Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) announced today that two of the biggest names from NASCAR history have entered a new Pro-Am race at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) on September 22. NASCAR Cup champion Bill Elliott, who has raced with SVRA on several occasions, will be joined by 2000 NASCAR Cup champion Bobby Labonte in the “American Racing Legends Charity Pro-Am Present By RACER Magazine.”
The new Pro-Am for NASCAR legends builds on the successful momentum of the “Indy Legends Charity Pro-Am Presented By RACER Magazine.” That event has been held annually since 2014 during SVRA’s Brickyard Invitational weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in June.
The VIR event will benefit IGNITE – the Autism Society of North Carolina’s community center for young adults with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome. IGNITE was founded by The Evernham Family Racing for a Reason Foundation – a nonprofit established by legendary NASCAR crew chief Ray Evernham and his family. Evernham will share a car with Elliott as the amateur of the team in the VIR race. The two have raced in the Indy Legends Charity Pro-Am Presented By RACER Magazine the past three years.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my growing relationship with Ray Evernham who has been instrumental in making this Pro-Am with NASCAR stars possible,” said SVRA CEO Tony Parella. “Having Bobby join us for the first time at VIR underscores the level of interest in this event. Stay tuned, because there is plenty more to follow.”
Labonte is the first driver to win both the NASCAR Cup Championship (2000), and the Busch Series Championship (1991). He backed up those accomplishments by winning the elite 2001 IROC Championship with two victories in the season’s four races. In a NASCAR Cup career that spanned 24 seasons Labonte amassed 21 race wins and 26 poles. In what is now the Xfinity Series he scored 10 race wins and 10 poles. He is one of a handful of drivers to score victories in all of NASCAR’s top three series: Cup, Xfinity, and Trucks. Already inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame, Labonte is a nominee for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He has extended his career since leaving NASCAR Cup racing in 2016, both as a driver and motorsports analyst. He is currently running a full season in the NASCAR Euro Whelen Series. He also serves as an analyst for Fox Sports 1 (FS1) Race Hub and Race Day TV programs.
Elliott, the 1988 NASCAR Cup champion, is one of the most accomplished drivers in American auto racing. He scored 44 race wins at NASCAR’s highest level including the 1985 and 1987 Daytona 500s. While he was previously well established as a top driver on the NASCAR scene, it was in 1985 when he won the “Winston Million” for victories in three of the series’ marquee races: the Daytona 500, the Southern 500 and the Winston 500 that he broke through to superstar status. His million-dollar bonus for the achievement earned him the nickname, “Million Dollar Bill.” Elliott has been inducted into both the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Bill’s son Chase is currently a NASCAR Monster Energy Cup series driver for arguably the most heralded team in the sport, Hendrick Motorsports.
In addition to the new Pro-Am, the professional Trans Am presented by Pirelli Series will join SVRA at VIR. Trans Am and SVRA continue to leverage growth for both series by sharing the track at eight event weekends in 2018. This approach delivers a motorsports festival atmosphere. Fans can expect more of the Hagerty Insurance “show and shine” car corrals and a marketplace of accessory, memorabilia, art, and apparel vendors. The event includes an entire weekend of racing with hundreds of vintage cars competing in a variety of classifications.