanta is my favorite race track and we have a great starting spot. I’d definitely like to spoil that.”

Brad Keselowski was excited as well, adding, "Thanks to Sprint for putting that on.  Obviously would like to win a million dollars for charity, that would be pretty cool and a million dollars for the fan.”

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