Racing Toward a Cause: Sports Top Talents Team-Up in Prelude to the Dream for No Holds Barred Racing, Good Cause

The Seventh Annual Prelude to the Dream, slated for June 8th, will give fans the chance to witness their favorite racecar drivers compete in a no holds barred race to the checkered flag on the same surface on which legends such as Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt competed and if that’s not enough, money raised from the event benefits four of the nation’s top children’s hospitals.

As always, the event will take place at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, one of the most prominent dirt tracks around, owned by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart.

According to their website, the Prelude to the Dream "allows avid fans to not only see the origins of the sport, but to also experience racing’s biggest names performing beyond their routine element" and all for a good cause.

The race will feature more than 25 of the top drivers in the motorsports world including stars from series’ such as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, Camping World Truck Series and the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

The competition brings fans back to the roots of racing when drivers competed for the love of the sport and a trophy. With drivers from various racing backgrounds and skill levels, the competition makes for action-packed racing and drivers are able to show what they're made of without having to worry about points.

While some, including Stewart, Kahne, Newman, Blaney, Bowyer, Elliott, Allgaier, Schrader and Wallace grew up driving on dirt tracks, other drivers like Busch, Hamlin, Logano and Almirola were brought up racing on asphalt.

They will join defending champion, Jimmie Johnson and fellow driver and event host, Stewart, as they race around the half-mile clay oval in dirt late-models and compete to raise money for their team’s charity.

"The team concept adds another level of excitement by having a race within the race," said Stewart, three-time winner of the Prelude to the Dream. "As individual drivers, we all want the big trophy at the end of the night. But it’s cool knowing that battles for fourth and fifth and even 11th and 12th will make a big difference for what children’s hospital ends up with the big check."

This year, like last year, fans can watch the battle take place live on HBO Pay-Per-View at 8pm EDT with net proceeds from the telecast benefitting children’s hospitals including Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Children’s Medical Center Dallas.

Over the past six years, the Prelude to the Dream has raised over $3 million for various charitable organizations. This year Stewart hopes to raise a third of that from the June 8th event alone.

"We plan to raise a lot of money for all of these hospitals, no matter where their teams finish," explained Stewart. "Since HBO Pay-Per-View began televising the Prelude in 2007, we’ve been able to help a lot of deserving charities, and helping children has always been a part of that mission. With this format, and with the hospitals involved, we feel we have our best chance yet to make this year’s Prelude our most successful one to date."

The Prelude to the Dream, although the most publicized, is just one of the many charitable endeavors conducted by the Tony Stewart Foundation each year. Through events like the Prelude and generous donations, the foundation gives back by helping children, animals and fellow drivers in need of assistance.

Some of the foundation’s current fundraisers include the 2011 Chevy Raffle and Tony’s National Auction, with items up for auction including autographed memorabilia and unique experiences.

The Tony Stewart Foundation is also offering fans the once in a lifetime experience to attend the “Smoke Show,” a driving camp at Texas Motor Speedway with Stewart as their mentor.

Those looking to donate can also support the foundation by joining Lap Leaders, which allows them to make smaller donations by contributing on a monthly basis rather than in one large lump sum.

Charitable events like the Prelude to the Dream not only allow drivers and fans the chance to converge for a good cause, it also helps to attract new fans to the sport.

"Many of our young patients and their parents are NASCAR fans, and I know they’ll find this race especially thrilling," said Lee Fetter, president of St. Louis Children’s Hospital. "I imagine we’ll create some new fans before the end of the race."
Racing Toward a Cause: Sports Top Talents Team-Up in Prelude to the Dream for No Holds Barred Racing, Good Cause Racing Toward a Cause: Sports Top Talents Team-Up in Prelude to the Dream for No Holds Barred Racing, Good Cause Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, June 07, 2011 Rating: 5