Race fans, sponsors and VIPs gathered in the Newton Club at Iowa Speedway on Thursday evening to honor royalty, ‘The King’ Richard Petty. The third Rusty’s Roast – Celebrating the Career of Richard Petty – hosted over 200 people to benefit The NASCAR Foundation and the Iowa Speedway Foundation.
Honored speakers at this year’s event included NASCAR President Mike Helton, The NASCAR Foundation Board Member and 2013 Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, former Richard Petty crew chief and Hall of Famer Dale Inman, and, Richard Petty Motorsports driver of the NASCAR Nationwide Series number 43 Pilot Flying J Ford Michael Annett. Fox Sports and Speed TV commentator Krista Voda emceed the star-studded gala that saw $122,525 raised for the charitable foundations. In three years of Rusty’s Roast events, over $500,000 has been raised to help children lead happier, healthier lives.
“I am so honored to know Richard Petty – the man is truly a NASCAR legend,” said Wallace as he spoke to those gathered following dinner. “Richard Petty has defined the sport of NASCAR in so many ways and is truly a legend in his own time.”
Helton, Annett and Inman joined Wallace in paying tribute to Petty, sharing their personal experiences of racing with Richard Petty during the many aspects of his career. In addition to honoring Petty, the evening also went toward raising funds and awareness for The NASCAR Foundation.
“It’s the Foundation’s mission to raise funds and increase volunteerism to help children live happier, healthier lives,” The NASCAR Foundation Board Member Mike Helton told the audience Thursday night. “The Foundation impacts the lives of thousands of children throughout the year, especially in the areas of pediatric health, education fulfilling NASCAR Dreams at the track.”
Both silent and live auctions were held to help raise funds. Iowa Speedway Chairman Conrad Clement served as auctioneer for the evening.
“I’m grateful for the Iowa Speedway supporters who bid on items in both the silent and live auctions,” Clement said. “I’d also like to thank the supporting sponsors who donated their products and services that helped make all of this possible on such a special night.”
The NASCAR Foundation started in 2006, using the strength of the sport and its people to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.
“The NASCAR Foundation is truly thankful for the kindness, generosity and support of all who participated in the third edition of Rusty's Roast,” said The NASCAR Foundation Executive Director Lorene King. “We look forward to continuing to build upon the successful relationship we've built with Iowa Speedway through this event.”
Rusty's Roast concluded an exciting day for The NASCAR Foundation, as earlier on Thursday it announced the four finalists for the second-annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, which honors passionate NASCAR fans who make a difference.
Ron Eby (Windham, Maine), Michael Jackson (Duluth, Minn.), Ali McDonough (Wilmington, Del.) and Lorri Shealy Unumb (Lexington, S.C.) will receive $25,000 from The NASCAR Foundation toward their respective charities. The overall national winner, as determined by online voting at NASCAR.com/award, will be awarded with $100,000 and a 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid.
Iowa Speedway PR