A crowd of enthusiastic fans of racing met at Slideways to race with or watch Nascar professionals race and joke around.

The event was held by Tony Stewart, a professional race car driver, to raise money for his Foundation, the Tony Stewart Foundation.

Tony Stewart said Jeff Gordon started the Foundation a couple of years ago. Stewart was asked if he could pick it up and continue the foundation. Stewart agreed to do it and has brought the fun to Knoxville.

“It’s a fun event. I think it is something a lot of the fans are excited about because of the Knoxville Nationals,” Stewart said. “It gives fans one more event to do and have a good time.”

Some of Stewart’s racing friends have joined in to provide support for his Foundation and have a little fun.

“We all have fun. It’s not uncommon after the races are over in Knoxville, to come out here at midnight, and [Kyle] Larson is out here making laps,” Stewart said. “You don’t have to twist his arm that much. Ricky is always game for whatever. It’s fun to have your buddies come out and support and be apart of it. It adds much more to the event.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. said he has a lot of fun at the event.

Stenhouse Jr. started the heats in the back of the pack with Stewart and Larson. Stenhouse Jr. said he had really a good time watching fans who support Tony’s Foundation.

“They are paying to come race with us,” Stenhouse Jr. said. “To see the smile it puts on their faces is pretty cool as well.”

Stenhouse Jr. drove for Stewart in 2007, and he said Stewart helped in continuing his career. Stenhouse Jr. wasn’t in Knoxville the last couple years when the event began. Everything worked out him this year, he said.

“I am glad I was able to be here. I will have to put this [event] on the calender,” Stenhouse Jr. said.

“I’m glad I can come out and help Tony’s Foundation and everything they do.”

Kyle Larson said he came to Knoxville to support the event.

Larson said the event allows him to hang with fans, race with them and crash with them.

“It’s just a real entertaining fun event,” Larson said.

Ethan Goetz is a general assignment reporter for the Knoxville Journal-Express. He can be reached in the newsroom at 641-842-2155, ext. 19, or via email at reporter@pellachronicle.com. Follow him on Twitter @Ethan_Goetz.

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