Note to readers: This... is my last post 'til Monday and there won't be a race update this week (well, maybe a mini-uipdate). TGOM is very behind on emails, Flickr requests, etc. and hoping to catch up next week! Be sure and stay tuned to Jayski for the latest silly season news. There may be a big announcement or two this weekend in New Hampshire.
LOUDON, N.H. - Two-time and reigning NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion Tony Stewart today announced his foundation's second donation of $1 million to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. The camp was founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty in memory of their son Adam and is dedicated to creating empowering experiences for children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses.
This is Stewart's third major contribution to the Victory Junction Gang Camp, with his first donation having come in 2001. When Stewart competed in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600, he pledged $100 for every lap he completed, with The Home Depot, Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing each matching Stewart's donation. And after completing all 600 laps, $240,000 was raised for the Victory Junction Gang Camp.
In November of 2003, the Tony Stewart Foundation pledged $1 million to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. The Foundation met that goal by hosting benefit concerts at the Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center in Paducah, Ky., and by staging the Nextel Prelude to the Dream - a dirt track race among Nextel Cup drivers at the Stewart-owned Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
The Tony Stewart Foundation Benefit Concerts featured recording artists Diamond Rio, Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry, Phil Vassar and Kid Rock, who made a surprise appearance at last year's event. And the 2005 Nextel Prelude to the Dream featured a who's who of NASCAR drivers, as Petty, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte, Ken Schrader, Dave Blaney and Kenny Wallace raced to a packed crowd, who in addition to seeing a great race, saw a portion of their admission fee go to the Victory Junction Gang Camp.
This year's Nextel Prelude to the Dream was originally scheduled for June 7, but rain postponed it to Sept. 6. Nonetheless, drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley will join Prelude veterans Petty, Harvick, Kenseth, Labonte and others in raising even more money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp.
Stewart now has cumulative unrestricted donations totaling over $2 million to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. He is a founding member of the Victory Junction Gang Camp, along with the Pettys, actor Paul Newman and the Bahre family - owners of New Hampshire International Speedway.
Stewart: "I really admire Kyle and Pattie Petty for the people they are and for the work that they do. The Victory Junction Gang Camp was their idea, and they've done so much to make it happen. The Tony Stewart Foundation is proud to donate $1 million to the Victory Junction Gang Camp so that Kyle and Pattie can continue to provide incredible experiences to kids who need it most."
Kyle Petty: "Having Tony's support has been huge for Victory Junction. He was one of the first drivers to get on board with us, and beyond the money he and his foundation have donated to the camp, he's brought notoriety, which has helped fuel interest in the camp. It's just one more example of how when we're on the track we're fierce competitors, but off the track we're all united in trying to improve the lives of others, especially children. I've always admired his charitable work and it's an honor to have him as a part of the Victory Junction family."