A long-time friend has stepped up to the plate for the National Corvette Museum’s proposed Motorsports Park.
Rick Hendrick recently made a $100,000 donation to the park through his Hendrick Automotive Group.
Hendrick says he is proud to be associated with the track’s message of education and safety and called the addition of the Motorsports Park “an exciting next step” for the facility.
“The Museum is already a very special place for Corvette and racing enthusiasts, and this new project will grow that reputation even more,” Hendrick said.
Hendrick knows a thing or two about racing. His teams have won 10 Sprint Cup Series Championships and more than 200 NASCAR victories.
The museum has already paid $3 million cash for the land for the Motorsports Park and has raised about $1 million to help with construction. Officials are hoping that most of the facility can be built by the museum’s 20th anniversary in 2014.
They’re also hoping that they can get enough major commitments to service a $10 million debt, which would require about $750,000 a year in sponsorship commitments.
Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode said NCM is “grateful” for Hendrick’s “generous” donation and “thrilled” by what it means.
“Coming from one of the most successful individuals in NASCAR history, this is a real confirmation that all of our hard work, planning, and fundraising activity is beginning to get the attention of people who understand and appreciate the full potential of the NCM Motorsports Park,” Strode said.
“As we continue to move forward, we are confident that validations like this one will lead to increased involvement from sponsors, race teams, and motorsports organizations who will want to be a part of this exciting project.”
NCM officials and architect Steve Crawford hope to have the design for the park done by the end of the year, and it’s expected to take another three months to prepare bid documents. Whether work starts in 2013 will depend on how fundraising efforts go, Strode said.
The motorsports park will be used for education, recreation, and training of Corvette enthusiasts. The City-County Planning Commission of Warren County has approved most of the requirements that will be needed for construction, though a building permit won’t be issued until the results of a study by a sound engineer are obtained. That was one of the stipulations the museum agreed to after residents nearby expressed concerns over potential increased levels of noise from the track.
Strode is confident the park can be designed so that noise won’t be a problem for neighbors.
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