For the second year in a row Race Fest at Chicagoland Speedway raised over $50,000 for the Mike Guglielmucci Sr. Racer?s Benevolent Fund.

The fund was created eight years ago to honor the memory of Mike Guglielmucci Sr. and to benefit race car drivers who were injured in auto racing-related accidents. The fund has grown over the years to include scholarships to 12 students enrolled in the Automotive Program at Joliet Junior College and monetary donations to local high schools to improve their automotive programs and shops. Race Fest has grown from the basement of the local Moran A.C. to the Joliet Knights of Columbus to the Joliet Armory and now to it's new home at Chicagoland Speedway.

The Ninth Annual Race Fest was held Saturday, June 21, 2003 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill where over 700 race fans were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Activities included live and silent auctions, Chicagoland Speedway Pace Car rides, photos in Winner?s Circle with the Tropicana 400 trophy, riding shotgun with the Richard Petty Driving Experience, as well as drinks and dinner in the Chicagoland Speedway garages.

"With the success Race Fest is now enjoying, it's hard to believe we started out as a small group of racers just getting together to drink a few beers, tell a few tales, and eat a few pizzas", said Mike Guglielmucci Jr. "Having this event once again at Chicagoland Speedway has grown the fund beyond what we ever could have expected and is helping us serve those who need our support." To date, the fund has given out over $120,000 to scholarship winners and race car drivers and their families who have been injured or died in auto racing-related accidents. Guglielmucci added, "With Chicagoland Speedway providing their world-class facility and the Richard Petty driving Experience donating a portion of their revenue from their ride-alongs, it made for an unbelievable day and a truly wonderful time for everyone."

Special guests including Mike King, the voice of the Indy 500; Tom Sneva, the 1983 Indy 500 Winner; Lyn St. James, former Indy 500 competitor and Linda Vaughn, Miss Hurst Golden Shifter were in attendance and took part in 2003 Race Fest. ?We are honored to be the home of Race Fest,? said Matthew Alexander, vice president and general manager of Chicagoland Speedway. ?The students, drivers and families this fund supports are the same people we work with day-in and day-out, so having the Mike Guglielmucci Sr. Racers Benevolent Fund as one of our official charities is natural for us and something we are committed to seeing succeed.?

Guglielmucci concluded, ?Without the help of Chicagoland Speedway, our sponsors, the volunteers and all who attend Race Fest, this would not have been possible.?

For more information about the Mike Guglielmucci Sr. Racers Benevolent Fund or 2003 Race Fest, please call Mike Guglielmucci at (815) 467-2058 or visit www.mikegracefest.org.

Click here for photos of 2003 Race Fest.

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