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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
NASA-SE’s Santa’s Toy Run toy drive and fundraiser has continued success for the
14th consecutive year at Road Atlanta in December. These generous donations allowed
us to supply toys for more than 415 children who otherwise gone without anything
this Christmas. In addition enough contributions were made to purchase more than
seventy five $20 gift cards for each of the moms/dads in the domestic violence shelter
and numerous older teenagers. More than $4300 in donation was received that was divided
up among 6 different organizations and sincerely appreciated.
In 14 years Santa’s Toy Run has helped more than 7000 children receive toys for Christmas.
Contributions are estimated to be in excess of $90k since it began in 2008 when Ron
Rigdon approached NASA-SE’s Jim & Julie Pantas with the idea of helping kids for
Christmas. The NASA-SE family all joined together making Santa’s Toy Run victorious
placing them in the “Winners Circle” for giving.
Recipients for 2021 included Gateway Domestic Violence Center, Henry Haven House,
Gwinnett PADV and Fulton PADV; all domestic violence shelters. Also supported with
this event is A Friend’s House, group foster home and Hopewell children outreach
program. The VFW (Veterans of Foreign War) National Home for Children received more
than $600 in donation this year. New are the Salvation Army Red Shield Services for
homeless Veterans with children. There are also a large number of individual families
that received toys for their children who otherwise would have done without this
Christmas. All of these organizations are 501c3 nonprofit and well qualified recipients.
See more about each of the groups at www.santastoyrun.org.
Tremendous thanks goes to Jim & Julie Pantas NASA-SE plus all of the generous members,
racers, crews, staff, fans, corner workers, security, volunteers and spectators generosity
this year with toy and money donations. American Street Rodders Car Club joined us
this year providing many toys and contributions. They were instrumental with the
toy sort volunteers and facility; thanks Rod. Thanks to Robertson Racing gracious
donation to 6 different organizations this year. We appreciate Brian & Becky Litwiler
with Muscle Car Therapy helping with Pace Car, sorting and distribution. And special
consideration goes to Web Tech Marketing Service, Mark & Patrick for building and
running well designed our beautiful web site. Plus everyone’s unwavering and continued
support was instrumental for the continued success of Santa’s Toy Run toy drive and
THANK EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU!
We are already looking forward to the 15th Annual Santa’s Toy Run in December 3rd
& 4th, 2022 at Road Atlanta and hope to have your continued support. God bless everyone
that helped us bring, “MILES OF SMILES”, this year.