Night of Champions honors Mel Larson, raises $83,000 for Speedway Children's Charities
Wednesday, February 1, 2006
The Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosted the inaugural Night of Champions dinner, honoring Mel Larson, on Tuesday, January 31, at Mandalay Bay. The event raised more than $83,000 for the Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities.
LVMS General Manager Chris Powell announced at the end of dinner that the event would now be known as the Mel Larson Night of Champions, a night to honor local community members and local racing champions.
The dinner featured four-time NASCAR Champion Jeff Gordon as the keynote speaker, and guests O. Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports, LVMS's parent company; and Chris Economaki, founder and editor emeritus of National Speed Sport News. The speedway also recognized the 2005 season champions from its drag-racing facility, The Strip; and its 3/8-mile oval, The Bullring. Gordon also took part in a meet-and-greet with guests during the reception.
Larson provided significant inspiration and guidance in conceptualizing Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He worked closely with the speedway's original ownership during the early and mid-1990s and is a longtime friend of Smith's.
Last December, the Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities distributed more than $275,000 to 67 local charities at its annual grant distribution ceremony.