Inaugural Sharky 500 Raises $40,000 For Local Children's Charities
Bristol Motor Speedway, known for bumping and rubbing on the race track, took that same action and put it on water for the inaugural Sharky 500 on Saturday.
The event, which featured nearly 4,000 rubber sharks racing through the ripples, waves and rocks of Beaver Creek, raised approximately $40,000 for the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities. The owner of the winning shark, Jimmy Wayne Bice of Cosby, took home a new Centurion Falcon V ski boat valued at $40,000. The second place shark earned Dick Penny of Bristol a room makeover courtesy of Grand Home Furnishings.
Several thousand people were on hand to cheer on the sharks as they raced through the creek, with many people arriving hours earlier for the inaugural Kids Expo. Among the many activities available for kids was the chance to play on inflatables, climb a rock wall and have their picture made with the War Wizard monster truck.
"This was such a fantastic turnout for the inaugural Sharky 500 and the Kids' Expo," said Claudia Byrd, director of the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities. "We were able to raise nearly $40,000 for Speedway Children's Charities and we so appreciate everybody who took part in this event by purchasing a shark for the race. Because of them, we'll be able to help even more kids."
The third place shark earned Paige Miller of Johnson City her choice of a trip to Gatlinburg, Williamsburg, Va. or Branson, Mo. Other winners included Jame Kaiko of Kingsport (two tickets to the 2009 Sharpie 500), Hayden Leimkuhler of Kingsport (two tickets to the 2009 Food City 500), Davey Justice of Milton, W.V. (tickets to the 2009 Thunder Valley Nationals), Ken Pope of Abingdon, Va. (two tickets to both 2009 Nationwide Series races), Woodrow Reaves of Kingsport ($100 gift certificate to Speedway World Souvenir Store), Justice ($75 gift certificate to Speedway World Souvenir Store) and Brian Clouse of Bluff City ($50 Food City gift certificate).
The next event benefiting Speedway Children's Charities is the 12th Annual Autotrader.com Speedway In Lights Powered by TVA which begins Friday, Nov. 14.
The Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, a non-profit organization, has raised more than $11 million in the last 11 years for children's agencies in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.