On Wednesday afternoon, Havre heard roars usually reserved for places like Daytona, Fla., or Talladega, Ala., as one of Carl Edwards’ Aflac-sponsored No. 99 NASCAR vehicles made a pit stop at Havre Ford.
The car was brought up to Havre on a promotional tour for the team’s sponsor, Aflac Insurance, at the request of local Aflac salesperson Cathy Gregoire of Gregoire Insurance.
“I’ve been after them for some promotional activities for a while, ” Gregoire said. “We’re so far from NASCAR races up here. I thought it would be fun for people to talk to someone involved. ”
People did show up by the dozens to check out the car and talk with Roush Fenway Racing Marketing Representative Gary Hoeft.
Hoeft said that the car he brought had not only been used previously, last year in Las Vegas, but would very likely race again, after its Aflac-funded vacation across America.
Hoeft enjoys the travel, which he does for 200 days at a time, and meeting the fans no matter how far from an actual NASCAR track he gets.
“The closest track around here would probably be in California, ” Hoeft said. “It’s surprising, no matter where we go, there are NASCAR fans. They may have watched on TV or been to a race but they’ve never been this close to a car.
“You travel around the country and meet the nicest people. ”
Engineers and automotive enthusiasts were enjoying Hoeft’s knowledge, seeing the car and hearing the engine as it was fired up.
Hoeft said he had to hold back how far they took the engine, keeping it down around 6,000 rpm, after a 10,000 rpm demonstration blew the windows out of an adjacent building.
Many people also brought children out to check out the car and take their picture with it.
One of the girls who dropped by, Gabrielle Ansolabehere, said she enjoyed the event.
“It’s pretty awesome, ” Ansolabehere said. “I like its colors. ”