The Stars Come Out For Charity

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. – Ken Schrader and sponsor “M&M’s” team up every weekend on the race track competing for top finishes and checkered flags. This summer the two will join together for another race – a dash for charity.

Schrader and “M&M’s” will host the first-ever “M&M’s” Night Of Stars on Wednesday, July 31st at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo. Schrader and several other Winston Cup drivers will each get behind the wheel of a dirt modified for a charity race at the 3/8-mile dirt track just south of St. Louis that Schrader co-promotes with longtime pal Ray Marler.

“We have had a bunch of guys who went to Pevely and have had fun, and we have had a bunch of guys who have wanted to come out to Pevely,” Schrader said. “We just thought why not get a bunch of guys together and all of us go out to Pevely one night, have a lot of fun and raise a lot of money for a really good cause - the Victory Junction Gang Camp.

“Kyle is a good friend of mine, and he has been working really hard on this camp. We want to do everything we can to help him raise the money he needs for the Victory Junction Gang Camp.”

In addition to ticket sales, there will be a special event T-shirt for sale with all proceeds going to the Victory Junction Gang, a camp for children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses, which was founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty in honor of their son Adam.

“We are really excited and grateful for the support the Victory Junction Gang has received from everyone in the NASCAR community, but that doesn’t make us any less grateful when somebody does something really special,” Kyle Petty said. “Ken Schrader and “M&M’s” have put together a pretty neat deal, something that’s going to be a lot of fun, and it means a lot to us. The Victory Junction camp campaign is coming along really well, and it is doing so because of great friends like Kenny and great supporters like “M&M’s”.”

“When we started talking about this event, we really wanted to make a significant donation to the Victory Junction Gang,” Schrader said. “We’re aiming for $100,000.”

Schrader will be joined on the track by Petty, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Steve Park, Bill Elliott, Johnny Benson and Mike Wallace.

“We have wanted to put together a charity program in conjunction with our NASCAR program for some time and we feel that “M&M’s” Night Of Stars is something that is unique and a great opportunity for the fans,” said John King, director of sponsorships for Masterfoods USA. “The Victory Junction Gang is a great organizations, and we are pleased to be able to sponsor an event like this and make a contribution to them.”

The charity race will be just part of the event-filled night at I-55 Raceway.

The drivers will sign autographs at I-55 Raceway from 5 to 7 p.m. on a first come, first serve basis within the two-hour time frame. The event will be raced before the feature races that night - a late model race and a winged-sprint car race.

Over the past six years, Schrader has taken several of his Winston Cup buddies to Pevely for special autograph signings and dirt car races, and the fans have responded in huge numbers. Last year, Dale Earnhardt Jr. attracted 7,000 fans to the weekly feature - I-55 Raceway seats 5,500 -- but Schrader hopes to break that record with the “M&M’s” Night Of Stars.

“I think this is a show that race fans can’t miss,” Schrader said. “I really hope the fans will come out to I-55 for the “M&M’s” Night Of Stars. We’re aiming to raise $100,000, and with everyone’s help, I really believe we can make that mark.

“This is going to be a unique opportunity for the fans, but the ones truly benefiting from all this excitement will be the kids who visit the Victory Junction Gang Camp.”

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