A number of big names from the world of motorsports will collide on Wednesday, April 17 but don’t expect to hear “Drivers, start your engines.”
This competition will begin with “Play Ball!” as drivers from NASCAR and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) square off in a charity softball game to be held at CMC-NorthEast Stadium in Kannapolis, the home of the Intimidators, the Chicago White Sox Class-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League, it was announced today.
“The Intimidators are excited to host so many big names from both NASCAR and NHRA,” said Randy Long, General Manager of the Kannapolis Intimidators. “We’re proud to be a part of an event that will not only be fun for our community but will also raise money for several worthy organizations.”
An hour-long pre-game autograph session begins at 5:00 p.m. with first pitch at 7:00 p.m. The game will be followed by a concert featuring popular country recording artist Darrell Harwood, who will also sing the National Anthem before the game.
The idea for the game came from an unlikely partnership, NHRA Top Fuel driver Bob Vandergriff and NASCAR star Kurt Busch, as a way to raise money for their favorite charities while also giving fans of circle-track and straight-line versions of auto racing a chance to see their favorite drivers up close and personal in a different setting.
"A lot of us on the NHRA and NASCAR sides of racing know each other, but our hectic racing schedules don't allow us to get together very often," Vandergriff said. "Kurt and I started talking about this, and before you knew it we had a plan, then we were talking to our fellow drivers in each series, and it all started to come together. Early on in the process, the Kannapolis Intimidators minor league baseball team came on board, and once we had a professional venue in place we knew we could make this happen. Our NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series will be at zMAX Dragway, in Concord, on April 19-21, for the Dollar General 4-Wide Nationals, so that gave our drivers a chance to all come in a little early to do this, have some fun, raise some donations, and promote our sport.”
Tickets are $20 for reserved-level seating and $15 for general admission and are now on sale online through IntimidatorsBaseball.com/nhra, and proceeds from the event will be donated to charities specifically selected by each team. The NASCAR drivers have selected The Armed Forces Foundation, while the NHRA team has designated Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
"It will be great to generate some money for two good causes, but on top of that it's going to be a lot of fun to square off against those guys in the game and I know it's going to be great for the fans, at least in a comedy sense,” said Vandergriff . “We're going to have an autograph session before the game, and with the Darrell Harwood concert afterward it will be a great night for everyone in attendance. I do think our NASCAR brothers have one built-in advantage, though, because they already know how to keep turning left until you get back home. I'm going to have to make sure my guys don't just keep on going straight, all the way to the right field fence."
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
Wednesday - April 17, 2013 – CMC-NorthEast Stadium in Kannapolis, N.C.
5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. - Autograph session with the drivers
6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. - On-field warm-ups
7:00 p.m. - National Anthem followed by first pitch
Post-game - Concert by Darrell Hardwood and The CWB
DRIVERS ALREADY COMMITTED TO PARTICIPATE:
Martin Truex Jr.
More drivers to be announced
Brandon Bernstein (Top Fuel Dragster)
Antron Brown (Top Fuel Dragster)
Ron Capps (Funny Car)
Courtney Force (Funny Car)
Matt Hagan (Funny Car)
Chad Head (Funny Car)
Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel Dragster)
Clay Millican (Top Fuel Dragster)
Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel Dragster)
JR Todd (Top Fuel Dragster)
Bob Vandergriff (Top Fuel Dragster)
Del Worsham (Funny Car)
More drivers to be announced