The Tony Stewart "Prelude ToThe Dream" Pit Pass Contest for Charity

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Tony Stewart is as focussed off the track as he is on the track, whether caring for chronically ill children or supporting our wounded and fallen soldiers. He seems to approach everything he does with the same tenacity.

Tony Stewart and Lee Roy Mercer

The Victory Junction Gang Camps have become such a part of my family too. That's what it is all about. We all get to have fun out here and get to drive dirt cars, but it's a lot deeper and bigger cause than that.

On June 3, 2009 Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway will play host to the fifth annual "Prelude to the Dream," a unique affair that features NASCAR and National driving stars behind the wheel of dirt Late Model machines in a full blown event, complete with time trial runs, heat races and a consolation race leading up to the featured main event.

"The Prelude to the Dream just keeps getting bigger every year," said Stewart, a multi-time racing champion and proud owner of Eldora Speedway. "Since HBO Pay-Per-View began televising the Prelude in 2007, we've been able to help a lot of deserving charities, specifically the Victory Junction Gang Camp".

The proceeds from this year's race will benefit the Tony Stewart Foundation in "Support of Our Wounded and Fallen Soldiers." The four charities- Wounded Warrior Project, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Operation Homefront, and Fisher House- all cater to severely injured military personnel or fallen heroes and their families.

The four previous Prelude to the Dreams have collectively raised more than two million dollars. With each year's event gaining significant stature and mainstream interest, Stewart's goal is to have the fifth annual Prelude to the Dream raise one million dollars… with the proceeds impacting the four charities. "It's an ambitious goal, especially in this economy," admits Stewart. "But if we don't shoot for a number that is a true difference-maker, we're not ever going to reach it. That's our goal, and me and everybody else associated with this event are going to do everything we can to meet that goal. Now, we just need everyone out there to purchase the event, enjoy all the action going on at Eldora, and support our heroes who are protecting our freedom."

Stewart has also teamed up with irreverent, prank call comedian Lee Roy Mercer to present the "Tony Stewart Prelude to the Dream Pit Pass Contest for Charity." In addition to supporting our wounded and fallen soldiers, this year Kyle Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp and one lucky fan will benefit from a pairing up of one of the sport's most outspoken drivers and a healthy dose of Lee Roy Mercer "whoop-ass" to create a recipe of sweet charity.

The Grand Prize winner will receive an all-inclusive race package to the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH which includes round trip airfare and hotel accommodations for two nights. The winner will also receive a VIP Pit Pass, allowing free access to the Speedway, the opportunity to hang out with Lee Roy Mercer in the infield/garage area and meet Tony Stewart and many other drivers "in a laid back atmosphere" during the charity race Pay-Per-View event held on June 3, 2009.

Mercer participated in the 2008 Prelude ToThe Dream where he was Stewart's special celebrity guest of honor to Victory Lane for the Prelude's post race celebration and presentation of a one million dollar donation by Smoke to Kyle Petty and the Victory Junction Gang from the event. As Tony presented the check to the Petty family, he added, "The Victory Junction Gang Camps have become such a part of my family too. That's what it is all about. We all get to have fun out here and get to drive dirt cars, but it's a lot deeper and bigger cause than that."

Kyle Petty responded, "It's like the (Kyle Petty) charity ride we do every summer. We have a good time riding motorcycles, but we raise a lot of money for charity. Nobody says that you have to have a bad time raising money for charity. You can have a good time, too. It costs $2500.00 for a child to attend the Victory Junction Gang Camp, but thanks to magnanimous donors, families do not incur any expenditure."

For details visit http://www.LeeRoyMercer.com and click the contest banner at the top of the page.

By Kara Martin - CBS Sports

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