Hardeeville driver Dennen contributes to Special Olympics

Hardeeville Motor Speedway Driver has 'Special' Reason to Race HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (July 18, 2001) - He says it's in his blood. 'It' refers to racing, which is what Jeremiah Dennen and his family have actively pursued for the past 20 years.

Hardeeville Motor Speedway Driver has 'Special' Reason to Race

HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (July 18, 2001) - He says it's in his blood. 'It' refers to racing, which is what Jeremiah Dennen and his family have actively pursued for the past 20 years. Currently, Dennen and his family compete at Hardeeville Motor Speedway in the Legends Cars Semi-Pro division. The 23-year-old Dennen, a new resident of Beaufort, S.C., doesn't just race because it's in his blood, but because he's helping others along the way.

Dennen contributes half of his race winnings each week to the Special Olympics.

Although it may not be much, Dennen says he hopes he is able to help somewhat by giving to the national organization. "We're still working out the details," stated Dennen. "We're not sure if the money we donate will go into a general fund or if it will sponsor a local team. Either way, we're happy to do it. We would like to be able to donate all of our winnings, but with us being new to this type of car, we need to focus on learning how to drive the cars and being competitive."

Dennen was a member of a pit crew back in his home state of Kansas. The team's sponsor had a son who was involved in the Special Olympics. The team donated all their proceeds to the Special Olympics, and since then, Dennen has tried to continue the path that began several years ago. Due to a job transfer, Dennen moved to the area seven months ago and began another hobby of his: bowling. Coincidentally, a member of Dennen's bowling league participates in the Special Olympics. Twenty-two-year-old Special Olympic-participant Ricky Devalle, also a resident of Beaufort, S.C., bowls each Thursday with Dennen, giving the two extra time to develop a friendship. "Ricky comes along to all our races at Hardeeville Motor Speedway and has become a good friend of the family," Dennen said.

Devalle's mother even purchased a vehicle from Dennen's workplace and Legends Cars sponsor, Butler Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep.

Dennen got his start in racing while traveling with his parents for several years, as his father raced in many different series. When his father said, "It's your turn," Jeremiah didn't object. "There's nothing wrong with going 100 mph in a circle," stated Dennen, who currently drives the No. 3D Legends Car also sponsored by Gur's Automotive and A-Sure Sign in Beaufort, S.C.

"I'd like to continue to race and learn to drive. Of course, I'd love to move up, like Chris Beach (a Hardeeville Motor Speedway regular) has done, but we'll also need funding. If it happens, it happens. If not, it's no big deal." No matter if Dennen fulfills his dream of making it into the big leagues of auto racing, there is satisfaction knowing he has helped fulfill the dreams of others that compete yearly in the Special Olympics.

Racing takes place each Saturday night at Hardeeville Motor Speedway with grandstands opening at 5:00 p.m. Qualifying races and heat races get underway at 7:05 p.m. Feature races will begin at 8:00 p.m. Hardeeville Motor Speedway is located three miles southeast of I-95 on Highway 17. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, with reduced rates for seniors, military and children. Children under five are admitted free. Information is available at www.hardeevillespeedway.com or by calling (843) 784-RACE.

-HMS-

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