As NASCAR fans pour into the region for next weekend’s racing, they will be met by a lineup of fun activities and opportunities to join the sport’s biggest stars in helping local kids in need.
Hall of Fame driver and two-time Bristol winner Mark Martin will be among them as the guest of honor at the annual Speedway Children’s Charities Dinner on Thursday night, April 20, in the banquet room of the trackside Bruton Smith Building. It’s a casual meal with entertainment topped off by a 20-minute conversation with the honored guest. Reservations may be made by calling Betsy Holleman at 423-989-6975.
A chance to ride around the high banks of Bristol in the back of a pickup with the NASCAR star of your choice during driver introductions at the Food City 500 and other ultimate race experiences are up for bid now through April 21 at www.sccauctions.com. Highest bidders in the Bristol Ultimate Experiences Online Auction will leave the race with a NASCAR experience of a lifetime and 100 percent of the money they bid will go to local child services.
If you’ve ever longed to test your own vehicle on the world’s fastest half-mile oval, the opportunity is yours Thursday evening, April 20, from 7 to 8. For $35, Track Laps participants can take five laps behind a pace car, or for $10 have their photo made in Victory Lane. Those who wish drive should register online at www.speedwaycharities.org/events and arrive at the track 30 minutes before the start of their session.
Should you prefer to ride along with a professional driver at something closer to race speeds, Half-Mile Hot Laps is the event for you, Friday night, April 21, from 8:30-11:30. Registration takes place in the racetrack infield. More information about how to get in on the event is available at www.seattimeracingschool.com.
For those who prefer to do their racing on two feet, Speedway Children’s Charities Spring Race 5K will start at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 21. The first in a series of three benefit road races, the Spring Race 5K course circles the BMS campgrounds and colosseum and ends with with lap around around the famed track inside.
The road race also includes a chance for walkers to take a stroll around the track. The entry fee is $25. Registration is available at www.bristol.speedwaycharities.org.
Or if cornhole is your game, there’s a three-day classic tournament awaits you Friday through Sunday, April 21-23, in the BMS Fan Engagement Area. The entry fee is $40 for a two-person team.
“We had an incredible year in 2016, but we aren’t resting on our laurels,” Speedway Children’s Charities Director Claudia Byrd said. “We want to continue raising the bar and doing what we can to make a difference in the lives of the region’s children and with your help we can achieve those goals.”
If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at 423-722-0538 or P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605.
Email Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.