Usually the NASCAR show teams hit the big cities where the big crowds and big money are, last week they stopped in Pratt to visit with some small town fans and give back customer appreciation to Balloons and More owner Tonja Harrison.
Denny Hamlin's FedEx NASCAR show crew came to Pratt on Thursday to help out a loyal customer and give back to their supporters. Their visit, made possible by Tonja Harrison, owner of Balloons and More, LLC, located at 105 W. First Street, included a purple number 11 race car, the FedEx truck loaded with NASCAR gear for sale, music and picture opportunities, along with discounts and prizes from Balloons and More.
"We travel around the United States for nine months of the year, making ourselves available to our fans," said Dan Snyder, the show car driver. "Most of the time we got to the bigger cities where our bigger FedEx freight customers are located, but we are here in Pratt today to give Tonja some sales rep. recognition and give back to our customers."
The Joe Gibbs racing show car on display was a winner on the racetrack, Snyder said.
"This one never finished out of the top 10," he said. "It placed 1st, 4th, 5th and 9th, before it was retired."
The car was taken off the track in 2012 when chassis were changed, and though it was in great shape, it became part of the show crew team and has entertained thousands across the country.
Barbara Barriger of Pratt, was thrilled to have a chance to take a picture with the Hamlin show car.
"I'm a big NASCAR fan," she said. "I have seen this car race. I like Denny Hamlin, but my favorites are Juan Pablo Montayo and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., even though his just retired."
Also enjoying the NASCAR-fun atmosphere on Thursday was Taunia Westerman of Pratt, who was on-hand to help her friend Harrison by handing out customer discount coupons to those visiting the event. Cotton candy, balloon animals, face painting and popcorn were all part of the entertainment.
"We have found that NASCAR fans are some of the most loyal people ever," Snyder said. "They will drive for miles just to come in and shake hands and visit with us. We even have people tell us they ship only with FedEx because they support our drivers."
The support Harrison received from the FedEx NASCAR visit was a nice unexpected reward. And she was happy to share the opportunity with those who stopped by her business on Thursday.