Before Monday businessman Keith Hutson had never sat in a stock car.
The owner of Twin Oaks Vineyard and Winery has also never met Braxton Gross. But that isn’t stopping him from taking part in a grudge race against Ron Boyd, of Ron’s Tire, to raise money for the young boy who is sick.
While Boyd says he hasn’t raced a stock car, his son, Joey Boyd, is a local racer and Boyd knows a few things about racing. Like Hutson, Boyd has never met Braxton but he does know Braxton’s dad and grandparents.
The grudge match stems from a bet between Boyd and Hutson and a desire to help a sick child. Braxton, the 5-year old son of John and Amanda (Herzog) Gross of Farmington, is battling Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH).
The grudge match is just one part of the Gateway Vintage Racing Association Heartland Vintage Classic at the Doe Run Raceway to be held this Friday and Saturday. Cars will be coming from all over the region and from as far away as Alabama.
Gates open Friday at 6 p.m. with hot laps at 7 p.m. and racing at 7:30 p.m. The grudge race on Friday should start after 8 p.m. Saturday’s events will include a car show at 1 p.m.; two-seater rides (for children or adults) in the afternoon; hot laps at 7 p.m. and racing at 7:30 p.m. A two-day pit pass is $35. A one-day pass is $20. Grand stands are $5. Children, 12 and under get in for free.
In Friday’s grudge match, Hutson will be driving the number 1 car which was built in 1973. It's a replica of one of legendary local racer Tubby Black’s old cars. Boyd will be driving the number 4 car, a replica of one of local racing icon Ken Buckley’s old cars. The Buckleys donated the cars to use for the race.
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On Monday the two businessmen gathered at Doe Run Raceway, located on Highway 221 on the western edge of Doe Run, to check out the track and their cars. Hutson also won a coin toss to see who would get the inside lane.
Hutson believes they will raise at least $2,500 for the boy. Harry Gray has also donated a cooler they will use as a fundraiser at the event.
They are hoping Braxton can attend the event and be in the pace car for the grudge race.
Kevin Buckley, of the Gateway Vintage Racing Association, said there will be prizes and giveaways all weekend. They will have food concessions at vintage prices.
He said the association is a non-profit group that organized to promote the sport of vintage stock car racing, allowing a group of guys, mostly older men, to run their old cars on the track and have fun.
For more information on the association visit www.gatewayvintageracingassociation.com/