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It's Crunch Time, Baby!

Posted by: Mark Bilek

Sorry to crib words from the most in-your-face basketball analyst of all time, but we're getting close. I 'm excited and I hope you are too! Jen, our fantastic auto-show intern has got everyone pumped on our Facebook group and I just wanted to chime in with some very exciting things that are going on at the auto-show Web site.

2008 Chicago Auto SHowThe Chicago Auto Show has teamed up with Chicago Restaurant Partners and Phil Stefani Restaurants to make sure show patrons are well fed. Each weekday, there will be family meal deals available in the Tailgate Café in the North Hall that are designed to feed a family of four for $25 or less. If you're in the mood for a more relaxed meal, you can take your Chicago Auto Show ticket stub to participating Phil Stefani restaurants and receive a 20% discount.

Obviously, there are conditions on all of these deals, so be sure to check out the fine print at ChicagoAutoShow.com in the Chicago Auto Show Meal Deals in the About the Show tab.

I've also started our Special Appearances page. Did you know that six-time National Hot Rod Association POWERade champion Tony Schumacher will be at the show? Travis Pastrana, X-Games Gold Medalist and 3-time Rally America Champion, will be there too! Hockey Fans can check out the Stanley Cup. Stay tuned. We're updating this page daily as new appearances are scheduled. Be sure to check back before you head to the show.

Another area you'll want to visit before is our Vehicles on Display section. From concepts to production cars, we've taken the time to list virtually every vehicle that will be on the show floor. Personally, I think the new Cadillac Converj is stunning. But for all-out fun, I might be coerced into the Kia Soul'ster. What's your favorite?

Over the next few days, the Web site will come to life, literally. We'll ad an interactive Show Floor map and real-time Web cams.

Then as we get closer to the show, I'll send the Bradley University interns down to the floor with the video camera. We do this every year and it results in some pretty funny YouTube videos. Check out the video below from last year.

Once the show starts, you can pick your favorite vehicles in our Best of Show voting contest. This year we are partnering with the Chicago SunTimes to make it easier than ever to vote. Voting is free, and in true Chicago tradition, you can vote often. Once per day per Email address. We'll select 50 lucky winners to receive either a $100 gas card or $100 cash.

So, stay tuned. Things are going to get crazy!

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