Sound And Speed Stage Set

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This weekend, racing and country music celebrities will gather for the Sprint Sound & Speed Presented by SunTrust, a two-day Fan Festival and celebration of music and motorsports in Tennessee at downtown Nashville's Municipal Auditorium.

The celebration begins Friday, Jan. 9 with a concert at Nashville's Sommet Center, featuring Montgomery Gentry and special guests Rodney Atkins and Julianne Hough beginning at 8 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 10 will kick off the highly anticipated Fan Festival where fans of racing and country music will once again have the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with drivers, team owners and top-name country artists who enjoy getting involved in the festival because it's for a great cause. Celebrities and their fans can gather 'round and have fun with the purpose of giving back.

For the fourth consecutive year, charitable beneficiaries of Sprint Sound & Speed Presented by SunTrust are:

  • Victory Junction, a year-round camping environment for children ages 6-16 with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses
  • Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, a not-for-profit educational organization that operates CMF Records, the Museum's First Library and Archive and the historic RCA Studio B

The first three Sprint Sound & Speed Presented by SunTrust events drew an estimated 40,000 fans and raised more than $800,000 for these designated charities.

After dedicating a special bowling alley at the Victory Junction Camp, three-time Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson feels that getting involved in such an event is important.

"Everybody involved is trying to give back, and it's great to see that," Johnson said. "So, to see more drivers in NASCAR teaming up with other celebrities such as the country music people, it's great, it's great to see it. Victory Junction is a wonderful place."

NASCAR celebrities already announced for the Fan Festival are Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Petty, Michael Waltrip, Ray Evernham, Reed Sorensen and David Stremme, Denny Hamlin and Aric Almirola.

New to this year's Sprint Cup celebrity lineup are "Driver Legends" Darrell Waltrip and Ernie Irvan.

NASCAR Nationwide Series competitors include Bobby Hamilton Jr., Brad Keselowski and Burney Lamar.

Drivers from the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series will also be present including Wayne Taylor, Max Angelelli and Brian Frisselle. NHRA driver Doug Herbert will also be at the event.

NASCAR drivers and country recording artists agree that the festival benefits both charities and fans, and there is plenty of opportunities for the fans to meet and greet their favorite stars and have a lot of fun.

"I have four kids at home. So, for me, any time that I can give back to a child in any way, it's an awesome thing," said Craig Morgan, recording artist of "Redneck Yacht Club" and "That's What I Love About Sunday." "And, obviously, the Country Music Hall of Fame is something very near and dear to my heart. I hope to some day be in there."

Country music artist Dierks Bentley, country legend Connie Smith and Grand Ole Opry star Charlie Louvin will join several other country music celebrities already announced for Saturday's festival, including Jason Michael Carroll.

"You have NASCAR fans, and you have country music fans and a lot of times they go hand-in-hand," Carroll said. "But this is actually an event that actually puts the two directly together. You can see how one holds the hand of the other in support of each other. It's going to be a great weekend."

The Fan Fest event will also feature show car and sponsor displays, as well as a charitable auction with memorabilia from the racing and entertainment industries.

The Sprint Cup show car lineup includes the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, and the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet for newly formed Stewart-Haas Racing.

Concert tickets are available for purchase through TicketMaster (www.ticketmaster.com) or the Sprint Sound & Speed Presented by SunTrust Web site (www.soundandspeed.org). Tickets are priced accordingly: $35 (Level 1), $25 (Level 2) and $17.50 (Level 3).

Festival tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. Combination tickets are good for the concert and the fan festival and are priced at $50 (Concert Level 1), $40 (Level 2) and $35 (Level 3).

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