Inaugural NASCAR Acceleration Weekend kicks off Friday

The inaugural NASCAR Acceleration Weekend is an opportunity for the sport and its fans to celebrate the start of the 2012 season. The three-day event kicks off Friday in Charlotte, N.C., the heart of NASCAR. The event brings together the past, present and future of NASCAR.

Events include the induction of the third class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the inaugural NASCAR Preview, where fans can meet their favorite NASCAR drivers. More than 50 drivers are scheduled to attend NASCAR Preview 2012.

Participants are encouraged to use the hashtag #ACCEL12 on Twitter to share their thoughts and about the Acceleration weekend.

The following is the schedule of events for NASCAR Acceleration Weekend (all times in Eastern Standard Time):

Friday, Jan. 20:

The third annual NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Dinner & Ceremony will honor five men who helped shape the history of NASCAR — Richie Evans, Dale Inman, Darrell Waltrip, Glen Wood and Cale Yarborough

4:00 PM • Storytelling with NASCAR Hall of Famers — Join Hall of Famers Bobby Allison, Ned Jerrett, Junior Johnson, Bud Moore, David Pearson and Richard Petty in the Great Hall for a walk down memory lane.

4:30 PM • Celebrity Entry — Watch NASCAR Hall of Famers "walk the red carpet" as they make their way up Glory Road to Induction festivities.

6:00 PM • Induction Dinner and Jacket Presentation — Witness a rare glimpse of history as each inductee is presented with their NASCAR Hall of Fame jacket. (advance reservation required)

7:30 PM • Induction Ceremony — During the 2012 Induction Ceremony hear the stories that founded the sport, feel the emotion that drove it and observe the overlying determination and passion of five of the greatest legends to ever walk pit road. The ceremony will be broadcast on SPEED on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.

Saturday, Jan. 21:

Prepare for the 2012 season with an all-day, behind-the-scenes pass into the world of NASCAR.

7:00 AM • Doors Open and Driver Autograph Wristband Distribution Begins — Wristbands will be distributed to a limited number of fans for select NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers. You must have an event ticket to be eligible to receive a wristband. (Charlotte Convention Center Ballroom)

7:00 AM • FREE Breakfast with Junior Johnson — The NASCAR Hall of Fame is bringing Junior Johnson's famous breakfast to the heart of Uptown Charlotte. There will be free Junior Johnson Brand Food's breakfast items and even an appearance by Junior himself. (NASCAR Hall of Fame)

7:30 AM • NASCAR Preview 2012 Presented by Sprint Opens (Charlotte Convention Center, Exhibit Hall C)

• Driver Q&A Sessions — All fans in attendance will have the chance to hear from many of their favorite drivers as they take part in live interviews and question/answer sessions on the stage in the Charlotte Convention Center, Exhibit Hall C.

• Car Displays and Paint Schemes — Don't miss your chance to see some legendary paint schemes of the past, as well as some that will be appearing in the 2012 season. On display all day in the Charlotte Convention Center, Exhibit Hall C.

• Sponsor Displays — Visit the Charlotte Convention Center, Exhibit Hall C and take part in interactive games, events, and multi-media displays. Don't miss your chance for free prizes and fun, courtesy of many of your favorite motorsports partners.

9:00 AM • Stage Activity and Driver Autographs Begin — Fans, don't miss your chance to collect all your favorite NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver autographs. These autograph sessions will be scheduled in 90-minute segments and will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Driver Appearance Times (Ballroom)
9:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. – Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth
10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson
11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. – Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski
12:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. – Greg Biffle
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman
2:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. – Dale Earnhardt Jr., Juan Pablo Montoya
3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. – Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart

Driver Appearance Times (Exhibit Hall)
9 a.m. – 11 a.m. – AJ Allmendinger, Jeff Burton, Bobby Labonte, Joey Logano, Mark Martin, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears, David Ragan, Justin Allgaier, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Timmy Hill, Blake Koch, Travis Pastrana, Timothy Peters
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Marcos Ambrose, Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard, Regan Smith, Brian Vickers, Aric Almirola, Trevor Bayne, Brian Scott, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Brad Sweet, Cale Gale, Justin Lofton, Todd Peck
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Michael Annett, Todd Bodine, Elliott Sadler, Dakoda Armstrong, Johnny Sauter, Jason Leffler, Brian Keselowski, Parker Kligerman, Mike Wallace, Michael Waltrip
2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Danica Patrick, Martin Truex Jr., Austin Dillon, Morgan Shepherd, Kenny Wallace, Joey Coulter, Ty Dillon, Brendan Gaughan, Tim George Jr., Max Gresham.

Driver appearances and schedules are subject to change, so check for the latest updates.

10:00 AM — 4:00 PM • Exclusive Inductee-Led NASCAR Hall of Fame Tours with Inductee Meet & Greet — Meet the legends of NASCAR as Junior Johnson, Ned Jarrett, Bud Moore, Richard Petty, Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip welcome small groups before they take a guided tour of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Offered throughout the day from the Preview Main Stage. (Charlotte Convention Center, Exhibit Hall C)

1:00 PM • Jeff Gordon and Richard Petty DuPont Press Event — Listen as Jeff Gordon and Richard Petty come together to reminisce about the historic race in Atlanta in November of 1992 which marked Gordon's first Cup Series start and Petty's last. (NASCAR Hall of Fame)

4:00 PM • Evening of Living History — Cap off the day with a free sample of Junior Johnson's moonshine at the NASCAR Hall of Fame as exhibits come to life through the stars that made them famous. Join Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Ned Jarrett, Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Hammond, Junior Johnson, Tom Higgins, Dale Inman, Glen Wood, Leonard Wood and Bud Moore for a intimate evening of storytelling, fan question and answer sessions and exclusive up close and personal insights into the legends behind the exhibits. (NASCAR Hall of Fame)

5:00 PM • NASCAR Preview 2012 presented by Sprint ends

8:00 PM • NASCAR Hall of Fame closes

Sunday, Jan. 22:

10:00 AM — 6:00 PM • Inductee Tribute Exhibit — Cap off this unforgettable weekend on Sunday with a visit to the Inductee Tribute Exhibit and witness a milestone as the Inductee spires and exhibits are enshrined for the first time in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Ticket information

Tickets start at $10. A combo ticket ($20) is required to gain access to both the NASCAR Preview 2012 presented by Sprint events and NASCAR Hall of Fame events. For ticket information, visit

- Information courtesy of NASCAR Hall of Fame release and the NASCAR Acceleration Weekend website
Inaugural NASCAR Acceleration Weekend kicks off Friday Inaugural NASCAR Acceleration Weekend kicks off Friday Reviewed by Admin on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 Rating: 5