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Wednesday December 17, 2014

The holiday season is a time for giving and Martinsville Speedway’s 18th annual Christmas Toy Drive showed that the NASCAR community is willing to do just that. The toy drive raised more than $13,000 and saw 200 toys donated for the Grace Network of Martinsville and Henry County.

A network of more than 100 area churches, the Grace Network will use the money to provide toys and clothes to underserved and underprivileged children in the area.

 “Being able to donate more than $13,000 to the Grace Network is going to help bring smiles to a lot of kids’ faces on Christmas morning,” Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said. “Martinsville Speedway is proud of our community and our fans. While the speedway presents the check, it truly is a community donation.”

The Grace Network gets lists of names from the churches in the network and then is able to take the money raised and shop according to each child’s needs and wishes.

“Being able to bring joy to children in this season is a blessing,” said Simone Redd, a Grace Network board member and the one who heads up the shopping. “The generous donations and toys received allowed us to spread the spirit and true meaning of Christmas throughout the community.

“Christmas is a special time of the year and we, at Grace Network, appreciate the opportunity to participate in the toy drive with the Martinsville Speedway.”

This year’s toy drive reached a bigger audience than ever before, thanks to some ticket packages that were put up for auction. Race fans from all over the country bid on race experiences like getting a picture taken in Victory Lane with the STP 500 winner or the opportunity to ride in the Official Pace Car for the start of the race.

However, it wasn’t all about change. Like in years past, fans had the opportunity to drive their personal cars around the track, in exchange for a new toy or a $10 donation. Different from years past though, the laps were spread out over two weeks, instead of being limited to one day. This gave fans from as far away as New Jersey and South Dakota the opportunity to participate.

For more information on how to support the Grace Network of Martinsville and Henry County visit http://www.gracenetworkmhc.org/.

Racing returns to Martinsville Speedway for the 2015 season with the STP 500 race weekend, March 27-29. Tickets to the STP 500 Sprint Cup Series race, the Kroger 250 Camping World Truck Series Race and the Virginia Lottery Pole Day are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX or by visiting www.martinsvillespeedway.com.

 

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