GREENVILLE, SC (September 11, 2001)- Although the late model track championship is not in question, the big question looming for Saturday's 'Pete Blackwell Memorial Shrine Race' at Greenville Pickens Speedway is....will the Shriners break yet ...
GREENVILLE, SC (September 11, 2001)- Although the late model track championship is not in question, the big question looming for Saturday's 'Pete Blackwell Memorial Shrine Race' at Greenville Pickens Speedway is....will the Shriners break yet another record in their annual fund raising drive to benefit the Greenville's Shriners Hospital for crippled and burned children? "We're on track this year and are hopeful that we'll set a new record," said Shrine Race director Robert Nix.
"This is the 16th year that Greenville Pickens Speedway has hosted the Shrine Race," said speedway marketing director Keith Cochran. "It's our annual charity event and of course the season finale. We turn the keys to the speedway over to the Shriners and every penny that comes in goes to this tremendous cause. Even the employees of the speedway volunteer their services to the Shriners for this night, and many of the drivers donate their winnings back to the children of the Shriners Hospital," Cochran said.
Pete Silva of Asheville locked up his second track title on August 25, thanks to the poor finish of Liberty's Kenneth Headen. Silva started on the pole but quickly developed mechanical problems, and circled the track slowly the remaining 35 circuits. He finished a disappointing 15th place, good enough to mathematically lock the 2001 track championship title. Silva won the 1998 title, along with NASCAR's Blue Ridge regional title that same year.
Greenville's Robby Robbins locked up his first Super Stock title on August 18, and Liberty's Chris Meinders secured his first Street Stock title on August 25. The Charger championship is still up for grabs, with Greer's Ted Somero entering the race with a comfortable lead over Easley's Kennith Powell.
Many Winston Cup drivers have pitched in to help raise money for the Shriners, and have donated items to be auctioned off. These items will be on display before the race, and potential buyers can post bids in a silent auction for these items.
Last year's Shrine race raised over $77,000 for the Greenville's Shriners Hospital. Gates will open Saturday at 4pm, with the first race set for 8pm. Adult general admission will be $12.00, with children under 12 admitted free with a paying adult. The Greenville Pickens Speedway is located at the intersection of highways 123 and 124 between Greenville and Easley. For more information, visit the speedway website at www.greenvillepickens.com, or call the speedway office at 269-0852.