Miss Sprint Cup coming to Chicago (exclusive interview)

Kim Coon headlines the Miss Sprint Cup program in 2013. The Orlando, Florida native will be interacting with racing fans at the NASCAR Contenders Live at Navy Pier on September 12. This year’s event will feature the top 12 drivers on stage in Chicago to discuss the most competitive time of the season, The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

It's essentially the playoffs for auto racing.

"For the fans who aren't as avid and maybe don't know how it works we have 36 races, with the first 26 being considered our regular season, and the last ten are considered the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup," she told me this morning in an exclusive interview by phone.

"All 43 drivers will still be on the track battling it out, but the top 12 drivers are competing for points in the Championship, and this event gives fans the chance to see those top 12 drivers before they get started. It's the most competitive part of the season and actually my favorite time of the year," Miss Sprint Cup said.

Kim earned her B.S. in Broadcasting and Religious Studies from the University of Miami (she bleeds orange and green) and her Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communications from the University of Alabama. While also working on her career in marketing and PR, Kim Coon led the Carolina Panthers cheerleaders squad. She was Captain of the Panthers cheer squad.

The Miss Sprint Cup program was established five years ago when the wireless company acquired the naming rights to the top-level NASCAR series. Kim Coon is the most recognizable of the three current women with the title Miss Sprint Cup, as she’s joined by Jaclyn Roney (here’s my exclusive interview with her) and Brooke Werner.

It isn't a beauty pageant, it's a full time job. You have to be 21, have a college degree and go through a rigorous interviewing process to become Miss Sprint Cup.

"Our job is so much more than just being in Victory Lane with the winning driver, we're kind of like the fan's friend on the inside," Coon said.

"We give fans an inside look at the sport, every weekend we do driver Q&As, we have racing simulators, we do official events, our responsibilities are way more than what you see at the end of the races."

Miss Sprint Cup will be involved with NASCAR Contenders Live sponsored by Toyota and Sprint will be making its return to Chicago at the historic Navy Pier on September 12.

"It's a way for the fans to engage with the drivers, and the drivers to engage with each other, and there's some fun smack talk."

Fans can visit NASCAR.COM/ContendersLive to purchase tickets for $10 dollars and enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win a new 2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Limited.

"So hopefully, we see a lot of Chicagoans out there, as Chicago is one of my favorite cities we go to," Miss Sprint Cup continued.

"I actually considered loving there before I decided on Charlotte. The Speedway is great, they do such a good job of making things easy. I enjoy the luxuries and the night life, and the local flair that downtown Chicago offers and then we get to jet off and go to Joliet and you've got to slow it down a little bit to speed it up for NASCAR if that makes any sense."

And Use the hashtag #beacontender on social media. Facebook page is Facebook.com/MissSprintCup and our twitter handle is @MissSprintCup

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan, he also writes on Chicago sports media for Chicago Now. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)

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