SPARTA, Ky. - Three of Kentucky's most influential leaders, Papa John's Founder John Schnatter, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari, are pledging their support to Kentucky Speedway's June 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts and encouraging fans to do the same by coming together to celebrate a "slice of Kentucky." 

Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed the week of June 24 as "NASCAR Week in the Commonwealth."

"Kentucky Speedway is a great asset for our state that provides unparalleled entertainment and excitement to thousands of racing fans," said Gov. Beshear. "We're proud NASCAR is returning to the Bluegrass State, and we are looking forward to an exhilarating weekend of racing."

This is the third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway.  In its first two years, the event at the Sparta venue has attracted fans from each of the 50 U.S. states and Canada, making a significant impact on travel and tourism in the region. 

Papa John's customers are able to purchase two "Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts" tower grandstand tickets in select sections along with infield Fan Zone passes for the event through a special pizza box topper or on-line at http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com/papajohns.   

"We are excited to partner with Kentucky Speedway to offer race fans a great opportunity to be part of this exciting event at a great price," said Schnatter. "Papa John's has had a strong partnership with NASCAR over the past several years and we look forward to being part of this thrilling event."

In addition, Calipari will participate in the big night by serving as Honorary Pace Car Driver. 

"It's a privilege to represent the great Commonwealth of Kentucky as Honorary Pace Car Driver," said Calipari. "The Quaker State 400 is one of Kentucky's premier events and I'm confident Kentucky Speedway and NASCAR will put on a thrilling event for NASCAR fans throughout Kentucky and beyond."

Calipari just completed his fourth year as head coach of the Wildcats.  He reached the mountaintop in his third campaign in Lexington by guiding Kentucky to its eighth NCAA Men's Basketball national championship and 15th Final Four. It marked his first national championship and his fourth Final Four as a head coach. He is one of only two coaches to lead three different programs to a Final Four (University of Massachusetts-1996; Memphis-2008; Kentucky-2011, 2012).

"Papa John's is one of the very best sports marketers in the country.  We appreciate them getting behind our Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts as we continue to grow one of our region's signature events," Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger said. "We welcome Coach Calipari back to Kentucky Speedway and look forward to him leading one of the quickest fast breaks in history of the commonwealth." 

The Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts includes a race-day concert with platinum-selling country music artist Billy Currington presented by Kroger and anchors a NASCAR tripleheader weekend at the speedway. Racing begins Thursday, June 27 with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) UNOH 225 and continues Friday, June 28 with the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) Feed The Children 300.

Tickets, weekend and season ticket packages, daily infield Fan Zone passes - that provide a trackside view of Currington's concert, a similar view of driver introductions, pit road access and more - along with campsites are on sale now at http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com, (859) 578-2300 and the speedway offices at 1 Speedway Drive, Sparta, Ky., 41086.

KENTUCKYSPEEDWAY CONTACTS:  Tim Bray (859) 578-2694 (office) / (859) 991-1005 (mobile) ">/ or Mike Schmaltz, (859) 578-2692 / (859)991-0988 (mobile) /