Down Syndrome Rally Makes Successful Stop At Martinsville
Monday June 16, 2014
Monday may have marked the first "road rally" at Martinsville Speedway, and even though speeds probably didn't top 60 mph in the few laps run, it was an overwhelming success.
The third stop in the three-day Race for Research for Down syndrome was at Martinsville Speedway Monday afternoon, with more than 20 two-person teams circling the half-mile oval. More than 40 teams are entered in the rally, but not all are participating in the full three days.
By Monday afternoon, the fundraiser had topped $80,000 and $100,000 seemed to be a realistic goal.
Sprint Cup driver David Ragan and his wife Jacquelyn are co-chairs of the event, helping to give it a NASCAR flavor. Other stops on the rally include the Wood Brothers Museum in Stuart, the Richard Childress Winery, Front Row Motorsports, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and several other race tracks.
Ragan helped kick off the rally in Charlotte Monday morning, but couldn't make the full trip because of a doctor's appointment he and Jacquelyn had with their newborn baby girl Julia, who is less than a week old.
David's father, Ken Ragan, who made more than 50 starts in NASCAR's premier series, led the group of cars around the track. He was joined by David's mom Beverly and his older brother Adam, who was born with Down syndrome.
"Our goal is to raise money for Down syndrome research. There has really been a lot of effort put into the auto rally," said Ken. "Our initial goal was $50,000 and as of this a.m. we were at $88,000 and now we've all got hopes of reaching $100,000 from the rally. It has been quite successful."
Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell welcomed the group and thanked them for their efforts.
"It is amazing what you folks are doing with this rally," said Campbell. "We appreciate what you are doing ... putting your time and money toward research for Down syndrome. We are just happy to be a part of this."
Racing returns to Martinsville Speedway the weekend of Oct. 24-26 with the Goody's® Headache Relief Shot® 500 Powered by Kroger weekend.