Infineon Raceway will honor the memory of the late Eric Medlen during the 5th annual Eric Medlen Nitro Night Charity Dinner at the beautiful Stone Tree Golf Club on Thursday, July 28.

Medlen, a native of Oakdale in the San Joaquin Valley, won the Funny Car championship at Infineon Raceway, his home track, in 2006. He succumbed in March, 2007, to injuries sustained from a testing accident. Medlen was a member of John Force Racing.

Funny Car drivers Jack Beckman (Aaron’s/Valvoline Dodge) , Ron Capps (NAPA Auto Parts Dodge) and Melanie Troxel (Procare Rx Toyota) will attend, as will Top Fuel drivers Morgan Lucas (GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster) and Shawn Langdon (Lucas Oil/Speedco dragster).

Some of the racers will compete in a one-hour Texas Hold ‘Em Charity Poker Tournament at 6:30 p.m. thanks to our friends at Coyote Valley Casino. The casino, located in Mendocino County, will present a check for $2,500 to Speedway Children’s Charities in the name of the racer with the most chips after the one-hour tournament.

The Texas Hold'em Tournament will be followed by a wonderful three-course meal. Bob Frey, the long-time announcer for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, will serve as the master of ceremonies for the evening and will host a Q&A session with the drivers in attendance. There will also be a charity drawing.

The event will be hosted for the second consecutive year at Stone Tree Golf Club, which is less than five miles from Infineon Raceway in nearby Novato, providing easy access for fans and race teams.

Tickets for the evening are $125, and include wine/beer and dinner.  All proceeds will go to qualified youth groups in Sonoma County in Eric’s name through Speedway Children’s Charities, the charitable arm of Infineon Raceway.

The event, which has been sold-out each of the last four years, typically boasts a healthy contingent from Eric’s hometown of Oakdale, including his mother, Mimi, and his father, John.

Nitro Night also serves as a kick-off to the FRAM/Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway, July 29-31.  This year’s event marks the series’ 24th annual visit to the Sonoma Valley and will feature professional competition in the Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle classes. 

To reserve your seat for the dinner, contact Denise Silver at 707-933-3950 or

24th annual FRAM/Autolite NHRA Nationals
WHAT: Big O Tires Racing Season Presents: FRAM/Autolite NHRA Nationals
WHEN: July 29-31
CIRCUIT: Drag strip
2010 TOP QUALIFIERS: Larry Dixon (Top Fuel); Jack Beckman (Funny Car); Allen Johnson (Pro Stock); Hector Arana (Pro Stock Motorcycle)
2010 WINNERS: Larry Dixon (Top Fuel); Ron Capps (Funny Car); Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock); Michael Phillips (Pro Stock Motorcycle)
TICKETS: $50-$60 single day/$135 weekend; parking is FREE