Circle Heart Racing

Racing to bring a better tomorrow for children in need of a smile today

“Miles of Smiles”

 

2011 SEASON KICKS OFF WITH A PAIR OF SECOND PLACE FINISHES

 

The Circle Heart Racing #28 Honda S2000 begins their season with 2 second place in class finishes at South Carolina’s Carolina Motorsports Park track. This a tough technical 2.3 mile Road Course with lots of twists and turns that will challenge the best of drivers. Rigdon’s practice time were a little higher than expected however he improved his time enough to qualify 4th overall and 2nd in class for Saturday’s race. Flickinger made adjustment throughout the day making the car faster and faster. Saturday was plagued with several full course cautions that bunched up the field of 46 cars making it extremely difficult to pass and establish a rhythm causing him to finish in the top 5.

Sunday was a gorgeous day with temperatures nearing 70 which was perfect for racing. The #28 Car picked up a tenth qualifying 3rd overall and again second in 2nd class. Rigdon was determined to get to the front only to be spoiled by a spin on the first green flag lap at 120 mph on the back stretch through the kink. “I thought I could flat foot through the kink only to spin out into the sand trap. This is the toughest corner to figure on the whole track and it got me this time”, said Rigdon. He is currently 2nd in points heading into the Road Atlanta race in March.

Local VFW Post Sponsors Team

The VFW Post 5255 in Lawrenceville backs Circle Heart Racing for 3 races this season. They will proudly display the National VFW and VFW National Children’s Home logos for several races. Rigdon is a Life Time Member with the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars). He will be racing to bring attention and donations for the VFW’s National Children’s Home during their Awareness Week 2011.

“We need to do everything possible to support our service men and women’s children; they put their life on the line for our freedom and it’s the least we can do to give back”, says Rigdon. For a small$35 donation you can become a Life Member and know that you helped a child in need. He will be handing out information at NASA-SE’s Pot-O-Gold races at Road Atlanta March 11th - 13th.  Please visit http://www.vfwnationalhome.org/  to see how you can help.

HELP - HOPE - HONOR

AWARENESS WEEK 2011 - MARCH 20 - 26

 Road Atlanta Proves to be Challenging

The weekend began with a test and tune session on Friday. They were able to improve their lap times by more than 2 seconds with a time of 1:40.9 which was good enough to be on the pole. Saturday, Rigdon and Flickinger were plagued by mechanical issues and finished the race in the top 5. Sunday’s race did not go any better blowing the engine on the first lap of the race, not the result they were looking for.

Overall the weekend was a success for the VFW National Home For Children. Over 50 race teams supported their cause to raise attention and money for the National Home For Children Awareness Week 2011. “It was amazing the support that we received from all of the Race Teams competiting in the NASA-SE Pot-O-Gold races” said Rigdon. “It was unfortunate that we had so many mechanical issues but the support from fellow racers was outstanding raising thousands of dollars”.

The VFW National Home is an awesome non-profit organization that support our troop’s children and families in their time of need. “People need to understand the war extends beyond the battle field”, said Rigdon, “We need to help our soldiers and families”.

Look for us  at Carolina Motorsports Park in April.

Huge Comeback  Places Circle Heart Racing 1st in Honda Challenge Points

After destroying an engine at Road Atlanta, Circle Heart Racing’s Rigdon and Flickinger wins two straight races at the challenging Carolina Motorsports Park track in Kershaw, South Carolina. Flickinger worked day and night for weeks replacing the Honda S2000 engine after a catastrophic failure. “I’ve never seen an engine explode into pieces like this one did, so I took the extra time to make sure the new engine was right,” said Flickinger.  And right it was!

It began Saturday with Rigdon qualifying 2nd in a large 40+ car field with a 1:48 lap time. “It took a few laps but the car came to me after getting a little heat into the tires”, said Rigdon. He had a slow start as they took the green flag but within a few laps the #28 car was running up front after passing Kondor and Woods, two of Honda Challenge toughest competitors. “The S2000 ran like it was on a rail and the new engine was absolutely spectacular boosting me into the lead,” Rigdon boasted.

Sunday’s race was equally challenging, qualifying forth overall for the start. The track had lost some of it’s grip from the previous day’s races. However, the #28 was running up front after a few highly contested laps with the Thunder Cars driven by Darrell Hamilton and Brad Daugherty. Those guys were really up on the wheel trading positions almost every lap and kept fans on their feet the entire race.  “Special thanks needs to be given to our sponsors and especially Flickinger for providing us with a competitive car earning two consecutive wins and 1st in points for the Honda Challenge 1 series,” Rigdon said looking forward to Road Atlanta in June.

Rigdon Chosen as Director Of Honda Challenge Series

Ron Rigdon was selected by NASA-SE (National Auto Sports Association - South East) to be the new Director of the Honda Challenge Series. The Honda Challenge is very competitive series compiled of all types of Hondas; from Accords, Civics, S2000, Acura and more. “Rigdon has been a long time member and Instructor as well as a 3 time champion with NASA-SE,” said Jim Pantas, Regional Director. “He always brings a lot to NASA-SE, especially with all he does for the children’s charities, making him a good match for the position,” Pantas continued, “He will help the series grow with a high level of professionalism.”

Rigdon currently competes in the Honda Challenge series, racing a Honda S2000. With more than 4 wins this season he is leading in the points.  Rigdon will be racing at Road Atlanta August 6th & 7th, come watch as he defends his points lead.

Charlotte, NC.

Circle Heart Racing’s Ron Rigdon and Jason Flickinger celebrated the 4th of July weekend racing their Honda S2000 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was their first experience racing on a high banked race track which is sloped over 31 degrees. The track configuration was a challenging 3.1 miles in length with 12 turns that included 3 high speed turns on the famous Charlotte Motor Speedway’s NASCAR track. Three of the turns were the fastest in the NASA-Southeast series exceeding speeds of 145 mph.

 

They came away with a first place finish on Saturday and a second place  finish on Sunday in the Honda Challenge series keeping Circle Heart Racing in 1st place in points. Flickinger changed the set up on the car Saturday during practice and qualifying making the car faster with each adjustment. “It was a little more difficult than usual since there were three high speed turns on this track,” said Flickinger.

 

Circle Heart Racing also continued their support for Gwinnett Children Shelter in Buford, GA. The shelter provides quality care for children in need throughout NE Georgia. “They have programs for children of all ages; especially for older teens’” said Rigdon. “It’s up to us and others to support the shelter’s mission.” Their mission is Strengthening children, youth and families in crisis by providing a broad array of counseling and support services in a safe and nurturing environment. Visit www.gwinnettchildrenshelter.org to see how you can help.

 

Circle Heart Racing Takes on the High Banks of Charlotte Motor Speedway

ROBERTSON RACING JOINING CIRCLE HEART RACING FOR SANTA’S TOY RUN ENDURANCE RACE IN DECEMBER

Circle Heart Racing’s Ron Rigdon wins NASA-SE 2011 Honda Challenge Series Championship in his Honda S2000 by a wide margin. He raced in 8 of the 9 scheduled events coming out with 6 wins and 2 top five finishes. Flickinger, Chief Engineer, had worked tirelessly throughout the year setting the car up for Rigdon. “Ron’s driving habits are a little different than other drivers since he came from circle track racing,” Flickinger said, “It was a constant battle but I got him comfortable in the car thus keeping us up front.”

The races in the December Santa’s Toy Run was a huge success for the charities. They were able to provide over 400 homeless children with toys for Christmas and raised over $8000 in donations for 8 different charities. They also provided more than 50 women with gift cards in the battered women’s shelter. We had lots of support from NASA-SE, Interstate Poker and lots of race teams entered in the event. It was a TOTAL success!

The #28 Honda S2000 did not fair so well blowing the motor and crashing during the 8 Hour Endurance Race.“I was real disappointed with the out come of the Toy Run (for the car), but happy that we were able to make a difference in some kids life,” Ron said, “Money is real tight however we hope to have the car back together by April, God willing.” Sponsorships have been real tough for Circle Heart Racing in 2011 and especially in 2012. .

Look for Circle Heart to be a contender for the 2012 Honda Challenge Series because you can’t keep a good dog down. They will find a way to get back on track because there is a lot of people depending on them.

Rigdon Wins more than Championship

Local Race Team Supports VFW National Home For Children

Circle Heart Racing from Lawrenceville GA assists VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Post 5255 and Boy Scout Troop 595 placing flags on the graves of veterans in observance for Memorial Day. Ron Rigdon, owner/driver of Circle Heart Racing is a lifetime member with the VFW and raced for the VFW National Home for Children for the previous two months gaining support and donations. “I want to give back and what better way than supporting the VFW National Home for Children and all the good they do for the families and kids of our Veterans,” Ron noted.

“It’s awesome to be a part of this great nation and as a veteran myself; I want to honor current and especially our fallen heroes that sacrificed their life for our freedom,” said Rigdon. He and a local group of Boy Scouts and Veterans took time to place more than 1000 flags in two of Lawrenceville’s cemeteries. There were a number of Father and Sons working together making it a family tradition and is a good lesson for our youth to learn respect and honor for our Veterans, past and present.

Veterans across Gwinnett will be celebrating Memorial Day with a parade through town at 9am. At 1pm Post 5255 will pay respects to a local family as they sadly add their son’s name to the Veterans Wall located the Gwinnett Justice Center. Come, show your support. Contact VFW Post 5255 at 770-963-8767 or visit www.CircleHeartRacing.com for more information.

Robertson Racing’s Andrea Robertson will join forces with Circle Heart Racing’s Ron Rigdon on December 2nd to compete in the 4th annual Santa’s Toy Run Endurance at Road Atlanta. Robertson is an accomplished professional driver in the ALMS (American LeMans Series) driving a Ford GT. She made history in 2011 with a podium finish in the world famous Rolex 24 Hours of LeMans road race in France. This is the first time a woman has ever received this prestigious award and will be a fierce competitor at Road Atlanta in December driving Circle Heart Racing’s Honda S2000.

Rigdon has been racing his Honda S2000 in the Honda Challenge Series 1 securing the 2011 Points Championship. “I’m really excited about having a world class driver like Robertson come drive my car” Rigdon said; “More importantly, we will help provide toys for local children this Christmas.” Robertson  Racing has graciously supported the Santa’s Toy Run for the past 3 years and shares Circle Heart’s compassion for children in need.

This is the 4th annual Santa’s Toy Run event hosted by NASA-SE (National Auto Sport Association - Southeast) benefiting numerous non-profit organizations and foster children in the local area. Admission for all 3 days is simply a new toy or gift card valued at $10 or more. Last year’s event provided toys for more than 350 children in foster care and raised more than $10,000. Circle Heart Racing has also been a pivotal part of this fundraiser and toy drive since 2008.

You can play an important part for the Endurance race by pledging a donation based on laps or miles completed by Rigdon and Robertson. Click here for an official pledge form or by visiting www.SantasToyRun.org for more information about this great event to help unfortunate kids this Christmas. Click here for an opportunity to take a ride with Andrea in the Championship Honda S2000 on Saturday. Autographs and pictures are available immediately following the Endurance Race. Racing will begin at Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA on December 2nd at 8:00 am with an endurance race followed by sprint races on Saturday and Sunday’s Toy Run; a must  see. Click here to view a video describing their mission!

Santa’s Toy Run 2012 Provides for Local Kids

Once again the NASA-SE Santa’s Toy Run at Road Atlanta was a huge success for charity collecting $15,800 and over 1,650 toys showing growth of over 400% since 2008.  This season ending weekend (Nov.30 through Dec.2), with an endurance race on Friday, championship races on Saturday, and Santa’s Toy Run on Sunday is quite popular.  Over 400 race teams and drivers (up 150% over 2008) participated in the racing and were responsible for event success.  

The NASA-SE Santa’s Toy Run began in 2008. Ron Rigdon of Circle Heart Racing along with Julie and Jim Pantas of NASA-SE joined forces to create a very successful annual event to help local children in foster care, group foster homes and in domestic violence shelters. Recipients for 2012 Toy Drive and Fundraiser include Gwinnett Children’s Shelter, Gwinnett PADV, Kid Stuff, Haven House, A Friends House, Barrow County PAL, and Rising Sun Youth Group. Many children and teens wouldn’t have anything without the heartwarming efforts from everybody involved with Santa’s Toy Run.

The Directors of NASA-SE graciously agree to exchange “Tickets for Toys.” Everyone who attends the races and donates an unwrapped new toy or gift card with a value of $10 or more will receive an exclusive “All Access 3 Day Pass” to watch some of the best sports car racing in the southeast. Charities selected are 501c3 non-profit organizations meaning each gift is tax deductible.  These donations, gift cards, and toys are distributed to qualified, well deserving kids, teens, and families in their true time of need. They are counting on NASA-SE for help each holiday season.

NASA-SE encourages racing Santa’s to fly their sleighs around Road Atlanta in early December.  These sleighs have names like Mustang, Corvette, Viper, Honda, Miata, Thunder Roadster, Legends, BMW, and Mercedes.  Santa’s Toy Run allows participants, crew, spectators, and officials to experience true Christmas spirit as they bring Christmas cheer to many children and their families.  It is the result of the generosity of the drivers and other participants that make this event so successful. In addition to the toy admission, many sponsors provide “in kind” support and significant monetary donations.  There are many sponsorship opportunities that include the excitement of ride-along in Race Car opportunities and other benefits.

Success is measured in money donated, toys and gift cards received, joy of racing, hearts overflowing with Christmas spirit, and children’s happiness. Circle Heart Racing lives up to their motto creating “Miles of Smiles”

There were three major contributors to this year’s event. First and most importantly was NASA-SE (National Auto Sports Association South East) who hosted this spectacular event for the past 5 years at Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA. Secondly was Interstate Poker Club from Gwinnett County. They worked diligently to help collect some of the 1650 toys collected this year. Interstate Poker Club also collected over 10,000 cans of food this Thanksgiving. Thirdly are Ron’s Auto Sales, Inc and Circle Heart Racing owned by Ron and Debbie Rigdon located in Lawrenceville, GA. Their unwavering support brought sponsor and donations plus handled the distributed toys and contributions to kids.  All are great contributors to our local community and should be commended for their work to provide for children in need at Christmas.

Please join us next year as we again support charities that assist homeless, foster, disabled, and military children and their families with Santa’s Toy Run. Visit www.SantasToyRun.org for more information on how you can play a part of this great event to help kids at Christmas. Merry Christmas To All!  

Circle Heart Racing Prepares for Award Winning Santa’s Toy Run 2012

NASA-SE, in association with Circle Heart Racing will be hosting their 5th annual Santa’s Toy Run toy drive and fundraiser at Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA November 30 thru December 2. This event received national attention for their fundraiser and toy drive from the NIADA (National Independent Auto Dealer Association) for their unwavering support for children. The award was presented to Ron and Debbie Rigdon’s dealership, Ron’s Auto Sales.  They have been in business for 10 years and are big contributors to their local community thru their race team called Circle Heart Racing and their signature event Santa’s Toy Run. In addition to the National Community Service Award, Manheim Auto Auctions donated $5000 to Kid Stuff, a non-profit organization devoted to helping local children with Autism plus children in need at Christmas.

Click here to watch video about National  Community Service Award.

 Visit www.SantasToyRun.org for information  2012 Toy Drive.