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Petty helps usher in VIR’s big weekend

South Boston News
Petty
SoVaNow.com / August 28, 2017
NASCAR icon and American sports legend Richard Petty served as the official grand marshall at the IMSA WeatherTech Michelin GT challenge at Virginia International Raceway over the weekend.

Petty mingled with fans Sunday.

The NASCAR Hall of Famer announced a special Celebration of Speed event coming up Sept. 29-30 in Randleman, N.C.

Petty’s Garage announced a new fall event - “The Celebration of Speed”. Partnering with Foreign Cars Italia, this new event will be a two-day celebration of speed and beauty. American muscle cars, European performance cars, vintage race cars and classic motorcycle will all come together at the Legendary Petty’s Garage to provide a unique opportunity to see some of the most beautiful and amazing performance cars ever assembled at a single location.

Several fundraising events are held each year to help the Petty Family Foundation continue its support of community, youth and veteran organizations.

Dinner is set for Sept. 29 at Petty’s house, with the King there.

There will be a silent auction, with special vendors and giveaways. The dinner is $150, and the ticket price provides admittance to the car show the next day.

The cost for the car show on Saturday is $35, and all proceeds go to the Petty Family foundation.

This special event includes a variety of spectacular race day performance, including performance cars, enthusiasts’ cars, vintage cars, and a blend of styles, motorcycles and more.

It’s also staged during the 70th anniversary of Ferrari, so the Celebration of Speed event will feature that milestone as well.

More than $20 million worth of cars are announced for the event, including some of the King’s famous NASCAR racecars. Trophy displays and other memorabilia will be on display. The Petty Garage and Museum will be open.

Some real high-end cars are expected, including special American muscle cars. Petty said, “the deal is, it’s going to be first class cars…. (Exploring) all the different aspects of high performance cars in one place (at Level Cross).

“Could be a real fun day,” said Petty.

PETTY BACK IN HALIFAX COUNTY: The King had memorable racing moments at both VIR and also South Boston Speedway, where he won five NASCAR Grand National (the forerunner of NASCAR Monster Energy Cup) races at South Boston Speedway.

Petty said it was ‘unique’ to have both tracks like this in the same neighborhood.

“Some people like road courses, some people like the round and round deal (like SBS),” said Petty.

He noted VIR is drawing fans from all over, calling the racing weekend “a pretty big deal.”

There’s a natural connection between the kinds of fans VIR lures and the connection to the Celebration of Speed, and Petty was there to promote that idea.

Petty agreed it’s a big deal to have this kind of support for racing, adding Martinsville Speedway into the mix. The Martinsville paperclip has been a strong supporter of Cup racing, Petty said.

Petty said most of the Monster Energy Cup drivers enjoy road racing, with two stops at Sonoma and Watkins Glen.

“They’re completely different kinds of race tracks,” said Petty.

Petty said traditional road racers do better at Watkins Glen, whereas at Sonoma, any of the competitors in NASCAR’S higher level can win out there.

“Any of those guys who do regular racing can win out there,” said Petty.

Petty also said the Petty Foundation and the Victory Junction Camp has been fortunate working with VIR. The motorsports facility and the charity camp are partners are working successfully. Petty said VIR is raising funds and awareness of the Victory Junction camp, and he appreciates the relationship.

The Victory Junction camp is a medically safe, exhilarating camp to challenge children with serious medical conditions to try things they never imagined possible, according to the camp website.





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