February 28, 2014
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Celebrity NASCAR driver Danica Patrick meets local firefighters at Winn-Dixie store No. 2258.​

NASCAR fever was in full force as Winn-Dixie customers and racing fans converged on Daytona-area stores to meet some of their favorite drivers and celebrate the kickoff of racing season.

On Feb. 19, Winn-Dixie teamed up with the Florida Lottery to bring popular NASCAR driver Danica Patrick to store No. 2258 in Holly Hill, Fla. More than 300 fans visited the store see her, and 100 lucky fans got her autograph. A handful of free raffle winners got to meet and talk with her inside the store.

Fellow female racing pioneer Vicki Wood, who was called the “Fastest Woman on the Beach,” also visited the store to meet Patrick. The two women talked about being pioneers in a sport dominated by men. Wood was a national record holder in beach racing from 1953-1963 and competed in races across the country.

On Feb. 19, Winn-Dixie welcomed Richard “The King” Petty to store No. 2309 in Ormond Beach, Fla. The grocer partnered with Smithfield and Richard Petty Motorsports for Smithfield’s donation of more than 80,000 pounds of protein to Winn-Dixie food bank partner Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida as part of the “Helping Hungry Homes” program.

“Giving back to the community is part of Winn-Dixie’s culture and we are proud of our longstanding partnership with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida,” said store director Walt Gilmore. “We were thrilled to celebrate racing season with legend Richard Petty and fans at our store.”

The first 50 fans who came dressed as the iconic driver were able to pose in a group photo with Petty and to receive an autograph. Raffle winners also received Smithfield prizes, including a year’s worth of free bacon and gift cards to attend the Richard Petty Driving Experience.

Throughout the weeks leading up to the Daytona 500, Winn-Dixie also hosted NASCAR show car appearances in Jacksonville, Fla. and Daytona, Fla. with Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 car and Matt Kenseth’s No. 20 car were displayed. Also on hand were the Diet Mountain Dew Hauler and a driving simulator. Customers enjoyed free samples from Bubba Burger, Mountain Dew and Diet Mountain Dew.

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Pioneer met pioneer as Vicki Wood, the “Fastest Woman on the Beach” spent time with NASCAR Driver Danica Patrick and talked at Winn-Dixie store No. 2258 about being a part of racing’s “boys club.”

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Legendary NASCAR driver Richard Petty, center, helps with a box brigade for a Smithfield Donation to a local Second Harvest food bank.

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Richard Petty, left, and a convincing impersonator, right.

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NASCAR driver Danica Patrick signs autographs for fans.

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Former Racer Vicki Wood, left, and NASCAR Driver Danica Patrick.

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