Capps, Beckman and Pollacheck Kart for Kids in Sonoma
24 Hours of LeMons Squeeze Proceeds for Charity
The Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities raised more than $17,500 through two charitable fundraisers at Sonoma Raceway, March 25-26.
Forty race fans mingled with stars from the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series at the 15th annual NHRA Tour de Charity at the Sonoma Raceway Karting Center, while the 24 Hours of LeMons took over the twists and turns of the Sonoma Raceway road course both Saturday and Sunday.
The charity karting event, which pitted race fans against NHRA racers for a day of karting on the raceway's challenging kart track, raised $12,445 for Speedway Children's Charities, bringing the 15-year total for the event to more than $163,000.
"These events are a wonderful way of giving children in need support and letting them know they are invaluable to our community," said third-year participant, Monica Olivares from Richmond. "You are low to the ground, it's loud and you smell the exhaust. Plus, it's fun on track. You are going for G's!"
NHRA Funny Car drivers Jack Beckman (Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger) and Ron Capps (NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger), as well as Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Scotty Pollacheck (Petrolhead Buell) traded paint and rubbed elbows with fans.
"A lot of these people come to the NHRA races at Sonoma, but we don't get to spend a lot of time with them," said 2015 Sonoma champion Beckman. "So today is chance I get to bond with them and talk about stuff you don't get to at the drag races. It's a chance to be a normal guy hanging out with people who want to do something good for their communities."
For the fourth consecutive year, Capps took home King of the Track honors among the NHRA racers, turning the best lap over the 16-turn, three-quarter mile circuit at 1 minute, 3.853 seconds. Fans also competed in a race at the end of the day, with Fairfield's Dave Shively taking top honors with a time of 1 minute, 2.09 seconds. The Simraceway Performance Driving 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 2017 season at the annual Sears Pointless event. This one-of-a-kind endurance race series, which is restricted to cars that were purchased, fixed up and track-prepped for a total of $500 or less, pits cars like the "Days of Thunder-Six Feet Under" Volvo of Sonoma against the "Redneck Outlaws" BMW of Vacaville.
An additional $5,140 was raised for SCC through a charitable 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 $5.5 million since 2001.