DETROIT, August 5, 2001 - The 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup season was a dream come true for Pontiac driver Bobby Labonte and the Pontiac Grand Prix brand. Labonte won four races - including the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - and also ...
DETROIT, August 5, 2001 - The 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup season was a dream come true for Pontiac driver Bobby Labonte and the Pontiac Grand Prix brand. Labonte won four races - including the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - and also captured the Winston Cup championship behind the wheel of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Grand Prix, delivering Pontiac its first driver's championship since 1989.
As the series returns this week to Indianapolis, Labonte and Pontiac are helping to ensure that more dreams come true in the future for some very deserving people.
As a token of its appreciation for all Labonte's achievements last season, Pontiac presented Labonte with a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix to donate to the charity of his choice. Labonte selected the Victory Junction Gang Camp as the recipient of the gift and presented the car to its founder, Kyle Petty, this weekend in Indianapolis.
"Kyle and Pattie [Petty] are special people and what they are putting together with Victory Junction is great," said Labonte. "I appreciate Pontiac giving me an opportunity to do this. I'm proud of everything we accomplished last year, but it's just as satisfying to be able to help out Kyle and Pattie."
The Victory Junction Gang Camp was founded for kids by the Pettys in honor of their son Adam. It will be a place where children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses and their families can retreat to rejuvenate their minds, bodies and spirits. The camp will be located in Randleman, North Carolina.
"We couldn't be more proud of Bobby and everything he has done on the racetrack," said Bob Kraut, brand manager for Pontiac Grand Prix. "But being able to share that success with others like Kyle, Pattie and everyone at Victory Junction makes it that much more meaningful."
Petty, who is targeting the summer of 2004 for the opening of the camp, welcomed the gift with open arms.
"We are so thrilled to have the support of Bobby Labonte as we work to bring this camp to North Carolina," said Petty. "The dream of building Victory Junction is fast becoming a reality through the help of the NASCAR family of drivers."
Earlier this year, Tony Stewart - who teams with Labonte at Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) - spearheaded an effort that raised more than $250,000 for Victory Junction. Stewart, JGR, Home Depot and Target Chip Ganassi Racing each donated $100 per lap completed during Stewart's Memorial Day weekend "double" that encompassed the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca Cola 600. Stewart became the first driver in history to run all 600 laps and donated all the lap money to Petty's new organization.
Pontiac, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2001, is serving as the "Official Pace Car of NASCAR" again in 2001 - a distinction it has held for the past 30 years.