BRISTOL — The Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities on Tuesday announced the grand prize for this year’s Sharky 500 rubber shark race coming up Oct. 1 at Bristol Motor Speedway will be the track’s Irwin Tools 500 pace car, a 2011 Mustang GT donated by area Ford dealers and valued at more than $30,000.
For a chance to win the Mustang, $5,000 worth of furniture from Grand Home Furnishing, four American Airline tickets to anywhere in the continental United States, the Caribbean, Mexico or Canada, BMS race ticket packages and a half-dozen other prizes donated for the event, sharks are $10 each. The sharks are on sale at the BMS ticket office, Grand Home Furnishing and Pizza Plus locations across the Tri-Cities and online at bristolmotorspeedway.com.
SCC Director Claudia Byrd said the rubber shark race along Beaver Creek in the BMS hospitality area has become one of the largest fundraisers of the year for SCC, second only to the annual holiday light show at BMS. Last year, the event’s guests and sponsors helped SCC raise nearly $625,000.
The money was awarded to 79 nonprofit youth service organizations across the Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia region and brought the total raised and donated by SCC to more than $6 million.
Byrd said applications for this year’s SCC grant awards are already in and show just how dramatically local nonprofit agencies have been hit by the decreases in government funding and an overall decline in charitable giving that have occurred since the onset of the 2008 recession.
“Things have been cut back so much, we really need support,” Byrd said. “It’s a great day and an amazing way for us to raise money for kids.”
This year’s shark race once again will be held in conjunction with a free Kid’s Expo featuring a variety of fun attractions, games and exhibits for children. Byrd said all of the items for the expo have been donated so that every $10 rubber shark purchase will go entirely to local children’s services.
Wes Ramey with BMS said this year’s Sharky will be followed by a full day of racing at the track, beginning with an afternoon sprint car race at the oval track, and the season’s final “Street Fights” street car at the dragway.
For more information about the shark race, call SCC at 989-6974.