Lesa France Kennedy called Thursday’s “Over the Edge At ONE DAYTONA” the most unique event to be held at International Motorsports Center. Minutes later the NASCAR Vice Chairman and International Speedway Corporation CEO experienced that uniqueness firsthand.
Kennedy and former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Rusty Wallace literally went over the edge, rappelling down the eight-story IMC building side-by-side to kick off a three-day fundraiser benefiting The NASCAR Foundation and Easterseals Northeast Central Florida.
Let’s call the event both unique and successful. The NASCAR Foundation’s executive director Nichole Krieger announced Thursday that “Over the Edge At ONE DAYTONA” had raised more than $150,000 to benefit children in need, that amount coming from people participating in the rappelling who brought sizable donations – along with their nerve.
In addition to Kennedy and Wallace, a number of other “VIP Rappellers” negotiated the 102-foot drop Thursday, including Krieger, NASCAR Executive Vice President Gary Crotty and Senior Vice President Karen Leetzow, Easterseals Chairman Joe Kern, Easterseals Northeast Volusia County CEO Bev Johnson, Easterseals Northeast Volusia County Board member Sheryl Cook and Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile.
“Last time I was as high up as this building was when I was flipping down the backstretch here at Daytona International Speedway about 10 years ago,” Wallace joked prior to rappelling.
Kennedy and Wallace braved extremely windy conditions, cheered on by a local DJ on the P.A. system and several hundred onlookers, all repeatedly urging them to turn their careful descents into a full-blown race.
“I was coming down that baby and all of a sudden Lesa goes flying down,” Wallace said. “I said to myself, ‘Wait a minute. We’re not rappelling. This is a race.’
“But we had a great time. Raised a lot of money for the kids. To me, this was a home run.”
“We had a blast,” Kennedy said. “It’s not the average day at the office.”