NASCAR’s youth, Karsyn Elledge (Kelley Earnhardt’s daughter), Macy Waltrip (Michael Waltrip's daughter), the Gibbs children, the Burton children and a few campers from Victory Junction had the opportunity to walk down the red carpet and have their pictures taken like their celebrity parents, aunts/uncles or grandparent do. Some kids were shy, others were excited saying, “That was so cool,” and some teens posed for pictures more than once.
Although some of NASCAR's drivers, crew chiefs and other members in the NASCAR community did attend, Friday night was not about them - it was about the kids. Most parents did get their pictures taken with their kids, after the kids had their moment alone in the spotlight, but they deliberately dodged journalists; this was not a night for interviews or work, but a night to sit back, relax, celebrate, eat, drink and enjoy the company.
|Karsyn Ellege, left, and Macy Waltrip|
The camp auctioned off autographed items like hats, an M&Ms gift basket, a Taylor Swift gift basket, a Junior Nation leather jacket, Christmas trees, worn fire shoes from various drivers, a Heidi Newfield gift pack and autographed guitars. One guitar from The Jonas Brothers was auctioned off for $3,000. Another was a pink guitar from Taylor Swift. This one was a hit - all the kids wanted her guitar. The bidding started at $500 and kept getting higher, with Kelley Earnhardt fighting for it with Kim Burton. It was finally sold for $5,100, after Kyle Petty asked the ladies if both would be willing to pay the money, he would get a second autographed guitar by Taylor Swift.
|Guitars from the Jonas Brothers and |
Taylor Swift up for auction
|Campers from Victory Junction|
|Heidi Newfield performs|
I'm grateful I had the chance to attend, observe and report the night's festivities.
If you're interested, you can view more professionally taken pictures at Kevin Cole Photography.
Photos by Genevieve Cadorette