Atlanta Motor Speedway Pit Notes 1 - Saturday, March 7, 2009 LOCAL NASCAR LEGEND DONATES MEMORABILIA: Raymond Parks was racing before NASCAR existed. A Georgia native, Parks was the car owner of the first NASCAR race winner. He is a two-time ...
Atlanta Motor Speedway Pit Notes 1 - Saturday, March 7, 2009
LOCAL NASCAR LEGEND DONATES MEMORABILIA: Raymond Parks was racing before NASCAR existed. A Georgia native, Parks was the car owner of the first NASCAR race winner. He is a two-time NASCAR champion and swept every race run on Daytona Beach. To say he was instrumental in building the foundation of NASCAR racing is probably a vast understatement.
And Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Parks and his wife Violet announced that he would be donating has vast collection of trophies and race memorabilia to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which is expected to open in 2010 in Charlotte, NC.
"I think I was 11 years old when we run our first Cup race in '49, and Mr. Parks had already been there a couple of years," seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Richard Petty said. "He was the class of the field; he kind of set the standard. When racing first started, it was pretty rough. Mr. Parks brought class. It took people like Mr. Parks to lay the foundation we're still working off of."
Now 94 years old, Parks did not speak during the 20-minute press conference, but he and his wife posed for photos with the commemorative brick they were presented by Hall of Fame executive director Winston Kelley. The brick will be placed outside the new Hall of Fame in tribute to Parks' many contributions to racing.
"Raymond doesn't have any living children, so to preserve this collection, we needed to put it somewhere it was going to be taken care of," Violet Parks said Saturday. "It's important to have it in the museum. This memorabilia has always been very important to Raymond."
In fact, the collection survived a fire on the couple's property in 2002. It includes 29 trophies from the earliest days of NASCAR racing.
KOBALT DONATES TOOLS TO SCHOOLS: Lowe's and Kobalt Tools announced Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway the inception of the Tough Tools for Cool Schools program, which will provide more than 500 SkillsUSA Building and Construction Trades Classes and Labs across the country with about $300,000 worth of Kobalt tools.
Lowe's kicked off the program Friday with a visit to Lovejoy (Ga.) High School, when Jimmie Johnson made the program's first "delivery".
Johnson will also run a special Tough Tools for Cool Schools paint scheme April 5 at Texas Motor Speedway.
CLAY CAMPBELL TO RACE AT AMS: Martinsville President Clay Campbell will make his Roadster debut in this afternoon's Legends, Bandolero and Roadsters races at AMS, which will begin at approximately 4 p.m. Rumor has it David Ragan is also looking for a ride in the Roadster race.
Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark has already wrapped up the Roadster title for the Winter Flurry series and will be sitting out of today's races.