Daytona International Speedway, which is set to open its expansive grounds to around 4,000 rigs and 12,000 RVers April 7-10 at The Rally, will be among the recipients of this year’s Good Sam Welcome Mat Awards.
The racetrack was selected by Good Sam Club members as the most RV-friendly NASCAR event for the fourth straight year. The official 2006 Welcome Mat presentations will be held on the opening day of The Rally – the seventh edition of the event hosted by Ventura, Calif.-based Affinity Group Inc.
“We are pleased to host The Rally at the ‘World Center of Racing’ and home of NASCAR’s most prestigious race – the Daytona 500,” said Kenny Kane, senior director, media and communications for the speedway. “It’s the first time it has ever been held at a NASCAR facility and it’s a perfect marriage of two industries that support and rely on one another.”
The Welcome Mat Award is given to businesses and organizations located in the U.S. and Canada that demonstrate a high level of service to RVers. Other 2006 winners include:
• Good Sam Park: America’s Best Campground, Branson, Missouri
• Dinghy Vehicle: Saturn
• Tow Vehicle: Ford
• Motor Oil: Shell Rotella
• RV Show: The Florida RV Supershow, Tampa, Fla.
• Fast Food Restaurant: Wendy’s
• Fuel/Gas Station: Flying J
• Propane Outlet: Flying J
• Sit-Down Restaurant: Cracker Barrel
• Ice Cream Parlor: Dairy Queen
• Sandwich Shop: Subway
• Outlet Mall: Tanger Outlet Mall
• Golf Course: Hiddenbrooke Golf Club, Vallejo, Calif.
• NASCAR Event: Daytona 500
• Shopping Center/Mall: Wal-Mart
• Pet Supply Store: PetsMart
• RV Accessory Store: Camping World
• Craft Store: Michaels
• Casino: Harrah’s
• Tourist Attraction/Amusement Park/Museum: Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Fla.
• State or Province to Fish: Florida
• State to Visit in an RV: Florida
• Province to Visit in an RV: British Columbia
In addition to the Welcome Mat Awards, The Rally will be holding several special events including “RV Rescue.”
The makeover, hosted by Dometic Corp., will feature the complete refurbishing of a 1984 motorhome and take place throughout the four-day rally. The entire process will be filmed and later aired on RVtoday.
Seminars covering all aspects of RV life – from health insurance to landing a seasonal job to diagnosing engine problems – also are scheduled, as are concerts by Juice Newton, America, the Michael Andrews Orchestra and The Spinners.
“The Rally covers anything and everything about life on the road,” said Ron Epstein, director of media, noting that about 97% of the supplier booth space and around 90% of the display space for new rigs had been sold.