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NASCAR

NASCAR Contenders Live Sponsored by Toyota and Sprint Returns to Chicago to Mark Start of Chase for the Sprint Cup

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since NASCAR swapped the first race in their version of the playoffs from the New Hampshire Motor Speedway to the Chicagoland Speedway last year, race fans have been involved more than ever.

Considering that NASCAR is arguably the most interactive sport there is, the sanctioning body keeps coming up with more ways to get fans involved. For the second straight year, fans will have the opportunity to participate in an event that should bring a little more spark to the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Chicago will be hosting NASCAR Contenders Live sponsored by Toyota on September 12, marking the start to NASCAR’s 10-race playoff. The Chase for the Sprint Cup is arguably the most intense stretch in any motorsports season. Only 12 drivers will be involved in fighting for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship with all the drivers  grouped together giving them an even playing field.

The Contenders Live program will enable fans to interact with the 12 drivers that are eligible to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title as they will be on a stage, answering questions for race fans. Though the event will be held from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. CT, it will be held at the Grand Ballroom at the Navy Pier in Chicago. NASCAR president, Mike Helton, will also be at the Contenders Live as he will give fans an extremely rare opportunity to speak with him before the drivers step foot onto the stage.

NASCAR and Toyota have also teamed up to create a sweepstakes similar to the one they had in 2012. This time around, one grand prize winner will receive a 2014 Toyota Tundra Crewmax Limited, two tickets to NASCAR Contenders Live, two tickets to the Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland, VIP passes to the race and $500 in travel funding. Fans can also win other things including an autographed helmet signed by each of the 12 drivers in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup, Sprint Samsung Galaxy phones, Sirius/XM Satellite radios and $50 gift cards for Sirius/XM.

This one of a kind event should give fans much optimism for what is to come from NASCAR in the future. As the sport keeps getting more interactive with time, fans get more opportunities to meet drivers that they have looked up to for quite some time.

Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR