Nearly 30 lucky race fans mingled with stars from the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series on Saturday and helped support a great cause at the 12th annual NHRA Tour de Charity at the Sonoma Raceway Karting Center.

The charity event, which pitted race fans against NHRA racers for a day of karting on the raceway's challenging course, raised $8,125 for Speedway Children's Charities, bringing the 12-year total for the event to more than $130,000.

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 $4.5 million since 2001. 

NHRA Funny Car drivers Jack Beckman (Valvoline Dodge Charger) and Ron Capps (NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger) as well as Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Scotty Pollacheck (Viper Motorcycle Co. Buell) traded paint with fans on the challenging course.

"This is such a fun event to interact with fans, but by the end of the day, the fangs and the horns start popping out," said Capps. "It's all for charity but it gets the competitive juices flowing. I'm happy to spend an off weekend of racing around with these guys."

Capps took King of the Track honors among the NHRA racers, turning the best lap over the 16-turn, three-quarter mile circuit at 58.578 seconds.  Capps holds the record for most King of the Track honors, taking the title seven times (2003, 2005-2007, 2010-2011, 2014).  Other winners have included Top Fuel drivers Cory McClenathan (2004), David Baca (2009), Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Matt Guidera (2008), Beckman (2012) and Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Adam Arana (2013).

Race fans also competed in a 10-lap race at the end of the day, with Elk Grove's Milas Mills taking top honors for the second year in a row with a time of 57.012.

"I had a blast out here today," said Mills. "It's great to see the drivers and everyone else coming out here to support the charity."

The Simraceway Performance Driving Center provided the karts, race suits, classroom instruction and on-track pointers for all competitors. The NHRA racers also signed For more information about charity events at Sonoma Raceway, visit or call 800-870-RACE (7223).