Junior drag racers pay tribute to Valerie Bennett

BRISTOL, Tenn. - Before Friday's Junior Drag Racing Series event at the Bristol Dragway, the series paid tribute to Valerie Bennett who died tragically last month.

Valerie Bennett was just 15-year-olds when she died of an apparent suicide in June.

According to her mother, there is an investigation underway to determine if a bullying incident led to her suicide.

The Perrysburg, OH native was a regular in the junior racing series and had competed at the Bristol Dragway before.

"Her family has launched a memorial scholarship fund at her high school, and will be helping all the schools in her area campaign against bullying," Jeffrey Homer Stillwell of the Junior Drag Racing Series explained at Friday's ceremony.

The Bennett family was presented with money for the fund totaling over $3,000 Friday. They plan to use it to prevent something like this from happening in the future.

Fellow drag racers, crew chiefs and others involved in the series held a somber tribute to her before Friday's competition.

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