FORT WORTH, Texas – The Tony Stewart “Smoke Show,” an annual fantasy stock-car camp at Texas Motor Speedway hosted by NASCAR’s three-time Sprint Cup Series champion, celebrated its fifth year Wednesday by reaching the $1 million milestone for funds raised for Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter.
This year’s edition of the “Smoke Show” raised more than $200,000 to push the charity event’s five-year total to over $1 million. The event was buoyed by a sellout for participants with 29 and a live auction that raised $69,000. Despite Stewart’s hectic, time-consuming schedule as co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, a heavy dose of sprint car events and numerous racing-related appearances, he continues to make time for the “Smoke Show” because of its impact. It remains the most successful single-day charity event for the Texas Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities.
“They could make 30-hour days and 400 days a year, but there would be more demands (on my time),” Stewart said. “This is a day that is important to us and we always set this aside every year. When you can raise that money for children and do it in a day makes it well worth the time. You figure five days of investment and we’ve raised over a million dollars for children – that’s a well invested five days in my opinion.”
The top auction item, which sold for $30,000, was taking the parade lap with Stewart during the pre-race ceremonies at the Nov. 4 AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Two 2013 Brickyard 400 NASCAR packages, which were highlighted with tickets in Stewart’s private suite at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the entire race weekend, went for $17,000 each and a pair of special-edition “Smoke Show” Turnbull Manufacturing pistols sold for $11,000.
The “Smoke Show” allows the participants to walk in the shoes of a NASCAR driver during a typical race day as well as enjoy quality time with Stewart. Each camper receives a personalized “Smoke Show” firesuit and gets ready in a pro-style locker room for the ultimate stock-car fantasy camp experience. Each camper runs two 10-lap competitive lap sessions in a Team Texas stock car, receives a thrilling, two-seater stock-car ride with Stewart behind the wheel, and participates in nearly everything a driver would do during a race day from pre-race introductions to celebrating in Victory Lane with the traditional cowboy hat and six shooters. Stewart also has autograph and Q&A sessions for the participants.
The 2013 “Smoke Show” date has not been finalized, but traditionally is run mid-week in August. For more information on the “Smoke Show,” please call Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter at (817) 215-8421.
The Tony Stewart “Smoke Show” is one of the many fundraisers held by Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas throughout the race season. The organization’s mission is to care for children in educational, financial, social and medical need in order to help them lead productive lives. In 2011, Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter surpassed the $8 million mark in grants distributed to local children’s organizations in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties since its inception in 1997.