The Second Annual Pinto Stampede, a 600-mile drive conducted by enthusiasts of the Ford Pinto, will take place on May 17-18, 2012, beginning at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee, and concluding at Summit Point, West Virginia, site of the Jefferson 500.
The 2012 Pinto Stampede starts one week before Memorial Day and will raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project (WWP), an organization that helps soldiers returning with disabilities regain normal lives. The inaugural Pinto Stampede in 2011 raised $13,000 for the veterans' organization.
Along the route, Pinto drivers will drive 10 laps around Martinsville Speedway, where 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame Richie Evans won 10 modified races and had his life tragically cut short. The Stampede will also visit The Woods Brothers Racing Museum in Stuart, VA, and attend the Jefferson 500, in Summit Point Motor Sports Park on May 19-20 at which 10 Ford Pinto Trans-Am/IMSA race cars will compete in the vintage car race.
"We want to take the opportunity to do something meaningful while having fun, so we included a charitable component by again raising money for injured veterans," said Norm Bagi, founder of The Pinto Stampede. "Contributions can be made through the Pinto Stampede donation page or on the Wounded Warrior Project site."
In 2011, enthusiasts of the Ford Pinto established a unique way of recognizing the compact car by organizing a charity drive consisting solely of compact car. The Pinto sold more than 3 million units from 1971-1980. This year's Pinto Stampede honors Richie Evans, a Modified racer who in the 1970's and early 80's drove a Modified Pinto and won more races than any other driver. Evans is the first racer outside of the Sprint Cup Series to be inducted to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Martinsville is the only racetrack that has been on the NASCAR circuit from its beginning and is the shortest track in the NASCAR Sprint Series. Its surface is unique, as it is paved with a combination of asphalt (straightaways) and concrete (corners). This track is a fan favorite and has experienced many thrilling races in its 64-year existence.
"The first Pinto Stampede was so much fun for the participants and for those innocent bystanders who were caught off guard as we rolled past," said Bagi, AKA "Trail Boss" of The Pinto Stampede. "We made lasting friendships, while dispelling many of the myths associated with the Pinto and raising money for a worthy and noble cause. This year, the Jefferson 500 will also hold a fundraiser for Wounded Warriors, and we are going to help when we arrive."
2012 Pinto Stampede highlights:
Day 1 -Thursday, May 17th, 2012
from Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN to Richmond, VA - 351 mi. (about 7.5 hours driving time)
- Pintos start their engines at Bristol Motor Speedway where they will drive laps around the track before starting their journey
- Drivers visit The Woods Brothers Museum
- The Pinto Stampede will do 10 laps at Martinsville Speedway to commemorate 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Richie Evans, who won 10 races at the speedway
- Drivers will head to Richmond
Bristol Motor Speedway
- The 4th largest sports venue in America and the 8th largest in the world
- Popular for its distinct features, including extraordinarily steep banking, all concrete surface, two pit roads, and stadium-like seating
- Named "The World's Fastest Half-Mile"
- Only track to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races every year since its inception in 1949
- Shortest track on the Sprint Cup circuit
- Fans (63,000) are closer to the action than any other track
- Voted as the track having the "best view of the action"
Day 2 - Friday, May 18th, 2012
from Richmond, VA to Summit Point, WV - 156 mi. (about 4 hours driving time)
- Pintos start their engines in Richmond, VA
- Pinto drivers visit the Udvar Hazy Museum the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
- The Pinto drivers reach their final destination at Summit Point, WV
Day 3 - Saturday, May 19th, 2012 to Sunday, May 20th, 2012
The Jefferson 500 will take place in Summit Point Motorsports Park, WV
- The Stampede drivers will spend two days attending the races while raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project.
- Pinto drivers were invited to attend the "Jefferson 500 Dinner" for Jefferson 500 race car drivers
Summit Point Motorsports Park
- Features three circuits that are used for amateur automobile, kart, and motorcycle racing
- Home of The Jefferson 500, a first class Vintage racing event for historical sports cars
- Sanctioned by the Vintage Racers Group (VRG), the Jefferson 500 has grown into one of the best and largest vintage races in the Northeast.