By Brad Grupe

(Cedar Rapids, IA 05/11/2011)—This Friday night, May 13th is Van Meter Industrial, Inc. night at Hawkeye Downs Speedway.

In addition to regular points racing in the Papa John’s Cup/I-Wireless Championship Series, a special celebrity Legend Pride Race is on the card. The 15-lap celebrity race will feature Tim Dwight of the Atlanta Falcons and Iowa Hawkeyes; Eddie Berlin of the Tennessee Titans, Chicago Bears and UNI Panthers; CBS2 Sports Director, Jared Aarons; and Van Meter executive Mike Gassmann. After the pride race, Van Meter will raffle off footballs autographed by Dwight and Berlin.

This event has become an annual tradition sponsored by the employees of Van Meter.

“We choose a different local charity each year to support. Our goal is to help raise awareness and financial support for the cause,” said event coordinator, Kendra Fish. “Two years ago we raised $5000 to assist Cedar Rapids flood recovery efforts and last year we collected over $6000 for Aiming for a Cure Foundation. We see this as an opportunity for us to entertain our employees, customers, and members of the community at the speedway, all while achieving one of our core principles in giving back to the community.”

Admission is typically $10 for adults but with Van Meter Inc’s annual race sponsorship the admission price is waived.  In return, race fans are encouraged to give a monetary donation with 100 percent of the proceeds directed to Children’s Miracle Network to benefit the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

Four of the six divisions racing at Hawkeye Downs have seen repeat feature winners during the first two weeks of action.

Nathan Ballard has chalked up two wins in the Barron Motor Supply Hobby Stocks while Cory Houdek owns both feature wins in Coca-Cola Sportsmen. Tim Plummer has two trips to victory lane in Budweiser Modifieds and finally, Joey Gase has won both Performance Concepts Late Model features.

In addition to heats and features in those four divisions, fans will see heats and features in McGrath Powersports Legends and Sunline Hornets.

The Innovative Signs Trophy Dash is also on the card with six drivers from the Hornets division battling for six laps.

Pre-race ceremonies including the Van Meter Color Guard and the singing of the National Anthem by Justin Roberts, KGAN/KFXA Meteorologist, kick off at 7:15 pm with the first green flag set to wave at 7:30pm.

The gates at Hawkeye Downs Speedway open at 6 PM and races start 7:30 PM.  Admission will be a monetary donation at the gate for adults 18 years and older – 17 or younger enter for free.  Hawkeye Downs is located at 4400 6th Street SW in Cedar Rapids.