GRANVILLE TWP., Pa. - Hundreds of people in Mifflin County got a brush with fame Wednesday as they got to meet NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Mifflin County might be one of the last places you would expect a famous NASCAR driver to show up.
But the Walmart in the Lewistown area won a contest in which the Walmart store that sold the most of Mountain Dew's newer flavors would win a visit from Dale Jr.
90-year-old Arlene Campbell of Honey Grove claims to be his biggest fan in the area, and could not miss this after finding out he would be in her neck of the woods.
“I can't really explain it,” she said. “It means so much to see Dale Jr. It really is.”
Earnhardt has been out of action after suffering from concussion-like symptoms for the last month, but still held up his end of the bargain to meet fans.
“It's been a tough couple of weeks not racing but we wanted to keep our commitment to our sponsors and to all the fans,” he told them in a Q-and-A session. “We're glad to be here today.”
Fans say they cannot ever remember something like this happening in Mifflin County.
It's a small community and many of the fans here could be forgiven for being a bit star-struck.
“It's probably the most exciting thing that's ever happened in Lewistown,” Gregory Shawber, of McClure, said.
One thing is for sure: this visit was the talk of the town.
“He's a good guy, he has a good team,” Ed Goss of Lewistown said. “He's a good race car driver, he's one of the top notch drivers.”
“It's wonderful, it brings people together to have a nice time,” Rosie Metzger of Lewistown added.
It came full circle for Shawber, who says he met Dale Earnhardt, Sr. in Harrisburg years ago, and now got the chance to meet his son.
“Up around this area we don't get to meet too many people like them,” he said.
Earnhardt then went inside to sign some autographs for some lucky customers, leaving these racing fans with memories they will not soon forget.