Saturday, February 11, 2012

NASCAR star Carl Edwards at CME 2012

Standing room only crowds gathered around the MAZDA stage for the #Toronto appearance of NASCAR star Carl Edwards during the 2012 Canadian Motorsports Expo (CME). Starting with a question and answer period  which was followed up with an autograph session the crowd couldn't get enough of the famous, handsome and back flipping driver of the #99 Aflac car. He didn't stay behind the table, he came out front to sign autographs and it also made it easy for people to have their pictures taken with the friendly driver.
Carl on the MAZDA stage
"In just seven short years Carl Edwards has had a storied NASCAR career, moving his way from the Camping World Truck Series to NASCAR’s elite Sprint Cup Series, winning a Nationwide Series Championship and chalking up numerous wins in between. He is considered one of NASCAR’s most voracious competitors."
These fans came early to be assured of an autograph - she is number 7 in line and wears her homemade Carl  fan shirt

With a full schedule he could only sign a limited number of autographs - held at 150, so people lined up early in the morning to get a pass for the signing. The line stretched from the stage, along the NASCAR Official rig and test equipment, down the hall lined with vendors, down to the Canadian Tire exhibition and around the corner. Carl signed photo hero cards, race cars, helmets and a large number of t-shirts and hats that were being worn by the fans. I watched him meet the very young fans and the slightly older fans including a cute little girl in pink - he asked her how old she was and she said five. He smiled and said he thought she looked older, like around six or seven and I had to laugh.
Carl and a young fan

Carl also had a special autograph session with some disabled fans.
Signing her shirt

He said that his crew had a great year in 2011 and with the best car and engine he can't wait to see how he stacks up in 2012. While he didn't win in 2011 he was proud to be in contention and had advice for young drivers: drive what you can afford, do the best in what you race in and he admits that he has so much fun and loves to race. He also talked about how cool the 2013 Ford Fusion looks, "it is spectacular!"
The autograph line stretches past the NASCAR Official rig and NASCAR Canadian Tire racing vehicles

Afterwards he spent a few minutes with the kings of Toronto motorsports media before he had to head back to the US on his private Cessna Citation, which he pilots.
Around the media table

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