Speedway Children's Charities Raises More Than $20,000 During Doubleheader Weekend in Sonoma
SONOMA, Calif. (March 26, 2018) — The Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities (SCC) raised more than $20,000 through two charitable fundraisers at Sonoma Raceway, March 24-25.
Nearly 40 race fans mingled with stars from the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series on Saturday at the sold-out 16th annual NHRA Tour de Charity at the Sonoma Raceway Karting Center, while 24 Hours of Lemons took over the twists and turns of the Sonoma Raceway road course Saturday and Sunday.
The charity karting event, which pitted race fans against NHRA Funny Car driver Jack Beckman (Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger) and Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Scotty Pollacheck (Suzuki Extended Protection) for a day of karting on the raceway's challenging kart track, raised $12,200 for Speedway Children's Charities, bringing the 16-year total for the event to more than $175,200.
"I love this event and that it benefits Speedway Children's Charities," said 15-year participant John Montes of Oakley. "I couldn't think of a better charity that helps out the kids of Sonoma County, and I will continue to come out here year after year."
For the second time ever, Beckman took home "King of the Track" honors among the NHRA racers, turning the best lap over the modified .65-mile circuit at 1 minute, 2.951 seconds. Pollacheck missed the mark by merely .061 of a second to Beckman (1:03.012). Longtime Tour de Charity supporter Ron Capps, who has garnered King of the Track honors 10 times over the past 16 years, could not attend because of a recent bout with the flu.
"I feel guilty for having someone go and infect Ron Capps with the flu, but sometimes you've got to do what you’ve got to do to win," joked Beckman, whose father took him karting in Van Nuys as a young boy when he got good grades in school. "This is so fun to get together with this room full of people who are all out here to support the charity, but didn’t forget the competitive part. It really is for the kids, but for a couple laps it is about us out there turning laps as fast as we can."
Fans also competed in a race at the end of the day, with Montes taking top honors with a time of 1 minute, 1.821 seconds. The Simraceway Performance Karting Center provided the karts, race suits, classroom instruction and on-track pointers for all competitors.
In addition, the 24 Hours of Lemons kicked off its 2018 season of vehicular jankery as 150 heaps struggled around Sonoma’s famed road course, along with the first-ever HooptieCon (www.HooptieCon.com) and Radwood Car Show, a Great Engine-Heat BBQ Cookoff and more delightful antics.
An additional $7,817 was raised for SCC at the Lemons event through an online auction, sales of SCC "band aids" that excuse race teams from their first race penalty, as well as a portion of the gate proceeds over the race weekend.
Speedway Children’s Charities, the charitable arm of Sonoma Raceway, raises funds for distribution to qualified youth organizations in Sonoma County. The charity has distributed more than $6 million since 2001. For more information about charity events at Sonoma Raceway, visit www.SonomaRaceway.com/scc or call 800-870-RACE (7223).