Celebrity Dirt Track Race Raises Funds for Charity
by Austin Kilgore    Sun, Apr 6, 2008, 09:18 AM
Tony Stewart announced Friday plans for the fourth annual Prelude to the Dream dirt race at his Eldora Speedway in Rossberg, Ohio.

The race pits more than 25 racing stars against each other in 2,300 pound dirt late model stock cars. The event, scheduled for June 4, will be broadcast on HBO Pay-Per-View, and the proceeds will benefit the construction of the Victory Junction Gang Camp II.

Stewart’s held the race at Eldora, which he owns, for the past three years, but it wasn’t until last year that it was broadcast on television and money was raised for charity.

“What HBO did last year, it took this event to a totally new level,” Stewart said. “We raised over $800,000 and there’s still money coming in. My personal goal this year is to write Kyle and Patti [Petty] a check for $1 million to go to the new camp.”

 Tony Stewart

The original camp, located in Randleman, North Carolina, was founded by Kyle Petty, son of legendary NASCAR driver Richard Petty, and provides a safe camping experience for children with chronic medial conditions or serious illnesses. The second camp is slated to be constructed in Kansas City.

The event has become a source of bragging rights for the stars of the Sprint Cup Series, so much so that Stewart said he’s got more drivers than he can accommodate wanting to run the race.

Victory Junction Gang Camp was founded after the death of Petty’s son, Adam, in a racing accident in 2000.
Petty said the memory of his son has inspired the entire NASCAR community to get involved, and has been a key to its success.

“If being in the right place at the right time to help this many kids is what this was all about, then I look at it and say ‘God bless Adam,’” Petty said. “His accident happened and things changed for a lot of different kids.”


Kyle Petty
The event precedes another race at Eldora, “The Dream,” a 100-lap late model race that pays $100,000 to the winner - big bucks for up and coming and small time racers. Stewart said putting on the Prelude to the Dream helps create an entire week-long event at the track.

The event is schedule for 6 p.m. Central Time, June 4, and will be available on HBO Pay-Per-View for $24.95.

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