Race Fans, NHRA Drivers Raise $12,000 at Charity Karting Event in Sonoma
More than 40 lucky race fans mingled with stars from the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series on Saturday and helped support a great cause at the 10th annual NHRA Tour de Charity at the Infineon Raceway Karting Center.
The sold-out event, which coupled race fans with top NHRA drivers for a day of karting on the raceway’s challenging course, raised $12,350 for Speedway Children’s Charities, bringing the 10-year total for the event to nearly $110,000.
Speedway Children’s Charities, the charitable arm of Infineon Raceway, raises funds throughout the year for distribution to qualified youth organizations in Sonoma County. The charity has distributed more than $4 million since 2001.
NHRA drivers Ron Capps (NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Funny Car) and Jack Beckman (Valvoline Dodge Funny Car) swapped paint with fans under rainy conditions on the challenging course.
“Today was awesome,” said Walnut Creek’s Zach Maclean. “The facility is clean, everyone’s so nice and we had so much fun racing in the rain."
Beckman took King of the Track honors among the NHRA drivers, turning the best lap over the 16-turn, three-quarter mile circuit at 1 minute, 14.290 seconds. The win marked Beckman’s first title knocking off Capps (1:16.181) who has won the honor six times (2003, 2005-2007, 2010-2011) over the past 10 years. Other winners have included Top Fuel drivers Cory McClenathan (2004) and David Baca (2009), and Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Matt Guidera (2008).
“It’s a wonderful day, awesome group of people and it’s for a great cause,” said Beckman. “So even racing in the rain, you can’t leave here without feeling fantastic.”
“This year, knowing that it was going to rain, I was so excited because we ran in the rain last year, and it was the most fun I’ve had at this event,” added Capps. “But my goal, besides raising money for the charity, was to beat my teammate Jack Beckman.”
The Simraceway Performance Driving Center provided the karts, race suits, classroom instruction and on-track pointers for all competitors. The NHRA drivers also signed autographs and donated memorabilia for a raffle.
Race fans also competed in a 15-minute race at the end of the day, with 17-year-old Maclean taking top honors for the second year in a row with a time of 1:11.268.
For more information about charity events at Infineon Raceway, visit www.infineonraceway.com/scc or call 800-870-RACE (7223).