Danville, Virginia – March 25, 2015 – VIRginia International Raceway is hosting its annual Spring Open House and Charity Laps event April 3 to benefit Victory Junction, a moving nonprofit that enriches the lives of children with serious illnesses by providing life-changing camp experiences at no cost to their families. In addition, VIR will hold a special ceremony memorializing the track’s iconic oak tree with the replanting of a descendant of the original tree.
The iconic oak tree, which stood for more than 200 years and fell in the summer of 2013, served as a prominent feature, symbol and welcome shade to the track’s south end. Last year, VIR discovered “the son of oak tree,” which had been planted from an acorn taken from the original tree about ten years ago by a former VIR employee. Through consultation with the Virginia Department of Forestry, the tree will be transported and replanted near the spot of the old oak tree. The new location will be outside the track, approximately 150 feet from the original location, providing more stable ground and accommodating modern racing safety regulations.
The tree replanting ceremony will take place from about noon to 1 p.m. during the April 3 Open House event. The ceremony will also unveil a memorial marker made from the tree’s wood and which will be placed on the ground where the old oak tree once stood. Connie Nyholm, owner and CEO of VIR, will speak and photo opportunities will be available.
“We’re honored to welcome the community to the Spring Open House, a day of reflection, transformation and new beginnings,” said Nyholm. “For fans like me who felt a great loss with the falling of the original oak tree, the replanting is really a meaningful, welcome addition to our track. The whole day will be a great chance to celebrate VIR, check out all of the wonderful amenities and live out racing dreams to support a deserving cause.”
During the Spring Open House and Charity Laps event, guests can drive their own cars on VIR’s historic 3.27-mile full course for 15 minutes with a donation of just $25, all benefiting Victory Junction. Special guest Austin Petty, grandson of racing legend Richard Petty and brother of Adam Petty, will be keeping his brother’s dream alive offering ride-alongs in Adam’s No. 45 racecar for a minimum donation of $45. Additionally, Richard Petty’s signature Mustang will be on display at the event. Guests also have the chance to take ride-alongs around the track in one of the world’s quickest and most unique supercars, the Ariel Atom, for a $15 donation.
Throughout the family-friendly event, guests can also enjoy VIR amenities free of charge, including the kart track and shooting courses. The property will be open to the public April 3 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on VIR, visit www.virnow.com.