Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks during the Food City 500 pre-race ceremonies.
By Gary P Jackson
For the second NASCAR race in a row, Sarah and Todd Palin were among the attendees.
Last week they were at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and watched Tony Stewart take the win. On Sunday, It was Bristol Motor Speedway, the fastest half mile track in the country. Brad Keselowski took his Miller Dodge to the Winner’s Circle.
As we were watching Raceday on SPEED the Fox Sports crew pointed out that Sarah was there, and showed a brief clip of her talking with Bruton Smith, the owner of Bristol, as well as a good number of other tracks that both NASCAR and the NHRA race on. Smith is one of the most powerful men in all of motorsports.
Not a bad guy to know!
The Bristol Herald Courier reports:
BRISTOL, Tenn. —
A well-known political powerhouse and a singer well known for her powerful voice were both in the house at Bristol Motor Speedway before Sunday afternoon’s Food City 500 race.
But only one of the women was seen by much of the six-figure race crowd – and briefly so.
Former Alaska Gov. and Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin – the self-described “Mama Grizzly” – made brief comments to the Food City 500 crowd during a pre-race appearance in the BMS infield section.
But country music star Kellie Pickler – who had been scheduled to perform a morning concert set from the Speedway infield – had to cancel the gig after steady rain forced race personnel to spend most of Sunday’s pre-race hours vacuuming the BMS track with high-pressure (and high volume) drying trucks.
The stubborn rain – along with a desire to start the Food City 500 on schedule – left race officials with little choice but to scrap the Pickler concert, according to BMS.
Despite the cancellation, Pickler stuck around the BMS infield for an extended period, signing autographs and chatting with spectators.
While Pickler’s appearance had been long been scheduled and promoted as part of Sunday’s Food City 500 pre-race activities, Palin’s pop-in at the speedway had not been.
Clad in one of the stylish, power-suits that became a trademark fixture during her 2008 campaign as John McCain’s VP nominee, Palin – now a popular political media pundit and much-sought speaker – drew full-throated cheers from BMS fans during her quick remarks.
“It’s so good to be in Bristol and so good to be among friends,” said Palin, who was introduced by Jerry Caldwell, BMS’ executive vice president and general manager.
Here’s some more photos from the event:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin reaches for items to sign after she spoke during the Food City 500 pre-race ceremonies.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks wtih Tenn. Senator Ron Ramsey after she spoke during the Food City 500 pre-race ceremonies.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin reaches for items to sign along with Bristol Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith after she spoke during the Food City 500 pre-race ceremonies.
Sarah, Willow, and Todd aboard team owner and Fox Sports annalist Micheal Waltrip’s bus. [Via Twitter]
Sarah with 3 time NASCAR champ and Fox Sports personality Darrell Waltrip [Via Twitter]
Sarah Palin stopping in at @BMSUpdates. #ItsBristolBaby [Via NASCARONFOX on Twitter]