On Friday, President Barack Obama’s campaign respectfully declined New Hampshire Motor Speedway executive vice president and general manager Jerry Gappens’ invitation to attend next month’s LENOX Industrial Tools 301. Today, Gappens is putting four tickets earmarked for the president up to highest bidder.

With all proceeds benefiting the Speedway Children’s Charities, Gappens is starting the bidding at $100 for the (4) tickets located in Section H, Row 44 of the Main Grandstand, a prime location to view the top stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on July 15. Each exclusive ticket has a face value of $110 and has President Obama’s name and address at the White House printed on them.

The auction will run from Wednesday, June 27 through Friday, July 6, and can be found at www.gospeedway.com/auctions/nhms/index.asp

“It’s the largest sporting event in New England, so it goes without saying we would have liked to have Mr. Obama join us for such a prestigious event,” says Gappens. “Instead of tossing these tickets aside we’re going to put the tickets to use to benefit Speedway Children’s Charities. This also creates an opportunity for someone to bid on a very unique set of tickets that provide a view of the race fit for the president.”

Gappens had hoped President Obama might stop by the speedway while he was in New Hampshire today on a campaign visit. On Friday, Obama’s campaign released an official statement from the office of New Hampshire State Director Pete Kavanaugh, indicating that while they did “appreciate the offer” … “the president will not be able to attend the race.”