NASCAR's stars aren't only in Darlington for the races this weekend. Kyle Petty, Michael Waltrip, and Denny Hamlin are three drivers who stopped on the Grand Strand for an event at Myrtle Beach Speedway Thursday night.
For the second week of the race season at Myrtle Beach Speedway, fans slowly filled the stadium for back to back races. Built in 1958, audiences have come here for events and the NASCAR experience.
"This race track has so much history behind it. We've had four generations of Petty's that have raced here. Three generations of Earnhardt's," explains Robert Lutz, owner of the track.
You might not typically think racing and fundraising go hand in hand, but that's exactly what's happening. A portion of ticket sales are going to Victory Junction, a camp for children with chronic medical conditions. Since opening, they've served more than 16,000 kids. Twelve years ago this Saturday, NASCAR driver Adam Petty died.
"They founded the camp because Adam, even though he was 19 years old when he passed away, he was very philanthropic, and he vocalized to his family that he wanted to bring a camp to the hills of North Carolina that served chronically ill children. His family knew that and they carried out that dream," says Brooke Hondros with Victory Junction. "You know you just can't focus on the illness all the time, and too often that's exactly what these kids are doing. And we give them that outlet just to be a kid."
Adam's dad Kyle also came out to the event. With many race fans in Myrtle Beach for the Darlington race, Thursday's event serves as preview.
"Race fans you always hear about how loyal they are. Well, it's not just to the race track and to the team, it's also to their philanthropic initiatives," adds Hondros.
As the season progresses, fans who go to Myrtle Beach Speedway will have more opportunities to help charities.
"We have so many themed nights throughout this year. Whether it's what we call, 'walk the dog,' we'll tie in with the Humane Society and local dog shelters," says Lutz.