Eldora - one day to the "Dream"

Victory Junction Gang Camp a Special Place for Petty, Stewart and NASCAR Community Camp for Children with Life-Threatening Illnesses to Benefit from June 6 "NEXTEL Prelude to the Dream" presented by Old Spice Live on HBO ...

Victory Junction Gang Camp a Special Place for Petty, Stewart and NASCAR Community Camp for Children with Life-Threatening Illnesses to Benefit from June 6

"NEXTEL Prelude to the Dream" presented by Old Spice Live on HBO Pay-Per-View

ROSSBURG, Ohio (June 5, 2007) -- Tomorrow, 26 of the finest drivers in motorsports will battle it out at the historic, half-mile Eldora Speedway in the third annual NEXTEL Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice.

While the winner of the all-star dirt late model race will receive a trophy and bragging rights, the ultimate winner was decided long before the race, and its competitors couldn't be happier.

The NEXTEL Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice is the latest example of the racing community rallying around the Victory Junction Gang Camp, a year-round facility in Randleman, N.C., that serves children ages 7 to 15 with a variety of life-threatening health issues. The camp was formed by NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Kyle Petty and wife Pattie to honor the life of their late son, Adam.

The Victory Junction Gang Camp was built on 72 acres and has a racing theme with the sights, sounds, look and feel of a race track. The camp, which is comprised of 44 buildings, operates solely on the donations of corporations, organizations and individuals. Victory Junction Gang Camp offers an opportunity for many children to attend camp that might otherwise not be able to because of their special medical needs.

Even prior to the camp's grand opening in June 2004, the entire NASCAR community, including drivers, teams, tracks and sponsors, have lined up to help make attending camp a reality for so many deserving children.

Proceeds from the NEXTEL Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice will go to support the Victory Junction Gang Camp and the Tony Stewart Foundation. An added twist to this year's event is the groundbreaking live broadcast on HBO Pay-Per-View, with proceeds from the telecast also going to support the two charities.

The live broadcast will begin at 7 p.m. EDT (4 p.m. PDT) with an immediate replay and subsequent replays throughout the week and the following weekend. Prospective viewers can order the broadcast any time, right up until race time on Wednesday. All that is necessary to order the event is digital cable or satellite service. A subscription to HBO is not required. The suggested retail price for the broadcast is $24.95 and it available to more than 61 million pay-per-view homes. Ordering information and up-to-the minute racing information is available at www.hbo.com/sports.

The event will feature such racing icons as Tony Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, Denny Hamlin, Bobby Labonte and more. All will pilot 2,300-pound dirt late model stock cars capable of putting out more than 800 horsepower.

In a live broadband pre-race show on NASCAR.com, FOXSports.com and Yahoo! Sports, HBO Pay-Per-View will take viewers behind the scenes as the drivers arrive and prepare for the big showdown at the NEXTEL Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice. Pit reporters Dick Berggren and Matt Yocum will talk with the drivers and be with them as they meet their teams for the first time, and along with announcers Darrell Waltrip and Mike Joy, HBO Pay-Per-View will go behind the wheel and provide an insider's guide to the nuances of dirt late model racing. But the action will stop at 7 p.m. EDT if you haven't ordered the pay-per-view broadcast.

For Stewart, owner of Eldora Speedway and multi-time racing champion, the Victory Junction Gang Camp holds a special place in his heart. Because of that, he decided to create the NEXTEL Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice in 2005 to help raise money for the camp.

"When you do something with Victory Junction, the feeling that you have inside is almost better than a win," said Stewart. "I think the best way for people to fully understand what it feels like is to go to Randleman and go to the camp. Go there even if it's just for an hour. Go there when the kids are there. After you're there for 20 minutes, you'll understand exactly the things that I can't put into words. You'll understand all of it. When you see those kids having fun, you'll understand.

"And the kids that they're hanging around with that week are the kids that have the same illness that they have. It's not a situation where they're there with different kids that have different diseases. They have a lot to talk about because they have a lot in common already. It's a pretty neat place for kids.

"When they're having a good day, it's a terrible day to us in our standards. It's a very grounding experience."

When Kyle and Pattie Petty began seeking support to start the camp, they knew they could depend on ample support from the racing community -- a group typically known for helping its fellow members in times of need. But the overflow of support has exceeded even their expectations.

"I think that's the part that has been more gratifying than anything else," said Kyle Petty. "When it's all said and done, we all kind of raised our hands and said this is what we want to do. This is what we're doing for a personal reason. I think Tony (Stewart) said it best when he said racers just help racers and that's the way it is. And that's the way it always has been in the garage area. It seems like when a driver or a team or somebody has a tragedy in their life, something is said in the driver's meeting, or a flyer is passed out from truck to truck. Somebody's always donating something for an auction or finding a way to raise money for worthy causes. That's the special part for me."

Stewart echoes Petty's sentiments when it comes to the outpouring of support from those in NASCAR.

"The whole NASCAR community and NASCAR fans have been pouring their hearts into the camp since the beginning," Stewart said. "That's the most important thing for everybody to understand -- that everybody has done a lot already to get the camp where it is, but it still needs help every year. This project never stops. It's always 24/7, 365 days a year. The camp always needs help with funding to make these dreams a reality for these children. To be able to have a great camp to support makes it the easy choice to be the benefactor of our event.

"I feel so fortunate to have a facility and a lot of friends that are also supportive of Victory Junction. It wasn't hard to put this event together from the standpoint of getting the drivers to come. With Nextel's involvement and Old Spice coming on for this event, so many people have really made this event bigger and better every year."

The third annual NEXTEL Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice is set for Wednesday at Eldora Speedway. Gates open to the public at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with practice scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

For more information regarding ordering the event on HBO Pay-Per-View, log on to www.hbo.com/sports.

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About this article
Series NASCAR , Stock car
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Darrell Waltrip , Matt Kenseth , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Kyle Petty , Kevin Harvick , Kasey Kahne , Denny Hamlin