With thousands of rubber sharks inhabiting the creek at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday afternoon, the one that sprinted across the finish line first in the Sharky 500 ended up belonging to a local resident.

Elizabethton’s Carl Tester, who bought his shark today, was the big winner, taking home the BMS Grabber Blue Ford Mustang GT, which has paced the field for the NASCAR events at BMS this year and is valued at more than $32,000.

Thousands of the sharks have been sold since June for the race which benefits the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities. Claudia Byrd, chair of the organization, was thrilled with the turnout today for the race, as well as the number of sharks that were sold this year.

“I cannot say thank you enough to all of the people who purchased sharks,” said Byrd. “We sold more this year than we did last year, which is always our goal. Every shark sold helps a child and we certainly had an awful lot of folks buy them this time around.

“We sold a ton of sharks to fans during the August race and we’ve had an amazing number sold to people from this area. We have such tremendous support from our fans and from this community for every single event we have here and we truly appreciate it.”

Johnson City’s Tommy Head had the runner-up shark, which won him $5,000 worth of furnishings from Grand Home Furnishings while Roanoke, Virginia’s Don Mabery won four tickets to anywhere American Airlines/American Eagle flies in the lower 48, Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean.

Pennington Gap, Virginia’s Ben Sergent’s shark placed fourth, winning him two tickets to the 2012 IRWIN Tools Night Race while Greg Bell (Lake Villa, Ill.) was fifth, which earned him a pair of tickets to the 2012 Food City 500.

Bill Humphries (Vesuvius, Va.) won two tickets to the 2012 Food City 250 for his sixth-place showing, followed by Angela Painter (Memphis, Tenn.), who won two tickets to the March Nationwide Series race, Tammy Villiard (Big Stone Gap, Va.), who won $75 to Speedway World, Greg Douglas (Kingsport, Tenn.), winner of a $50 gift card from Food City, and Scott Hendricks (DeLand, Fla.), winner of tickets to AutoTrader.com Speedway In Lights.

The Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities is a non-profit organization which raises funds for children’s agencies in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Over the past 14 years, the Bristol Chapter of SCC has raised in excess of $6 million.

Speedway Children’s Charities next event at BMS is AutoTrader.com Speedway In Lights, which begins Nov. 18.