The weather was hot and so was the bidding as NASCAR fans reached deep into their pockets to support Speedway Children's Charities Ride of a Lifetime auction at Kentucky Speedway Friday afternoon.

Sixty-four pieces of NASCAR memorabilia were on the auction block as fans bought items ranging from a Jeff Gordon fire suit to a Kevin Harvick racing helmet. Fans also jumped at the chance to purchase parade-lap rides with 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars during Saturday's "Quaker State 400" prerace festivities.

NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., A.J. Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Marcos Ambrose, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, David Gilliland, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Travis Kvapil, Joey Logano, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman, David Ragan, Regan Smith, Tony Stewart and Martin Truex Jr., will donate either all or significant portion of the proceeds from winning bids to the Speedway Children's Charities Kentucky Speedway Chapter in addition to select charities drivers support.

Among the buyers was James Hannon of La Grange, Ky. Hannon purchased a prerace ride with David Gilliland for his wife, Hannah, while she and their 4-year-old son Caleb were perusing other items at the auction.

"It's something for her and for her dad. I thought it would be fun," James said. Hannah's father, Dan Leitsinger, is a contractor for the United States Marine Corps in Afghanistan.

"My dad and my uncle were fourth in line when they first started selling the RV spots, before they'd even started construction on the track," Hannah said. "We still have spot number four on the backstretch."

Story by Jeff Hibbs

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