Kenny Crites, of Charleston, S.C., is the lucky new owner of Tommy Pike’s powerful custom Cobra replica after winning Speedway Children’s Charities custom car raffle.

The raffle began nearly four months ago during the August Food Lion AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway and more than 1,000 tickets were sold, raising nearly $24,000 for children in need.

Crites has been a car enthusiast his entire life and when he heard about the opportunity to enter to win the sleek black custom machine, he jumped at the chance and purchased 10 raffle tickets.

“I was only planning on purchasing one or two tickets,” said Crites. “Then when I realized it was for Speedway Children’s Charities I decided to buy more tickets because it is a wonderful organization and I knew the money was going to a good cause.”

Owning nearly 40 cars in his lifetime, Crites is a self proclaimed car fanatic and when he heard he was chosen as the winner of the Cobra replica, through the random raffle drawing, he could hardly believe his ears.

“I was out of town so I missed the call,” explained Crites. “When I looked at my missed calls I recognized the number and got cold chills and my knees started to shake. When I listened to the voicemail I just couldn’t believe it. I have been lucky at some things in life, but nothing on this scale. I was bouncing off the walls after I heard the news and I still have to pinch myself because to this day it’s still unbelievable.”

Crites hasn’t quite decided what he is going to use the car for, but says you can find him cruising on Sunday afternoons in his new machine when the weather warms up. He also hopes winning the Cobra replica will be a springboard into starting a car collection of his own.

“At this point in my life I probably own the fewest cars I ever have,” said Crites. “I only have one and it is my everyday personal vehicle, but hopefully this Cobra will be the first of more to come. I would really like to start restoring cars and start a small collection of my own.”

The custom Cobra replica was built in just five days during the August Food Lion AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The team from Tommy Pike Customs, from Greenville, S.C., turned a pile of parts into a high-performance roadster while AutoFair spectators watched. The crew worked 14 hours a day and put more than 500 total man hours into the car to build the custom Cobra replica from scratch.

The finished car boasts a Doug Herbert 347 Stroker motor and replica 1966 black rims. European details like a double-stitched, all black leather interior and a single red pinstripe separating a matte and glossy black finish add to the car’s artistic allure. Capable of running zero to 60 in under four seconds, this custom Cobra replica is built for fun.

All proceeds from the raffle benefitted Speedway Children’s Charities Charlotte Chapter and will help local children in need.

There are Speedway Children’s Charities chapters at seven Speedway Motorsports, Inc., facilities: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. Throughout the year, Speedway Children’s Charities will host a number of charitable events at each track. For more information on Speedway Children’s Charities – Charlotte Chapter and upcoming events, visit www.charlotte.speedwaycharities.org.